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tv   Lectures in History 20th Century Fundamentalism and Pentecostalism  CSPAN  December 26, 2018 10:48pm-11:58pm EST

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speaking in tongues. this is an hour. >> let's begin. my name is molly werther and we are at the university of north carolina chapel hill and this is on the history of american fun to listen is him and pentecostalism. i am going to try to answer three big questions today. number one what is protestant fundamentalism? what does the term mean? second, how did fundamentalists
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relate to mainstream culture? and third, why has fundamentalism been so much more influential in the united states than in any other society in the western world? i am curious, is fundamentalism, fundamentalist terms that you here today? do you know people who call themselves fundamentalists or use this label? i see some nodding. any examples? yes. >> trying to describe alternate groups that do terror attacks? >> it is a term that you here more often with the context of
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islam. what about here among american christian groups? do you hear the label? >> up north many of those christians we would've called fundamental christians. in my experience it is an often used by the fundamentalists themselves. >> you have heard it as a pejorative term, which lines up with my personal experience. there are exceptions. i have met some proud, independent baptists who claim the term fundamentalist. but generally it seems to be used as an insult. it is not a label that most christians will apply to themselves. i think that the history of that connotation, that kind of negative sense in which we hear the word today, really became crystallized in one historical episode and that is the infamous or famous depending on your view, the trial of 1925.
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the monkey trial that dominated newspaper headlines in the summer of 1925. the scopes trial has a certain status in popular culture. you are probably vaguely aware of what it involved. let me tell you the basic facts of this trial. the state of tennessee passed a law forbidding the teaching of the theory of evolution in tennessee public high schools. the aclu, the american civil liberties union, wanted to challenge the constitutionality of this law. so they put together and financed a case. recruited a tennessee high school teacher, a substitute science teacher, a young guy named john scopes who agreed to purposely incriminate himself
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by making a point of teaching the chapter from their textbook on the theory of evolution and then urging his own students to testify against him to them out and get him in trouble so that he would be charged with this crime and it would go to trial. that is exactly what happened. this turned out to be an amazing publicity opportunity for the little town of dayton, tennessee. 200 reporters descended on the town in july 1925. a few thousand spectators from various parts of the south and further afield. if you had walked down the street of dayton in july you would have seen trained chimpanzees playing on the courthouse lawn, billboards featuring a picture of a champ drinking the local variety of soda pop. local merchants were really trying to capitalize on this
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moment in the sun. the trial itself was pretty sensational. because both sides, the defense and prosecution, managed to recruit a star for their site. on the prosecution's team, was williams jennings bryant, the great commoner, populist democrat who had run for president three times. he had been woodrow wilson's secretary of state and was known as this great defender of traditional protestantism and a great lawyer joined the defense team as well. he was probably the most famous left-wing lawyer of the time. famously agnostic on the matter of religion, max clarence darrow . he was very known for his bold politics. here he is in his characteristic way flourished making his opening arguments.
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here is darrell and brian on the upper right here and here is a sample of the street scene. this is a table set up with anti-evolution tracks and books . both sides of the debate see this as an opportunity. the aclu wanted to challenge the law on the grounds of economic freedom. that is the tactic they wanted to take. but clarence darrow beard in a very different direction. he decided to really put traditional religion on trial. he summoned to the stand for cross-examination brian himself. this was very unorthodox. one of the attorneys for the prosecution to be summoned. darrow aimed to make a fool of
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this great statesman. he really wanted to showcase the conflict between science and religion. so he asked brian questions like, how could joshua possibly have compelled the sun to stand still? or can you tell us the exact date of the flood? brian did his best to remain firm in defending his views. in many cases he didn't really have a clear and sharp answer to rebut darrow but i will say that brian refused to defend creationism. he would not defend the view that each day of creation described in genesis literally means 24 hours. he says it could mean a longer period of time. in general he defended the conservative traditional
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reading of scripture. he kind of came off as an old man who was a bit out of his death. the judge ended up throwing out the testimony and in fact most of the testimony for the defense as irrelevant as a question of whether or not this high school teacher had broken the law. it was pretty clear that he had. in the end the jury found scopes guilty and he was ordered to pay a fine. although the conviction was later thrown out on a technicality. now inside the courthouse, the crowd was definitely on brian's side. , on the side of the prosecution, cheering for bryan. but darrow and the defenders of evolution really seem to win over the mainstream press in the big cities. a journalist for the baltimore sun, a guy named hl mencken's
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was dispatch to cover the trial and he wrote some just incredibly searing marketing reports of the people he met there. i just want to read an excerpt of one of his reports. the net effect of clarence darrow's great speech, meaning his closing arguments yesterday, seem to be preciously the same as if he had balled it up a rain spell in the interior of afghanistan. the morons and the audience when it was over simply sifted. bryan had these hillbillies locked up in his pen and he knows a. since his earliest days in deed, his chief frank has been among the spoke of the remote hills of the for loan and lonely farms. his nonsense is their ideal of since. when he delusions them with his theological bilge, they rejoice
