Click here for some background on this post.
Last week, I worked diligently to create an outline for my article, “Born-Again Brethren in Christ.” Despite that diligence, plotting the piece proved harder than expected. As I said in last week’s post, I’ve accumulated an impressive array of materials about the Brethren in Christ Church’s engagement with Evangelicalism in the mid-twentieth century: scores of articles from the Evangelical Visitor and other publications, correspondence and other archival materials from the Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives at Messiah College, transcripts from oral histories, responses to questionnaires, and other sundry artifacts. It’s difficult to synthesize all this material into a concise, argument-focused article.
In last week’s process of outlining, I realized that a LOT of the stories I’d like to tell about the Brethren in Christ and Evangelicalism won’t make the final cut. (Maybe they’ll show up here at the blog.) I also realized that I have a number of “plot holes” I’ll need to plug if I’m going to bring this article to completion.
In any case, here’s a rough sketch of the article’s outline:
II. The Less-Than-Quiet in the Land (Brethren in Christ Background)
III. “Unity Amid Diversity”: The Brethren in Christ and the NAE
IV. “Reaching Youth for Christ”: The Brethren in Christ and YFC
V. [As-Yet-Untitled Section on Brethren in Christ & Church Growth]
VI. The Collapse of “Evangelical Unity”: The 1960s and 1970s
My hand-written version of the outline includes a lot more detail — and even as I re-scan the outline now, I’m realizing that everything I’m trying to fit into this outline might not even fit! But the basic structure of the article is in place — and it’ll help direct my next steps in this process.
I’m hoping to begin drafting the article soon. But before that, I need to head back into the archives and do a bit more research on Section VI above. Stay tuned…