The French Revolution (1789)                              Turning Point 11                    Decisive Moments in the Hist...
Turning Points                 in Christian History1.   Fall of Jerusalem (70)          Diet of Worms (1521)2.   Council ...
The French Revolution          in Four Minuteshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=IF4lPWU_qxY        ...
Systematic                     Dechristianization and                    Secularization of Society   Revolutionary leader...
The Collapse of Christendom    Goddess of Reason who was “worshiped” in the Notre Dame cathedral   How did this happen in...
Preparing for Revolution   Tensions and Strains       Political: form (absolute monarchy) vs. reality        (monarchica...
Violence and Rebellion                  Erupting from Tensions   Bourgeoisie part of parliament formed a    new National ...
Early Supporters of the           Revolution   Many thoughtful evangelical Christians    supported the French revolt befo...
Prophetic Warnings   Edmund Burke, Irish politician and    philosopher served in Great Britain’s    House of Commons    ...
Ideology Gives Birth to            Horror   1789, July. Storming of the Bastille.    The Great Fear.   1789, August. Dec...
French Guillotine                    11
Ideology Gives Birth to                        Horror (cont’d)   1794, July. Robespierre overthrown; guillotined the    n...
Emperor Napoleon of France                        Napoleon: Field GeneralNapoleon’s coronation                            ...
20th Century Historical                            Assessment   Arnold Toynbee, British historian       “In the Revoluti...
20th Century Historical         Assessment (cont’d)   Conor Cruise O’Brien, Irish diplomat and    writer       “The olde...
Questions for Discussion   For the first time in Turning Points, a purely    secular event is named one of the turning po...
Where did Christ’s             Kingdom go?   The seed of secularization (Enlightenment)       European intellectuals att...
A Picture of                  Post-Christian Europe   Modern economy: urban and industrial       Wealth. Its production,...
A Picture of Post-Christian          Europe (cont’d)   Philosophy and Reason       Metaphysics and ethics formulated dur...
“True Religion”       According to Kant“True religion is to consist not in the  knowing or considering of what God does  o...
“True Science”                      According to Darwin   Origin of Species, 1859. Although the book left    open the pos...
Questions for Discussion   What are Kant’s (and his followers’)    assumptions, insights, and mistakes about    true reli...
True Bible Study                        According to “Higher                              Critics”   Critiquing the NT: t...
True Bible Study According to the “Higher Critics” (cont’d)   Critiquing the OT: an evolving religion       1870s. Begin...
True Humanity                   According to the Romantics   Romanticism       Not Romeo & Juliet, or the spirit of Vale...
Questions for Discussion   What are the higher critical assumptions,    insights, and mistakes about true Bible    study?...
Fruit of the        French Revolution:         The Modern Age   Christianity not banished from Europe, but    marginalize...
28
Christian Responses to the           “Modern” Age   Modernism and the ebb of Christendom       Matter in motion is the m...
Christian Responses:          Intellectual   Philosophy: Søren Kierkegaard       Intense, whimsical Danish writer, who  ...
Christian Responses:                          Evangelistic   Renewal movements       Scandinavia: Danish Lutheran minist...
Christian Responses:    Evangelistic (cont’d)   Renewal movements       Germany and USA: Redemptorists promoted        R...
Christian Responses:            Evangelistic (cont’d)   Renewal movements       Netherlands: Izaak da Costa wrote effect...
Christian Responses:                              Social   Christian political reformers of society       Britain: Anti-...
Christian Responses:                       Liberal   Protestant liberalizing of the Christian faith       Germany: The i...
Christian Responses:       Liberal (cont’d)   H. Richard Niebuhr’s summary of liberal    (reconceptualized) Christianity ...
Christian Responses:                           Sectarian   Many Protestants and Catholics responded    with “flight” amid...
Christian Responses:      Sectarian (cont’d)   Many: RCs influenced by devotions promoting RC    faith apart from RC powe...
Christian Responses:                  Traditional   Most ardent defenders of    Christendom were RCs       Pope Pius IX ...
Christian Responses:                     Traditional (cont’d)   Protestant responses       Oxford Movement in England am...