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like pilgrims exploiting in the river jordan. holy cow. no matter what you might think of minkus ideology he had a certain genius for comic condescension. and reports like this had powerful effect. this trial came to be widely seen as a cultural defeat for fundamentalism. as the moment that made famous the caricature of the fundamentalist as the uneducated redneck. the scopes trial has become this icon of the clash between fundamentalism and modernism. i think it is so telling that 1925 was also the year of the creation in canada of the
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united church of canada. remember i told you about that great moment of protestant unity in canada when the baptists, the comp -- the presbyterian, the methodists join together to make one big nomination. it is just this lovely historical coincidence that that happened at the very same time that american protestantism does was so clearly polarizing and breaking apart. it is very handy that you have to remember for the final. it shows us this divergent set of paths. canadian and american protestantism were headed down. we have to ask what are the historical reasons for this very different character of american protestant conflict and who are these fundamentalists? who are we really talking about will use this label? so first we've got to be clear
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about what fundamentalism means. because this word is used pretty carelessly, i think in today's culture and media. in this class we will use it in a historically precise way. fundamentalist, i am giving you a definition now, fundamentalist are conservative protestants who militantly opposed that militant is important, new ideas about the bible, science and society. and often, although not always, broke away to found their own churches, schools and religious organizations. these are militant protestants who really oppose in in
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aggressive way these new changes and in many cases they broke away to found their own group. now we can talk about an organized fundamentalist movement. from roughly 1900 to say 1930, when these conservatives were fighting just brutally to retain control of those old establish northern denominations we call the mainline. now this week you are reading a famous sermon by a liberal baptist preacher harry emerson fosdick. i think that gives you some sense of the conflict. here is harry emerson fosdick. he appeared on the cover of time magazine. i think that gives you some sense of the cultural status of liberal princes of the pulpit back then.
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first presbyterian church manhattan is where he originally gave the sermon. shell the fundamentalist win in 1922. when you read it i think you will see that his sermon was not a fight over doctrine, at least not explicitly. you might need to talk with your classmates about whether that is what is going on beneath it. i think at least on the surface , fosdick's approach was very different from clarence darrow's. essentially he says, if a person is a true liberal, they should have no problem with other christians believing say that god created the universe in six days even though they themselves don't happen to believe that. fosdick says that the problem with these fundamentalistss is not their theology, they can believe what they like.
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their problem is their belief about church and the fact that they believe liberals like fosdick don't belong in any true christian church. this sermon was a sensation. his brother, fosdick's brother, ran the rockefeller foundation for 30 years. and the foundation funded the nationwide distribution of this sermon as a pamphlet. so it had much wider reach by direct mail than just other people who happened to hear it preached. i have been reading fosdick's autobiography and it is really interesting. he refers to the sermon and he calls it a failure. even though it was widely read, it failed and what his main hope was, which was to stop the fighting and restore harmony. maybe that is a bit naove, thinking about it, but it is true that after about 1930, the fundal and fundamentalist movement as an organized
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movement disintegrates. the conservatives basically lost their bid to control those mainline churches, which is why we so often say now the liberal mainline. that is how people refer to those denominations. fundamentalism did not go away though. at this point we can describe fundamentalism as maybe not an organized movement, but as a set of networks, a subculture. fundamentalists built their own world of bible colleges, denominations, processing conferences, anti-communist crusades, radio ministries. a really powerful network of religious and political groups that for quite a long time, i
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mean maybe up until the 60s and 70s, was not really on the mainstream media's radar. it seemed like after the scopes trial, fundamentalists had crawled into a hole somewhere and never appeared from the perspective of the average reporter at the new york times or something like that. in fact, fundamentalism was growing into this powerful subculture. now one more point about terms, in these years, the first half of the 20th century, the terms fundamentalist and evangelical were more or less interchangeable. people would use them both talk about the same individuals, to talk about themselves. but in the 1940s, that starts to change. and the term evangelical comes instead to meet a conservative protestant who is still
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doctrinally fundamentalist but is not so militant about it. i am talking about people like billy graham. an evangelical was someone who wanted to engage mainstream culture, maybe collaborate a bit more with other christians rather than separating from the world in an extreme way or picking lots of fights over doctrine. that is what evangelical comes to mean. is still how it is used today, i believe. this then is the big arc of the fundamentalist movement in our story. i want to turn out briefly to the matter of theology. say a little bit more about what fundamentalist believed and believe today. fundamentalism looked slightly different in different church
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traditions. a baptist fundamentalist would believe slightly different things, worship differently than a mental night fundamentalist. but they are called fundamentalists because they tended to share a set of fundamentals. we can make some broad comments about that. they tended to have a pietistic concern for personal holiness, for good behavior. many of them came in some way out of the puritan tradition and retained that puritan combination of interest in rigorous doctrine, systematic theology with pietism. that personal feeling of the spirit. lot and lots of fundamentalists, although by no means all of them, were also premillennialist in their view of the end times.
