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Unformatted text preview: Science, Scripture and Christianity A Young Earth Creationist description of Creationism and Evolutionism The Scopes Trial of 1925 John Scopes convicted of teaching evolutionary origin of humanity Media circus ensues Attorney Clarence Darrow crossexamines William Jenning Bryan John Scopes Test Case for TN's antievolution law Makes Fundamentalism look stupid William Jennings Bryan on the Stand
QYou believe the story of the flood to be a literal interpretation? AYes, sir. QWhen was that Flood? AI would not attempt to fix the date. The date is fixed, as suggested this morning. QAbout 4004 B.C.? AThat has been the estimate of a man that is accepted today. I would not say it is accurate. William Jennings Bryan on the Stand
QThat estimate is printed in the Bible? AEverybody knows, at least, I think most of the people know, that was the estimate given. QBut what do you think that the Bible, itself says? Don't you know how it was arrived at? AI never made a calculation. QA calculation from what? AI could not say. QFrom the generations of man? William Jennings Bryan on the Stand
AI would not want to say that. QWhat do you think? AI do not think about things I don't think about. QDo you think about things you do think about? AWell, sometimes. (Laughter in the courtyard.) Two Examples of Contested/Negotiated Identity: Christianity and Science Christianity and the Bible Important trends (1870s~1930s): Liberal tradition Modernism Fundamentalism Science vs Christianity? Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) Denied "special creation" of separate species Avoided the word "evolution" Occasional references to "the Creator" in later editions
Charles Darwin (18091882) Some evangelical Christians defended Darwin's theories Some nonChristians criticized Darwin's theories A ProDarwin Fundamentalist and an anti Darwin Scientist B.B. Warfield (18511921) Princeton Theologian Calvinist Bible was inerrant Word of God Liked Darwin's natural selection Disliked "social Darwinism" Louis Agassiz (18071873) Famous Zoologist Earth once had an "Ice Age" Polygenesis humanity had multiple origins Liberalism Positive view of human nature Individualism Humanity of Jesus (Post)millennial kingdom on earth Importance of Religious Freedom Social reform Embrace modernism Modernity Empirical (or "scientific") knowledge is superior Cannot conflict with truth Belief in magic is superstitious "Protestant" (or "Puritan") work ethic Worldly vocation/calling, doing God's work through your career Accumulation of wealth is virtuous if you put it to good use Businessman and investment capitalists as ideal Christians Individual Freedom over obedience Modernity Distrust of government interference Authorities must be open to question In a free society, anyone can become successful through ingenuity, virtue and hard work Optimism Society is getting better Confidence in scientific, technological and social progress Progress has the potential to solve all of our problems 19th Century Developments Mechanization and Urbanization: Industrial Revolution Factory System Technological advances Transportation Medicine Mass communication Decline of the homestead Rise of the urban middle class
Young workers at a textile mill Growing urban lower class Higher Criticism Multiple scriptural manuscripts Inconsistencies between them The documentary hypothesis Scriptures written at different times by at least four different authors Differences in writing style Differences in subject matter Importance of historical context Implication: Bible was a creation of Julius Wellhausen (18441918) German Biblical Scholar humanity Social Gospel Call to reform society Concern with poverty Settlement Houses Optimistic about human nature Kingdom of God on earth Immanent idea of God Reform of politics, economy, and society Happens through human effort Walter Rauschenbusch
Books include: Christianity and the Social Crisis (1908) Christianizing the Social Order (1912) A Theology for the Social Gospel (1917)
Test of a good theology = How well does it work for the society that uses it? "If theology stops growing or is unable to adjust itself to its modern environment and to meet its present tasks, it will die." Theology for the Social Gospel Sin = individual selfishness "Super-personal Forces" The Kingdom of God Can be realized on earth Not about saving individual souls Christ Sacrifice was not atonement Revealed the sins and salvation of human society
A tenement home in NYC, 1910 Salvation: substitute love for selfishness Christianity: What kind of social vision? "Religious morality is the only thing God cares about" "Preach the Word." Howard Crosby, The Fundamentals Drawing the Line The Fundamentals (1910-1915) Attacked liberalism/modernism Attempt to preserve the foundations of orthodox Christianity World War I Hostility to German ideas Associating modernism w/ the enemy
George Fredrick Wright, contributor to The Fundamentals J. Gresham Machen: Liberals are not Christians
"...the liberal attempt at reconciling Christianity with modern science has really relinquished everything distinctive of Christianity, so that what remains is in essentials only that same indefinite type of religious aspiration which was in the world before Christianity came upon the scene. In trying to remove from Christianity everything that could possibly be objected to in the name of science, in trying to bribe off the enemy by those concessions which the enemy most desires, the apologist has really abandoned what he started out to defend." (1923) J Gresham Machen (18811937) ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course REL 2121 taught by Professor Horton during the Spring '08 term at FSU.
- Spring '08