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Collection 033 Records of The Chicago Call

Identifier: CN 033

Scope and Contents

Collection contains minutes of the planning committee, correspondence, drafts of the Chicago Call conference, reports, and magazine coverage of the meeting. Documents deal with the efforts to draft a document outlining the need for Protestant Evangelicals to recover what the participants saw as the theology and practice of historical Christianity.


  • Created: 1974-1978

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

In late 1976, Dr. Robert Webber (Associate Professor of Theology at Wheaton College) called together a planning committee consisting of Richard Holt, Donald G. Bloesch, Jan P. Dennis, Lane T. Dennis, Gerald D. Erickson, Peter E. Gillquist, Thomas Howard and Victor Oliver. The purpose of the committee was to plan a National Conference of Evangelicals for Historic Christianity. This group met nine times during December (1976) and January (1977). They decided that the goal of the conference would be to bring together selected Evangelical leaders to draft an appeal to fellow Evangelicals which would stress a recovering of the theology and practice of historic Christianity and to call them to a Christianity truly catholic and Evangelical. The statement was to be loosely modeled after "The Chicago Declaration," "The Hartford Appeal," and "The Boston Affirmation," and would be called "The Chicago Call." The conference was held May 1-3, 1977, at the Cenacle Retreat Center in Warrenville, Illinois, and was attended by approximately forty-five Evangelical leaders. The participants were broken into working groups, and each group worked on a particular section of the Call such as: A Call to Historic Roots and Continuity; A Call to Biblical Fidelity; A Call to Creedal Identity; etc. After several drafts and revisions, the final form of The Chicago Call was decided upon, and it was printed for public distribution. The Chicago Call received favorable but limited response from Evangelicals and non-Evangelicals. A book was published in 1978 by the participants of the conference.


2.00 Boxes

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Material

[NOTE: In the Arrangement section, the notation "folder 2-5" means box 2, folder 5.]

This collection constitutes almost all the existing written and printed records of the Chicago Call. Important papers include the detailed minutes of the planning committee and the conference; the correspondence of Robert Webber and Richard Holt (Treasurer) and Peter E. Gillquist, editor of Thomas Nelson, Inc., who published The Orthodox Evangelicals, a book on the meeting, and drafts of each section of The Chicago Call. The sections are: A Call to Historic Roots and Continuity; A Call to Biblical Fidelity; A Call to Creedal Identity; A Call to Holistic Salvation; A Call to Sacramental Integrity; A Call to Spirituality; A Call to Church Authority; and A Call to Church Unity. Also in the collection are drafts of the different chapters of the published book The Orthodox Evangelicals. Items of note in the Webber correspondence are: a negative reaction by Sharm Gallagher to the conference (3/14/77); a statement by Al Glenn on spirituality (4/25/77); a response to the invitation to attend by Henri Nouwen (2/4/1977); and two letters (Donald Bloesch 11/19/76 and Jim Hestrom 12/7/76) written in response to a manuscript sent by Webber; a reaction to Webber's editorial by Dr. E. H. Schludermann (9/6/74). Another item of note is the post-conference report by Robert Webber. Also included are copies of articles in the Newsweek, The Reformed Journal, and the New Oxford Review on the conference and other press reaction. Miscellaneous items include clippings on The Chicago Call, and Bulletin of the Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania. The collection includes a copy of The Orthodox Evangelicals. The records are in general chronological order corresponding to the development of the conference.

The material in folder 2-17 concerns the preparation of The Orthodox Evangelicals' chapter, "A Call to Biblical Fidelity." The original draft of this chapter was written by James Daane, Professor of Theology and Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary. Inasmuch as it dealt extensively with the topic of Biblical inerrancy, it was found unacceptable by the book's publisher, Thomas Nelson, Inc. Daane declined to rewrite the chapter and when the book was published, the chapter on Biblical fidelity was authored by Roger Nicole of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (see folder 2-7).

The folder contains a draft of Daane's chapter (lacking page 1) with annotations by readers, and correspondence among Daane, Thomas Nelson Inc., and The Orthodox Evangelicals' senior editor, Robert Webber.

Accruals and Additions

The records were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in December 1977, December 1978 , and 1980 from Robert Webber.

Accession 77-28, 78-47, 80-112

December 19, 1977

Robert Shuster

Abraham Labiano

James Stambaugh

Revised, January 12, 1978

Revised, August 5, 1982

Galen R. Wilson

Collection 033 Records of The Chicago Call
Bob Shuster
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US