16 November 13
The Place of Scripture in Evangelical, Liberal, and Neo-Orthodox Thought
As part of the Christian faith during 18th century revivals, three practices evolved forming their own interpretation on the place and authority of Scripture in Christian faith. The first of these were the Liberals who "viewed themselves as the saviors of a defunct out of date Christianity," they wanted to connect with people and bring them into the faith, not scare them with a set of rules (Bingham 149). Their founder, Friedrich Schleiermacher an 18th century pastor, felt that the Scripture and other doctrines of the faith were not of the utmost importance in the Christian practice and were not needed in daily life (150). Instead of focusing on the holiness of The Trinity, Liberal's placed more emphasis on doctrines of sin and grace, and the emotional aspect of the faith (Kerr 213).
Jesus was viewed as a historical figure that the church can learn from spiritually, and the Bible as a source of knowledge on Christian history (Bingham 152, 153). In this theological movement being a Christian is considered "nothing but feeling and experience," the hard facts taught in the Bible didn't matter so much as the believers feel that they are saved by the faith and are destined for Heaven (Lane 238).
Following is the Evangelical theology which evolved from the Pietism and Revivalist movement and as their way of including people in the faith without the firmness of older practices (Olson 33). Charles Finney, a leader in Evangelism, emphasized the need and ability to evangelize the world while also maintaining the power of free will, thereby preaching to, but not trying to control the mind of the masses (Lane 253, 254). Evangelist's believe in the supreme authority of the...