Church History lecture 8

  1. Recognize characteristics of Revivalism during the 18th century (Sect. 41.1.2).
    • 1. Biblicism
    • 2. Conversionism
    • 3. Activism
    • 4. Crucicentrism
    • 5. Generally modest personal supernaturalism
    • 6.  Less modest ideas about what God was doing, world-historically
    • 7.  Lots of letter-writing
  2. Understand the role revival played in American Evangelicalism (Sect. 41 and 42).
    18th century Evangelicalism Transatlantic Culture of Revival Religion.Evangelicals in the colonies and in Europe, are looking for signs of the work of God inhistory, to revive dead orthodoxy -- a "holy and happy society" – an ecumenical  community of love.

    41.1.1. Revival expectation and prayer became a norm for at least a century.

    People took positions inrelation to it -- Moderates / Radicals / Antis – but revival was a center point for colonial religion. Jonathan Edwards and the “Surprising Work of God in Northampton”

    • 41.2.1. Backstory (Congregationalist, New England)41.2.2. Faithful Narrative (1737)
    • 41.2.3. Religious Affections (1746)
    • 41.2.4. Theologian of Revival
    • 41.3. George Whitefield: The “Divine Dramatist”
    • 41.3.1. Backstory (Anglican, Methodistic)
    • 41.3.2. Major American Tour (1739-1741)
    • 41.3.3. Christian Celebrity
    • 41.4. John Wesley, Francis Asbury, and the Methodist System
    • 41.4.1. Backstory (Methodist / Georgia, Moravians, Aldersgate)
    • 41.4.2. The Great Organizer – changed discipleship forever
    • 41.4.3. Francis Asbury back-story (“The Prophet of the Long Road.”)
    • 41.4.4. Marks of Methodism
    • Preaching where the people were
    • Lay ministry, but with hierarchy
    • “Classes”
    • Circuit-riders
    • 41.5. John Leland and Religious Liberty
    • 41.5.1. There must be no Christian America.
  3. Understand the role revival played in American Evangelicalism (Sect. 41 and 42).
    42. Massive Growth – Not Decline.

    42.1. Massive Growth, especially for Methodists and Baptists

    42.2. Evangelicalism becomes dominant in American culture between American Revolution and Civil War Pervasive revivalism

    42.3.1. Timothy Dwight and the Yale Revivals

    42.3.2. Charles Finney (and the millennium)

    42.3.3. Cane Ridge / camp meetings

    42.3.4. American Bible Society / American Tract Society and the rise of the “Evangelical Secular”

    42.4. Evangelicalism becomes notably American – for obvious reasons – in that time aswell. American religion is forged in this moment.

    42.4.1. Transatlantic community with Europe is not the target any more.

    If anything, there is a rivalry.Americans become increasingly convinced that the fate of the world rests with America – and that rhetoric becomes pervasive in Christian religion as well.
  4. Lecture and Textbook Objective: Explore the historical role of women in church history, paying attention tothe ways in which women’s roles have changed in settings of revival (Sect. 43 and pgs. 281-283; 304-308,Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, by Mark A. Noll). 
    Section 43

    Waxing and waning between poles of revival ism and respectability Many stories to be told but… Women are, by and large, disempowered where it is institutionally convenient. 

    • Pg 281
    • From the start, a vitally important role in Protestant mission had been played by women, acting both as wives of missionary husbands and on their own.

    Pg 283 In latter part of the nineteenth century, a number of important missionary societies were founded, funded, and directed by women acting on their own.  These included the Female Education Society and the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society in Britain, the Women’s Union Missionary Society in the United States, and several orders of German Lutheran Deaconesses. The twentieth century brought a fresh awareness of how important women have been throughout the entire history of Christianity. There is an awareness of the role of women in cross cultural communication of the gospel, the importance of women’s theological vision, and the preponderance of women as ordinary followers of Christ.

    305-  At the start of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century, women have played a disproportionately large role in the activities of mission, including  fun raising, theologizing, and leadership. 

    • Pg 306- Studies from almost every era of the church’s past and form many regions have offered similar findings, namely , women have made up a larger proportion than men among church attendees, those practicing Christian devotion, and those maintaining orthodox beliefs.  The turning point with respect to women’s activities does not concern primarily the activities themselves. Rather , the turning point in cludes public awareness of women’s importance for ordinary Christian activites, the correction of prespective to include a fuller picture of women’s work, and a growing awareness of how incomplete are theological ,ecclesiastical, and historical accounts that do not reflect the perspectives of both men and women. 
    • -          I would read over the pages because this is just what I pulled out as seeming important 
  5. Recognize the difficulty that “common-sense” readings of Scripture have presented in American Evangelicalism, particularly on the issue of slavery (Sect. 45). 
    Philip Schaff to German audience, 1858 – America held the future of Christianity inits grasp -- an "evangelical Catholicism" -- but there was one major problem thatEuropeans couldn’t understand … SLAVERY.

    45.2. Voluntaryism, America’s democratic strength, also led to self-justification and churchsplits – ALL the major denominations split between 1830 and 1861.

