DiM | “When I’m With You” by Citizen Way

CCM Radio Edition.

disapproveMay 24, 2016. Today we’ll be taking a look at “When I’m With You” by Citizen Way which currently sits at #19 on the20theCountdownMagazine.

Sidenote: Can we please just stop cop-opting secular love songs? Can we please stop “dating God”?  The world woos their lovers by proclaiming how great a person they become “when they’re with that other person”. The unspoken flip side of the coin is “I’m lost without you” sort of thing. Which, of course, is an exaggerated emotional sentiment intended to woo. It is not our job to woo God. We cannot, by our words or deeds, curry favor with God. We’ll get into that more in our discussion, but for now I’m just generally quite frustrated with the “Jesus is my boyfriend/girlfriend” trope in CCM. *sigh*

Okay, so let’s talk about today’s song. There are a couple of nuggets in the song that bear some truth, and at least it names Jesus (which makes it a bit more direct that much of what is playing on CCM radio), but there is some confused theology in the song. I think the core of the song is the confused theology, not the nuggets of truth. The song doesn’t stand on its own, and since it falls in the “dating God” vein, it falls in the “Disapprove” category for us.

CitizenWayVEVO

 

Lyrics (via KLove)

These are the things that I need to pray
Because I can’t find peace any other way
I’m a mess underneath and I’m just too scared to show it

Everything’s not fine
And I’m not okay
But it’s nice to know
I can come this way

When I’m with You
I feel the real me finally breaking through
It’s all because of You, Jesus
Anytime, anywhere, any heartache
I’m never too much for You to take
There’s only love
There’s only grace
When I’m with You

Nobody knows me like You do
No need for walls, You see right through
Every hurt, every scar, every secret… You just love me

I’m breathing in
I’m innocent
It’s like my heart’s on fire again
I’m not afraid
I’m not ashamed
I’m safe when I am with You

So I’m here just as I am
Bruised or broken
I don’t have to pretend

Publishing: Calhoun Tunes / Fair Trade Music Publishing (ASCAP) (admin. by Music Services, Inc.); Mr. Blue Sky / Fair Trade Tunes (SESAC) (admin. by Music Services, Inc.); and 2 Hour Songs / Centric Songs (admin. by Centricity Music Publishing). All rights reserved.
Writer(s): Ben Calhoun; Josh Calhoun; Seth Mosely

Discussion

This song is completely bent in on itself. The target audience is the singer. The secondary audience is anyone who wants to be like the singer. Jesus gets a by-name honorable mention. I know that’s a hard introduction to this discussion, but I’ll explain what I mean here. We’re starting with what is wrong with this song, and only then will I point out the truth nuggets I mentioned earlier.

The intro to the song tells us that these are the things the singer needs to pray… why? because he wants to feel better. This isn’t about bringing glory to God or proclaiming the cross, this is about making me feel better, making me feel at peace. What’s worse? This “prayer” we’re about to be shown is the only way the artist finds peace. I have a big problem with that… because he’s finding peace in the prayer he’s about to pray… not in what Christ has done on the cross for us, or what Christ has proclaimed to us in His Word.

When we hit the chorus, the opening line is When I’m with You, which jumps straight to… I’m not sure what, really. Let me explain, when we talk about being with someone having an impact, by default we are suggesting that the opposite happens whenever we are NOT with that person. So what are we contrasting here, theologically? Unbeliever versus Believer? Unregenerate versus Regenerate? Natural Child of darkness versus Adopted Child of Light? Or is this more reflective of the emotional yo-yo that is part and parcel of seeker-mergent evangelicalism where you have to do something to “feel the Presence of God” in your life again after having grown cold or worn-out (or burned out from all of your zeal-driven works). So, pausing those questions for a moment, let’s see what is happening when the singer is with Jesus… I feel the real me finally breaking through. Okay, now I’m confused. Is this the “real me” that is a mess underneath or the me that is at peace because I have been forgiven? How does one “be with Jesus” without repentance? Yeah, this is seeker sensitive theology, the notion that church is a place where unbelievers born in sin are encouraged to come to church to get a taste of the Presence of God so that they might at last open up their sinful hearts to God so that He can then forgive them of their sin and make them new creatures. That’s not the role of the church, and that is not how the Bible describes regenerating faith. You don’t convince a dead man to consider what it might be like to be made alive in Christ. You preach God’s Word and God the Holy Spirit breaths life to dead bones.

