Non-Voluntarist Protestantism and the Dangers of Secular Modernity

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Culture, Current Affairs, Ideology, Missional Church, Postmodernity, Protestantism, Religion, The Church, The Future, Uncategorized

There are two types of churches which constitute the visible expression of  Christianity in the modern age. For the sake of simplicity let me call these two expressions of the church the non-voluntary and the voluntary models. If these seem initially confusing they should be clearer as soon as you read what follows. Non-Voluntary Churches The decline of non-voluntarist Western … Read More

The Real Threat to Personal Faith Commitment to Christ

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Culture, Current Affairs, Discipleship, Education, Emergent Church, Marriage & Family, Missional Church, Protestantism, Separation of Church & State, The Church, The Future

I would argue that in America the impact of personal and social secularization is different than in virtually all other Western nations. The reason for this is because religion was never formally established in America as a function in which the state had a compelling role. From every angle you can look at this question it now seems that state … Read More

Secularization: Its Impact Upon America and Americans

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Culture, Protestantism, Religion, The Church, The Future

Various theories of secularization have been advanced to explain what has happened to the cultures of the West. It seems fairly clear that social secularization has caused religion to lose its power and influence over and within Western society. This process has taken longer to have its impact upon American culture but the last several national elections reveal how profoundly … Read More

Understanding our Exilic Missional Context: Evangelicalism and Liberalism in Twentieth Century America

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Church History, Culture, Current Affairs, Emergent Church, History, Ideology, Missional Church, Politics, Protestantism, Reason, The Church, The Future, Women in the Church

Most historians and religion scholars now agree that by the twentieth century liberal Protestantism had led to a mainstream Protestantism that was vague, theistic and excessively nationalistic. In a profound sense, concludes British Christian Studies scholar Linda Woodhead, “liberal Protestantism’s triumph can be said to lie to some extent in its disappearance; it dissolved into the blood stream of American … Read More

How Exile Came About: American Protestantism's Common Ground (3)

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Church History, Culture, Kingdom of God, Protestantism, Reason, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church

Three main points underscore the unity that American Protestantism enjoyed into the early part of the twentieth century. Protestants shared a voluntaristic approach that viewed religion as a matter of individual free choice thus it was able to tolerate the co-existence of different Protestant churches and the differences between these churches since they all willingly embraced the greatest American accomplishment … Read More