    45.3. Democratic, common-sense, straightforward readings of scripture led toirreconcilable conflicts – conflicts that ended in war.

    45.4. The Civil War as a Theological Crisis – two sides use common-sense to come toradically opposite conclusions. Evangelical theology comes to a standstill
  6. Recognize that different accounts of the supernatural have led to different ways of thinking about discipleship (Sect. 46). 
    Christian Nurture contra revival conversionism. A more self-consciously modernapproach.

    46.2. “Nature and the Supernatural As Constituting The One System Of God.”

    46.3. Miracles, prophecies, healings, etc.

    46.3.1. “Naturally supernatural”

    46.3.2. Used by A. J. Gordon, famous healing ministry

    46.3.3. Familiar sets of questions and concerns as the Charismatic renewal

    46.4. Interested in the way that God works through the organic reality of society andculture…rather than through the eruptions and interruptions of grace.
  7. Lecture and Textbook Objective: Recognize the similarities and differences between the “social gospel”model of the Kingdom of God and the Pentecostal model of the Kingdom of God. How does this affect howwe think about the prayer of Jesus, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”?(Sect. 47 and 48; and pages 299-302, Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, byMark A. Noll).
    47. Evangelicals, Radicals, and the Kingdom of God: What’s the “SocialGospel”?

    47.1. We have barely talked about the “Kingdom of God.” This is because it not talkedabout in the way that we talk about it until the late 19th century? Does that trouble you?It certainly raises questions.

    • 47.2. Two ways of talking
    • 47.2.1. Personal Conversionist
    • Classic Methodist, and also D. L. Moody, post-Civil War
    • Moody is GREAT…but died regretting that he had ignored systemic race injustice.
    • 47.2.2. Systemic – “Kingdom of God on Earth”
    • Mostly radicals in antebellum US, a few evangelicals
    • Post-bellum, lots more talk of this at the center
    • 47.3. Washington Gladden
    • 47.3.1. First Congregation Church, Columbus, Ohio
    • 47.3.2. Ordained by Horace Bushnell
    • 47.4. Walter Rauschenbusch
    • 47.4.1. Pietistic, evangelical Christian – missionary family – translator of Moody and Sankey’s hymns!47.4.2. Christianity and the Social Crisis
    • 47.4.3. Deeply influences Martin Luther King Jr.
    • 47.5. BUT, the systemic folks react against the personal conversionist folks and vice versa.Systemic folks are educated – often higher class. Mutual distrust abounds.
    • 47.5.1. The systemic folks become, to some extent, demythologizers. Lots of concern about biblicalcriticism – and limited faith in demons, healings, etc.
    • 47.5.2. They also gain an optimistic faith in the power of social science to change society – indeed to“Christianize the American social order.” This faith is severely rebuked by World War I.
    • 47.6. All this said -- don’t write off the Social Gospel impulse. In fact, you probably haveit. There are lessons here – cautionary tales AND urgent messages that we need to hear.
    • 47.6.1. Why did the social gospel take up the language of the Kingdom?
  8. Lecture and Textbook Objective: Recognize the similarities and differences between the “social gospel”model of the Kingdom of God and the Pentecostal model of the Kingdom of God. How does this affect howwe think about the prayer of Jesus, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”?(Sect. 47 and 48; and pages 299-302, Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, byMark A. Noll).
    48. Pentecostalism: Heaven Below

    48.1. If the Social Gospelers wanted to see earth become like heaven through socialtransformation, the Pentecostals (and their holiness antecedents) saw heaven moving inthe other direction – it was going to COME DOWN from God to them and throughthem.

    • 48.2. Pentecostals and their antecedents tended to be:
    • 48.2.1. Working-class Populists
    • 48.2.2. Not wearing rose-colored lenses about what a Christianized America could do for them.

    • 48.2.3. Concerned about personal purity LIVED OUT IN PUBLIC.
    • This is not so far from the Social Gospel, but it is privately managed, not socially engineered.Heaven comes down – earth does not go up.

    48.3. Leading Figures pre-Azusa Street

    • 48.3.1. Phoebe Palmer
    • 48.3.2. Charles Fox Parham
    • 48.3.3. Amanda Berry Smith
    • 48.3.4. C.H. Mason / COGIC

    • 48.4. William Seymour and Azusa Street set the tone for a century
    • 48.4.1. Urban religion
    • 48.4.2. Multi-racial
    • 48.4.3. Thoroughgoingly supernaturalist
    • Not typically evangelical – in fact self-consciously distinct
    • Pentecostal “Evangelicalism” was, for some, a bid for respectability, later retractedbecause it gave away too much.
    • See, for example, Aimee Semple McPherson.48.4.4. Popularizes healing
    • 48.4.5. Massively global
    • 48.4.6. Makes people hungry for God – cf. Jackie Pullinger – “Don’t go the rich. You must go to the poorand make the rich jealous.”

    Also Read over the pages in the book
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Church History lecture 8
Church History lecture 8