Part of their agenda was to undermine deeply held Christian views on the origin and nature of creation, although most retained an admiration for the moral and ethical teaching of Christianity.
The way they presented their case in the popular media was an important part of their growing influence — as is shown in the way that the outcome of the famous Wilberforce — Huxley debate see chapter ten as portrayed. As a result, those committed to a Creationist position found themselves increasingly excluded from leading scientific positions, making it difficult for them to offer a sustained challenge to the growing acceptance of Darwinism. As the first chapter of Churches, Revolutions and Empires shows, the strength of evangelicalism in the United States in the early nineteenth century owed much to the voluntarist approach.
The strength of Nonconformity in Britain was similarly notable, with most Nonconformists committed to a strongly evangelical theology, although the evangelical tradition was also important to many Anglicans. Most of the missionary movement was also organized on voluntarist lines, and vast sums of money and large numbers of recruits, were mobilized. The historian David Bebbington has stressed the continuities between the Enlightenment and evangelicalism.
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Evangelicals stressed the value of education and the dignity of the individual. Through their emphasis on education shared with other enlightenment thinkers evangelicals sought to open the capacities of the mind to read the Bible, and understand the truths of Christian teaching. The outflow was seen in the promotion of day schools, Sunday schools, and approaches to mission, as chapter seven especially shows. This is discussed in chapter twelve of Churches, Revolutions and Empires.
In some countries churches helped to shape national identity — such as in Greece, or Russia. A close connection between church and state resulted, such that national and religious identities were fused together. Elsewhere, there was a strong reaction against the power of the church, and its influence on state policy, which was a feature of some independence movements in Latin America.
In revolutionary France, as chapter two shows, there was even an attempt to remove Christianity and all Christian influence from the nation.
One cause for this shift was an impatience with how long it took to educate and prepare Christian leaders who had no educational background. The economic development of some regions was very slow, making it hard for churches to support their own clergy.
The Cambridge History of Christianity edited by Sheridan Gilley
Yet, as chapter thirteen shows, something of the harmful racial thinking of the late nineteenth century crept into churches and mission thinking, rendering white missionaries reluctant to entrust non-white Christians with leadership roles, amidst claims that they were less well developed peoples, and not to be trusted with leadership.
When missionary control of the newer churches was eased in the second half of the twentieth century they exploded into growth. In parts of China and Korea, the acceptance by missions leaders of the need for self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating churches created churches independent of mission control far more quickly. Paternalism was the view that those with power and influence should use it responsibly for the sake of those without power and influence — it was a God-given duty to do so.
This was the approach of the evangelical Philanthropist Lord Shaftesbury. It was based on a hierarchical social view, and often those who held it were fearful of popular democracy. Despite this, those who used their power and wealth wisely did a great deal of good for those who benefitted from it.
https://heanermalo.tk However, paternalism can limit the capacity of the marginalized in society to have a say in their own fate, underplaying their own capacity and dignity. As such, do you think this period should receive equal if not more attention as is given to the Reformation period in evangelical centers of higher learning?
In the popular imagination, Christian mission is often stained by its connection with imperialism and its record of cultural and economic exploitation. Is this a fair association? Although I had seen the film Amazing Grace , I was genuinely shocked at how extensively the church was involved throughout the 19 th century in social causes, both moral and practical.
It continues to be a hotly debated topic in Evangelicalism over how we should integrate social justice with gospel proclamation. Any lessons from our 19 th century forbearers? God forbid. Yet faith is sometimes weak—flesh and blood sometimes repine. O for grace to strengthen faith, to animate hope, to elevate affection, to embolden the soul, to enable us to look danger and death in the face; still more, to behold, without repining, those most dear to us suffering fears and pains, which we would gladly have redoubled on ourselves, if it would exonerate them. We feel encouraged by the thought that many of the dear children of God remember us at the mercy seat.
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To your prayers I desire once more to commend myself—the weakest, the most unqualified, the most unworthy, and the most unsuccessful of all missionaries. Staughton was a friend of Samuel Pearce and William Carey Adoniram Judson, D. Evan D. They are missionaries with Training Leaders International. By Evan D. Burns In , English and American missionaries in Burma faced the reality of inevitable opposition and persecution by the Burmese government.
Related Churches, Revolutions And Empires:1789-1914
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