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you remember from last week that means that they thought jesus was going to return, probably pretty soon, in the flesh to inaugurate the prophecies predicted in the book of revelation and eventually after the battle of armageddon and all of that jazz the kingdom of the saints. we can move down to even a more basic level of fundamental though because you would've had some disagreement among fundal and mentalist about things like that in times. i struggled for a long time to come up with a good acronym to help students remember the fundamentals until just a couple of years ago when i put this out as a challenge to some your predecessors in this class. one lovely woman named maranda rosser who graduated last spring came up with marvin. i came up with ibm.
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the fundamentals, this comes from a list drawn up by some conservative presbyterians and, 1910 who wanted to say what can we not compromise on. emma for miracle. belief that the miracles reported in the bible really did happen. letter a for atonement, that is a believe in the traditional doctrine of christ substitutionary atonement on the cross. that is jesus was not just a nice guy, not just a handy moral example for us, he really did take our place on the cross and die for our sins. r for resurrection. he was actually, bodily resurrected. v, christ was born of a virgin and i for inerrancy, doctrine of biblical inerrancy meaning the bible is totally without error no matter what scientists and historians may say.
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now i want to push back a bit against the scopes trial caricature of fundamentalists as country bumpkins by talking about i guess you could call them the thinking man fundamentalists at princeton theological seminary. princeton in the late 19th century, was one of the intellectual tower help power houses behind the conservative response to modernist theology. and i want to focus on benjamin warfield who was a scholar at princeton. you are reading an excerpt from one of his sermons this week. he was born in 1851. he was the son of a well-to-do cattle breeder in kentucky.
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he came from pretty aristocratic stock. his great-grandfather was a u.s. senator, one of his uncles was a confederate general in the civil war. his family was presbyterian and warfield really threw himself into serving his family's faith. he went to princeton as a student and he returned to the seminary about a decade later in 1887 to teach their and to spend his life fighting against modernism by defending this doctrine known as biblical inerrancy. we need to spend a little time with the idea of inerrancy. this idea that everything in the bible is true no matter what scholars might say that scripture has no error in it.
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the basic idea is very old. christians have always been concerned to defend the bible as a perfect source of truth. but inerrancy as warfield understood it, as fundamentalists, evangelicals have come to understand it in many cases, has a more recent history. and we need to unpack this a bit to really understand what is going on. to tell the story of the doctrine of inerrancy, i need to backtrack from where we are in this course back to the early to mid-17th century. bear with me. in these years, a couple of generations after the start of the protestant reformation, a group of protestant theologians found themselves in a bit of a bind, kind of surrounded on the intellectual battlefield.