Questions for Discussion   Discuss whether and how Christianity (not    Christendom) benefited from the secularization   ...
Secularism Rolls On   The “long century” of dechristianization       Birth of secularization: French Revolution (1789)  ...
Christendom Dead     But Christianity Lives   The gates of hell shall not prevail       Just as when Christianity waned ...
44
Application for Today’s Church   What changed in the economic, cultural, social,    intellectual, and national life of Eu...
USA: Christian or                           Enlightenment Roots?Apotheosis (glorification to the divine) of George Washing...
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Turning Point 11: The French Revolution (1789)

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The French Revolution (1789) is a major turning point in Church History according to Mark Noll, author of "Turning Points".

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Turning Point 11: The French Revolution (1789)

  1. 1. The French Revolution (1789) Turning Point 11 Decisive Moments in the History of ChristianityBrian M. Sandifer 1
  2. 2. Turning Points in Christian History1. Fall of Jerusalem (70)  Diet of Worms (1521)2. Council of Nicaea (325)  English Act of Supremacy3. Council of Chalcedon (451) (1534)4. Benedict’s Rule (530)  Founding of Jesuits (1540)5. Coronation of Charlemagne  Conversion of Wesleys (800) (1738)6. Great Schism (1054)  French Revolution (1789)  Edinburgh Missionary Conference (1910) 2
  3. 3. The French Revolution in Four Minuteshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=IF4lPWU_qxY 3
  4. 4. Systematic Dechristianization and Secularization of Society Revolutionary leaders attempted to rid all of society from the hand of the church  Renamed Parisian streets to eliminate references to saints and the monarchy  Priests, bishops, and other religious people were forced to leave their posts  Cut all connections to the RC Church  Discredit all forms of religious belief 4
  5. 5. The Collapse of Christendom Goddess of Reason who was “worshiped” in the Notre Dame cathedral How did this happen in a civilized “Christian” country? Of what does this remind you from biblical history? 5
  6. 6. Preparing for Revolution Tensions and Strains  Political: form (absolute monarchy) vs. reality (monarchical power checked by hereditary privileges of nobles, corporations, and the RC church)  Intellectual: traditional authorities (RC church and the monarchy) vs. surging confidence in human reason and capacities  Social: aristocrats vs. rising middle class vs. large and poor peasant sector (which shouldered the heaviest tax burden) 6
  7. 7. Violence and Rebellion Erupting from Tensions Bourgeoisie part of parliament formed a new National Assembly Popular uprising and storming the Bastille The Great Fear Declaration of the Rights of Man  “The source of all sovereignty is located in essence in the nation; no body, no individual can exercise authority which does not emanate from it expressly.” 7
  8. 8. Early Supporters of the Revolution Many thoughtful evangelical Christians supported the French revolt before events turned horrific  Samuel Miller, leading Presbyterian minister in New York City (later Princeton seminary professor) Many sensitive Europeans sympathized with the goal of society directed toward the good of the whole instead of only the elite  William Wordsworth, English poet living in France 8
  9. 9. Prophetic Warnings Edmund Burke, Irish politician and philosopher served in Great Britain’s House of Commons  Burke is known for supporting the American but opposing the French Revolution  “But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.” 9
  10. 10. Ideology Gives Birth to Horror 1789, July. Storming of the Bastille. The Great Fear. 1789, August. Declaration of Rights. 1790. Limitation on clergy and RC church. 1792, April. War with Austria (first of French Revolutionary Wars) 1792, September. Republic established, monarchy abolished. 1793, January. King Louis XVI executed. Begin dechristianization and liberal use of the guillotine. Reign of Terror. 10
  11. 11. French Guillotine 11
  12. 12. Ideology Gives Birth to Horror (cont’d) 1794, July. Robespierre overthrown; guillotined the next day. 1794-95. Weak government, anarchy, inflation, riots. 1795-99. Directory established. Many coups and coup attempts against moderates 1799-1804. Consulate, with Napoleon as first consul. 1804-15. First empire under Napoleon. 1815. Final defeat of Napoleon and restoration of French monarchy.(see Turning Points, pg 250) 12
  13. 13. Emperor Napoleon of France Napoleon: Field GeneralNapoleon’s coronation 13
