Skip to comments.The New Old-Time Religion (Evangelicals)
Posted on 11/30/2003 11:36:59 AM PST by Pokey78
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I don't think I can agree with that, what the Revd. Mr. Edwards did was take the communion meal with the Lord out of the realm of a means of converting to it's more accurate 'only for those who are already converted and are truly saved.' I don't see where using Scripture to correct an error, even when that error had been around for 100 years, is and unintentionally launched a new and distinctively American strain of Protestantism. .
I would think that many would disagree with the as the chosen nation. Most of the evangelicals that I know that follow in the footsteps of Revd. Edwards and the Puritan traditions, would say that America is the nation that God has chosen to use to strike back at the religiously evil nations of the world, those who would be described in Revelation three as "them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie;" keep in mind that the muslims think of themselves as the chosen of God, therefore the truer jews in a sense.
But few that I know think of this nation as one dedicated to the Lord and therefore one that casts America as the chosen nation engaged in a righteous struggle with evil.
Those most like the Puritans would be those of the Ana Baptist denominations such as the Mennonites and Amish.
Evangelical scholars and intellectuals especially lament the decline of the evangelical mind since the generation of Edwards. During the last century in particular, says Wheaton College's Noll, "Christian reasoning as a whole, through use of the Bible, theology, and doctrine, simply hasn't measured up. The scandal of the evangelical thinking is that there is not enough of it, and that which exists is not up to the standards that Edwards established."
Well, Edwards set the bar pretty high. He had quite an impressive mind. I would point to John Piper as a great example of an excellent contemporary scholar in the mold of Edwards (in fact he's a big fan of Edwards).
One more comment, for anyone interesting in reading some of Jonathan Edward's writings, I do suggest reading more than just the Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God sermon. Edwards' mind is better displayed in some of his other writings, in my opinion. If interested, here's a link: http://www.jonathanedwards.com/
We can all stop. This quote proves this is not written by a Christian
I wasn't under the impression it was written by a Christian. It did seem the author went to more than the usual effort to research, however, even if not all his understandings are completely accurate. Still, there appeared to be effort and not just a hack job.
But I'll bet that for that when that Ballard pastor preaches there, it will be like St. Paul addressing the Greek philosophers at the Areopagus.
I pray that you're right!
By the 1920s, the term "fundamentalism" became identified with a certain element within conservative Protestantism that emphasized personal holiness and the premillenial dispensational view of end times Bilical prophecy. The personal holiness area included areas on which the Bible is silent: smoking tobacco, moderate use of alcohol, social dancing, card playing, movie, stage, and (after 1950) television attendance, etc. While Christian liberty certainly permits people to avoid all these items, and health and morals can undoubtedly be improved by avoiding tobacco and indecent shows, certain traditions, notably the independent Baptist movement, the Churches of Christ, the Plymouth Brethren movement, and the Holiness churches, became almost Pharisaical in their condemnation of these matters. While the preachers promoted grace alone as the means of salvation, in practice, there developed a massive number of rules representing a sort of legalism.
The effect of the premillenial dispensational viewpoint, at least prior to the late 1970s, was to prevent many conservative Christians from getting involved in secular politics. Avoidance of politics was in effect a reaction against the outspoken liberalism of the modernist clergy, such as Walter Rauschenbusch and Bromley Oxnam, who held to a secularized version of postmillenialism. Although the liberals denied the Bible's historicity, accuracy, and even its authority, they believed that the promised Kingdom of God would arrive in part through the church's promotion of socialistic and centralizing legislation.
It is quite understandable that conservatives would oppose such un-Biblical doctrines. But the reaction of many, if not most, fundamentalists, was to develop an almost Manichean view of a world to be shunned in hope of a pre-Tribulation rapture to occur "any day now." From about the time of the Scopes trial to the founding of the Moral Majority, the fundamentalist churches were mostly quiescent on political matters. During this half-century, the Federal government assumed massive authority, the Supreme Court rejected "original intent" of the Founders for the "living document" theory of interpretation, cultural and legal barriers against sex outside of traditional marriage, divorce, and pornography were destroyed, and secular humanists took entire possession of the state education apparatus. Fighting a rear guard against these destructive trends were the Catholic Church (until the effects of Vatican II caused their withdrawal from these arenas) and a minority of conservative, non-dispensational Protestants, like Gresham Machen.
Emphasis on the fundamentals is crucial to the maintenance of orthodox belief. The movement termed fundamentalism among holders of these fundamental beliefs was disastrous for our country and Christian influence in American society.
I must wonder if evangelical Christianity is dividing between accomodationalist and non-accomodationalist wings. Many of the large independent churches, whether charismatic or not, seem to fall in the former category. Charismatic churches have not, as a rule, been ones to emphasize theology, emphasizing sentiment over learning. As a result, such churches are especially prone to accomodation. The latter group centers around denominations where conservatives either defeated the liberals (like the Southern Baptist Convention) or accomplished a successful secession from a liberal denomination (like the Presbyterian Church in America). Also included in the latter group are independent churches with ties to strongly conservative seminaries, like Dallas Theological Seminary.
Excellent point. My comment regarding the author apparently taking time to do research doesn't mean I agree with what he'd written, just that it contained more information that most non-Christians are aware of.
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