Let’s get review some scripture passages, for their greater contexts I strongly urge you to read Romans and Ephesians in full.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV) | By Grace Through Faith

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Romans 3:9-31 (ESV) | No One Is Righteous

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

The Righteousness of God Through Faith

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Romans 10:5-17 (ESV) | The Message of Salvation to All

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For“everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

The heart that believes the Word of Christ and the mouth that Confesses the Word of Christ has already been made alive with Christ by the Grace of God, who has granted saving faith to the hearer of the Word of Christ. And having been brought to life in Christ, we have this Promise from Him that He will never leave us.

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

This is where we find Peace, in the finished work of Christ on the Cross, in the Promises made to us from our Resurrected and Returning Savior, Jesus Christ our LORD. Placing your faith in your prayer is missing the point, and focusing on your own works. Our faith is not in our prayers, it is in the One to whom we pray. The prayer of faith isn’t measured by zeal or feeling, but by the Truth of God’s Word… the Person and Work of Christ Jesus.

As for the truth nuggets in the song, the idea that we are a total mess, that we’re not okay, is mostly true. The Truth is that we are much worse than these words convey. That wouldn’t be a ding on this song on its own, it is a short song after all. The problem here is that while the artist is right that we aren’t expected to clean ourselves up prior to coming to God (I can come this way) there is no mention of repentance nor forgiveness, even. It’s as though it just not an issue. Going back to the the real me finally breaking through we don’t have mention of being made a new creation, or of dealing at all with our sin or our sinful natures. That’s why these are mere nuggets of truth. Later in the chorus, the singer declares that with Jesus there’s only Love and Grace. Well, that’s not the whole story. There’s also Justice, Wrath, and Forgiveness by the Blood of Jesus shed on the Cross. It’s all there, together, in unity. It is dangerous to try to present the Gospel apart from the Law (and yes, equally so to present Law without Gospel).

I find the bridge particularly grating. It’s designed to serve as an anthem for all of those in the audience who want to be like the singer… it’s completely focused on the self

I’m breathing in
I’m innocent
It’s like my heart’s on fire again
I’m not afraid
I’m not ashamed
I’m safe when I am with You

It’s all about “I” in this portion. We aren’t innocent in our own right, we’ve been declared righteous according to Christ’s substitutionary atonement for our sin. Christ died for our sin, so that in Him we might be declared righteous in God’s sight. If the song gave Jesus more than a mere honorable mention, I wouldn’t have such a problem with this phrasing… but given the whole of the lyric I have a problem with this phrasing. Without repentance and the atonement, the song paints grace and love as a mere wiping away of the sin and the law just because we’re so cute and cuddly to God. That presents a false gospel.

Conclusion

Best construction on this song is the idea that we don’t have to be perfect for God to love us. While that’s true, it’s not all of the truth. You see, it’s not simply that we don’t have to be perfect, it’s that we cannot be perfect, or even good. We are dead in sins and trespasses… horribly unrighteous, not even seeking after God. At its worst, this song seems to suggest that the point of the Gospel is that it’s okay to be horribly broken and sinful, since God loves you anyway, and as long as you admit that you are a mess, God declares you innocent… just like that. No need to confess sins, acknowledge the cross, be baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection… see where I’m going? In ignoring the Law, we get a diluted gospel. When you have a diluted gospel, you wind up with a navel-gazing spirituality in constant search of a feeling of peace and right-standing with God… a spirituality of the emotions. God hasn’t promised to be found in your emotions, He is found in His Word, both Law and Gospel rightly preached.

In closing, I’d like to share the confession we pray each Sunday morning at church.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.  (from Lutheran Service Book, Divine Service, Setting One)

What is truly comforting, is knowing that this prayer is in keeping with the Scriptures and that we serve a God who is Faithful and Just to forgives our sin and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness, for His Glory and His Praise.

Romans 16:24-27 (ESV) | Doxology

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

DiM | “Your Love Awakens Me” by Phil Wickham

Presentation1CCM Radio Edition.

May 10, 2016. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Your Love Awakens Me” by Phil Wickham which currently sits at #16 on the20theCountdownMagazine.

I have concerns regarding this artist and his music in general, though this song, lyrically, finds itself in the “middle” category. It’s very vague and it relies on the listener to fill in the lyrical gaps to piece together a message. That strikes me as mystical form and is a red-flag, so I had to read up a bit on the artist to get a better read on his doctrine. We’ll start with the artist then move to the song.