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i am talking primarily about thinkers in the reformed tradition. these are theologians who followed brinkley and john calvin and those guys. on the one hand they had to deal with the scientists and philosophers of the scientific revolution and the enlightenment who are using new scientific methods to raise awkward questions about the bible's accounts of the miraculous and supernatural doctrine. on the other hand, they had to face the great theologians of the catholic counterreformation. the scholastic thinkers who were annoyingly adept at logically, systematically picking apart protestant arguments about authority. these protestant thinkers were caught in the middle and they responded by essentially trying
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to turn their enemies weapons back upon them. by creating a highly rationalistic, highly logical method of descending the authority of scripture. these protestant thinkers took as a starting point the philosophical principle that god is perfect and unchanging. and christians debate whether that principal is actually explicit in scripture. it is not clear that it is. these conservatives said that if that is true it follows logically that god's revelation is perfect and unchanging as well. just the matters of salvation but in every scientific and historical matter from the scope of the flood to the most granular details of age and israel's politics.
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so what this means is that religious truths and scientific truths are the same. the bible is equally reliable on most matters. benjamin's warfield mentor, a theologian named charles hodge had a great way of putting it. he said the bible is a storehouse of fax -- facts and a theologians job is to arrange and harmonize these facts just as a scientist confers the laws of nature by arranging and classifying data from the natural world. he is saying a theologian is a kind of scientist this really drives home the point that these princeton thinkers follow that model of commonsense realism that i told you about a
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couple of weeks ago in how they thought about science. that science is about using your god-given common sense to make sense of the data in god's creation. very different view from the idea of science that we start to see emerge with charles darwin in the fingers that come after him who developed more sophisticated methods for dealing with uncertainty in their scientific endeavors. now warfield and his colleagues were not dummies. they were sophisticated thinkers who kept abreast of the latest scholarship coming out of european universities and they were well aware of the discrepancies in the bible. the parts that seem to not line up, contradict each other. they argued that the appearance of these problems in scripture were simply the result of our mortal imperfect human
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misunderstanding. it is not a reflection of god's error. now warfield, unlike some of his colleagues, was even open to some version of theistic evolution, that is evolution driven by god. if you think about his biography this makes sense. remember his dad was a cattle breeder. he spent a lot of time in kentucky working on the family ranch and he had observed firsthand how breeding worked. how inherited traits can change over time. he died a few years before the scopes trial but i am pretty sure he would have been very uncomfortable with the all or nothing debate about evolution that took place there. however, warfield and his colleagues at princeton were really worried about the
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presupposition, the assumptions, but it does modernist scientific work and biblical scholarship. and that is really what he is getting at in this sermon you are reading this week. he and his colleagues believed that any scholar in any field has got to start with the assumption that the bible is free from all errors. they said by definition, god's revelation is perfect. this is not something you should try to prove. you have to just accept this assumption. and they worried that liberal scholars who said okay, maybe you can grant that perhaps the miracles in the gospels didn't happen, maybe christ really
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didn't raise anyone from the dead, but you can still believe christ is your savior. you can still have the core christian faith. warfield and his buddies said no way. not at all. it is a slippery slope and if you give up these so-called details, eventually you give up the reliability of the whole bible. so they were prepared to fight very hard for these details. there are a few reasons why warfield approached became so dominant in the united states. the first is that america had always had many more churches of warfield's traditions. the reformed protestant tradition then you would've found in the united kingdom or canada. and reformed protestants historically have really just been really into fighting over doctrine, really systematic thinkers. you remember i told you how john calvin was just so
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systematic in how he reasoned out predestination. same with the puritans. these guys were often itching for intellectual fights. they were very sensitive to any intellectual challenge and that is different from other protestants who tended to put more emphasis in personal experience or church tradition or using the bible more as a guide for daily living, rather than some kind of textbook. the second major reason for the popularity of this very rationalistic view of inerrancy , this fundamentalist attitude toward compromise is revival. revivals became more popular in america than anywhere else in the western world. and they encouraged a kind of black and white view of christianity. an attitude that uncertainty is
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bad. that you must either reject to science entirely and you know you are saved or you can embrace it and be among to the damage. if you are not sure, that is a sign that you are not really saved. and historian named george marston has suggested that these are some of the important reasons why fundamentalism became so prominent in america. now warfield would not have entirely approved of how the fundamentalist movement picked up the cause of inerrancy and ran with it. i think what we see is that when sophisticated scholarship kind of filters down from the clout land of theological into church newspapers and radio broadcasts, it does not retain its complexity or nuance
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generally. and that is what happens with the doctrine of inerrancy. i think it really became kind of a banner to rally around. to proclaim belief in inerrancy was to proclaim i reject all of these awful things about modernity, i reject women wearing shorter skirts, i reject these we're looking, weird smelling, we're talking immigrants who are coming into our cities. i reject these prideful, arrogant scholars who are tearing down our holy books. i want to assert the authority of the bible over america. that is what inerrancy came to stand for, i think. we gave some perspective on this when we think a little bit about canada. canada had a small fundamentalist movement of its own, especially baptist, who paid a lot of attention to what the baptist south of the border were up to.
