An Absurdly Short History of Christianity Part 5

An Absurdly Short History of Christianity Part 5

An Absurdly Short History of Christianity Part 5 Enthusiasm & Doubt

The story so far Jewish -> Christian identity shift Formation through persecution Institutionalization First signs of official public role Church wrestles with ideas

Conciliar decision-making First cracks in unity Birth of Islam Crusades have mixed results East/West unity disrupted Church practices draw criticism Politicians resist Church influence

Protest leads to schism All sides work on doctrine First signs of pluralism State starts to get the upper hand When we left off last time

Safety Valves & New Experiments Outside Europe Denominations Emerge Roman Retrenchment & Secular Challenges

A certain weariness on all sides On the Protestant side Bourgeois respectability Extremists in eclipse Rulers show outward piety Enlightenment brings

agnosticism and Deism Nonjurors ? BUT

Knox Calvinist ERI Nonjuring Bishops

Not a Fan Out & out Catholic On the Catholic side Loss of political influence

Erastian effects Orders lose ground Popular piety remains Still a power to be

reckoned with Protestant Churches Other Problem Great Awakenings Somewhat Pan-Protestant, but mainly in English-speaking countries

Driven by preaching Emphasized personal & emotional faith Little impact on Anglicans, Lutherans, Quakers Shockwave in Calvinist denominations First Great Awakening (1730-1755) Preaching tours of George Whitefield

Jonathan Edwards Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God First Great Awakening (1730-1755) Aimed mainly at reviving the faith of those already in the pews

Created controversy between those who favored revival tactics and believed conversion was possible (New Lights) and those who stuck with Predestination (Old Lights) Played a role in evangelizing slaves in southern colonies Fallout

Episcopal Church (Hooray!) Congregational Church (Old Light)

Congregational Church (New Light) Meanwhile, back in England John & Charles Wesley Oxford Holy Club (early 1720s)

Methodist as a term of ridicule Calvinist & Arminian streams Reform movement Denomination(s) Major Methodist ideas Justification by faith Constant and sustained action of the Holy Spirit

Need to be born again Faith produces inward and outward holiness All need to be saved - All may be saved All may know themselves saved - All may be saved to the uttermost In Catholic countries Syncretism

Also rising in the 18th Century Deism Thomas Paine: I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. Matthew Tindal: By natural religion, I understand the belief of the existence of a God, and the sense and practice of those duties which result from the knowledge we,

by our reason, have of him and his perfections. Also rising in the 18th Century Agnosticism Voltaire: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities Hume: The primary religion of mankind arises chiefly

from an anxious fear of future events; and what ideas will naturally be entertained of invisible, unknown powers, while men lie under dismal apprehensions of any kind, may easily be conceived. Revolutions in America and France also alter

the church-state relationship Second Great Awakening (1790s-1850s) Targeted mainly at non-believers Romantic, rejection of rationalism and Deism Post-Millennialist, reform-minded Baptists and Methodists

Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists Majority of converts were women Second Great Awakening (1790s-1850s) New denominations Second Great Awakening (1790s-1850s) new movements

Second Great Awakening (1790s-1850s) and a new faith Colonies expand the Church follows New challenges

Reaction Reaction Vatican I (1869-1870) Rejected modernism, rationalism Declared papal infallibility Providentissimus Deus (1893) Limited Biblical criticism

Longinqua oceani (1898) Condemned Americanism Reaction A Protestant example Charles Augustus Briggs (1841-1913) Studied Biblical criticism in Germany

First Professor of Biblical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary (1891) Reaction Briggs In his inaugural address (among other things): Moses didnt write to Pentateuch

David didnt write the Psalms Scriptural inerrancy is is a ghost of modern evangelicalism to frighten children" Reaction Briggs One Presbyterian faction (Old Schoolers) tried to have him fired

Princeton faculty refused, left the denomination in 1892 Failed heresy trials in 1892 & 1893, defrocked anyway by Presbyterian denominational leadership Briggs became an Episcopalian and was ordained in 1899! New political challenges Clergy suffered in the French Revolution(s) 1840s Marx and Engels

Late 19th Century Nihilism Reaches full expression in 20th Century revolutions Major impact on Orthodoxy Century of Wars WWI All sides claimed to have a holy mission

Between the wars Theologians take a lead role in opposing fascism WWII Destruction on a scale that leads some to doubt the justice of God

As the scene fades for this week Vastly more Christians in 1945 than in 1700 19th Century enthusiasm has personalized and to some extent privatized faith Religion is no longer the dominant intellectual paradigm Orthodoxy seems to be challenged by pragmatism

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