By Stephen Cox
Christianity takes an impressive number of types in the United States, from church buildings that cherish conventional modes of worship to evangelical church buildings and fellowships, Pentecostal church buildings, social-action church buildings, megachurches, and apocalyptic churches—congregations ministering to believers of various ethnicities, social periods, and sexual orientations. neither is this variety a contemporary phenomenon, regardless of many Americans’ nostalgia for an undeviating “faith of our fathers” within the days of yore. really, as Stephen Cox argues during this thought-provoking e-book, American Christianity is a revolution that's continually taking place, and constantly must occur. The old-time faith continuously needs to be made new, and that's what american citizens were doing all through their history.
American Christianity is an interesting publication, broad ranging and good educated, in contact with the residing truth of America’s diversified traditions and with the striking ways that they've got constructed. Radical and unpredictable switch, Cox argues, is likely one of the few in charge gains of Christianity in the USA. He explores how either the Catholic Church and the mainline Protestant church buildings have developed in ways in which could lead them to look alien to their adherents in prior centuries. He strains the increase of uniquely American events, from the Mormons to the Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and brings to lifestyles the vibrant personalities—Aimee Semple McPherson, Billy Sunday, and lots of others—who have taken the gospel to the loads. He sheds new mild on such matters as American Christians’ severe yet continuously altering political involvements, their arguable revisions within the kind and substance of worship, and their persistent expectation that God is ready to intrude conclusively in human existence. saying that “a church that doesn’t promise new beginnings can by no means prosper in America,“ Cox demonstrates that American Christianity has to be obvious no longer as a sociological phenomenon yet because the ever-changing tale of person humans looking their very own connections with God, consistently reinventing their faith, making it extra unstable, extra colourful, and extra interesting.
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Extra info for American Christianity: The Continuing Revolution (Discovering America)
In nineteenth-century America, there was almost as much skepticism among Baptists about other Protestants’ chances of salvation as there was among Catholics about the Baptists’ own chances. indd 37 1/16/14 11:08 AM = AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY = people in the proud, intellectually cultivated Episcopal Church; ambitious tradesmen with the enthusiastic Methodists; poor people with the bare-bones Baptists. Churches avidly competed for members from the same social-economic groups. 9 Even the Episcopal church, the supposed resort of substantial wealth, had trouble paying its bills.
By 1852 there was a Universalist church near the center of Jackson, and in due time a Unitarian church joined it. For a while, Universalism was a dynamic movement, with a strong appeal both to Bible believers and to rationalists and progressives. indd 43 1/16/14 11:08 AM = AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY = predictable, Universalism stalled. One explanation is that some of its advocates discovered intellectual reasons to migrate to still other religious movements formed around the damaged framework of the Calvinist churches.
For a while, Universalism was a dynamic movement, with a strong appeal both to Bible believers and to rationalists and progressives. indd 43 1/16/14 11:08 AM = AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY = predictable, Universalism stalled. One explanation is that some of its advocates discovered intellectual reasons to migrate to still other religious movements formed around the damaged framework of the Calvinist churches. Another is that Universalism was limited by its own intensity, its own strong focus on a single concept, the theological “measure” by which it had ﬁrst gained adherents; it absorbed the core audience for this message and then found no other interesting idea.