Wednesday, January 18, 2006
A Faux History of American Evangelicalism: From the Pilgrims to the Fundys
On a lighter note . . .
Some of the blogs on the Internet inform, others entertain. "Call me Ishmael" posted the following faux history of evangelicalism on the blog, "This is not my blog" Be informed and ENJOY!
Every once in a while I need to take a time-out from all the emerging hubbub of my life for some quiet little devotional reading. This morning I was in the book of Third Drafts, chapter 1, which reads:
 These are the generations of evangelicalism in the land of North America.
 Now congregationalism begat Pilgrims who sailed from Leiden to Massachusetts and were soon joined by their brothers, the Puritans.  Pilgrims and Puritans begat theocracy, which in the days of Hutchinson, also called Anne, and Williams, also called Roger, begat discontent.  Discontent begat Baptists, and soon all manner of church polities and creeds prospered in the land, while prosperity itself begat spiritual apathy and slumber.  Then came a day of Great Awakening, which begat New Lights.  And thus did the Old Lights squint, and great was their outcry throughout the land,  but the sons of Edwards and the sons of the Wesleys and the sons of Whitefield did not heed their cries,  for they saw the mighty works that God wrought among them.
 Then the sons of men listened to the Paineites, who spoke of “Common Sense,” and “The Crisis,” and [some mss. read “later” here] “The Age of Reason,” and the kings of the earth took sides and waged war, and the Montesquieuites and Rousseauites rose up in the land,  and they said, “Let us be called the United States of America, where no king rules from New England to Florida, and west to the Mississippi!”  And so every man believed that which was right in his own eyes, and thus it was even after the warring ceased.
 In the turmoil of those days a great darkness fell upon the land, and men looked for light, both old and new, but could not find it.  The sons of Calvin and the sons of Arminius cried out, and behold, the land was soon filled with Taylorites and Finneyites who imagined that they created the light themselves.  But nevertheless the light spread, and a Second day of Great Awakening came, which begat revivalism, and revivalism begat manipulative evangelistic techniques, and manipulative evangelistic techniques begat many verses of “Just As I Am.”
 Now in those days, a son of Africa was counted as three-fifths of a person, and could be owned by a son of Europe in the region of Dixie.  And for two generations the Foxites and the Wesleyites stirred up many of their evangelical brethren to cease this abomination, crying, “Abolition! Abolition!”  But before the reign of Lincoln could commence, the cries went out from Dan, Virginia, to Beersheba, South Carolina: “Secession! Secession!”  And, lo, 600,000 men were slain on the field of battle before the rebellion was ended.
 Soon after, when every man had returned to his house, behold, Moody said to Sankey, “Let us sing great hyms to large crowds in spacious halls on both sides of the Atlantic!”  And thus revivalism, which had begotten manipulative evangelistic techniques, now also begat mass evangelism,  and mass evangelism begat interdenominational cooperation,  and interdenominational cooperation begat organizations, and agencies, and publishing houses, and Bible conferences.
 But while the sons of Darby gathered in Niagara, the sons of Schleirmacher said to the sons of Darwin, “Let us circumscribe the truth of Scripture according to the limits of our scientific presuppositions.” And it was so.  And when the sons of Luther, and the sons of Calvin, and the sons of Arminius, and of Wesley, and even of Moody and of Darby—when they heard of these things—each one said to the other, “If the foundations are being destroyed, what should the righteous do?”  And thus they took up pen and ink, and each man flew to his printing press, and each man contacted his colporteur, they did great battle against the sons of Schleirmacher and the sons of Darwin, and all who would come against them.  Now the rest of their acts, and all they did in defense of the propositional truth of Scripture, are they not written in the books of The Fundamentals?
Oh, for those simpler times!