Lecture Wk 4, REL132.1 - Religion In America Week 4...

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Religion In America Week 4 Lecture (Readings: RAAC 57-79; TGC Cpt. 4 (pages 31-38) Overview: Key People (Who, When, & Why) : Lyman Beecher; Charles G. Finney; Richard Allen; Alexander Campbell Key Definitions: Second Great Awakening; Primitivism; Millennial Imagery Synthesis, (Learning Outcomes): 1. From Marsden, students will grasp the influence of Evangelicalism on 19 th Century American culture. 2. From Flowers, students will understand the decline in 19 th Century of free- exercise clause of the Frist Amendment. Learning Outcome 1: Grasp the influence of Evangelicalism on 19 th Century American culture. (45mins) 1.1 Key People: Lyman Beecher; Charles G. Finney; Richard Allen; Alexander Campbell 1.11 Lyman Beecher (1775-1863) As a “leading Congregational evangelist and one of Connecticut’s champions of antidisestablishmentarianism” he voiced his adamant belief that no support to the church should come from state taxes and it was best to keep the church “on their own resources and on God” so their work was “by voluntary efforts, societies, missions, and revivals” (RAAC, 57). By cutting the umbilical cord from the State, the church grew in its Sunday attendance such that by 1860 there was seating for 3/5 th of the 31 million Americans, which was potentially 40 % capacity in church on Sunday mornings (RAAC 58). 1
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Religion In America Week 4 Lecture (Readings: RAAC 57-79; TGC Cpt. 4 (pages 31-38) Contrast those numbers with trends in mainline Protestant churches in America (liberal Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal) as described by Charles Redfern in June 2015, “Sunday attendance in mainline churches is dropping as fast as a bare-naked skydiver. ... Four thousand churches close each year and 3,500 people leave the Church each day” ( - is-dying-in-america_b_7506662.html). 1.13 Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) As the most famous revivalist of early nineteenth century, Finney in his revivals used the “anxious bench” where “those actively seeking conversion could sit as special objects of preaching and prayer” (RAAC, 61). Among general populace, Finney’s revivals helped foster a dramatic shift from the older elite and highly educated culture in American religion to the newer common and uneducated culture such that “the common person with Bible in hand was more reliable guide to authentic Christianity” (RAAC 64). Finney nurtured spiritual response, crafted maximum opportunities for religious response to the gospel with a thoroughness only matched by a fortune five hundred executive of today. He used four methods: first, by “protracted meetings” over a week or more in the same town; second, by supplying an “anxious bench” for those 2
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Religion In America Week 4 Lecture (Readings: RAAC 57-79; TGC Cpt. 4 (pages 31-38) sensing God moving in their souls; third, by careful preplanning each campaign; four, by calling out people and their particular sins by name.
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