Month: May 2016

137-Then Away file | Play in new windowWe look at Theological Liberalism and the Social Gospel, as well as a brief glance at the reaction to it of Fundamentalism. In this 137th episode of CS, titled “Then Away,” we give a brief account of the rise of Theological Liberalism. In the previous episodes we charted the revivals that marked the 18th & 19th Cs. Social transformation is a mark of such revivals. But not all those engaged in the betterment of society were motivated by a passion to serve God by serving their fellow man. At the same time that revival swept though many churches, others stood aloof and held back from being carried away into what they deemed as religious fanaticism. As Enlightenment ideas moved into and through the religious community, several theologians moved to accommodate what had become the darling ideas of the academic community, to the Gospel. Instead of becoming outright agnostics, they morphed rationalism to Christian Theology and arrived at an amalgam we’ll call Theological Liberalism. Not to be outdone by the Revivalists who were transforming culture through the power of a transformed life & the conviction they were to be salt & light in a dark and decaying world, Liberalism developed what came to be called The Social Gospel; a defining of the faith that emphasized doing as much, if not more than, believing. The...

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136-Yet Again file | Play in new windowThis 136th episode of CS is titled, Yet Again. Before we dive in, I want to give a hearty thanks to all those of you who nominated CS for the 2016 Podcast Awards. As I record this, I’m not sure where we came in, in the nomination process & whether or not we’ll be included in the general voting this year. They’ve changed the rules a bit this year & I’m not certain how things will sort out. If CS makes the final cut, I’ll let you know here on the podcast, the site and the FB page. The 2nd piece of business is that we now have air costs for the Reformation Tour next year. The dates are March 6-19, 2017. The Land only portion for those who want to meet us at the start in Prague is $____________. If you want to start the journey with us in Los Angeles, CA, the total cost including airfare is $_______________. Please visit the site or the CS FB page for contact information. It’s crucial if you intend to go that you sign up right away. We need to meet a minimum of 20. In the last episode we considered the Second Great Awakening and ended with this . . . Fast-forward 50 years & it seemed the tide had gone out...

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135-A Second Awakening file | Play in new windowThis 135th episode of CS is titled, A Second Awakening. We ended our last episode with the dour spiritual condition of both the United States and Europe at the end of the 18th C. I mentioned Dr. J Edwin Orr a couple episodes back. He was the 20th C’s foremost expert on Revival and Spiritual renewal. While he could speak with eloquence on literally dozens of Revivals, one of his favorite subjects was what’s come to be known as the Second Great Awakening. Before it began, there were many who worried if God did not intervene, Christianity might die out of Europe and the US. Following Independence from England, many American intellectuals fell in love w/France. But France was throwing off religious faith as fast as it could. The French Revolution made a mockery of the Church & Christianity.  A well-known prostitute in Paris was crowned Goddess of Reason IN the Cathedral of Notre Dame. A majority of churches in France closed & the famous skeptic Voltaire claimed Christianity would be consigned to the dustbin of history in only 30 years. Germany, Switzerland & the Netherlands were taken over by Rationalism. England was afflicted by a sophisticated Skepticism led by the philosopher David Hume. His attacks on faith are still used on college campuses today. French radicals contributed millions of francs to propagandize...

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134-Decline file | Play in new windowThis is episode 134-Decline. Following the Great Awakening, which produced a deep-seated sense of Faith in so many Americans prior to the Revolutionary War, as the new nation organized itself around its new national identity, it realized something unique was taking place. A genuine religious pluralism had taken root. That was very different from the centuries of conflict that marked the Europe they or their ancestors came from. There are several reasons for the religious pluralism of the United States. But when we speak of pluralism at that point in history, let’s make sure what we mean is a lack of the establishment of a specific Christian denomination as the National or Federal Church. 18th C pluralism didn’t include other major world religions. There were no Buddhist or Hindu temples; no Islamic mosques nor Shinto shrines. Americans were Christians, if not of the committed stripe, at least nominally. The first reason for the religious pluralism of the US was the immigration into the colonies after 1690. It brought a mixture of people with various faiths so that no one of them was dominant. The Quakers who settled Pennsylvania opposed a formal church structure which prevented the rise of a State church there. Please note this: While the first Amendment prohibited the FEDERAL govt from establishing a National Church, there was no ban on...

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