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Protestant Liberalism

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  • Protestant Liberalism

    American Protestant Liberalism grows out of German scholarship of the late 1800s. German scholars came to deny Scripture's power and they undercut the church's effectiveness. Their thought permeates European culture much sooner than it does the American. Liberal reflects attitudes in continuity with Enlightenment thought. It reflects an attempt to incorporate modern thinking and developments, especially in the sciences, into Christianity. Liberals tend to emphasize ethics over doctrine while stressing man's freedom--humanism. Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of the Species in 1859 and a few years later, he added his Descent of Man to his writings. The latter work traced human descent while the first work was more general. Darwin's work circulated among the scientific community but Herbert Spencer popularized it. Spencer took Darwin's work beyond the biological realm to the social realm. He coined the phrase "Social Darwinism" to describe his ideas that even social structures evolve. Eventually this idea captures most American intellectual thought during the 1800s. It stresses the idea that you can perfect society. Man, using his own intellect and ability, can produce a perfect society--a utopia. Within a decade, by the mid-1870s, evangelical Protestantism generally accepts the idea. James Fiske, a popular historian next develops the concept of "theistic evolution." Theistic evolution soothes the consciences of those finding it difficult to harmonize evolution with Christianity. Fiske said evolution is God's way of doing things. Many Christians see evolution as God's providential hand in history working change and alterations over lengthy periods. Fiske insisted Genesis is poetic and contains creation's basic order with being historically accurate. Christians find this reasoning far more acceptable than the idea of evolution guided only by blind chance. By the end of the 1880s, "theistic evolution" is accepted and preachers assert that Christianity can assimilate evolutionary concepts without compromise. Modernistic Liberals attack Christianity and proposed socialistic and humanistic forms. Evangelical Liberalism reduces the emphasis on biblical Christianity but still emphasizes evangelism. Such evangelism saved from "social sin"--guilty, self, ghetto, and social problems. By 1900, almost every northern American Seminary has gone Liberal. Southern schools remain conservative. Southern churches don't catch up to the northerners until the Depression.

    Characteristics of Liberalism:

    I. Anthropocentrism. This is the legacy of the Enlightenment. Man is at the center. All religious knowledge finds its source within man. Reason and observation are all important.

    II. Autonomy. This is the opposite of heteronomy (the recognition of outside authority). Human reason passes judgment on each belief. Every statement is therefore measured and weighed on its own merit. "The Christian is free from all external authority. Not even Christ imposes any arbitrary demands upon him." Autonomy simply means the freedom to decide for one's self what is right or wrong.

    III. Continuity. This involves a feeling for the oneness of all things. Truth comes from many sources, not just the Bible. This applies to religious truth. Thus, Christian theology is to be constructed from all spheres of information (psychology, sociology, science) as well as the Bible. There is no real distinction between Christianity and other religions.

    IV. Modernism is an openness to truth as discerned through modern efforts in science, philosophy and religious studies. It includes a readiness to adapt Christianity to all modern discoveries. It includes an evolutionary view of truth ("the newer the truer"): change is always good because we are "moving toward the truth."

    V. The Immanence of God is the idea that God dwells in the whole world and works through all of nature, and that he works only through natural processes. If there is no distinction between the supernatural or the natural, then Jesus can only be human! All qualitative distinction between Jesus and other men is erased. God then is "incarnate" in all human life. Since God is present in all of nature, everything is supernatural, everything is a miracle.

    VI. An evolutionary view of the Bible that originated through ordinary processes just as other religious writings and religions evolved. We are not speaking of a God who reveals himself more and more through time. We are speaking of man's improvement of their concept of God. An important implication is simply that if this view is accepted it means the Bible contains different degrees of truth! There are different levels of authority, unequal ethical standards.

    VII. The centrality of the man Jesus as an ethical example. Jesus was as perfect as a man can be in his time and place. If we follow Christ's teachings we can become what Jesus was. He only came to show men how to live; he did not come to rescue from hell. Man is perfectible; society is perfectible. Everyone can potentially become a son of god. In fact, mankind possesses a "spark of divinity," a spark which relates him to God. It is possible to be as good as Jesus! Not so, Christ's divinity makes it impossible to follow him in every detail.

    VIII. The church as an instrument of social progress. This is the social gospel. Liberals saw the task of the church as the establishment of the "kingdom of God" on earth via social progress. This is the concept of the inevitability of human progress. Man gets better and better. Based on the Liberal view of the inherent dignity and goodness of man. Liberals considered sin to be the "residue of evolution." Sin that the Liberals emphasized is social sin. The remedy for sin is education!

  • #2
    I do not think you will find a Protestant on this forum that would deny there are wolves masquerading as shepherds ...That is why we cling to Sola Scriptura
    Have I now become your enemy because I tell you the truth ? Gal 4:16

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Calsgal View Post
      I do not think you will find a Protestant on this forum that would deny there are wolves masquerading as shepherds ...That is why we cling to Sola Scriptura
      So do you believe that God created the world in six literal days, 6000 literal years ago?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Calsgal View Post
        I do not think you will find a Protestant on this forum that would deny there are wolves masquerading as shepherds ...That is why we cling to Sola Scriptura
        How can you cling to a non-existent idea?

        Cling to Peter the rock.

        Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven

        Blessings
        May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth by all the creatures of God and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.

