The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church Wells, David F. cover image

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  • Cover Type:
  • 16 Pages
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth
  • Publication Date: December 1996
  • ISBN: SWELLSDAFBLEEDINGOFTHEEVANGEL9780851516820

The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church

Wells, David F.

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David F. Wells of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Massachusetts, here challenges evangelicalism with a disturbing analysis of its present condition. He believes that we have allowed ourselves to be shaped by the popular culture whose ethos is alien to God-consciousness, to ‘other-worldliness’, and to passion for biblical truth. In putting ‘success’ before theology we have produced a plague of nominal evangelicalism which, unless reversed, leaves us ‘headed towards the oblivion of irrelevance before God’.

This material was first delivered at a Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals who have kindly assisted in the publication. Much fuller treatment of the same themes will be found in the author’s influential books, No Place for Truth and God in the Wasteland. While referring especially to the North American scene, the wider relevance of Dr Wells’ message is indicated by the fact that these two titles have joint publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, W.B. Eerdmans and IVP.

‘What is most lost is what most needs to be recovered. It is the unsettling, disconcerting, moral presence of God in our midst. He can no longer be the junior partner in our religious enterprises and he can never be just an ornamental decoration upon our Church life. It is because God now rests so inconsequentially upon the Church that the Church is free to plot and to devise its success in its own way. That is why so many of our forebears in the faith would scarcely even recognize us as their children today.’

About the Author

David Falconer Wells is Distinguished Senior Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

Born in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1939, he studied architecture at the University of Cape Town, graduating in 1960. It was during this time that he came to faith and sensed God’s call to Christian ministry. He practiced architecture in England and in 1966 earned the Bachelor of Divinity degree from London University, followed by a Master of Theology in church history from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois (1967), and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in theology from the University of Manchester (1969). He was appointed a post-doctoral research fellow at Yale Divinity School from 1973 to 1974.

He began teaching at Trinity Divinity School in 1969, advancing to full professor, and was appointed chair of the department of church history. In 1977 he was named to the chair of the division of systematic theology. He joined the faculty at Gordon-Conwell full-time in 1979, serving in a variety of positions. He moved to his current position in 2008 after having served as the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology since 1991. He was Academic Dean of the Charlotte campus (1998-2000) and Special Assistant to the President for Institutional Planning (2001-2003). From 2003 to 2005, he directed Gordon-Conwell’s self-study for 10-year re-accreditation.

Dr. Wells was elected to the American Theological Society in 1985, and that same year appointed a Distinguished Lecturer for the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. He served as a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and on its theology working group. For many years he has worked to provide theological education and basic preaching tools for Third World pastors. From 1989 to 1991 he was the recipient of a major grant for Senior Scholars from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

He also serves on the board of the Rafiki Foundation, Inc., whose goal is to establish orphanages and schools in ten African countries in order to raise and train orphans within a Christian framework. He travels to Africa annually to visit these orphanages.

Dr. Wells is a Council member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. He and his wife, Jane, live in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

Dr. Wells is the author of numerous books and articles, and of the Trust’s booklet The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church.

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David F. Wells of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Massachusetts, here challenges evangelicalism with a disturbing analysis of its present condition. He believes that we have allowed ourselves to be shaped by the popular culture whose ethos is alien to God-consciousness, to ‘other-worldliness’, and to passion for biblical truth. In putting ‘success’ before theology we have produced a plague of nominal evangelicalism which, unless reversed, leaves us ‘headed towards the oblivion of irrelevance before God’.

This material was first delivered at a Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals who have kindly assisted in the publication. Much fuller treatment of the same themes will be found in the author’s influential books, No Place for Truth and God in the Wasteland. While referring especially to the North American scene, the wider relevance of Dr Wells’ message is indicated by the fact that these two titles have joint publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, W.B. Eerdmans and IVP.

‘What is most lost is what most needs to be recovered. It is the unsettling, disconcerting, moral presence of God in our midst. He can no longer be the junior partner in our religious enterprises and he can never be just an ornamental decoration upon our Church life. It is because God now rests so inconsequentially upon the Church that the Church is free to plot and to devise its success in its own way. That is why so many of our forebears in the faith would scarcely even recognize us as their children today.’

About the Author

David Falconer Wells is Distinguished Senior Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

Born in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1939, he studied architecture at the University of Cape Town, graduating in 1960. It was during this time that he came to faith and sensed God’s call to Christian ministry. He practiced architecture in England and in 1966 earned the Bachelor of Divinity degree from London University, followed by a Master of Theology in church history from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois (1967), and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in theology from the University of Manchester (1969). He was appointed a post-doctoral research fellow at Yale Divinity School from 1973 to 1974.

He began teaching at Trinity Divinity School in 1969, advancing to full professor, and was appointed chair of the department of church history. In 1977 he was named to the chair of the division of systematic theology. He joined the faculty at Gordon-Conwell full-time in 1979, serving in a variety of positions. He moved to his current position in 2008 after having served as the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology since 1991. He was Academic Dean of the Charlotte campus (1998-2000) and Special Assistant to the President for Institutional Planning (2001-2003). From 2003 to 2005, he directed Gordon-Conwell’s self-study for 10-year re-accreditation.

Dr. Wells was elected to the American Theological Society in 1985, and that same year appointed a Distinguished Lecturer for the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. He served as a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and on its theology working group. For many years he has worked to provide theological education and basic preaching tools for Third World pastors. From 1989 to 1991 he was the recipient of a major grant for Senior Scholars from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

He also serves on the board of the Rafiki Foundation, Inc., whose goal is to establish orphanages and schools in ten African countries in order to raise and train orphans within a Christian framework. He travels to Africa annually to visit these orphanages.

Dr. Wells is a Council member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. He and his wife, Jane, live in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

Dr. Wells is the author of numerous books and articles, and of the Trust’s booklet The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church.

  • Cover Type:
  • 16 Pages
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth
  • Publication Date: December 1996
  • ISBN: SWELLSDAFBLEEDINGOFTHEEVANGEL9780851516820