History 578 Lecture # 7

History 578 Lecture # 7 - History 578 Lecture # 7 I....

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History 578 Lecture # 7 I. Liberalism A. Three tendencies: 1. The progress of the Kingdom of God is identified with the progress of civilization, especially in science and morality. 2. Morality has become the essence of religion, and for the most part, it is equated with it. 3. The supernatural is no longer clearly separate from the natural, but instead manifests itself only in the natural. B. American liberal tradition began to interpret God through the lens of human experience. C. Theology was slowly liberalizing, and of course, it was undermining the authority of scripture. D. In 1867, Thomas F. Curtis of Bucknell University in Pennsylvania wrote The Human Element in the Inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures , in which he tried to elaborate on the human input in the Bible. E. Henry Weston, an evangelical who would become president of Grozer Theological Seminary, read Curtis’s treatise, and he said, “I am all at sea except so far as a dogged belief in inspiration goes, without being able to define what inspiration is or what its metes and bounds are.” F. The central issue of course was the authority of the Bible. 1. Christianity was extremely dependent upon the Bible as a sacred book, one that is the Word of God. 2. Preaching elucidated its texts; prayer claimed its promises; theology and one’s moral conduct were grounded in its words and teachings. 3. Protestants, apart from Catholics, who also relied on the authority of church tradition, believed in the sole authority of scripture, which in the 19 th century meant an inspired and infallible text. 4. Conservative Protestants believed that once divine inspiration was surrendered, all of Christianity could be questioned. II. D.L. Moody A. There were some major forces which fought the liberalizing tendency of the Bible and cultures influence upon theology. B. In the revival tradition of Charles Finney, a new voice entered American religion that has impacted conservative Christianity almost more than any other – even to this day. C.
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History 578 Lecture # 7 - History 578 Lecture # 7 I....

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