Friday, September 23, 2005

The Overthrow of Dogma in Theology - 1929

The following is an excerpt from the article titled “The Overthrow of Dogma in Theology”. The article originally appeared in the November 1929 issue of Methodist Review.

The Bible

“The Bible, as all other sacred writings, is an expression of the religious life of man, for Gad hath not left himself without witness anywhere. This puts God in all the natural order; in the heavens, in the heart of man, and all human history. The divine revelation is not chipped out of the rock by the lightening, nor yet dropped down from the heaven as a phenomenon isolated from the expanding life of humanity. The human element is conspicuous and must always bear the mark of fallibility. The revelation of God had been continuous. Even in the grey dawn of history, reason and experience, on the trial and error method, were rounding religious mandates into form. However much traditionalists may decry reason, there is no revelation without it. The Bible records the spiritual knowledge of spiritual things. A creative mind is necessary to any revelation.”

The Christian Brotherhood - September 1929

From the September 1929 edition of Methodist Review.

"If the church has failed the world, she has failed at this point. The spirit of brotherliness which Jesus looked for in his disciples and upon which he staked the future welfare of his cause in the world, is no apparent in the institution that bears his name to-day nor has it been for a thousand years."

"Christians must do more than merely endure one another. There must be mutual appreciation and concern for each other's welfare."

Religious Attitudes in Conflict - May 1929

The following are excerpts from the article titled “Religious Attitudes In Conflict”. The article originally appeared in the May 1929 issue of Methodist Review.

“To say that a man is religious, even Christian, to-day is a definite as to say he is an engineer. If he is an engineer he may be electrical, chemical, locomotive, civil engineer, or perhaps several other kinds.”

“The above three attitudes [Reactionism, Conservatism, Fundamentalism] constitute what might be called the conservative or left wing of religious thinking.” [Ed.-‘left wing’ is not a typo]”

“Still further, religious distance between groups is shown when social problems, such as outlawry of war, elimination of social evils, race relationship, child labor or the wage system press for solution.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

There is more coming, I promise....

Life has been hectic, but soon this will really take off. Let me know if you have any ideas

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The religion that cannot focus the conscience of mankind upon the need for justice, mercy, and love in the relationships of men will be left behind..

Rev. Albea Godbold of University Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, wrote the following in Feb. 17, 1933 edition of the Nashville Christian Advocate:
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As I meet students on the campus, at the church, and in my home I find that many are serious about religion...Students...object to the old phraseology and the old shibboleths...We cannot appeal to an infallible Church or book for authority. To say that doctrine is true because the church so teaches is idle...Second, it must be intellectually respectable...All the vehemence of any kind of fundamentalism will not hold this generation to old dogmas and miracles that seem absurd. Third, it must make men conscious of God...God-consciousness is salt for the meat of religion. Without it no religion can long endure...Fourth, it must be applicable to the great social problems as well as to personal life...The religion that cannot focus the conscience of mankind upon the need for justice, mercy, and love in the relationships of men will be left behind....

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Something to get us started......

In 1923 there was a growing concern of the divisive threat of fundementalism in the various branches of Methodism. In response to this Cokesbury Press, of the M.E. South, published Bishop Edwin D. Mouzon's Fundementals of Methodism. The following is from that book.

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"There have arisen amoung us some who insist that a correct creed is of more importance than a good life. They seem to take the position that if one's creed is correct, one's life will necessarily be rightous. There is immense peril in this position. For the next step may lead...the poor misguided man to the conclusion that his brother is a bad man...{if}his brother does not agree with him in all his theological tenets.

We Methodists...hold no such view...We believe that a correct creed is important, but we hold firmly to the view that a Christlike life is the final test on ones religion"

A Quick Intro

I think many conservatives who are longing for a return to the "good old days" of Methodism don't really understand the historical thought of the church. I could be wrong though. This blog will chronical my journey through various books and papers from the history of Methodism in America.

To read my thoughts on broad and modern issues visit Christian Dissent.

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