Evangelicalism in transition : a comparative analysis of the work and theology of D. L. Moody and his protégés, Henry Drummond and R. A. Torrey
By the turn of the twentieth century, British and American evangelical Christianity was sharply divided over, among other things, the issues of biblical authority, the nature of the person and work of Christ and the validity of modern scientific thought. Dwight L. Moody, the major evangelical figure of the late nineteenth century, found himself in the centre of this controversy. As a man of conservative theology yet ecumenical spirit, both the Fundamentalists and the liberal evangelicals 'claimed' him for their cause. The tension which developed between these two sides is well illustrated in the lives and ministries of Moody's protégés, R. A. Torrey and Henry Drummond, who ended up on opposite sides of the modernist/Fundamentalist debate, one perpetuating Moody's theological beliefs and the other his broad, irenic spirit. Having examined the religious historical context in both Scotland and America, this study will consider Moody's development as an ecumenically minded evangelist. Furthermore, both in the Scottish and in the American settings, it will consider the work of Drummond and Torrey, examining Moody's influence upon them and tracing the development of each man's thought and career from the time of their early contacts with the great evangelist. It will explore the nature of the modern/Fundamentalist controversy within late nineteenth century evangelicalism as illustrated in the lives of these three men: Moody the mentor-father figure and Torrey and Drummond as unlikely stepbrothers. In addition to the theological issues, it will be concerned to investigate the spirit in which this debate was carried on. Most importantly, it will argue that, contrary to the claims of Fundamentalists to the present day, their movement did not perpetuate the work of D. L. Moody because it lost the warm catholicity which was integral to Moody's ministry.