The Emergence of Modern Protestantism1725 - 1850 Lecture 1 – Introduction, Review and Preview Dr. Dave Doughty
The 5th class in a twenty-year course! • 1992 (or was it 1993?) • “The Spreading Flame” (33 to 456 AD) • 1996 (postponed from 1995) • The Church in the Middle Ages (500 to 1350 AD) • 2000 • The Reformation (1350 – 1611) • 2004 • The Expansion and Decline of Protestant Christianity (1607 – 1730)
Review of 1607 - 1730 • In In 1607 the first group of 104 settlers land at Jamestown • 1610 Arminius and the “Remonstrants” • 1618 - Synod of Dort • 1611 – KJV • Kepler (1571-1630) • “What voice has the heaven, what voice have the stars, to praise God as man does? Unless, when they supply man with cause to praise God, they themselves are said to praise God.” • Galileo (1564-1642) • “In disputes about natural phenomena one must begin not with the authority of Scriptural passages but with sensory experience and necessary demonstrations. For the Holy Scripture and nature derive equally from the Godhead, the former as the dictation of the Holy Spirit, and the latter as the most obedient executrix of God’s orders. Moreover, to accommodate the understanding of the common people, it is appropriate for Scripture to say many things that are different (in appearance and in regard to the literal meaning of the words) from the absolute truth.”
Review – Puritans and Pilgrims • 3 types of “Puritans” (Puritans, Presbyterians, Independents) • 2 types of Independents (Separatists – Pilgrims, Non-separatists – Massachusetts Bay Colony) • Pilgrims Arrive in US (1620) • 1629 Charles Dissolves Parliament • Puritans Arrive in US(1630)
Review- Descartes (1596-1650) • Philosophy • Everything is to be doubted – revelations, concepts about God, the world of values, physical things, opinions.
Review - Descartes • Proof for the existence of God. • 1. I have an idea of God, a perfect being. • 2. There must be as much reality or perfection in the cause of any thing as in the effect. • This applies not only to the existence of ideas, but also to the reality of what they represent. Not only must the existence of the idea be explained, but also what it represents. • 3. The idea of God represents something so perfect that I could not have been the cause of this idea. • Therefore, God must exist as the only possible cause of the perfection found in my idea of Him.
The Problem with Descartes • He elevates reason • His “reasoning” is not as previous philosophers and theologians – requires “mathematical style proof” • He elevates doubt • Doubt becomes the primary virtue • Doubt is the path to knowledge • Belief in God becomes “formal” • Like a mathematical proof • How do you love a mathematical proof? • If doubt and reason are the priority, what happens to miracles?
Review – Pascal (1623-1662) • A Devout Christian • “I cannot forgive Descartes. In all his philosophy he would have been quite willing to dispense with God. But he had to make Him give a fillip to set the world in motion; beyond this, he has no further need of God .” • “Men despise religion; they hate it and fear it is true. To remedy this, we must begin by showing that religion is not contrary to reason; that it is venerable, to inspire respect for it; then we must make it lovable, to make good men hope it is true; finally, we must prove it is true.”
Review – Pascal • “The Christian religion, then, teaches men these two truths; that there is a God whom men can know, and that there is a corruption in their nature which renders them unworthy of Him. It is equally important to men to know both these points; and it is equally dangerous for man to know God without knowing his own wretchedness, and to know his own wretchedness without knowing the Redeemer who can free him from it. The knowledge of only one of these points gives rise either to the pride of philosophers, who have known God, and not their own wretchedness, or to the despair of atheists, who know their own wretchedness, but not the Redeemer. ” • “What reason have they for saying that we cannot rise from the dead? What is more difficult, to be born or to rise again; that what has never been should be, or that what has been should be again? Is it more difficult to come into existence than to return to it? Habit makes the one appear easy to us; want of habit makes the other impossible. A popular way of thinking!
Review – the 17th Century – America • 1636 Roger Williams Leaves Mass. Bay Colony – Rhode Island • 1638 Anne Hutchinson banished from Mass. Bay Colony • 1641 New York – Public worship for Dutch Reformed and NE Calvinists (others in private) • 1646 George Fox, Inner Light, and the Quakers • Arrive in Massachusetts Bay in 1656 (some hanged) • 1648 Puritans, the Visible Church and Baptism • 1690 Maryland – Church of England (originally Catholic)
Review – the 17th Century – UK • 1643 Charles I forced out of London • Puritans take over • 1643 - 1649 Westminster Assembly • Mostly Presbyterian Puritans • 1649 Charles I beheaded • 1658 Cromwell dies • 1660 Charles II followed by James II in 1672 • Tries to remake England into Catholic country • 1685 The Killing Time (The Wigtown Martyrs) • 1688 The Glorious Revolution (William and Mary) • 1689 Acts of Toleration (more or less all protestants)
Review – Bunyan, Milton, Newton • 1660 John Bunyan arrested for Puritan views • Holy City – Pilgrims Progress • Milton • Paradise Lost 1667 • Here we may reign secure; and in my choice • To reign is worth ambition, though in hell: • Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. • Paradise Regained 1671 • Newton • Principia – 1687 • “Christ gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20”
Review – Locke (1632-1704) • “Two Treatises of Government” - 1689 • Men have natural rights to life liberty and property. • Government established by consent of the governed to secure these natural rights • The will of the majority must rule • When that will is not carried out, the people have the right of revolution • The legislative and executive functions should be carefully discriminated • The legislative function is superior • Government should not be coercive in matters of faith
Review – Locke • “Reasonableness of Christianity” - 1695 • Scriptures contain a message beyond the power of unaided reason to attain, attested by miracles • That message cannot be contrary to reason • A miracle could not attest anything essentially unreasonable • It was enough to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, and practise the moral virtues which he proclaimed, which are in fundamental accord with the dictates of a reason which is hardly distinguishable from enlightened common sense.
