Lesson 10: Christianity: 1648-Modern times
I. World development 世界的发展—
Respect for science and human reason replaced the Christian faith as the cornerstone of Western culture. Many Protestants met this crisis of faith, They didn’t go back to the Bible for reassurance, they let their feelings give them confidence. Many Christians came to see that government support was no longer essential for Christianity’s surviva
A. Christianity in China 中国的基督教
The third great missionary push into China was a Catholic effort in the 1500s and 1600s.
a. It failed when the Catholic officials ban attempts to insert Chinese customs and language into the service.
b. This resulted in the Chinese government persecuting Christians as agents of a foreign power.
The last remnants of those underground Christians disappeared around 1750.
The fourth great missionary push into China was from Protestants and Catholics in the 1800s.
The Communists took over in 1949 and seemed to totally destroy Chinese Christianity.
Since then, Christianity in China has increased.
a. In 1949, there were about 5 million Christians in China.
b. Today there are between 50 and 90 million Christians in China.
c. Even the lower figure would give China one of the world’s largest Christian populations.
A Back to Jerusalem effort from China aims to send thousands of Chinese missionaries across central Asia into the Middle East.
a. Asian missionaries are planning to re-evangelize what is now the Muslim world.
b. They will, in effect, use the Silk Road as a highway for Christian missions.
B. Christianity in Europe 欧洲的基督教
Disagreements over doctrine and Christian living caused divisions and persecutions.
a. France was Europe most populous country with 25,000,000 people. The American revolution in the 1770s inspired the French revolution.
b. In 1854 the Pope made it official that Mary had been conceived without original sin.
c. In 1870 came the doctrine of papal infallibility.
i. Hymns appeared that addressed, not God, but the pope.
ii. Some called the pope “the vice-God of humanity.”
d. In 1850 Darwin published “The Origin of Species,” publicizing evolution.
e. More and more American seminary and college professors studied to receive doctor’s degrees from famous European universities. Attacking the legitimacy of the Bible had become fashionable.
i. They taught that Moses didn’t write the first five Bible books.
ii. They taught that Jesus was a somewhat deluded visionary and not God’s Son in the flesh.
iii. They couldn’t defend a God who ordered Israel’s armies to kill their enemies to the last woman and child or who sent bears to eat young people who made fun of a prophet.
iv. “A God without wrath brought people without sin into a kingdom without judgment through a Christ without a Cross.”
理查德 .尼布尔（H. Richard Niebuhr）说过，“一个没有愤怒的上帝，通过一个没有上十字架的基督，将没有罪的人类带到一个没有审判的天国”
Some European governments designed a hybrid national church that contained elements of Lutheran and Reformed teachings.
a. Governments then forced their citizens to join and support this national church
b. This denied people freedom to worship in churches that matched their beliefs.
c. Eventually, these government-supported churches led people to lose interest in Christianity.
a. Soon after 1492 large numbers began coming to America.
b. European Christians developed mission support groups to serve people living in America and to reach out to other foreign countries.
Rationalism – In 1700’s scholars began to explain Bible teachings using only their logic or common sense.
a. The most famous scientist of this time was Isaac Newton. His law of gravity changed public thinking.
b. The new theory from intellectuals was that people don’t sin. People are capable of amazing feats of intelligence. Common sense will solve our problems, not God’s grace. If the Bible taught something unreasonable, intellectuals dismissed that teaching.
c. More and more people felt only disgust at the burning or drowning of an elderly woman accused of witchcraft or heresy. They remembered thousands and thousands of victims of Christianity’s intolerance.
d. Religious prejudice seemed a far greater threat than atheism. So a thirst for tolerance and truths common to all people spread.
e. This eroded Christian teaching and faith in Europe.
f. In the end the intellectuals’ arguments failed. They couldn’t explain the evils and disasters of life.
France had a political revolution. Germany had an intellectual revolution. England gave birth to a industrial revolution.
a. An early attack on capitalist competition was socialism. It believed that people naturally loved each other and that they could live together happily.
i. Karl Marx (1818-1883) was socialism’s voice.
ii. His book “Das Kapital” is one of the most influential modern books.
b. The 20th century replaced the great world religions with three post-Christian ideologies: nationalism, communism, and individualism.
i. Each of these took on the character of a religious faith.
ii. Each makes ultimate demands – patriotism, class struggle, or secular humanism. Enter Hilter (right-wing), Lenin, and Stalin (left-wing).
Wars – There were religious wars, wars within countries, and wars against other countries. This went on in Europe for centuries.
Ecumenism, or ecu-mania, is one of the hallmarks of 20th century Christianity.
Vatican II (1962-1965) was the first Catholic council to update or modernize Catholics.
