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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Understanding Dwight L. Moody and High Tide of American Revivalism

In regard to DL Moody, Earnest Trice Thompson says in his book "Changing Emphasis in American Preaching":

 * Charles G. Finney, the most important evangelist in the opening half of the nineteenth century, marks a turning point in the history of American revivalism...Finney revolted against Old School of Calvinism...because, like Lyman Beecher and many others, he felt that it cut the nerve of human effort -- denying man's  ability, and therefore his responsibility to turn onto the Lord... He popularized...the 'protracted meeting' and was responsible for the widespread use of  the anxious seat. He prayed for conversion of sinners by name and allowed women to pray as freely as men.

* Moody, who followed in (Finney's) footsteps, inaugurated evangelistic campaigns, in which the Churches of a city would unite in a series of meetings to win men to Christ.

* It was the business genius of B. Fay Mills, however, which  more than anything else is responsible for the revivalism... His careful preparation, thorough organization, and high pressure methods gave it business efficiency and promoted mass conversion, which sometimes resembled mass production. Mills's disciple was J. Wilbur Chapman, and he in turn, passed the new system onto William A. Sunday, who brought it to its ultimate 'perfection'.

* The great growth in knowledge through public education, the enormously increased facilities for communication, the very struggle and competition of modern life, especially in the great centers have developed in the  average man an intelligence, a self-control, a power of  rational inhibition, that makes him far less suggestible, less nervously unstable, less imitative, less liable to be swept away by great gusts of passion or  emotion. He is in many respects less of a primitive and more of a highly civilized man, and  over him the old revival method has  correspondingly lost its power.

* Some conclude that the day of mass evangelism is gone forever. For the future, they think we must look to educational evangelism or to what is called clinical evangelism, an evangelism carried on through individual contacts. Whether or not this  is the case, we must have methods different from the ones used by Finney, Moody, and Bill Sunday,

* Some facts on DL Moody:

1. He was born on Feb. 5, 1837.

2, His father was a mason, who died when Moody was 4 years old, leaving his widow and nine children nothing but a little house encumbered with debt.

3. Moody grew  up in an atmosphere of grinding poverty.

4. His mother was a Unitarian. (Unitarism believes that God is one person, not three.)

5. At the age of  17 he left  home for Boston, secured a position in his uncle's shoe store, and won almost instant success as a salesman.

6. Two years later he went to Chicago.

7. By the time he reached the age 24 he had saved $7,000 and was making over $5,000 a year. He was well on his say to success when suddenly he gave up his position to devote himself entirely to religious work, with no assured compensation whatsoever.

8. [His sudden decision to devote himself to the religious work] was due largely to three individuals (while he was in Boston):

1) First, to his Uncle Samuel, who made regular church attendance one of the conditions for holding his position (as a shoe salesperson) at his shoe store.

2) Second, to Uncle Samuel's wife, Typhonia. On one occasion Moody said to her, "I like the pastor, Mr. Kimball, but the rich and pious folks at Mt. Vernon make me sick and tired." She replied, "Never mind, Dwight, the church is the bride of Christ." Moody then complained, "Is that Christianity?" She replied, "Lad, we are to fight the good fight of faith. Do you love the Church?" "Well, I guess I do,"  replied Moody. "Then forget the rest," she replied.

3) The third person responsible for his conversion was his Sunday school teacher, Mr. Kimball. Once he visited the store where Moody was working. He found Dwight in the back of the store, wrapping up shoes. As  Mr. Kimball told the story later: "I went up to him at once, and putting my hand on his shoulder...told him of Christ's love for him, and the love Christ wanted in return, And Moody gave his heart to Jesus. Thereafter, as usual, Dwight went to Aunt Typhonia, with the burden on his heart. "Do you love Christ"? she asked. "Well I guess I do," was his response. "Then don't worry, lad, over how you talk," she replied. "Just try to tell the people what He has done for your soul, and He'll do the rest."

9. When he went to Chicago he joined a wealthy Church and rented a pew which he undertook to fill every Sunday with boys and young men from the boarding houses and off the streets. Before long he was filling four pews  instead of one.

