Click here for some background on this post.
After three weeks (here and here) of slow progress on my Born-Again Brethren in Christ project, I finally feel like I’m back on track.
I did four things for the project this past week:
1. I re-outlined the whole paper. As I’ve progressed, I’ve found that I have so much I want to say. Of course, not everything’s going to end up in the final draft. I’ve come to grips with this reality and have already made some tough decisions to cut material. But I’ve also added some material (including whole sections) and expanded some material that I thought would be treated generally. Because of all these shifts, I spent some time this week re-outlining the paper. Not only will this new outline help me see how all the material fits together, but it provides some big-picture structure for what I’ve already done.
Here’s the outline in its current form:
II. A New Paradigm (answering the “so what?” question of this paper)
III. The Not-So-Quiet in the Land (Brethren in Christ background/history)
IV. Joining the National Association of Evangelicals
V. Opting for the Evangelical Mainstream
VI. Women and the “Evangelical Turn”
VII. Religious Awakening in Christian America
VIII. [Church Growth Movement]
IV. [Social Concern Issues]
2. I asked some new research questions. I’ve come to a place in my writing where I realize I need to answer some additional research questions — questions I didn’t ask in my original research (for my master’s thesis) or questions that have developed in my mind since that original research period. Some of these questions I’ve handed off to Glen Pierce and his research assistants at the Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives. I’m very grateful to Glen and his staff for the assistance they’ve offered in this project! I’m investigating some of the other questions myself. Stay tuned for more in-depth posts about some of these specific questions.
3. I drafted a new section on Women and the “Evangelical Turn.” How were women affected by the Brethren in Christ Church’s encounters with Evangelicalism? That’s a big question I asked during my master’s thesis research — and though I answered it, I didn’t answer it to my satisfaction! Nevertheless, I now have a full section of my article dedicated to this very subject, and started drafting the section this past week. Perhaps I’ll share a bit of this research in a future post. Stay tuned!
4. I began to draft a section on Brethren in Christ “social concern” in the 1960s and 1970s. This is yet another section that requires some new research. Nevertheless, I have enough material at this point to create some topic sentences for the paragraphs in this section. I’ll need to fill in the paragraphs with material from my research. Again, stay tuned!
The article is really taking shape. There a lot of work still to be done, but I’m cautiously optimistic about the good forward momentum I’ve developed this week!