Grand Canyon University: HTH-469
August 11, 2013
The Enlightenment Age was seen as a time of emancipation from ignorance and blind submission. The church authorities had long dictated the truth as they saw it, and this period would mark the break from faith and the shift to reason. Science replaced the miraculous and natural morality replaced dogma (Grenz, & Olson, 1992). Man became the center of the universe rather than God. These progressive mindsets threatened to displace orthodoxy all together, which led to the rise of fundamentalist Christians sworn to preserve the unsullied doctrines of Christianity as they interpreted them. The struggle between these two would continue far beyond this era and ultimate reshape Christianity. On the back side of an era that demanded absolute agreement and submission to Christian dogma emerged a radical reform. Even as early as Luther, a break can be seen from orthodoxy. This push from rigid doctrinal control continued through the ages coming fully into its own during the Age of Enlightenment and Reason. Philosophers began to question the absolutes of the universe as depicted by the Church, and came to the conclusion that men, not God, were to be the focal point. People began to look to science and logic to guild them reasonably. The enlightenment worldview understood that no longer could man lean upon and trust in that which could not be explained and fully comprehended. Many Christians during this time took on a liberal view of God, the Bible, miracles, and even Jesus Himself. Nature became the primary expression of God rather than special biblical revelation. The Bible could no longer be taken as the final authority, and Jesus was downgraded to a moral teacher rather than the Son of God. Those teachers of reason and liberal thinking convinced society that they could self govern, and that though there was within man a tendency toward evil the application of the universal moral code would prevail...
References: Grenz, S., & Olson, R. E. (1992). Twentieth-century theology: God & the world in a transitional age. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press.
Hordern, W. (2002). A layman 's guide to protestant theology. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers.
Lecture 1. (2013). CWV-101: Christian Worldview. Phoenix, AZ: Grand Canyon University
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