  14. 14. 20th Century Historical Assessment Arnold Toynbee, British historian  “In the Revolution a sinister ancient religion which had been dormant suddenly re-erupted with elemental violence. This revenant* was the fanatical worship of collective human power. The Terror was only the first of the mass-crimes that have been committed [since the Revolution] in this evil religion’s name.” *Revenant: a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to return from the grave to terrorize the living. 14
  15. 15. 20th Century Historical Assessment (cont’d) Conor Cruise O’Brien, Irish diplomat and writer  “The older supernatural God had faded into the distance indeed, but it was not Reason, mostly, that took His place. It was new terrestrial creeds with new Revelations, and exponents who were often as arbitrary, as arrogant, and as fanatical as the worst of the old persecuting priests and monks.” 15
  16. 16. Questions for Discussion For the first time in Turning Points, a purely secular event is named one of the turning points in the history of Christianity. Why? What, in the words of Conor Cruise O’Brien, had come to take the place of traditional religion in the late 18th century? What secular bases of authority were replacing Scripture, revelation, and tradition in Western thought? 16
  17. 17. Where did Christ’s Kingdom go? The seed of secularization (Enlightenment)  European intellectuals attempted to explain all of life self-referentially, leaving God out  1650-1750 were the seminal years of modern intellectual history (Newton, Locke, Voltaire, Hume) The growth of secularization (Dechristianization)  The French Revolution is a fitting symbol for the beginning of systematic replacement of Christian reality with temporal realities  The center of European loyalty, preoccupation, and cultivation shifted from Christendom to the secular “The problem of secularization is not the same as the problem of Enlightenment. Enlightenment was of the few. Secularization is of the many.” Owen Chadwick 17
  18. 18. A Picture of Post-Christian Europe Modern economy: urban and industrial  Wealth. Its production, uses, disparities in possession, applications to social problems increased beyond the watch or guidance of the churches. Warfare and nationalism  Territories were consolidated into unified nation-states by forcefully pushing the church and Christian leaders aside.  No pretenses or deferences to Christianity during WWI and the Russian Revolution. 18
  19. 19. A Picture of Post-Christian Europe (cont’d) Philosophy and Reason  Metaphysics and ethics formulated during Christendom were replaced by systems of thought declaring man as the measure of all things.  European philosophers began to rethink the purpose of religion in society (Kant, Hegel, Mill) 19
  20. 20. “True Religion” According to Kant“True religion is to consist not in the knowing or considering of what God does or has done for our salvation but in what we must do to become worthy of it…and of whose necessity every man can become wholly certain without any Scriptural learning whatever…Man himself must make or have made himself into whatever, in a moral sense, whether good or evil, he is or is to become.” 20
  21. 21. “True Science” According to Darwin Origin of Species, 1859. Although the book left open the possibility of some kind of divine origin of life, it nevertheless proposed a purely naturalistic explanation for life’s beginnings. For Darwin’s followers (e.g. Huxley), Origin became a symbol of science proceeding on its own without reference to a Creator. Gave rise to “professional” science funded by government and academy that worked tirelessly and rapidly to show why they should replace amateur naturalists in providing definitive explanations of nature. 21
  22. 22. Questions for Discussion What are Kant’s (and his followers’) assumptions, insights, and mistakes about true religion? What are Darwin’s (and his followers’) assumptions, insights, and mistakes about true science? 22
  23. 23. True Bible Study According to “Higher Critics” Critiquing the NT: the (first) Quest for the “Historical” Jesus  1835. Life of Jesus by David Strauss. Christ of the NT a product of projection back in time from the early Christian community.  1792-1860. F.D. Baur applied Hegel’s dialectic philosophy of history to suggest the writings of Peter’s disciples (thesis) and Paul’s disciples (antithesis) were creatively combined by NT editors into its picture of Jesus (synthesis).  1863. Life of Jesus by Renan. Jesus was actually a simple Galilean preacher who would have been flabbergasted at what later generations said about his supposed supernatural power and origins. 23
