Pietism And the Hyphenated Life

“Pietism no doubt, expressed the religious reaction of devout evangelicals agaisnt orthodox formalism, and it tendend to concentrate upon the doctrine of salvation and to develop Arminian rather than a Reformed doctrine of Grace. God’s offer of salvation was supposed to be made to all men and it was believed that Christ died for all mankind. Given such a doctrine of grace it is not surprising that pietists have tended, with a few notable exceptions, to think of religion as being mainly concerned with the salvation of the individual and with his spiritual state of mind and feelings. As a consequence Pietism has greatly assisted the secularization of Western Society as a whole, since its religious individualism takes for granted or ignores the structures of Church and State, seeking within society to build up significant religious cells. The main concern of Dutch pietists, as of Wesleyan pietists in England and America, became the salvation of one’s individual soul rather than of society as a whole. Instead of thinking that Christians should be concerned with the whole of life—business, political, educational and cultural, pietism demands the segregation of a certain sphere of life as peculiarly religious and teaches that the believer should concentrate his entire efforts upon cultivating subjective religious states of mind and feeling, as well as various personal devotional and ascetic disciplines. The larger questions of church and state and culture tend to become discounted, sometimes because of apocalyptic expectations, or because they are considered to be religiously neutral. As a result, the attention of the evangelical pietist tended to become concentrated upon personal rather than social morals, and the sins of the flesh have been more often feared than the spiritual sins, such as selfishness, pride, envy and jealousy.”

E. L. Hebden Taylor
The Christian Philosophy of Law, Politics and the State, p. 29f.

What modern current Reformed movement are you reminded of when you read this quote?

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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