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Topic 13 Modern Christianity

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1 Topic 13 Modern Christianity
17th century 18th century 19th century 20th century

2 I. The 17th Century Religious conflicts Thirty Years’ War (1618-48)
Protestants vs. Catholics Began with Defenestration of Prague – Protestant protesters tossed 2 Catholic royal advisors out of window – fell in dung pile. War engulfed Europe. Peace of Westphalia (1648) Agreed to quit fighting. Granted religious freedom for Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists (not Anabaptists). French persecution Protestantism was outlawed in 1685. Huguenots (French Reformed) were persecuted terribly; many fled.

3 I. The 17th Century Developments in English Protestantism Puritans
Group in Anglican Church which thought Anglican reform did not go far enough; many were influenced by Calvinism. Wanted to purge Anglican church of remaining Catholic trappings. Wanted to purge society of immorality (heavy drinking, gambling, frivolous games, etc.). Separatists Radical Puritans who withdrew from Anglican Church (gave up on reform from within). Set up separate churches to implement reforms.

4 Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock
I. The 17th Century B. Developments in English Protestantism – cont. Persecution by James I – many fled 1620 – Plymouth Colony – Separatists 1630 – Massachusetts Bay Colony – Puritans Baptists – emerged out of Separatist movement John Smyth – Separatist pastor Fled to Amsterdam – influenced by Anabaptists. 1609 – adopted believer’s baptism – first English-speaking Baptist church. Thomas Helwys 1612 – led part of group back to London – first Baptist church on English soil. Booklet outlining Baptist principles: believer’s baptism; general atonement (Christ died for all people); religious freedom for all; separation of church and state; etc.. 5. Act of Toleration (1689) – ended persecution; granted toleration to most dissident groups. Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock

5 I. The 17th Century Controversy in Reformed Church: Calvinism vs. Arminianism Hard-line Calvinist predestination – TULIP (p. 177): T – Total depravity U – Unconditional election L – Limited atonement I – Irresistible grace P – Perseverance of the saints Arminianism – Jacob Arminius: Dutch Reformed theologian; opposed strict Calvinist predestination; wanted more room for human free will. Christ died for all (general atonement). Grace can be accepted or rejected by anyone. Believers can fall from grace.

6 I. The 17th Century Arminianism vs. Calvinism – cont.
3. Synod of Dort ( ) Rejected Arminianism. Affirmed “5-point” Calvinism. Influence Presbyterians / Reformed – Calvinistic Methodists – Arminian Baptists – mixed

7 I. The 17th Century The Enlightenment Age of Reason
Sir Isaac Newton The Enlightenment Age of Reason Scientific knowledge – based on observation and reason. Natural law – world operates by laws of nature, like a machine. Deism – rational religion, consistent with reason Lord Herbert of Cherbury – father of Deism; blended religion and Enlightenment rationalism. Major tenets of Deism: God created universe to operate by laws of nature. Skeptical of miracles. Rejected idea of Trinity. Jesus not divine, but a great moral teacher. Questioned inspiration of Bible. Most of the “founding fathers” of U. S. A. were Deists. Thomas Jefferson

8 II. The 18th Century Pietism – Germany – 3 key leaders
Three evangelical movements reacting against “Protestant rationalism” (i.e., emphasis on dry, intellectual doctrine). Pietism – Germany – 3 key leaders Philipp Jakob Spener – founder Sought revival of Lutheran Church. Needed “religion of heart” as well as head. Organized small groups for prayer and Bible study. Wrote Pia Desideria (1675) – primary source for Pietist principles. August Hermann Francke Professor at Univ. of Halle. Turned Halle into Pietist training center. Count Zinzendorf Sheltered Moravian refugees on his estate. Organized into Pietist community. Became Moravian Church (1727); sent missionaries out. Stressed emotional conversion & personal relationship with Christ.

9 II. The 18th Century Methodism – England
Founded in England by John Wesley (and Charles) Students at Oxford – nicknamed “methodists” Mission to Georgia – contact with Moravians “Conversion” (1738) Moravian Church service in London. “I felt my heart strangely warmed.” Preaching Sought revival within Anglican Church. Necessity of personal conversion and sanctified living. Preached outdoors to large crowds. Methodist Church separated in 1795. America Methodism grew rapidly. “Circuit riders” like Francis Asbury.

10 C. First Great Awakening – Colonial America
II. The 18th Century C. First Great Awakening – Colonial America Jonathan Edwards Congregationalist pastor in Mass.; began insisting on necessity of emotional conversion experience. Led great revival in ; hundreds of conversions. Many learned theological works. George Whitefield Traveling evangelist from England; formerly associated with Wesley (broke over Calvinism; Wesley was Arminian). Famous for outdoor preaching. Several tours of colonies. Results Growth in church membership. Division over emotional excesses. Helped unify colonies; prepared for Revolution.

11 III. The 19th Century Second Great Awakening Charles Grandison Finney
Techniques of revival meetings (“new measures”). Protracted meetings; advertising; praying for sinners by name; anxious bench; etc. Many imitators; churches grew. Founded Oberlin College – first coed college in America. Frontier revivalism Traveling evangelists followed settlers westward. “Camp meetings” – settlers came from miles around; camped for weeks. Results Church growth, esp. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians. Movements aimed at social evils: temperance in alcohol use, poverty relief, abolition of slavery.

