The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church - Vol. 5

The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church - Vol. 5

The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church - Vol. 5

The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church - Vol. 5

Synopsis

The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church is a multivolume study by Hughes Oliphant Old that explores the history of preaching from the words of Moses at Mount Sinai through modern times. In Volume 5, Moderatism, Pietism, and Awakening, Old brings the story of preaching up through the eighteenth century, showing how, after the tumultuous age of the Reformation, preaching in the eighteenth century was driven in several very different directions. The book's first chapter considers moderatism, an inevitable reaction against the high tensions of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. In the second chapter Old discusses pietism, examining the contributions of Philipp Jakob Spener, Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Samuel Davies, and other preachers. The remaining seven chapters delve into a variety of national or denominational schools of preaching.

Excerpt

This fifth volume takes as its focus the eighteenth century, commonly thought of as the century of enlightenment on one hand and pietism on the other. One thing that becomes clear as we go along is that the stories we must tell are hardly limited to a single century. To tell the story of Russian preaching, for example, we have to begin in the tenth century and continue into the nineteenth. To tell the story of Scottish preaching we have to begin with John Knox. the same way with the preaching of New England. We have to start with John Cotton, Thomas Hooker, and Thomas Shepard early in the seventeenth century.

While the eighteenth century was the century of the Enlightenment for secular humanism, for Christians much more important things happened during this century. There was the Great Awakening here in America and the Evangelical Revival in England. Neither was quite the same thing as pietism. a number of the stories we want to hear continue long into the nineteenth century. Evangelicalism, for instance, reached its height in the early nineteenth century, and much of this story we will have to leave to volume vi, although its beginnings will be clearly seen in the volume before us.

Secular thought has much to say about the Enlightenment. in Europe and the European colonies in America, the Enlightenment saw itself as a movement away from religion. It was an age in which many people became preoccupied with other than religious concerns. For many, revelation lost its fascination. in their attempts to understand their existence, they began to lose interest in the Christian Scriptures and to try to ex-

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