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but generally fundamentalist were not as influential in canadian protestantism. i want to focus briefly on one nonfundamentalist evangelical because i think his story tells us a lot more about what makes canadian evangelical different. that is nathaniel burr wash who was a contemporary of warfield. he showed up in your textbook a few weeks ago, i believe. burr wash was a methodist, minister, educator. he was born in 1839 in lower canada what is now quibec. he was the great-grandson of loyalists who fled from vermont during the revolution. his parents were devout methodists and brush had his own conversion experience when he was a student at victoria college in october ontario.
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it later on victoria asked burr wash to come and teach. not theology, they wanted him to teach natural science. he had studied science but he also studied that philosophy that was so influential at princeton, common sense realism. in a broad sense, burr wash drew from that worldview the same sort of conclusion that warfield did he thought evolution is simply a theory, just a theory. it doesn't meet my standards for scientific proof so i don't have to take a strong position on it. but his approach to kind of the big picture of culture and education was very different, very nonfundamentalist. he wanted to find a way to accommodate christian through her theology to new scientific
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discovery. he thought that church were oncologist, protestant colleges could continue to teach the humanities, theology and what shape students. he thought it would be fine for secular university faculty to take over the sciences and professional education. when it came to scripture, burwash combined common sense realism with methodist ideas about how christians should read the bible. was the view that john wesley had that understanding god's will requires breaking scripture into conversations with church tradition, region reason and personal religious
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experience. is known as the wesleyan quadrilateral. scripture, reason, experience and tradition. it had the potential to be a more moderate guide for thinking about these things. burwash was also part of a british north american intellectual world. it remained were conducted with some other countries, with the united kingdom, the homeland of darwin, of course. this is really important. canadians, christian intellectuals had more personal relationships in britain, the more frequently studied there and they had more institutional links with british denominations. so even though geographically speaking they are just as far from what is happening in the
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universities of the united kingdom and germany as american protestants were. culturally speaking, canadian christians but much closer. they experienced something like charles darwin's discoveries less as a foreign invasion and more as a gradual development in their own intellectual cultures. this was another reason why canadian protestantism did fracture to the same degree and fundamentalists didn't gain the same kind of authority. burwash and warfield shared some of the same training and had the same fundamental goals. they both wanted to do send the authority of christianity into the modern world but they approached that goal very differently. in canada it was the burwash type, the moderate more compromise minded christians
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willing to rethink their ideas about scripture perhaps to accommodate new science. it was these guys retained control over mainstream evangelicalism while in america, the more aggressive stance that we see in warfield came to be more influential. now i have been describing fundamentalism as this really intellectual thing so far. really obsessed with dogma and scientific knowledge. in some ways it was that but there is another movement in conservative protestantism that lacked but is really its own thing and that is the holiness movement.
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here are a couple of images of a holiness camp back in the day and today you may recall my talk of holiness christians dimly from the earlier part of the semester. holiness beliefs emerged mainly in methodist circles in britain and north america among christians who got really interested in the holy spirit work in a christian after conversion. what they called the second blessing. this feeling of spiritual power and the total suppression of sin by the holy spirit. john wesley had argued that since scripture demands that humans fulfill god's law, the state of what he
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called christian perfection must be obtainable even if it takes us our whole lives. you remember that from what you read of wesley. holiness christians really focused on this. they took wesley's idea and they kind of ran with it and said sin must not be inevitable then. it must be possible to totally suppress it in the course of the second blessing. and they came to really hold this experience of the second blessing as being almost as significant for a christian as conversion because it could bring to you entire sanctification. god's grace can free one not just of the kind of perversion of original sin but the tendency to commit individual sense. so they had a much higher view of what the holy spirit could do. the holiness movement is kind
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of a bridge to the last big group i want to talk about which is the pentecostals. i think it can be easy at this point to lose track of where we are in sort of the family tree of protestantism so let's refresh our memories. maybe maintaining a growing family tree in your notebook would be a great thing to do. let's start with the church of england, right? the church of england has kind of lots of influences. it has the reforms influence, it has a little bit of lutheranism and of course it rained he retains a lot of catholicism and down here we have to think about wesley's background let's remember the pietists in the moravians. remember how important the moravians were to wesley?