        Comment


        • #5
          Protestant Christians do not live by Sola Scriptura as any evolutionary based question will easily point out. Protestants and Catholics have both been programmed to believe in evolution from grade school except for the ones lucky enough to attend private school and even then it is often in the curriculum.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Nola369 View Post

            So do you believe that God created the world in six literal days, 6000 literal years ago?
            Well, I'm a non-Catholic born-again Christian who doesn't believe that. So what? Salvation does not hinge on what one believes about the length of time God took for creation.
            Allen (Unless noted otherwise, Bible quotations are from the 1984 edition of the NIV)

            Faith--Sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nola369 View Post

              So do you believe that God created the world in six literal days, 6000 literal years ago?
              Yes
              Have I now become your enemy because I tell you the truth ? Gal 4:16

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AlFin View Post

                Well, I'm a non-Catholic born-again Christian who doesn't believe that. So what? Salvation does not hinge on what one believes about the length of time God took for creation.
                So you don't live by Sola Scriptura which is the point I was trying to make. Thank you.

                Our faith is based on sacred scripture and sacred tradition and natural science and also the lives and writings of saints.

                Restricting your faith to the bible only is childish and not realistic in any way.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Calsgal View Post

                  Yes
                  What is your opinion on the pre-flood world with the long ages of men and larger plants and animals?

                  Do you subscribe to a vapor or crystalline canopy theory as many creationists do?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Philomena View Post

                    How can you cling to a non-existent idea?

                    Cling to Peter the rock.

                    Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven

                    Blessings
                    And what was the it?

                    Mat 15But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?”

                    16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
                    17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”



                    For petra (rock) is not derived from Peter, but Peter from petra; just as Christ is not called so from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ
                    . For on this very account the Lord said, 'On this rock will I build my Church,' because Peter had said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed, I will build my Church. For the Rock (Petra) was Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself built. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus. The Church, therefore, which is founded in Christ received from Him the keys of the kingdom of heaven in the person of Peter, that is to say, the power of binding and loosing sins. For what the Church is essentially in Christ, such representatively is Peter in the rock (petra); and in this representation Christ is to be understood as the Rock, Peter as the Church. — Augustine Tractate CXXIV; Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: First Series, Volume VII Tractate CXXIV (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf107.iii.cxxv.html)

                    Last edited by Calsgal; 12-31-18, 04:41 PM.
                    Have I now become your enemy because I tell you the truth ? Gal 4:16

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nola369 View Post

                      What is your opinion on the pre-flood world with the long ages of men and larger plants and animals?

                      Do you subscribe to a vapor or crystalline canopy theory as many creationists do?
                      I tend to believe that prior to the great food there had never been rain fall , the earth had been encased in a water bubble acting as a green house ...but like most of the mysteries of God and His creation a knowledge of the how is insignificant

                      Have I now become your enemy because I tell you the truth ? Gal 4:16

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nola369 View Post
                        American Protestant Liberalism grows out of German scholarship...
                        Waaaay too much content to address in a single op.

                        Have you got a single point of comment or inquiry you're like discussed and/or answered?
                        All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

                        “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Calsgal View Post

                          And what was the it?

                          Mat 15But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?”

                          16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
                          17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”



                          For petra (rock) is not derived from Peter, but Peter from petra; just as Christ is not called so from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ
                          . For on this very account the Lord said, 'On this rock will I build my Church,' because Peter had said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed, I will build my Church. For the Rock (Petra) was Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself built. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus. The Church, therefore, which is founded in Christ received from Him the keys of the kingdom of heaven in the person of Peter, that is to say, the power of binding and loosing sins. For what the Church is essentially in Christ, such representatively is Peter in the rock (petra); and in this representation Christ is to be understood as the Rock, Peter as the Church. — Augustine Tractate CXXIV; Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: First Series, Volume VII Tractate CXXIV (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf107.iii.cxxv.html)
                          it = Church
                          May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth by all the creatures of God and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nola369 View Post

                            So you don't live by Sola Scriptura which is the point I was trying to make. Thank you.
                            If you think that then you're greatly mistaken.

                            I get information from a verity of sources, but anything I acquire as true must also not conflict with Scripture.

                            Restricting your faith to the bible only is childish and not realistic in any way.
                            So, you think sources other than God's word are superior? You, for instance?
                            Allen (Unless noted otherwise, Bible quotations are from the 1984 edition of the NIV)

                            Faith--Sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Calsgal View Post

                              And what was the it?

                              Mat 15But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?”

                              16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
                              17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”



                              For petra (rock) is not derived from Peter, but Peter from petra; just as Christ is not called so from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ
                              . For on this very account the Lord said, 'On this rock will I build my Church,' because Peter had said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed, I will build my Church. For the Rock (Petra) was Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself built. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus. The Church, therefore, which is founded in Christ received from Him the keys of the kingdom of heaven in the person of Peter, that is to say, the power of binding and loosing sins. For what the Church is essentially in Christ, such representatively is Peter in the rock (petra); and in this representation Christ is to be understood as the Rock, Peter as the Church. — Augustine Tractate CXXIV; Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: First Series, Volume VII Tractate CXXIV (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf107.iii.cxxv.html)
                              Why did Jesus change Simon's name to Peter? Did it mean nothing?
                              May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth by all the creatures of God and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.

                              Comment

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