12 III. The 19th Century B. Modern missions movement William Carey
English Baptist cobbler – self-educated. 1792 – published call to take gospel to world. Baptist Missionary Society – sent Carey to India. Adoniram and Ann Judson Congregationalist missionaries to India – became Baptist en route; no support. Friend, Luther Rice, returned and organized Baptist support. Triennial Convention (1814) – Baptist organization for mission support. Results By end of century, most denominations had mission societies. Missionaries around the world: Africa, Asia, Central and South America.

13 III. The 19th Century Slavery issue
Abolitionist movement divided churches as well as the nation. Many northern preachers decried evils of slavery, called for abolition. Many southern preachers defended slavery. Many denominations formally split into Northern and Southern bodies. Southern Baptist Convention – formed in 1845 when Triennial Convention refused to appoint missionaries who owned slaves.

14 Scopes “Monkey” Trial (1925)
III. The 19th Century Liberalism and Fundamentalism Both were reactions to “Modernism.” New sciences challenging religion. Darwin’s theory of evolution; geology; archaeology; historiography; etc. Varied Christian reactions: some embraced modern thought; others rejected it. Charles Darwin Scopes “Monkey” Trial (1925)

15 III. The 19th Century Liberalism and Fundamentalism – cont.
“Liberal” Protestant theology Friedrich Schleiermacher “Father” of Liberal theology. Essence of Christianity is feeling of “absolute dependence” on God; specific doctrines are negotiable. Liberal theology Universal Fatherhood of God – God is Father of all people. Innate goodness of man – task of religion is to tap that goodness and develop it. Kingdom of God is being achieved through progress of Christian culture. Historical criticism of Bible (“higher criticism”) Studied Bible with same methods as other literature: written by human authors, influenced by their culture, etc. Documentary hypothesis of Pentateuch: multiple authors, evolved over several centuries (Julius Wellhausen). Two-source theory of Gospels: Mark and Q used by Matt. and Lk. Questioned historical/scientific accuracy of Bible. Julius Wellhausen

16 III. The 19th Century Liberalism and Fundamentalism – cont.
Conservative reaction against modern science (evolution), Liberal theology, and biblical criticism. Five fundamentals of the faith (cannot be compromised) Inerrancy of the Bible (verbal inspiration) Virgin birth of Jesus Substitutionary atonement (or “satisfaction” theory) Physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Visible second coming of Christ (premillennial) Catholic anti-modernism “Syllabus of Errors” (1864) – condemned various “modernisms”: liberalism, socialism, modern science, biblical studies, democracy, freedom of thought, and religious liberty. Vatican Council I (1870) – declared “papal infallibility .”

17 “Social Gospel” movement
IV. The 20th Century “Social Gospel” movement Applied power of gospel to social problems stemming from Industrial Revolution – poverty; poor working/living conditions; child labor; etc. Walter Rauschenbusch – German Baptist pastor in slums of NYC; saw poverty at its worst; challenged churches to organize against it. A Theology for the Social Gospel (1917): Building Kingdom of God takes more than conversion of individuals. Churches must also work to transform social structures to get rid of systemic injustice. Advocated legislation to force better wages, working conditions, housing; ban child labor; etc.

18 IV. The 20th Century B. Neo-orthodoxy
Optimism of Liberal theology was shattered by horrors of WW I (and Holocaust; WW II). “Neo-orthodoxy” was a theological movement which returned to a more traditional style of theology. Emphasized depth of human sin and need for divine redemption. Remained open to modern science and biblical criticism. “Father of Neo-orthodoxy” was Karl Barth Commentary on Romans,1918. Most influential theologian of 20th century. Helped organize “Confessing Church” movement which opposed Nazism. Karl Barth Dietrich Bonhoeffer (another leader in Confessing Church) – Imprisoned by Nazis for plot against Hitler; executed shortly before Allied victory; wrote The Cost of Discipleship.

19 IV. The 20th Century Vatican Council II (1962-65) Ecumenical movement
Convened by Pope John XXIII. Opened Catholic church to modern world. Examples of some measures: Declared right of religious freedom. Allowed Mass in vernacular. Encouraged more participation of laity. Encouraged critical Bible study. Declared openness to dialogue with other denominations; etc. Ecumenical movement Seeks cooperation and unity among Christian denominations. World Council of Churches (1948) – sponsors Bible translation (RSV; NRSV); coordination of mission work; dialogue over doctrinal differences; etc. Pope John XXIII

20 IV. The 20th Century Evangelicalism
Conservative movement less rigid than Fundamentalism. Theological emphases: Authority of Bible Saving death of Christ Personal conversion experience Personal evangelism Effective use of radio and TV. Most visible advocate is Billy Graham.

21 IV. The 20th Century Pentecostalism (sometimes called “charismatic movement”) Movement that emphasizes experience of being filled by Holy Spirit (like early church on Pentecost in Acts 2). Manifested in overt signs – tongue-speaking; prophecy; healing; body movements (swaying, hand-lifting, dancing, falling down, etc.). Origin in Azusa Street Revival – Los Angeles (1906). Rapid growth in last quarter of century, esp. in Latin America and other Third-World countries. Appeal: emotional services; racial, ethnic, social, gender inclusiveness.

22 Where in the World Are the Christians?
Europe White 1900 50% 80% 2000 25% 40%


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