Phil Wickham is a “worship leader” in the seeker-sensitive sense. He grew up in an evangelical home and was propped up as worship leader at the young age of 12 (source). His musical influences include Keane and Coldplay, so his music goes for an ethereal musical quality. Lyrically, he’s right in line with the Bethel / Hillsong / Passion narrative of presence theology and emotional goo. In the announcement for his latest album, we see this come through in his claim of direct revelation that “God loves us”… because, you know, it’s not enough to hear the Preached Word of God or to read God’s Word to build your faith… you need a direct revelation for it to become real. /sigh.

“My friends, It’s hard to put into words how excited I am to share this with you. This is the cover of my upcoming record “Children Of God”. We officially began working on this record exactly one year ago today, and I am thrilled to announce that it will be released on April 8th, exactly 3 months from today. We poured our hearts and souls into this project over the past year, and I can’t wait to share thIS music with you all. A year and a half ago I lost my voice and was forced to get surgery on my vocal chords with the risk of not being able to sing professionally again. During the difficulty of that season, God spoke the simple yet massive truth into my heart that he loves me. That he loves us. That we are first and foremost His children. That whatever may come our way we are His children. That whatever we may be faced with we are His. Out of this new found sense of identity many of these songs were written. They are a response to His love, and a call to others who have lost sight of or have never heard this truth. We are His. we have nothing to fear. We have only hope in front of us. We are the CHILDREN OF GOD. -Phil” (source)

For a little more emotionally-driven narrative supposedly giving a “behind-the-scenes” look at the inspiration for his latest album, check out his Facebook page here.

That’s the background on this artist. He’s wildly popular in the seeker crowd, and really dresses the part of a seeker-mergent artist. Let’s give this song a listen and then examine the lyrics.

Official Lyric Video

Lyrics (via MusixMatch)

There were walls between us
And by the cross you came
And broke them down
You broke them down
And there were chains around us
And by Your grace we are
No longer bound
No longer bound
You called me out of the grave
You called me into the light
You called my name and then my heart came alive
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens
Awakens
Awakens me
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens
Awakens
Awakens me

Feel the darkness shaking
All the dead are coming
Back to life
Back to life
Hear the song awaken
All creation singing
We’re alive
Cause You’re alive
You called me out of the grave
You called me into the light
You called my name and then my heart came alive
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens
Awakens
Awakens me
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens
Awakens
Awakens me

And what a love we found
Death can’t hold us down
We shout it out
We’re alive
Cause you’re alive
And what a love we found
Death can’t hold us down
We shout it out
We’re alive
Cause you’re alive
And what a love we found
Death can’t hold us down
We shout it out
We’re alive
Cause you’re alive

Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens
Awakens
Awakens me
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens
Awakens
Awakens me
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens
Awakens
Awakens me
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens
Awakens
Awakens me
Your love awakens me
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens
Awakens
Awakens me

Discussion

Okay, so lyrically this song is a jumble of positive statements loosely connected in theme. The lyrical format is strongly mystical, repetitious… nonsensical, even. There is nothing being truly communicated here… just a string of platitudes. The statements being made in this song are mostly true, but slightly unbalanced in their presentation. It’s like talking about how wonderful it is when a father finds and rescues his lost child… without ever discussing the fact that the child was actually a teenager and had run away from home by stealing his father’s car in the first place.

The Cross is mentioned, that’s good. Grace is mentioned. But the message of the Gospel isn’t clearly conveyed. Given Wickham’s seeker-mergent style, we see the focus of the outcome of all that the Cross brought us remains emotional. …then my heart came alive.

The song can be somewhat rescued via sound doctrine, but the mystical nature still remains and I don’t think it is particularly helpful for mass consumption. For today’s post, I’d like to read how the Apostle Paul encouraged the Ephesians in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We’ll start in Eph 2 and read through Eph 3:13, because I think this covers the territory that the song mystically tries to manage.

Ephesians 2:1-3:13 (ESV)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

The riches of Christ are unsearchable… they cannot be discovered introspectively, they are revealed to us in Scripture. The foundation of the Church isn’t direct-direct revelation, it is the foundation laid by the Apostles and the Prophets with Christ Jesus as its cornerstone. The foundation has been laid, and we are being built on that firm foundation into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit of God… God is doing the building. He isn’t laying any new foundations, we are being built on the foundation that has already been laid. Sola Scriptura.

