See below for some great church-historical posts from this week in cyberspace. There’s more where these came from: my Bethel University colleague Chris Gehrz’s (yes, that’s his smiling mug at right) new blog, The Pietist Schoolman.
Folks, I know this is considerably “late to the party,” but I just discovered my friend Edwin Woodruff Tait’s recent review of Rob Bell‘s controversial Love Wins, and I believe it’s worth pointing you all to. This is in part because the kerfuffle over Bell’s book has not yet entirely died down, as thoughtful evangelicals (and many polemicists) are still discussing (hurling vitriol at) the book and its author. [For an excellent historical “backgrounder” on the issues raised by Bell in his book, see the article by Christianity Today managing editor Mark Galli here.]
First, the review link, so you can look at it yourself, and then a few clips.
The review may be read here. (And may I add: Edwin, I’m proud to know you!)
Now a few clips (of course, several links of several logical chains are missing in what follows–if you are interested in the whole argument, you should go to the link above):
As I understand this broader argument, it works something like this:
1. Salvation is God’s redeeming and transforming work in the world, overcoming our sinfulness and restoring us to a right relationship with God, one another, and creation.
This seems like it shouldn’t be controversial to me, but certainly many evangelicals speak as if
salvation was simply about having our sins forgiven and going to heaven. Continue reading
Here is a brief summary and commentary on the sixth lecture of Nicolaus Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf, Bishop of the Church of the Moravian Brethren, from Nine Public Lectures on Important Subjects in Religion, preached in Fetter Lane Chapel in London in the Year 1746. Translated and Edited by George W. Forell, Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 1973.
Again, this was from early in my graduate experience, 1994-1995, in Dr. Richard Lovelace’s class on the Pietist Renewal at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Lecture VI–That It Is Blessedness and Happiness to Be a Human Soul
‘In the sixth it is clearly proved that being a human soul is in and of itself a blessing for which one can never thank his Creator enough.’ (xxxii)
Text: John 1:11-12 ‘He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.’
[NOTE: are we here to find that stress on adoption that Packer finds so woefully missing from much of historical theology? In a non-theologian? Perhaps this is not so surprising, if it is true. Certainly, Zinzendorf appears to dwell on the fringes of, if not within, a lively sense of the overmastering wonder of adoption!] Continue reading
The 300th anniversary of John Wesley’s birth took place a few years ago, in 2003. For the occasion, I reflected on this famous British religious leader’s enduring legacy “across the pond,” here in the U.S. Interestingly, Wesley’s one ministerial experience this side of the Atlantic went hardly better than Edwards’s. However, and despite the fact that he spent very little time here, Wesley is arguably one of the two or three most influential leaders in American history. (Much of that influence came through the conduit of his indefatigable American bishop, Francis Asbury–my next post will talk about Asbury.) As usual, I can’t vouch that all the links are still active, but a quick Google search will turn up most anything you’d like to know about the extraordinary Mr. Wesley:
How John Wesley Changed America
Why should Wesley’s 300th birthday be a red-letter day on this side of the ocean?
The world is now marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of John Wesley with celebrations, conferences, publications, and many other commemorations. (For trivia buffs and sticklers: The actual day of Wesley’s birth was June 17 or June 28, 1703, depending on whether you follow the “old style” calendar in use before 1752 or the “new style” calendar used after that year.) But Americans may wonder, What difference did Wesley make to our country? After all, while he served as a parish minister in Savannah, he didn’t last two years in the post before incurring the colonists’ wrath and before returning to England. Continue reading
Posted in Resources for Radical Living
Tagged Arminianism, camp meetings, Chautauqua, evangelicalism, Francis Asbury, holiness, John Wesley, Methodism, Pentecostalism, revivalism, Sunday school movement, Victorian era