Seminary Professor's Book Gets the Golden Touch

Next Evangelicalism cover

CHICAGO (January 22, 2010) – Leadership journal, a publication of Christianity Today International, has named Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah’s book The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity, one of the top 10 books of 2009.

The journal bestows its Golden Canon Book Awards on the titles it considers most valuable for church leaders. This year’s winners were selected by a diverse group of more than 100 pastors and leaders, including Leadership’s contributing editors.

"Scholarship gives this book a depth beyond many similar tomes that are based mostly on experience,” judge Katherine Callahan-Howell said of The Next Evangelicalism. “Rah leaves us with real hope."

Rah is the Milton B. Engebretson Assistant Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary and also serves on the board of the social justice ministry Sojourners.

In his book, he maintains that the North American church is captive to the Western cultural ideologies of individualism and materialism. These trappings have ensnared megachurches and emergent churches alike. If evangelicalism is to reflect the body of Christ, Rah asserts, it must draw from the experience of Native Americans, as well as the minority and immigrant churches. The resulting change will include incorporating a theology of suffering as well as a theology of celebration.

Rah formerly taught at Gordon-Conwell's Center for Urban Ministerial Education in Roxbury, Mass., and before moving to Chicago, was the pastor of Cambridge Christian Fellowship Church in Cambridge, Mass., for more than a decade.