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A friend sent me a link to this article about the Bible and biblical illiteracy among evangelicals today from the January 2015 issue of Newsweek.
The author makes the argument that modern American evangelicalism (aka the popular conservative portrayal of Christianity many have in mind in America) is quite at odds with what the Bible actually teaches, particularly when it comes to issues about the inerrancy of the Bible, issues on homosexuality, women’s roles in the church, the formation of the canon, and other issues. In fact, the Bible condemns the style of Christianity modern evangelicals are practicing now, the article states.
When you ask your average Christian or evangelical what salvation means, more likely than not, he or she will respond with, “Jesus Christ died for your sins so that you will enter heaven after death, escape from the fires of hell, and instead spend eternity with Him.” And normally, they would equate that statement to be the basic meaning of the gospel.
However, that seems to be a very parochial understanding of the term ‘salvation’.
What did the Bible writers, especially the author of the Gospel of Luke, mean by the term ‘salvation’ or what it means to be ‘saved’?
Here’s an essay about the term ‘salvation’ here.
Chapter 20: Part II – Pietism, Moravians, Methodists, The Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards, African-American Spirituality, and the Founding Fathers
We will be concluding Chapter 20 this Sunday.
For this Sunday, please write on one of these topics:
- 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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.