  24. 24. True Bible Study According to the “Higher Critics” (cont’d) Critiquing the OT: an evolving religion  1870s. Beginning of higher critical consensus that the Hebraic writings were the product of evolving Semitic experience rather than revelations from God The shifting tide in biblical studies  Despite the rise of orthodox apologists defending the divine origin of Scripture, it became clear that the Christendom that once had given total (if not inattentive) loyalty to the Bible was no more. 24
  25. 25. True Humanity According to the Romantics Romanticism  Not Romeo & Juliet, or the spirit of Valentine’s Day.  The theory that humanity and the self are God-like in heroic potential. The sense of human boundlessness  English poets and writers (Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, Goethe)  Musicians and composers (Beethoven, Wagner) Romanticism as a broad and important cultural movement in Europe was relatively untouched by the influence of Christian revelation, practice, and piety. 25
  26. 26. Questions for Discussion What are the higher critical assumptions, insights, and mistakes about true Bible study? What are the Romantic assumptions, insights, and mistakes about true humanity? 26
  27. 27. Fruit of the French Revolution: The Modern Age Christianity not banished from Europe, but marginalized.  Since the 4th century, Christianity had been the major factor in European culture and public life because it won the loyalty of so many in their private life.  In the 19th century, religious influence of the churches waned, and the ranks of the faithful dramatically thinned.  Christendom lingered in some formal ways  Theological faculties in German state universities  Deference to the papacy in some historically RC countries  Church-sanctioned rituals of state occasions in England 27
  28. 28. 28
  29. 29. Christian Responses to the “Modern” Age Modernism and the ebb of Christendom  Matter in motion is the most basic reality  Human mind in the ultimate arbiter of truth  Human happiness the ultimate social good Challenges for Christians and the Church  Preservation: How can we keep the ancient faith alive?  Advance: How can we, despite obstacles, spread the gospel? 29
  30. 30. Christian Responses: Intellectual Philosophy: Søren Kierkegaard  Intense, whimsical Danish writer, who gave the most rigorous intellectual critique of modernism.  Christian life more important than doctrine Biblical/Theological Scholarship: English speakers  Cambridge Triumvirate: Westcott, Hort, and Lightfoot.  Americans: Moses Stuart, Charles Hodge, Henry Boynton Smith, John Williamson Nevin, Alexander Payne.  Ably defended orthodoxy against contemporary biblical criticism. Collectively they ultimately lacked the intellectual firepower to equal the modernists Comte, Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. 30
  31. 31. Christian Responses: Evangelistic Renewal movements  Scandinavia: Danish Lutheran minister Nikolai Grundtvig and Norwegian layman Hans Nielsen Hauge established revival networks still working today.  Germany: Johann Christoph Blumhardt promoted evangelism, faith healing, and missionary labors. RCs Gossner and Henhöfer promoted “inner Christianity” (that landed them in the Lutheran Church!). 31
  32. 32. Christian Responses: Evangelistic (cont’d) Renewal movements  Germany and USA: Redemptorists promoted RC evangelism that led to many converts  Scotland: Brothers Robert and James Haldane promoted various missionary activities in Scotland (also England, France, Switzerland, and worldwide).  France: Brothers Frédéric and Adolphe Monad involved with Le Réveil that revived Reformed churches in France and Switzerland. 32
  33. 33. Christian Responses: Evangelistic (cont’d) Renewal movements  Netherlands: Izaak da Costa wrote effective apologetics books against some of the major modernist books. Also wrote poetry that was widely- read in his time. Despite disagreements on doctrine and revivalist technique, the visibility and success of 19th century revival movements paved the way for more celebrated evangelists:  Billy Sunday, Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, Billy Graham 33
  34. 34. Christian Responses: Social Christian political reformers of society  Britain: Anti-slavery (William Wilberforce)  Britain: Regulate child labor (Anthony Cooper)  Germany: Justice for industrial laborers (Wilhelm von Ketteler) Non-political social reformers  Britain: Humane prisons (Elizabeth Fry)  Britain: Salvation Army addressed urban social needs (William & Catherine Booth)  Germany: Deaconesses addressed practical social needs (Theodor & Freiderike Fliedner) 34
