Modern Pensées

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Archive for the ‘Cults’ Category

Best Links of the Week

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I think some PAC published this video… worth watching

How to use Zotero to organize your personal library.  Zotero has personally saved me literally dozens of hours on a single project I worked on recently.  Any person in graduate school writing papers should use this tool.  The simple firefox/Office plugin will format your footnotes and create your Bibliography and/or Works Cited for you.  Hours saved.  I can’t believe more people don’t use this already.

The French are funny.  They are rioting because their version of Social Security got moved from age 60 to age 62.  I remember them getting all fussy when Sarkozy changed the work week from 35 hours to 40 hours.

Capitalism Saved the Miners

WSJ on the status of the mortgage mess in the U.S.

Spot on TIME Magazine piece on why young Italian professionals are leaving Italy in droves.  For once, an American journalistic enterprise hits a home run on understanding the many layers of Italian culture and economics.  Here is a bonus piece on the trash crisis in Naples, Italy.  I remember the citizens of Avellino getting so upset at their trash crisis that they started dumping trash on the city courthouse steps and lighting it on fire.  Awesome.


Know Your Heretics

An interesting opinion piece on UGA’s new engineering school and the state of education in the state of Georgia.



Thoughts on Evangelicalism Past, Present, and Future… Part 3

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Charles Finney

Charles Finney

The Second Great Awakening took place from 1790 to 1840.  The Second Great Awakening brought more of the revivalism of the First Great Awakening without many of the redeeming aspects of the First Great Awakening.  The critical difference between the First and Second Great Awakenings was the Revolutionary War that stood between the two.  The Revolutionary War had a profound affect on the ethos of American society.  There was a kind of rebellion not only against political hierarchy but of also religious and historical hierarchy.  Several US historians have pointed outthat following the Revolutionary War a democritization of knowledge also took place (see this and this and this).   The net effect of this was the weaving of anti-intellectualism, utilitarianism, pragmatism, and populism into the American tapestry.The First Great Awakening had the credence of George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, and John Wesley, whilst the Second Great Awakening brought us Charles Finney, the Restoration Movement, and numerous “New Religious Movements” (aka. cults).

Mike Horton on the Disturbing Legacy of Charles Finney – please read this article if you are unfamiliar with Finney’s revivalism.

No single man is more responsible for the distortion of Christian truth in our age than Charles Grandison Finney. His “new measures” created a framework for modern decision theology and Evangelical Revivalism.

The Restoration Movement was an interesting beast.  The movement sought to create a united Christianity harkening back to the apostolic times.  A lot of times when these movements come around they make the mistake of thinking that true unity = least common denominator Christianity.  The result of these movements is often anti-intellectual, atheological, and destructive.  The Restoration Movement had some weird things about it, namely, claiming that baptism by immersion is necessary for salvation and strange marriage to Enlightenment thinking, particularly John Locke.  The end result of the Restoration Movement is weird theology, and three mainline (liberal) Protestant denominations.

Numerous cults formed in the wake of the Second Great Awakening:  Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Millerites (and other Millenarian sects), Mary Baker Eddy and the Christian Scientists.  One has to ask oneself why all these new religious movements formed within a few decades of the Second Great Awakening?  You cannot help but think that the lack of discipleship and theology from the revivalistic methods of the Second Great Awakening contributed in large part to the formation of these abherrent theologies.

We need to continue to explore the impact of the Second Great Awakening on the history of evangelicalism…

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