Romans 10:5-17 (ESV) | The Message of Salvation to All

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For“everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Conclusion

I urge my brothers and sisters in Christ to exercise Biblical discernment and caution regarding the music of Phil Wickham. The mysticism is problematic. The artist’s theology is problematic. The lyric in this song is salvageable with proper Biblical teaching, but it does not stand on its own. It’s a bit of a muddled mess.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV) Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will,working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

Church History | Christianity in America (Part 5)

This week we’ll be continuing the series by Dr. Dan van Voorhis entitled Christianity in America. This series covers American Christianity from the Puritans through the modern-day Emergent Church. We don’t usually go through such a long series but I’m learning so much from these lectures that I simply don’t want to stop short. The goal of this series is to figure out how the American church in its present state came to be… how did we get to where we are today?

Daniel van Voorhis, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of History and Political Thought and Assistant Dean in the school of Arts and Sciences at Concordia University, Irvine. He has a BA in Theology and earned his PhD in Modern History from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) in 2007. (source)

Lesson #5 – Fundamentalism and Modernism Early 20th Century

Ths video hosted at the website FaithCapo.com. Unfortunately the webmaster at FaithCapo has not been able to get digital copies of the remaining handouts in this series, so we’ll have to do some of our own note taking and research. I’ve taken the time to jot down the notes posted in the slide presentation for those who choose to listen to the mp3 rather than watch the video.

Listen to mp3 of the lecture

Notes from the slides in the presentation:

A very brief Recap

      English Colonies in the 17th Century

John Winthrop “A Model of Christian Charity”

Roger Williams “The Bloody Tenent of Persecution”

        America as the New Israel?A radical separatism (yet corporate)Conditioned IndividualismCalvinism / Puritanism / Covenant Theology

Rationalism and Revivalism in the 18th Century

        John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, George WhitfieldWhy the lack of “explicit Christianity” in the founding documents?The Enlightenment drove a wedge between “rationalists” and “revivalists”Church and State questions became a question that emphasized the “State” as this was the era of state buildingWho’s afraid of “Enlightenment”?Radical Revivalism — a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Romanticism and Radicalism in the 18th & 19th Centuries

      Schleiermacher, Henry Ward Beecher, Charles FinneyRomantic Individualism and the rise of cults (Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness, etc) The question of heresy or schism (which is worse? The role of truth and unity)The Niagra Bible Conference, Dispensationalism, the centrality of eschatology

Today’s Topic

  • Fundamentalism
    • A Fundamentalist is an evangelical who is angry about something (suggested by George Marsden)
    • “The Fundamentals”
      Series of booklets in 1909
      5 points –

      • Inspiration and infallibility of the Bible
      • The Deity of Christ
      • The substitutionary Atonement of Christ
      • The Bodily Resurrection of Christ
      • The miracles of Christ (some have inserted the personal second coming of Christ)
    • Modernism
      • Good luck defining this (and then try defining post-modernism)
      • Generally, any movement or climate of ideas, especially in the arts, literature or architecture, that supports change, the retirement of the old or traditional, and the forward march of the avant garde.
        • adoption of a critical view of the Bible developing in the 19th & 20th century (anti-supernatural)
    • The crucible of America in the early 20th Century
      • Virginia Wolf: “In or about 1910, human character began to change”
      • Willa Cather: “The world broke in 2 in 1922, or thereabouts”
      • Jacques Barzun: (by 1918) “Heaven storming was cut off by the wall of the war”
    • Shift in American Culture
      • A shift in populations toward urban centers
      • Cultural divide between agrarian and urban ethos
      • A shift in mental attitudes (and tastes and habits) with regards to producing vs. consuming
      • A distinct “American” urban / popular / mass culture was emerging
      • A distinct ambivalence towards the past was created by the authors of “Lost Generation”, “Southern Agrarians”, “Utopians”, etc…
    • The Church and Culture Collide
      • The Presbyterian Church (USA) held in 1923 held that the 5 “Fundamentals” must be affirmed for ministers to be ordained
      • A document spread about coming from Auburn Seminary arguing against the necessity of the Fundamentals
      • This “Affirmation” asserted that the church must:
        • Safeguard liberty of thought and teaching of its ministers
        • Prohibit restricting the church to rigid interpretations of scripture and doctrine
        • Refuse to rank ecclesiastical authority above the conscience swayed by the Holy Spirit
      • “Shall the Fundamentalists Win” sermon by Harry Emerson Fosdick 1922 at First Presbyterian Church in New York City. Fosdick championed the Modernists.
        • Distinguished between “Fundamentalists”, “the Evangelicals”, and the “liberals”
        • Gladly played the “Liberal” (the great switch)
        • Called for Spiritual unity despite differences in doctrine (regarding the nature of Scripture, miracles, and salvation)
        • The church must confront “modern” issues
      • J. Greshem Machen, The Unlikely Fundamentalist
        • Born 1881 (Studied at Johns Hopkins, Princeton, and in Germany)
        • Professor of Theology at Princeton Seminary
        • Unlikely? Anti Prohibition, against school prayer, and lamented the confusion of Christian piety and civilization
        • Published Christianity and Liberalism in 1923. Perhaps the most significant Christian book in American History. (Link)
          • “Modern Liberalism not only is a different religion from Christianity, but belongs in totally different class of religions”
          • “The God of Liberalism as the universal father is weak and the Christ of Liberalism is merely a mortal example that cannot save you”
          • “Liberalism is the most pernicious of all heresies as the language it uses apes that of historic Christianity”
          • Machen praised by Walter Lippmann and H.L. Menken
      • Tennessee 1925: The Scopes case
        • John Scopes, a biology teacher in Dayton, Tennessee broke a state law that regulated that no teaching about creation can conflict with the teaching of a seven day creation.
        • Scopes was found guilty (the case took only a few days)
        • Scopes was fined $100
        • That fine was repealed as “excessive”
        • This would become one of THE cases of the 20th century (represented in Inherit the Wind)
        • Conservatism caricatured
    • The Impact
      • Did the fundamentalists win? Yes. No. Who are the fundamentalists today?
        • Split, taken various platforms
      • How did “liberalism” win the day? (Language, dictated the conversation)
      • What happened to the majority of the “mainline” church bodies?
      • Where do we go from here? If you can’t win… put on a good show (Billy Sunday, Sister Aimee, and the Church hits the airwaves…)