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the methodist came out of the church of england. wesley was a church of england minister. the holiness movement comes out of methodism, for the most part . there are some other varieties of holiness, christianity but for the most part they are methodist. this is where we are now. we are talking about pentecostals. they are the radical left wing of holiness product to system protestantism. pentecostal revival first came to the attention of kind of the mainstream press in 1906. when newspapers started covering a major religious event known
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as the azusa street revival. here is an image of the mission on azusa street in los angeles. the los angeles times reporting this weird babble of tongues, new sect of fanatics is breaking loose was the sub headlines. wild scene last night on azusa street. words talk to buy a sister. what is this bewildered reporter talking about? pentecostal leaders have been traveling the country for a few years at this point when an african-american hotel waiter, a guy named william seymour, picked up this message of the radical power of the holy spirit to work in you and through you.
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he had gotten this from a revivalist he heard teaching in houston and he traveled to los angeles and brought it with him . he probably wouldn't have been most people's pick for likeliest evangelist to ignite a worldwide revival although that is what you would come to do. he was the son of former slaves, born in louisiana in pretty impoverished subs circumstances and raised a roman catholic. he was raised as a protestant. as a young man he had fallen in with the holiness movement. like many early pentecostal evangelist, it was a near death experience that didn't. he almost died of smallpox and lost and i -- lost an eye. he believed that god brought him back and wanted him to do this work. seymour is second from the right in the front row. here is where his revivals were
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based initially. he came to la with really no money, no followers but he started holding prayer meetings at the house where he was staying and pretty soon he was drawing huge audiences to the front porch. so big that they had to move to this abandoned warehouse on azusa street. and every day for weeks there were revival meetings happening often on at this missing mission house. people came to scene, hear sermons, hear testimonies from those who who said they have been baptized in the spirit. that is the phrase. if you had gone it looks like now revival you would have ever seen. people were losing controls of their bias, gyrating, dancing, falling to the floor, slain in the spirit, laying on of hands claiming to heal people of all kinds of illnesses. states of paralysis, other extreme, physical ailments and
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you would've heard them speaking in tongues. weird babble of tongues. some early witnesses say they heard people actually speaking in foreign languages that they had never studied. this would be called zeno lelia xenolalia. report of this are rare. you would've heard reports of glossolalia, which is spontaneous sounds that don't resemble human speech. not a recognizable language. has anyone here witnessed people speaking in tongues? heard it? what was the context?
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were people at this church event speaking loudly and emotionally? was it a calmer, quieter kind of speech? >> i think they were speaking quietly when praying. >> so kind of a range. sometimes a more private experience. has anyone else witnessed this orbit dissipated in it? >> at a church i used to go to the pastor was pretty loud and would speak in tongues. but only he had the power to do so. only the pastor would speak in tongues. >> the pastor would do this as part of the sermons? >> not all the time. >> that is it actually to
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assert some authority of the holy spirit working through him. the pentecostal faith of glossolalia had has evidence of the indwelling of the holy spirit in you is the echo of the second chapter of the book of acts in which the holy spirit descended on christ apostles like a mighty wind at this beast of pentecost. it is called pentecost because it is 50 days after the jewish holiday of passover. according to scripture, the preface of this was to empower the apostles with the gift of speaking in foreign languages that they could go to the ends of the earth and convert more people to christ's message. pretty much this was a thing that christians thought of as limited to the new testament. there were exceptions. there have been some reports of speaking in tongues before. brigham young, the great mormon
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leader, claims to have spoken in tongues. it might have happened during the great awakening, it is hard to say but it took on a new significance now. at the beginning of the 20th century, pentecostals believed that the spiritual gift mentioned in the new testament, not just tongues but the gift of healing, for example as well, had been restored to earth because christ was about to return. they had a real sense of the eminence of the end times. this was god's one last appeal to humans to convert before the terrible events of prophecy began to unfold. this revival on azusa street coincided, the date on that newspaper front page was april 18, 1906, which was the date of
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the great san francisco earthquake. it totally devastated earthquake. for believers it really drove home the point that god wanted this revival to be taken very seriously. these early revivals, too, you may have noticed were racially integrated. in leadership and in the people who came to worship. at these azusa street revivals, this was los angeles at the turn of the century, booming, full of immigrants, migrants coming from all part of the country as well as parts of asia. you had blacks and whites and latinos and asians worshiping together at a time when the vast majority of religious events were segregated. you had women disproportionately represented it. women coming forward, testifying, preaching, participating in these healing services, breaking all kinds of
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social taboos. tell me, how do you think other christians reacted to reports of these revivals? what would be your gas with a red these newspaper reports and what was happening on azusa street? >> i am sure they probably thought it was some false form of christianity with the racial integration and the role of women was not originally in the church. like crazy people. >> absolutely. that was an a dominant reaction. the sense of breaking social taboos, these christians were defying god's rule for how humans should associate. all of this new testament miraculous stuff, they thought was not believable. this was not something that respectable christians did.