10. Very early in his own life Moody formed the resolution never to let a day go by without speaking to  someone about Christ. "Are you a Christian?" he once asked a man just arriving in Chicago. "It is none of your business," was the reply. "But it is my business," was the answer. "Then," said the stranger, "you must be D. L. Moody."

11. Moody once said, "I was born of the flesh in 1837. I was born of the Spirit in 1856."

12. "If God has given you a message, go and give it to the people as [it is]. It is a stupid thing to try to be eloquent."

13. Moody believed in advertising his evangelistic meetings.

14. Moody was an old-fashioned premillennialist (not a modern dispensationalist.) He believed in the return of Christ at any moment.

Henry Ward Beecher - the popular revolt against Calvinism

Some facts on Henry Ward Beecher as Earnest Trice Thomson describes him in his book "The Changing Emphasis in American Preaching".

1.  John Beecher gave birth to David Beecher who gave birth to Lyman Beecher who gave birth to Henry Ward Beecher.

2. His grandfather David Beecher was a blacksmith.

3. His father Lyman Beecher was a minister.

4. His father Lyman Beecher opposed the idea of man's complete moral inability and helped to give the deathblow to the doctrine of infant damnation. He stressed instead man's freedom to respond to God's lawful requirements, the possibility therefore, and the duty of immediate repentance.

5. Again his father Lyman Beecher advocated the New School Theology...was firmly convinced that Old Calvinism, as he termed it, led to fatalism, obscure moral accountability, and made man unresponsive to the evangelical appeal.

6.  Dr. [Joshua] Wilson, leading Old [Divinity School] in Cincinnati [who according to Henry Ward] as stiff a man, and as orthodox as Calvin himself, and as pugnacious as ten Calvins rolled  into  one, greeted Dr. [Lyman] Beecher with a charge of heresy.

7. According to Theodore Parker, Lyman Beecher was the father of more brains than any man in America.... Eleven of his thirteen children survived him. All seven sons entered the ministry, and most of them were distinguished.

8. Henry ward, the seventh living child out of eight was born on June 24, 1813.

9. Henry lost his mother at the age of  3.

10. When he died, Henry had a library of ten thousand well and carefully selected volumes.

11. From the time when his soul was lifted up by these two great truths, God's nature as manifested by Jesus the Christ to love man in his sins for the sake of helping him out of them and the sustaining Christ ever present with individual man ('a real presence' of perennial spiritual influence), he sprang to his works, says John R, Howard, with an ardor that was unquenched to the end of his life.

12. [Henry Beecher] said, "I feel dissatisfied with that whole realm of theology, which I know call the machinery of all religion...I came to feel that it stood in the way of sinful men... If you want to know why I have been so fierce against theology, that is it; because I thought which Mary, and I said time and again, "They [theologians] have taken away my Lord, ad I know not where they have laid him."

13. Henry Beecher (asked in his sermons more) "What is your life?" than "What do  you believe?".

14. On November 10, 1879, The New York Times quoted him as saying, "If I thought God stood at the door where men go out of life ready to send them down to eternal punishment, my soul would cry out: 'Let there be no God!' My instinct would say, 'Annihilate him!'"

15. Fundamental doctrines he defined as those which are necessary for the conviction of sin, for conversion from sin, for  development of faith, for dominant love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and  for the building up of a Christlike character.

16. In Beecher's ministry there is plainly apparent a movement away from Calvinism, a growing distaste for creeds, an increasing dislike for 'theology,' an evident weariness with theological disputes, a breaking down of denominational barriers, a hospitality to new currents of thoughts (such as evolutionism), in general greater breath and catholicity.

17. There was, in brief, the beginning of a transition from Calvinism to a theology of evolutionism, from overemphasis on divine transcendence to overemphasis on divine immanence, from a theology interested too predominantly in God to a theology interested too predominantly in man, from an extreme view of total depravity to a delusive trust in man's inherent goodness.

18. [As a result of his influence] increasing numbers of men were convinced that Calvinism obscured or falsified the character of God as revealed  in Jesus Christ.