C. Third Word Christians emerged as the great new fact of the age. 第三世界的基督徒作为时代的新现象出现。
II. Early American Christianity 美国早期基督教
A. Beginnings 开始
French Calvinists immigrated to South Carolina in 1562, to Florida in 1564;
Roman Catholics immigrated to Florida in 1565, to the Southwest in 1598;
Puritans immigrated to New England in 1620;
Church of England immigrated to Virginia in 1607;
Dutch Reformed immigrated to New York in 1628;
Lutherans immigrated to Georgia in 1733
B. In American immigrant colonies 美国移民殖民地
There was either religious persecution or toleration among the settlers.
Churches had to fund their own outreach efforts and ministers’ salaries. Christianity received no government support, no government protection. Christians were on their own.
Many settlers launched church schools and colleges (Harvard in 1636).
C.Religious life 宗教生活
First generation serious Christians faded in later generations.
Christians organized revivals in 1734 and continued over the next 100 years to awaken religious life (Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Wesley).
Henry Muhlenberg organized the Lutheran churches in Pennsylvania.
D. New religious bodies 新的宗教团体
“Disciples” (of Christ) in early 1800’s in protest of creeds.
Non-Christian groups (Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Science) began in the Northeast in the early 1800’s.
Unitarians grew out of Congregational Church members who rejected the Bible’s teaching of human sin and that Jesus is 100% God.
E. Problems - lack of pastors; religious indifference 问题—— 缺少牧师，宗教冷漠
III. Stability for American Christianity 美国基督教的稳定
A. Growth 发展
Methodists and Baptists carry out mission work among settlers on the American frontier;
Christian church groups grew because of continuing immigration.
Christian churches provided a social life for a society without radio or TV.
B.Unity and division 合一与分裂
Efforts to draw groups of churches together into new denominations or synods were common.
Issues of war, slavery, social questions divided some church bodies.
IV. Lutheran Christianity 路德教派
A. Large numbers of European Lutherans come to America. 欧洲大批路德宗信徒来到美国。
Religious wars in Germany forced many to look for a new land and home.
Forced membership in national churches in the 1830’s pushed serious Lutherans to look for religious freedom.
B. The first Lutherans 第一个路德会
Among Dutch settlers in Albany (1623) and New Amsterdam (1625);
Swedish Lutherans settled in Delaware (1638) and spread to Pennsylvania within a few years;
Lutherans came with William Penn to settle near Philadelphia in 1682;
other Lutheran settlements stretched from Maryland to Georgia;
C. Henry Muehlenberg – Lutheran Church organizer 亨利 缪伦伯格—— 路德宗教会组织者
served for 45 years from New York to Georgia;
by 1787 there were 25 pastors in the middle colonies and 5,000 members, with another 75,000 Lutherans in Pennsylvania;
organized the first synod, the clergy association of Pennsylvania;
D. Formation of Synods (Lutheran church bodies) 宗会的形成（路德宗教会团体）
The first synods were regional. Pastors and congregations from their own state organized to support each other.
Lutheran Church in America
a. began in 1820 as the General Synod of the Lutheran Church;
b. From its beginnings it was not careful about doctrine or Christian living. It was more interested in attracting people.
c. Many pastors and members were members of non-Christian religious groups.
d. It merged with other synods in 1918 to form the United Lutheran Church in America.
e. It merged with other synods in 1962 to form the LCA, a church body not responsive to Bible truth.
American Lutheran Church
a. It grew out of many different Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and German synods which had begun in the Midwest in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.
b. It formed in 1961 with merger of different synods. 1961年形成，并吸收不同的宗会。
c. This is also a church body not responsive to Bible truth.
Note: LCA （Lutheran Church in America ）and ALC (American Lutheran Church)merged in 1988 to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. No seminary in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)teaches the virgin birth of Christ, the miracles of the Bible, or the physical resurrection of Jesus as historical fact.ical fact.
注释：LCA (全美路德宗)和 ALC(美国路德会)在1988年合并，成为美国福音派路德宗教会。没有一个ELCA(美国福音信义会)的神学院教导基督为童女所生，也不教导圣经的神迹，不把耶稣身体复活当作历史事实。。
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
a. It began in 1839 with Saxon immigration to the St. Louis area.
b. C.F.W. Walter became the leader in 1841;
c. This church body formed in 1847 to be fully responsive to Bible truth.
d. It quickly grew to cover large area in central U.S.
e. It led formation of the Synodical Conference in 1870.
a.began in 1850 with three pastors in the Milwaukee area;
b. Its early years lacked commitment to all the Bible’s teachings.
c. Critical shortage of pastors in early years led to formation of Northwestern College in 1863.
d. joined the Synodical Conference in 1870;
e. merged with Michigan and Minnesota Synods;
f. led in confessional Lutheran position by a number of faithful pastors;
until about 1960 largely located in the Midwest only;
g. questions on the position of fellowship and the inspiration and the explanation of the Bible in LC-MS（Lutheran Church Mission Synod). brought the WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)to leave the Synodical Conference in 1961