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Was God Pro-Choice?

 

 

Every election year, many Christians (Evangelical and Catholic) gather together to make the issue of abortion a major topic in politics.  They cite the sanctity of life all together and tell how abortion is murder of the unborn.  Many also claim that abortion is impermissible on any grounds because of the Bible, even in cases of rape, incest, or even if a woman’s life is in jeopardy due to complications in a pregnancy.

 

OK, maybe God being “pro-choice”as the title states might be a bit of an anachronism, but it seems rather clear that in some instances he does sanction abortion or at the very least, permit ways to allow for a woman to have a miscarriage if she’s pregnant due to adultery.

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Final Thoughts on “Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years” by Diarmaid MacCulloch

 

After a long hiatus, we will share our final thoughts on MacCulloch’s book.

 

Please write a summary of these main points:

  1. Go back to your very first essays here to see if reading this book fulfilled some or all of your expectations.  What were the strengths and weaknesses of this book in relation to your expectations from the start?
  2. Provide one (no more than two if need be) area or moment of Church history as told by MacCulloch that was most interesting for you or changed your perspective of Christianity.
  3. Finally, how has your faith been affected after having read through Church history? What lingering questions or thoughts do you still have?

 

We will have our final meeting on Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years next Sunday, May 3.

 

 

Chapter 23: To Make the World Protestant (1700 – 1914) – Part II

Joseph Smith and Moroni

Joseph Smith receiving the golden plates from the Angel Moroni.

 

 

We will conclude our study of Chapter 23 by going over the last three sections: India: The Great Rebellion and the Limits of Colonial Mission; China, Korea, Japan; and America: The New Protestant Empire.

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Chapter 20: Part II – Pietism, Moravians, Methodists, The Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards, African-American Spirituality, and the Founding Fathers

Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening

 

We will be concluding Chapter 20 this Sunday.

 

For this Sunday, please write on one of these topics:

 

  1. Discuss the origins and goals of Pietism.  Why was it formed?  What were their grievances against conservative (‘Orthodox’) Lutheran civil authority and clergy?  What influence did Lutheran pastor August Hermann Francke have with the Pietist movement?  How did this movement affect the Great Awakening in America?
  2. How did the Moravian Church come about?  What was unique about their beliefs?  Discuss the impact Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf had upon the Moravians.
  3. Discuss John Wesley and how the Methodist Church came about.  What was Wesley’s greatest impact to Evangelical Christianity that still resonates into the modern era?
  4. Discuss the Scotish-Irish impact upon Evangelical Christianity and their outside gatherings to hold ‘revivals‘.  How did their churches flourish across America, especially the Middle colonies in America?
  5. What were Jonathan Edwards contributions to the Great Awakenings in America?  Discuss how his eschatology of ‘postmillennialism‘ shaped part of American identity during this time.   In fact, what was the overall impact of the Great Awakenings upon American religion?  How did worship change as a result of it?
  6. Why was the Great Awakenings such a great success among the African-American slave population?  What was it about the evangelical message or theology that attracted them to convert?  What was the reaction of the white Evangelical population to their presence?
  7. What were the reactions of American Evangelical denominations toward the American Revolutionary War (i.e., Baptists, Quakers, Methodists, Anglican, etc.)?   After reading about MacCulloch’s viewpoint of the spirituality of the Founding Fathers, would you consider America to be founded upon Christian principles?  Why or why not?  How did the shaping of the Constitution by the Founding Fathers and the revolutionary elite impact the way religion was practiced in America?

 

Please submit by tomorrow, Saturday, July 26.