The Last Great Revival - Galilean Baptist Church
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The Last Great Revival The Fight for Inerrancy and the Bible
The Last Great Revival • The Third Great Awakening is generally considered to have occurred from 1850 to about 1925. That start date is actually a little early. The Third Great Awakening came about in response to political, social and religious changes in American society. We will take these in reverse order.
The Last Great Revival • Religious changes in America – Many of the changes occurring from 1870 to 1925 dealt with the Bible. – The most important was an interpretive method known as critical theory. This is sometimes called the Graff-Wellhausen Theory. – These scholars argued that the Bible was not written by the people we think it is—it is, rather, a “layer cake” of documents edited together around 800 B.C..
The Last Great Revival • Religious changes in America – The other change was the rise of something that is called the Social Gospel. – This was a philosophy that argued against personal salvation and focused on addressing community issues. – There was a legitimate need for this. As a consequence of social and economic change, the United States had a very large number of urban poor.
The Last Great Revival • Religious changes in America – The final change was the rejection of the concept of inerrancy of Scripture. – This was a logical outgrowth of new theories about how the Bible came about. – What was surprising was that many of the mainline denominations began to follow this theory.
The Last Great Revival • Social changes in America – The first, and perhaps most important social change undermining religion in American life was the developments of paleontology. – By 1860, evolution had begun to dominate natural science. – Many scholars were investigating Darwin’s theory. – Dinosaurs, which had been studied scientifically in 1827, became a major topic of discussion in the 1860s.
The Last Great Revival • Social changes in America – Another change was the increasing number of people living in cities. – This was a consequence of industrialization. – This brought in a large number of immigrants who were from southern Europe and Asia. – They brought with them very distinctive cultures, including beer, boxing and very different religious traditions
The Last Great Revival • Political changes in America – One of the most important political changes was the rise of the progressive movement. – Many of the leaders of progressivism rejected core concepts of American government. – This movement led to a weakening of rural communities, a loss of state autonomy and significant changes to our Constitution. – Many progressives were not religious at all.
The Last Great Revival • The Church Responds: – We responded poorly to the scientific revolution. – Many theologians attempted to integrate evolution into the Bible. – Many theologians also failed to challenge new theories of psychology.
• Theologically, however, we were on the forefront. – Methodists published The Fundamentals: A Testimony. Baptists soon joined in.
The Last Great Revival • The Fundamentals: A Testimony contained articles from some of the greats in Bible Scholarsip: R A Torrey, G. Campbell Morgan, B B Warfield. • This was a compilation from the original 7 volume The Fundamentals by W. Fisher Markwick, which can also be found in archives.org.
The Last Great Revival • Our response to the textual critics– that the Bible was not composed by the authors claimed, was two-fold. – We opened Bible Colleges, and – We created the field of Biblical Archeology. – We also established Bible summer camp programs. – We sent missionaries out by the thousands. This was a revival in mission fervor.
The Last Great Revival
• The Great Preachers included:
– Billy Sunday on Prohibition: “Say, will you line up for the prohibition? Men of Boston, Massachusetts and our nation, how many of you will promise that by the help of God you will vote against it? Stand up. Let me have a look at you!” – On Gethsemane: “When Jesus sweat drops of blood there in the garden, it was a new sight for the angels. They had seen their brother angels rebel against God, and they had seen the conflict which followed and they had seen these rebel angels hurled over the battlements of Heaven. . .”
The Last Great Revival • Walter and Phoebe Palmer led the Awakening in Canada. • Jeremiah Lanphier held a prayer meeting in New York to pray for America. During this time, we had a bank failure and depression. • Many scholars say this was a Revival of Prayer. • Other Great Preachers: – D L Moody. – Charles Finney– Grandson of Finney of the 2nd
The Last Great Revival • Politicians Affected: – Herbert Hoover, in his Inaugural: “THIS occasion is not alone the administration of the most sacred oath which can be assumed by an American citizen. It is a dedication and consecration under God to the highest office in service of our people. I assume this trust in the humility of knowledge that only through the guidance of Almighty Providence can I hope to discharge its everincreasing burdens. 1
The Last Great Revival
• William McKinley: “Our faith teaches that there is no safer reliance than upon the God of our fathers, who has so singularly favored the American people in every national trial, and who will not forsake us so long as we obey His commandments and walk humbly in His footsteps.” • As you can see, our Leaders confessed their faith as publically as you could get. We should pray for such a revival today
The Last Great Revival • The Fundamentals: A Testimony https://archive.org/details/fundamentalstest17chic • The Fundamentals, by W. Fisher Markwick https://archive.org/details/fundamentals00mark