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God’s Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America by Larry Eskridge

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This copiously documented testament traces the meteoric rise and demise of the Jesus People, “a major episode in American religious history” that caught fire in the West Coast’s hippie subculture of 1967, spread across America, and then, within a decade, largely fizzled out. A son of the movement, Baby Boomer Eskridge affectionately tells the story of its major and minor players, from Chuck Smith and Larry Norman to small-town Christian coffeehouses that dotted the landscape and inspired a generation.

Growing out of “a unique combination of the 60s counterculture and American (apocalyptic) evangelical religion,” music, the generation’s voice, was the Jesus movement’s special medium. As such, “the movement revolutionized evangelicals’ relationship with youth and popular culture” in ways that remain manifest in charismatic groups like Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard, the evolution of the contemporary Christian music industry, and the rise of praise choruses in our nation's churches today. (Oxford University Press)

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