Thursday, August 09, 2012

Week of Intense Reading

This next chapter will be the most dense of them all. Chapter one (which is in the bag now) outlines the development of evangelical attitudes towards social engagement as they emerged from the turn of the 20th century Fundamentalist movement. That chapter used the broadest range of source material and took over a year to write (much longer to research). Everything is from an eschatological perspective. I could have looked at it from lot of different perspectives, but a thesis is a narrow beast. And besides I am convinced that "[e]very Christian ethics is determined by a presupposed eschatology." (Moltmann, Ethics of Hope, 9) The big shift I track is from the dominance of amillennial and postmillennial Protestant evangelicalism to dispensational premillennialism as a support for a changing relationship with society. An over reaction to the realized eschatology of the Social Gospel movement.

My second chapter is an intense look at the eschatology in Carl F. H. Henry's The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism. Henry, and others, are looking at different forms of premillennialism from the 19th century (Anglican sources) as a way of adjusting Fundamentalism from the inside. I buy his argument that the reaction against the Social Gospel, while justified, was too extreme.

This next chapter follows Moltmann's Ethics of Hope and attempts to outline the possibilities within his 'transformational eschatology'. I'm doing a slow, deliberate read of Ethics of Hope this week. It is so good. My reading list for the next couple weeks includes: Moltmann's Ethics of Hope (Tim Harvie); Sun of Righteousness, Arise!; and The Crucified God (reread). I have others, but those are the ones I'll spend the most time on. I'm already finding ways to putting this chapter together with lots of connections to what I've already done.

This has been the most productive summer.

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