Lecture Wk 9, REL132.1 - Lakeland College REL132 Lecture...

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Lakeland College, REL132 Lecture, Week 9 (RAAC pages 177-203; TGC cpt. 6 (pages 83-98)) Overview: Key People (Who, When, & Why) : William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925); Billy Sunday (1862-1935); William B. Riley (1861-1947); J. Gresham Machen (1881- 1937); John T. Scopes (1900-1970); Charles E. Coughlin (1891-1979). Key Definitions: “ Lost Cause”; Modernism; The Fundamentals; Scopes Trial; Accommodationism Synthesis, (pulling it together): Students will 1. Grasp Protestantism’s hard choices to retain insider status in culture. 2. Know nuances of fundamentalism verses modernism. 3. Apply the “Lemon Test” to Zelman v. Simmons-Harris . 1
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Lakeland College, REL132 Lecture, Week 9 Learning Outcome 1: Grasp Protestantism’s hard choices to retain insider status in culture. 1.1 Key People: 1.1.1 John T. Scopes (1900-1970) As a young high school teacher in Dayton, Tennessee he disobeyed state law by teaching evolution in his classes. Scopes became the lightening rod for the battle for the culture in early 20 th century America. It had all the drama of a major Hollywood motion picture. It became far more than a trial about teaching evolution in Tennessee schools. It became the battle for the “soul of America”, at least in light of religion in popular culture. Here is professed worldview and functional worldview forced collectively and publically to line up. If we profess to be a Christian nation founded on the Bible then how can public schools teach evolution in public schools? That was the moral question on trial with Scopes. 1.1.2 William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) He was an U.S. secretary of state for President Woodrow Wilson and lead prosecutor for Scopes Trials in summer of 1925. Bryan became the persona for traditional Protestantism and its fight against liberal theology and secular modernism. He encapsulated the view of 2
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Lakeland College, REL132 Lecture, Week 9 traditional early 19 th century religious views when he quipped, “It is better to trust the Rock of Ages than to know the ages of rocks.” Bryan is referencing the Bible, which says, “For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4). 1.1.3 J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937) In my masters work I was assigned a little book titled Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen whom I’d never heard of prior to that class. Though it was the late 20 th century when I got my Masters of Divinity, when the fervor of fundamentalism verses modernism was winding down, the ideas in that book were as cogent then as the day it was first published. (RAAC 194; Read paragraphs 2 & 3.) 1.2 Key Definitions: 1.2.1 Scopes Trial At this spectacle of a trial in the summer of 1925 the battle between fundamentalism and modernity came to a head when William Jennings Bryan as prosecutor and Clarence Darrow as defendant fought to decide the legality of a high school teacher’s, John Scopes’, right to teach evolution as biology in public schools.
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