The Jesus People movement was a unique combination of the hippie counterculture and evangelical Christianity. It first appeared in the famed "Summer of Love" of 1967, in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, and spread like wildfire in Southern California and beyond, to cities like Seattle, Atlanta, and Milwaukee. In 1971 the growing movement found its way into the national media spotlight and gained momentum, attracting a huge new following among evangelical church youth, who enthusiastically adopted the Jesus People persona as their own. Within a few years, however, the movement disappeared and was largely forgotten by everyone but those who had filled its ranks.
God's Forever Family argues that the Jesus People movement was one of the most important American religious movements of the second half of the 20th-century. Not only do such new and burgeoning evangelical groups as Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard trace back to the Jesus People, but the movement paved the way for the huge Contemporary Christian Music industry and the rise of "Praise Music" in the nation's churches. More significantly, it revolutionized evangelicals' relationship with youth and popular culture. Larry Eskridge makes the case that the Jesus People movement not only helped create a resurgent evangelicalism but must be considered one of the formative powers that shaped American youth in the late 1960s and 1970s.
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A Groovy Happening
If your life was touched by this movement or the music, you'll enjoy the story. It was an easy listen for me. So much so that I didn't mind running a few extra errands.
I was amazed at the depth of research the author provided to give us a detailed backstory of the Jesus Movement. This is not a light-weight, quick read.
If you're from the West Coast, you'll have to forgive the many mispronunciations of places (Marin County, Spokane) as well as Bible words (Agape, Koinonia). It's not a big deal but over the course of a book it was distracting. It actually made me wonder if this was a text to voice production.
Don't do it! It's already been done and the results are always cheesy.
- Steve Wright "Steve Wright"
Very good book, marred by narration
- Dru Lattin