Understanding Mike Huckabee using Explo '72
Hmm. Had a sister who was there. I bet all this really sounds strange to Inside the Beltway Supply Side Conservatives. My favorite paragraphs with a great big, "Go Zachary!"
Looking back, it is hard to appreciate just how revolutionary these steps were for evangelicals in 1972. Crusade's Mr. Bright, one of the most influential evangelicals of the post-World War II generation, had long rejected rock music -- along with long hair and dancing. Less than a year before Explo, he told a reporter that rock 'n' roll "wasn't for us . . . because of the complaints of ex-addicts." At the time, conservative evangelicals strongly associated rock music with drug abuse. Mr. Bright's son Zachary remembers telling his father: "You can have a conservative view of music and keep what worked for you, or you can win [young people to Christ]." "I'd rather win," Campus Crusade's president responded.
The organization's embrace of rock music at Explo '72 went a long way toward revolutionizing evangelicalism's relationship with popular culture. Only a few fundamentalists seriously swim against the cultural tide today. Explo may not have changed the world, but it changed American evangelicalism.