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Women's Class: Christian Worldview and the False Dichotomy Between Sacred and Secular (Pt.11)

June 16, 2019 Speaker: Danielle Lochan Series: Women's Class: Christian Worldview and the False Dichotomy between Sacred and Secular

Learning goals: (a) briefly study what evangelicalism is, (b) analyze the positive and negative impacts of evangelicalism, and (c) analyze how the focus on experience and on individual choice contributes to the idea that Christianity is an upper-story phenomenon


Pietism: a movement within the German Lutheran Church in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, concerned with practical devotion and ethics as opposed to dogma, and with the religious experiences of the individual as opposed to institutional authority (OED)

Populism: support for or representation of ordinary people; speech, action, writing, etc., intended to have general appeal. (OED)

First Great Awakening: a series of Christian revivals that swept Britain and its Thirteen Colonies between the 1730's and 1740's; adherents strove to renew individual piety and religious devotion. The Great Awakening marked the emergence of Anglo-American evangelicalism as a trans-denominational movement within the Protestant churches (Wikipedia)

American Revolutionary War/American War of Independence (1775–1783): an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies (allied with France) which declared independence as the United States of America (Wikipedia)

Second Great Awakening: a Protestant religious revival during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1790, gained momentum by 1800 and was past its peak by the late 1840s. The Second Great Awakening reflected Romanticism characterized by enthusiasm, emotion, and an appeal to the supernatural. It rejected the skeptical rationalism and deism of the Enlightenment (Wikipedia)

Lecture Outline:

  1. Introduction: Two Wings of Evangelicalism – Populist and Scholarly
  2. Evangelicalism: A Brief History
  • Impacts of Populist Evangelicalism: The Good
    1. Popularizing Christianity and Permeating All the Social Classes
  1. Impacts of Populist Evangelicalism: The Bad
    1. Redefining Religion in Terms of Emotion
    2. Celebrating Ignorance and Poking Fun at Theology
    3. Defiant Individualism
    4. The Celebrity Pastor
  2. The False Idea That Christianity is an Upper-Story Phenomenon
    1. The Focus on Experience
    2. The Focus on Individual Choice

*We’ve been following Nancy Pearcey’s Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity for this series. This handout has been adapted from her book.

Pearcey, Nancy. Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity. Crossway Books, 2008