Conclusion

We will continue this series to its conclusion. After that, we’ll get back to sharing sermons on Fridays.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV)

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will,working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

Church History | Christianity in America (Part 4)

This week we’ll be continuing the series by Dr. Dan van Voorhis entitled Christianity in America. This series covers American Christianity from the Puritans through the modern-day Emergent Church. Fascinating series. Today’s lesson focuses on the introduction of dispensationalism, and fundamentalism. As you listen to this lesson, you’ll start to see how today’s modern church “innovations” really aren’t all that new, theologically speaking. New century, new technology, same mishandling of the scriptures.

Daniel van Voorhis, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of History and Political Thought and Assistant Dean in the school of Arts and Sciences at Concordia University, Irvine. He has a BA in Theology and earned his PhD in Modern History from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) in 2007. (source)

Lesson #4 – The Rise of Fundamentalism

The handout for this video is available via the website FaithCapo.com. Look for Christianity in America Part 4, Word Doc under Attachments. If you are the pen-and-paper note taking time, I highly recommend printing this document before listening through the lecture so you have something to take notes in/on.

 

Some General Notes on things mentioned in this lesson:

The lecture and handout are very good this week. I’d like to provide some links here for those interested in reading more on the list in the handout labeled “Historical stuff that’s more important than you think”.

Historical stuff that’s more important than you think:

Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV)

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will,working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

Church History | Christianity in America (Part 3)

This week we’ll be continuing the series by Dr. Dan van Voorhis entitled Christianity in America. This series covers American Christianity from the Puritans through the modern-day Emergent Church. Fascinating series. Today’s lesson focuses on the Romantics and the Radicals in the 19th century. As you listen to this lesson, you’ll start to see how today’s modern church “innovations” really aren’t all that new, theologically speaking. New century, new technology, same mishandling of the scriptures.

Daniel van Voorhis, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of History and Political Thought and Assistant Dean in the school of Arts and Sciences at Concordia University, Irvine. He has a BA in Theology and earned his PhD in Modern History from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) in 2007. (source)

Lesson #3 – The 19th Century: Romantics and Radicals

The handout for this video is available via the website FaithCapo.com. Look for Christianity in America Part 3, Word Doc under Attachments. If you are the pen-and-paper note taking time, I highly recommend printing this document before listening through the lecture so you have something to take notes in/on.

 

Some General Notes on things mentioned in this lesson:

The lecture and handout are very good this week. I’d like to provide some links here for those interested in reading more on the list in the handout labeled “Historical stuff that’s more important than you think”.

Historical stuff that’s more important than you think:

Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV)

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will,working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge