By B. M. Pietsch
Dispensationalism emerged within the 20th century as a highly influential strength in American faith and shortly grew to become certainly one of America's most vital non secular exports. through the shut of the century it had built right into a worldwide spiritual phenomenon claiming hundreds of thousands of adherents. because the commonest kind of modern prophecy trust, dispensationalism has performed a tremendous function in remodeling faith, politics, and dad tradition within the U.S. and during the global. regardless of its value and carrying on with charm, students usually decrease dispensationalism to an anti-modern, apocalyptic, and literalist department of Protestant fundamentalism. In Dispensational Modernism, B. M. Pietsch argues that, to the contrary, the attract of dispensational considering can most sensible be understood during the lens of technological modernism.
Pietsch indicates that among 1870 and 1920 dispensationalism grew out of the preferred fascination with utilizing engineering tools -- equivalent to quantification and category -- to the translation of texts and time. on the center of this new community of texts, students, associations, and practices was once the lightning-rod Bible instructor C. I. Scofield, whose best-selling Scofield Reference Bible turned the canonical formula of dispensational notion. the 1st ebook to contextualize dispensationalism during this provocative method, Dispensational Modernism exhibits how mainstream Protestant clergy of this time built new "scientific" tools for analyzing the Bible, and therefore new grounds for self belief in non secular understandings of time itself.
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Extra resources for Dispensational Modernism
It started with the city. 21 In their place came a new order of industrial capitalism, accompanied by sweeping new immigration, messy urban politics, consumer culture, and racial, ethnic, and class struggles, all mediated onto a national stage by massive technological systems such as electric and telephone grids. In this context, fear of social change was outpaced only by desire for it. For all their disorientation and fragmentation, cities helped produce a more unified national culture in this period.
The keyword for most mid-nineteenth-century use of the Bible was “reasonableness,” and this reasonableness was a matter of both individual minds and shared worldviews. ”9 Ideas warranted attention because they met the standards of popular reason. Hermeneutical and pedagogical methods were largely notable by their denial; thinkers did not need to do anything fancy to translate common sense experience into knowledge, or to transform the plain language of the Bible into religious teaching. In turn, these ideas of reasonableness naturalized assumptions about the authority of individual knowing and the private nature of religious belief.
Even stronger, Cope thought, it might be a moral imperative. ”41 Repeatedly comparing churches to factories, Cope found much to admire and emulate in the order of a scientifically managed factory floor. In chapters bearing names such as “Applying Some Efficiency Tests,” “Order and Discipline. The Organization Test,” and “Making Your Experts at Home,” Cope offered stringent, if not succinct, advice on how to run a Sunday school like an efficient industrial factory. ”42 Efficiency minded Sunday school teachers could have spent years wading through the advice.