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it had to be work of charlatans or the work of the devil. pentecostalism for much of its early history was totally scandalous. even to fundamentalist, even to most fundamentalists. if we did a venn diagram there would be some overlaps because these pentecostals were very doctrinally conservative. they were finding their own churches but a lot of self-described fundamentalists who wanted nothing to do with this pentecostal holy roller stuff. no way. by 1920, and costa revival had spread to every inhabited continent. it remains today the biggest and most vibrant strain of protestant christianity in the world. although despite those early hopes for unity, for equality, by 1920, pentecostals, too, had started breaking into different
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sex that disagreed -- sects that disagreed. however, i want to tell you about an amazing pentecostal woman. one of the most famous christian evangelist of the early 20th centuries in the decades after azusa was a woman named aimee semple mcpherson who was born in ontario and was originally canadian. she went most of her career in california. she had been converted at a revival as a young girl. she married young. she really tried to play the role of dutiful housewife. she accompanied her husband who was a missionary to china.
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he became ill and died very soon after they arrived. and she was increasingly feeling that god was speaking to her to preach. so she came back to north america and got remarried. here is her on the top left with i think her first husband. she got remarried and started touring north america preaching at revivals. here her gospel car which was emblazoned in slogans like jesus is coming soon, get ready. her second husband wasn't crazy about this. he didn't want to play second fiddle to her. he wrote her letters demanding that she take care of the house and act like other women and pretty soon he got fed up and filed for divorce. she was on her own for a time. she drove around with her mother. she was so determined that when the car got stuck in the mud
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she got out and wrapped her close from her suitcase around the wheels to gain traction as they continued crisscrossing canada and the united states. she was a little bit like lorenzo dow or george whitfield in just having a genius for winning an audience. there is a story i love about her. she was preaching earlier in her career in a small town in ontario and she had been preaching at this church for a couple of nights and no one was showing up. she was really discouraged so she went out to the town square and put a chair in the middle of the square. she sat silently in prayer. it make you feel kind of awkward when i'm doing that, right? it may onlookers feel awkward,
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too. they started gathering around her and after about half an hour of watching this woman standing like a statue, someone reaches out and touches her arm and she springs to life and says come with me, people and she leads them back to the church and they came. and she preached and it was the start of a great revival. she had the sense of how people would respond and how to maybe overcome their skepticism. she had two children by this point and she brought her whole family and her mother came along to settle in los angeles where she decided to make her career. this was after she did things like go up in an airplane to drop leaflets advertising her revival in san diego. she was really on top of sort of the cutting edge of technology and things that would while people. she built a huge angeles temple
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which opened in 1923. it was one of the first mega- churches. it could seat 5300 people. she held three services a day seven days a week. on sunday afternoons there would be a line stretching for two blocks with people equal to get into the evening service. she had a huge radio ministry at the time when that was just becoming a thing. her church evolved into its own protestant denomination. the international church of the foursquare gospel. foursquare is a reference to the fourfold ministry of christ as savior, baptizer, healer and coming king . meaning second coming. now mcpherson is full of contradictions. she was pretty fundamentalist in our theologies and she was
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all about condemning mainstream sinful culture. she condemned theater, movies but she borrowed a lot of hollywood technique. she would walk on stage carrying a bouquet of roses to lay applause. she was most famous for what she called her illustrated sermons, which were just giant broadway productions. this was the inside of the angeles temple and here is an image of one of her illustrated sermons with casts with elaborate costumes where she and her cost colleagues would act out bible stories, often there were live animals and at least what she drove a motorcycle on stage. her critics called it religious vaudeville but it was incredibly effective.
