Tag Archives: Charles Hodge

Reformed in America Conference – November 1 & 2

darryl-hartjpg-4a1aeb8048da888f

D.G. Hart

Is there an American form of Christianity? Many believers who live in the United States would be content simply to identify themselves as Christians, others as American Christians, and still others would be inclined to say they are Christians in America. But are believers in any of these groups able to identify distinctive traits of American Christianity? Do you know enough of the history of Christianity in this country to recognize how your own expression of Christian faith and practice has been shaped by America in the modern age, for good or ill?

astrange

Alan Strange

None of us are simply “biblical Christians” but have a history that has shaped us in one way or another. Reformed Christians have a rich heritage going back to the Protestant Reformation in sixteenth-century Europe, but they also have a peculiar history in the United States. Join us for this free two day conference which will explore some of the major outlines of the history of Reformed & Presbyterian Christianity in the United States.

Friday, November 1

Session 1 at 7:00pm

Alan Strange: “The Tumultuous Beginnings of American Presbyterianism.”  The beginnings of American Presbyterianism, with a focus on the First Great Awakening and the Old Side/New Side controversy. We’ll also briefly reflect on the Reformed in America and the phenomenon of “becoming American.”

Session 2 at 8:15pm

Darryl Hart: “The Challenge of Americanism.”  The talk will cover the problems posed by new ways of recruiting and sustaining Christians (through the Second Great Awakening).  It will cover Reformed responses to the predicament from German Reformed, Dutch Reformed, and Presbyterians.

J_Gresham_Machen_2-300x382

J. Gresham Machen

Session 3 at 9:30am

Alan Strange: “Politics and the Pulpit.”  Charles Hodge developed his doctrine of the spirituality of the church in a subtle and nuanced fashion that permitted him to distinguish the church from the state and its political concerns while allowing the church to retain a prophetic voice to society. We’ll examine Old School Presbyterianism with respect to the spirituality of the church and the place of the doctrine among the Reformed.

Session 4 at 10:45

Abraham%20Kuyper

Abraham Kuyper

Darryl Hart: “Kuyper & Machen–Models of Reformed Witness.” This talk will examine the differences between Machen and Kuyper’s attempts to recover a consistent Reformed witness, especially those that stem from the differences between church life in the United States and Netherlands.

Lunch 12:00pm ($5.00 Fee for all participating)

Session 5 at 1:00pm

Alan Strange: “Unity without Union — Beyond Acronyms.”  The CRC recognized and congratulated the OPC on its formation and the OPC did the same with the URC on its formation. We’ll look at OPC/CRC union talks, the formation of the URC and OPC/URC relations.

Session 6 at 2:15pm

Darryl Hart: “Anti-Modernism.” This presentation will examine the efforts of conservative Presbyterians in the United States and Reformed Protestants in the Netherlands to combat theological liberalism and indifference in the dominant churches.  It will also discuss the need for secession or separation when those efforts were no longer viable.

Session 7 at 3:30

Q&A with speakers

Reformed in America” will take place at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church (3615 University Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa).  This conference is hosted by Providence Reformed Church and Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church, which are both congregations in Des Moines.

Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church (OPC): http://www.GraceReformed.org

Providence Reformed Church (URCNA): http://www.ProvidenceRC.org

Please RSVP to: ReformedInAmericaDM2013@gmail.com

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Church and State, Culture Wars, Presbyterianism, Spirituality of the Church

A Presbyterian Look at Early American Revivalism

George Whitefield

Whether it was the First Great Awakening or a different and more subdued title would be appropriate, the American revival associated with George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards has profoundly influenced the sensibilities of American Protestantism. Today we look at an excerpt from an analysis of the Old Princeton theologian and churchman Charles Hodge.

The great revival, which about a hundred years ago visited so extensively the American churches, is so much implicated with the ecclesiastical history of our own denomination, that the latter cannot be understood without some knowledge of the former. The controversies connected with the revival are identical with the disputes which resulted in the schism which divided the Presbyterian Church in 1741.

…The men who, either from their character or circumstances, are led to take the most prominent part, during such seasons of excitement, are themselves often carried to extremes, or are so connected with the extravagant, that they are sometimes the last to perceive and the slowest to oppose the evils which so frequently mar the work of God, Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Revivalism

A Word We Should Use: Enthusiast

The English language is always changing.  I don’t say “evolve” because that implies progress, and I reflexively counter-punch at the idea that we are   progressing.  For example, the religious sense of the word “enthusiast” has fallen into disfavor.  But it shouldn’t have.   Today Charles Hodge helps us to recover it:

In the popular sense of the word, enthusiasm means a high state of mental excitement. In that state all the powers are exalted, the thoughts become more comprehensive and vivid, the feelings more fervid, and the will more determined. It is in these periods of excitement that the greatest works of genius, whether by poets, painters, or warriors, have been accomplished. The ancients referred this exaltation of the inner man to a divine influence. They regarded persons thus excited as possessed, or having a God within them. Hence they were called enthusiasts (ἔνθεος). In theology, therefore, those who ignore or reject the guidance of the Scriptures, and assume to be led by an inward divine influence into the knowledge and obedience of the truth, are properly called Enthusiasts.

They say it takes six weeks to change habits.  Maybe it takes six weeks of word usage to internalize it,  so my challenge to you is to find opportunities to use some form of this word from now until Christmas.  Just kidding, but if you do it now there’s the advantage of some people mistaking “enthusiast” for “one who exhibits yuletide cheer.”  In the alternative, you  could leave a comment with a sentence that shows how to properly use the word.

3 Comments

Filed under Charismatics, Presbyterian Vocabulary