  35. 35. Christian Responses: Liberal Protestant liberalizing of the Christian faith  Germany: The influential theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher moved the heart of Christianity toward human “God- consciousness” (a sense of dependence).  Germany: The exceptional scholar Adolph von Harnack summarized the gospel as:  The universal fatherhood of God  The universal brotherhood of man  The infinite value of the human soul 35
  36. 36. Christian Responses: Liberal (cont’d) H. Richard Niebuhr’s summary of liberal (reconceptualized) Christianity  “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.” Typical response to the end of Christendom: Fight or Flight 36
  37. 37. Christian Responses: Sectarian Many Protestants and Catholics responded with “flight” amidst crumbling Christendom Diversity of sectarians regarding  Emphases: Doctrinal or Devotional  The look of ideal Christianity Unity of sectarians regarding the world’s value  If a Christian “in flight” from modernity finds genuine Christian faith, then losing worldly influence is no great loss. 37
  38. 38. Christian Responses: Sectarian (cont’d) Many: RCs influenced by devotions promoting RC faith apart from RC power  Renewed devotion to the Virgin Mary  New forms of meditations on Christ’s sufferings  Pilgrimages to the relics of venerated saints More: Prots established new structures and movements aims at renewing faith  Plymouth Brethren out of Anglicanism  Establishment of prayer houses within Lutheranism  Holiness movement within Methodism  Pentecostal movement stressing divine healing and speaking in tongues 38
  39. 39. Christian Responses: Traditional Most ardent defenders of Christendom were RCs  Pope Pius IX (pope 1846-78)  Syllabus of Errors denouncing modernism  Doctrine of immaculate conception confirmed the practice of Marian devotion  First Vatican Council  Doctrine of papal infallibility (ex cathedra) RCC, although lost all traditional papal power (except for Vatican City), emerged as Europe’s most conservative institution 39
  40. 40. Christian Responses: Traditional (cont’d) Protestant responses  Oxford Movement in England among High Church Anglicans. Attempted to apply the lessons of the early church to current problems  Kuyperian Calvinists in the Netherlands. Attempted to match institutional Christian vigor to an intelligent exposition of Christianity. 40
  41. 41. Questions for Discussion Discuss whether and how Christianity (not Christendom) benefited from the secularization of the West in the 19th and early 20th centuries. How are contemporary Christians directly impacted by the demise of Christendom that occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries? What responses are needed today by the church? How do you contribute to this response? 41
  42. 42. Secularism Rolls On The “long century” of dechristianization  Birth of secularization: French Revolution (1789)  Fruit of secularization: World War I (1914-18)  In the absence of an influential institutional church, the substitutes for European Christianity combined in colossal inhumane disaster. And the survivors did not tremble before God! New idols of religious secularism  Supreme allegiance to nation  Implicit reliance upon technology (divorced from biblical morality)  Propaganda (spread with mass communication) 42
  43. 43. Christendom Dead But Christianity Lives The gates of hell shall not prevail  Just as when Christianity waned in the eastern Mediterranean but began to flourish in Europe…  …Christendom died in Europe but Christianity began to blossom well beyond Europe.  By the end of the 19th century  USA: a modern nation where Christianity flourished  Canada: RC & Protestant practice more vigorous than USA  By the start of the 20th century, worldwide Christianity anticipated a state of affairs that would have been unthinkable only a century before. 43
  44. 44. 44
  45. 45. Application for Today’s Church What changed in the economic, cultural, social, intellectual, and national life of Europe as a result of Christianity being “marginalized”? What changes have we seen in the history of our country as a result of Christianity being “marginalized”? Where do you see in your life and sphere of influence the effects of a marginalized faith? How will you address these effects to the glory of God? 45
  46. 46. USA: Christian or Enlightenment Roots?Apotheosis (glorification to the divine) of George Washington. GeorgeWashington, father of our country, hovering on the Rainbow Bridge in theUS Capital Dome, portrayed as a deified being riding a rainbow. Sittingupon the rainbow to George’s left is Lady Liberty (the Goddess of Reason). 46

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