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The Urban PulpitNew York City and the Fate of Liberal Evangelicalism$
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Matthew Bowman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199977604

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199977604.001.0001

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(p.281) Conclusion
The Urban Pulpit

Matthew Bowman

Oxford University Press

In post-World War II New York, fundamentalists and liberals swapped places. Neo-evangelicals like Billy Graham, descended theologically from fundamentalists, rejected the prophetic style and rhetoric of a Billy Sunday or a John Roach Straton, opting instead to bid for social inclusion. Meanwhile, at Riverside Church, William Sloane Coffin took the pulpit in the mid-1970s. He spoke frequently of ‘prophecy,’ but tended to use the term simply as a form of political activism, rather than insisting upon its spiritual relevance. While earlier liberal evangelicals had sought to combine social activism with spiritual rebirth, Coffin seemed content only with the former.

Keywords:   Prophecy, Billy Graham, William Sloane Coffin, Main Line Protestantism, Riverside Church

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