19. Lyman Beecher mitigated the austerity of Calvin's God; Henry Ward Beecher and his brothers and sisters transformed Him into a God of love and service...They paved the way for their successors of today to develop their God of love and service into the ideal, which shall spread  the dominion of justice and brotherhood until there shall be developed a Heaven on earth.

20 "The redeeming trait in Henry Ward Beecher's theology," commented Dr. Philip Schaff, "the crowning excellence of his character, the inspiration of his best words and deeds, was his simple childlike faith and burning love of Christ, whom he adored as the eternal Son of God, the friend of the poor, and the Savior of all men."

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hope for the Hopeless

In reading the Beatitude hope came to my heart.

In today's daily bread Jesus says, "You are the salt of the earth." If salt loses saltiness what is the use of it? It will only be thrown away and trampled underfoot.

I am not a salty person. I thought I have lost saltiness, so I am of no use. Then the question came to mind: what is saltiness? When did I lose saltiness? Is there any way to regain saltiness?

Then as I searched further, in reading the preceding part of the beatitude I found the answer, that is, saltiness refers to the character traits of the blessed person described in Matthew 5.

Saltiness consists of seven components, which is represented by PMMRMPP:

1. P - the poor in spirit
2. M - those who mourn
3. M - the meek
4. R - those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
5. M - the merciful
6. P - pure in heart
7. P - peacemaker

I colored the seven letters in the seven colors of rainbow.

The poor in spirit refers to the hopeless, the have-nots, those who are lacking blessedness and therefore feel cursed.

Because they are hopelessly poor, they start mourn, crying and weeping.

Because they are helplessly hopeless they remain humble before God and before men.

They are as hungry and thirsty as the poor, just like a prodigal son in a pig farm.

And as they are found back home among the righteous, they are merciful.

As they get washed by the Father who sent Jesus the redeemer, they are made pure in heart.

And go out make peace because they have peace with God.

Thank and praise be to our Lord Jesus who came to give hope to the hopeless. Thank and praise Him and give glory to His name, He who proclaimed on the blessed mountain the blessed hope for the hopeless.

PMMRMPP - Poor man Mourning and wailing, Meekly walking into a temple, asking to Receive him back home, by showing Mercy on him, so he would be made Pure in heart, and live in Peace.

Further Bible reading: Psalm 51; 2 Samuel 15:30; Luke 15:20

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Troy and Sarah's wed...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

[Some remarks on the] estimation of Horace Bushnell by Earnest Trice Thompson

Based on what H. Shelton Smith wrote in a book, "Faith and Nature", Thompson recognizes that Bushnell is attributable to the development of four ideas:

1) the philosophy of divine immanence
2) the idea that regeneration is a natural process rather than the work of a supernatural agency
3) inherent goodness of the natural man (prompting Dr. D.C. Macintosh to say, "Bushnell did more than any other preacher to discredit the old-fashioned teaching, 'You must be born again")
4) the debilitating conception...of Jesus as an example, ... as a moral teacher, Jesus who is human as we are human, and divine in somewhat the same sense that all mankind is divine, a pure ethical comprehension of his person

Thus Thompson states, "To return to Horace Bushnell is impossible and, of course, not desirable.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Blessed Wedding: Troy and Sarah (Report by Gregg Newmaster)

Wedding Report: Troy Segale and Sarah Hyemi Seo
It was a hot day full of sunshine on the morning of March 7th, 2015, a typical day in Southern California. Guests began to arrive early around 10am though the wedding began at 11am. Troy Segale(the Groom) was handsomely dressed in a black suit and tie, calm and cool as usual, being pulled this way and that to greet various guests.  Various members of the Los Angeles UBF were diligently decorating and putting the final touches on the gathering hall for the ceremony. The house was packed and the bride Sarah Hyemi Seo was running ten minutes late and the photographer seemed to be missing in action. Thankfully God provided, and many people including Missionary Phillip Lee brought many cameras to capture the important moments. Sarah, who was beautifully dressed in a white dress and long veil,  arrived and Downey’s grand orchestra started the proceedings playing magnificently. Pastor John Kwon never seemed to miss a beat while officiating the service and spoke of both Troy and Sarah’s life testimonies, the meaning of their marriage, and their vows before God. Both the Bride and Groom seemed very happy and shared a passionate kiss once the marriage pact was sealed!