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in her pentecostal theology there was of course room for healing. she held healing services frequently. it is interesting that reports of her own comments on this make it clear that she was pretty nervous about doing this. especially when she did it for a huge audience in a los angeles stadium. she was worried that the person would not get up from there will chair but often enough, often enough to sustain her credibility as a vehicle for the holy spirit, people did have some sort of evidence, response to her healing. there was a museum that she kept at her church of the canes and the crutches and the wheelchairs that people have left behind. it is hard to know what to make of this. from the perspective of the
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professional, secular historian, i think it is important to take it very seriously and recognize that something real happens in the space, and that encounter between mcpherson and the people she is healing. she had a deep awareness of the kind of respectability problem that pentecostalism had and she wanted this powerful vision of the holy spirit but she wanted to keep it rained in. as she tries to him maximize her mainstream appeal, someone got a little too carried away speaking in tongues in the isle of one of her revivals she would have the removed. she really wanted to appeal to a wider range of people. she was also contradictory on the questions of social justice and human suffering. she always taught that spiritual healing comes first during the great depression her church opened up a food pantry that served all people were at
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a time when most charities in los angeles did not serve any immigrants. on race, she was full of contradictions. she preached to mix audiences but she also sometimes endorsed the clan and they sometimes endorsed her. it is very hard to know what to make of her. here is one of her characteristic outfits. she kind of just as a florence nightingale figure. it is a very particular expression of staged femininity. here is her mansion like a moorish castle. we can call her a fundamentalist , some could call her a feminist. it is very hard to wedge her into boxes like modernist, anti- modernist because she crosses all of these lines.
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she reflects these broader patterns we have been studying. like to randall lee, here is a woman who is claiming through divine inspiration a source of authority that lets her do runs around men. the men in the media and the churches. she was a masterful self promoter who was rewarded by america's religious marketplace, like all of the evangelical entrepreneurs we have met. she shows us the way in which fundamentalists and penta can't pentecostals could say they were rejecting modern learning and worldly sense but they were not cordoned off from mainstream culture. they were embedded in that culture. was mcpherson an insider or outsider? she was a little of both. let's summarize all of this with three big points about fundamentalist and pentecostals. first, between 1880 and 1920,
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fundamentalists started to draw on that framework of commonsense realism and biblical inerrancy to form a movement. and many broke away and pounded their own churches and their own subculture of organizations with this militant posture of resistance. second, the movement was stronger, the polarization was more severe in america than in canada because of the strand of the formed churches. because of revivalism and the relative cultural isolation from europe. and last, we can understand the holiness in pentecostal movements also like fundamentalism as reactions
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against modernity that pushed aside the authority of reasons in favor of direct, personal contact with the divine and proof of that contact in the form of tongues, healing and other miracles. but we should also see these as thoroughly modern movements embedded in mainstream culture and very, very savvy about using it. fundamentalists and pentecostals were both insiders and outsiders. profits crying in the wilderness as well as savvy hollywood entrepreneurs. that paradox is part of the lasting success, i think, of
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these movements. okay. that is it for today. ♪ the united states senate, a uniquely american institution, legislating and carrying out constitutional duties since 1789. >> please raise your right hand >> on wednesday, january 2, c- span takes you inside the senate, learning about the legislative body and its informal workings.
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we will look at its history's conflict and compromise with original interviews. >> arguing about things and kicking them around and having great debates is a thoroughly american thing. >> key moments in history an unprecedented access, allowing us to bring cameras into the senate chamber during a session. follow the evolution of the senate into the modern era, from advice and consent to the role in impeachment proceedings and investigation. the senate:conflict and compromise, c-span original production explain the history, traditions and role of this uniquely american institution. premieres wednesday, january 2 at 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. sure to go online at www.c- to learn more about the set program in which original full-length interviews
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with senators, view farewell speeches from long-suffering members and take a tour inside the senate chamber, the old senate chamber and other exclusive locations. when the new congress takes office in january, it will have the youngest, most diverse freshman class in recent history. new congress, new leaders. watch it live on c-span starting january 3. next, author samuel goldman discusses the history of christian zionism in america, which he defines as the belief that christians have a religious responsibility to promote and support a jewish state in some portion of the biblical holy land. he is also author of the book god's country, christian zionism in america, held by the national history center and the woodrow wilson center, this is one hour and a half.


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