The Courage to Be Protestant

by David F. Wells

It takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant. These words begin this bold work — the culmination of David Wells’ long-standing critique of the evangelical landscape. But to live as a true Protestant — that’s another matter.

This book is a jeremiad against new versions of Evangelicalism — the Marketing and Emergent Churches — and a call to return to the historic faith, one defined by Reformation solas (grace, faith, and scripture alone), and to a reverence for doctrine. Wells argues that historic, classical Evangelicalism is marked by doctrinal seriousness, as opposed to the new movements of the Marketing Church and the Emergent Church. He energetically confronts the Marketing communities and their tendency to try to win parishioners as consumers rather than worshipers, advertising the most palatable environment rather than trusting the truth to be attractive. He takes particular issue with the most popular evangelical movement in recent years — the Emergent Church. Emergents, he says, are postmodern, postconservative, and postfoundational, embracing a less absolute understanding of the authority of scripture than traditionally held.

The Courage to be Protestant is a dynamic argument for the courage to be faithful to what biblical Christianity has always stood for, thereby securing hope for the church’s future.

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About the Author

David F. Wells (PhD, University of Manchester) is the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In addition to serving as academic dean at Gordon-Conwell’s Charlotte campus, Wells has been a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, a distinguished lecturer at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, and the recipient of a major grant from the Pew Charitable Trust. The author of numerous articles and books, he has written extensively on postmodernism, open theism, and the history of Christianity in America.

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