Review – Presbyterians in America • Various Presbyterians migrated to America • English Puritans of Presbyterian persuasion • Welch Presbyterians • Scottish immigrants (non-Cameronian) • Hugenots, also reformed Dutch, Germ., Switz. • Scattered and isolated • Most in middle, some in NE, some in south • 1706 – the first inter-colonial presbytery formed • Independent of any old-world synod • “to meet yearly or oftener…to consult the most proper measure for advancing religion and propagating Christianity…” • 1716 – Synod of Philadelphia with three presbyteries
Summary of Presbyterianism • 1729 - Adopted Westminster standards as confession • In 1743 there are two Presbyterian churches in Scotland • Church of Scotland • Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland (Cameronians or Covenanters) • In 1743 there are two Presbyterian churches in America • Philadelphia Synod • Reformed Presbyterian Church in America
Review – Deism • Locke is the Key (Reasonableness!) • Five articles (from 1624) • Belief in the existence of a single supreme God • Humanity's duty to revere God • Linkage of worship with practical morality • God will forgive us if we repent and abandon our sins • Good works will be rewarded (and punishment for evil) both in life and after death • Toland – Christianity not Mysterious (1696) • “I hope to make it appear, that the Use of Reason is not so dangerous in Religion as it is commonly represented…”
John and Charles Wesley • Go to Oxford in 1720s • Holy Club • 1735 Head to Georgia • John - “My chief motive is the hope of saving my own soul. I hope to learn the true sense of the Gospel of Christ by preaching it to the heathen."
John and Charles Wesley • May 20-21, 1738 – Charles had a conversion experience • “At midnight I gave myself to Christ; assured I was safe, whether sleeping or waking. I had the continual experience of His power to overcome all temptation, and confessed, with joy and surprise, that He was able to do exceedingly abundantly for me, above what I can ask or think.” • "...Reason cannot produce faith. Although it is always consistent with reason, yet reason cannot produce faith, in the scriptural sense of the word. Faith, according to Scripture, is 'an evidence,' or conviction, 'of things not seen.'
End of Review • Questions?
This Class – Emergence of Modern Protestantism • Mostly focused on U.S. Church History • Because the most interesting church history developments were here in the colonies • Mostly focused on Continental Philosophers • Because the most “interesting” philosophical developments were happening in Europe
Coming Topics • Why Religious Freedom in the U.S.? • Religious Beliefs of the Founding Fathers • Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, John Adams, Sam Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, John Jay • The New (Christian?, Protestant?) Nation • Deism in the 18th Century • Unitarianism • Universalism
More Coming Topics • French Revolution and Napolean • William Carey and the Missions Movement • Second Great Awakening • Mormonism • Public Schools in the U.S. • Darwinism • Slavery
More (and deeper?) topics… • The Philosophers • Voltaire (1694-1778) • Hume (1711-1776) • Paley (1743-1805) • Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) • Schleirmacher (1768-1834) • Hegel (1770-1831)
Religion in European Countries • England –Anglican • Germany – Lutheran • Scandinavia – Lutheran • Switzerland - Reformed • Scotland - Reformed • France – Catholic • Spain – Catholic • All the dominant groups believed in and demanded religious uniformity within their civil commonwealth enforced by the civil power.
Religion In America • Initially mostly Protestant, many varieties, initially highly separated (they expected to reproduce what they had known back home). • Puritans and Pilgrims in Mass., Dutch Reformed in NY, Swedes on the Delaware, Anglicans on the James. • What is amazing is that in America, between 1607 and 1787 these groups all came to live in peace with one another, unlike what happened elsewhere! • Why?
Why Religious Freedom in America? • In “The Lively Experiment,” Sidney Mead postulates that the immense “space” available in the new world had much to do with it. • When Roger Williams was banished to Rhode Island, Cotton Mather wrote, “The Jurisdiction (whence a man is banished) is but small, and the Country round about it large and fruitful: where a man may make his choice of variety of more pleasant, and profitable seats, then he leaveth behinde him. In which respect, Banishment in this countrey is not counted so much a confinement, as an enlargement.
The “Banishment Problem” • “The Bay Puritans, in the attempt to protect their own religious absolutism, might banish such dissidents as Anne Hutchinson, Roger Williams, the Quakers and the Baptists. But they could neither keep them from establishing themselves in neighboring colonies, nor hide the attractive example of their freedom from the citizens of Massachusetts.”
Other Factors • First – religious multiplicity – the sheer volume of different beliefs meant it was hard for any one group to enforce its will on the others. • Second – Voluntaryism – the idea that spiritual leaders had to seek and to hold the consent and the confidence of the faithful if they are to be effective. Various organizations were in constant competition with each other. • Third – England – the motherland interfered periodically to disallow death penalty type of sanctions.
Next Week • The Great Awakening – Edwards Whitefield and Franklin