The festivities continued as the hall was transformed into a dining area. Many photos were taken and a feast of various foods such as fish, beef, and Asian cuisine was served.  The party continued with many blessings, speeches, and songs from the Waterloo UBF and LA UBF, parents of the bride and groom, Maid of Honor Sophie Cote and Best man Gregg Newmaster, and a final hilarious song medley from LA UBF’s Andrew Park. God was at the center of this wonderful wedding and all seemed to have a wonderful time. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!

Meet Horace Bushnell -

Horace Bushnell


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Horace Bushnell
Horace Bushnell (April 14, 1802 – February 17, 1876) was an American Congregational clergyman and theologian.

·       1 Life
·       2 Career
·       3 Civic interests
·       4 Books
·       5 References
·       6 External links

Bushnell was a Yankee born in the village of Bantam, township of Litchfield, Connecticut. He attended Yale College where he roomed with future magazinist Nathaniel Parker Willis.[1] Willis credited Bushnell with teaching him the proper technique for sharpening a razor.[2] After graduating in 1827, he was literary editor of the New York Journal of Commerce from 1828–1829, and in 1829 became a tutor at Yale. Here he initially studied law, but in 1831 he entered the theology department of Yale College. In May, 1833 Bushnell was ordained pastor of the North Congregational church in Hartford, Connecticut. He married Mary Apthorp in 1833 and the couple had three children.[3] Bushnell remained in Hartford until 1859 when, due to extended poor health he resigned his pastorate. Thereafter he held no appointed office, but, until his death at Hartford in 1876, he was a prolific author and occasionally preached.


A younger Horace Bushnell
While in California in 1856, for the restoration of his health, he took an active interest in the organization, at Oakland, of the College of California (chartered in 1855 and merged with the University of California in 1869), the presidency of which he declined. As a preacher, Dr Bushnell was very effective. Though not a dramatic orator, he was original, thoughtful and impressive in the pulpit. His theological position may be said to have been one of qualified revolt against the Calvinistic orthodoxy of his day. He criticized prevailing conceptions of the Trinity, the atonement, conversion, and the relations of the natural and the supernatural. Above all, he broke with the prevalent view which regarded theology as essentially intellectual in its appeal and demonstrable by processes of exact logical deduction. To his thinking its proper basis is to be found in the feelings and intuitions of humankind's spiritual nature. He had a marked influence upon theology in America, an influence not so much, possibly, in the direction of the modification of specific doctrines as in the impulse and tendency and general spirit which he imparted to theological thought. Dr Munger's estimate was that "He was a theologian as Copernicus was an astronomer; he changed the point of view, and thus not only changed everything, but pointed the way toward unity in theological thought." He was not exact, but he put God and humanity and the world into a relation that thought can accept while it goes on to state it more fully with ever growing knowledge. Other thinkers were moving in the same direction; he led the movement in New England, and wrought out a great deliverance. It was a work of superb courage. Hardly a theologian in his denomination stood by him, and nearly all pronounced against him. Four of his books were of particular importance:
Christian Nurture (1847), in which he virtually opposed revivalism and effectively turned the current of Christian thought toward the young ; Nature and the Supernatural (1858), in which he discussed miracles and endeavoured to lift the natural into the supernatural by emphasizing the supernatural nature of man; The Vicarious Sacrifice (1866), in which he contended for what has come to be known as the moral view of the atonement in distinction from the governmental and the penal or satisfaction theories; and God in Christ (1849) (with an introductory Dissertation on Language as related to Thought and Spirit), in which he expressed, it was charged, heretical views as to the Trinity, holding, among other things, that the Godhead is instrumentally three simply as related to our finite apprehension, and the communication of God's incommunicable nature. Attempts were made to bring him to trial, but they were unsuccessful, and in 1852 his church unanimously withdrew from the local consociation, thus removing any possibility of further action against him. To his critics Bushnell formally replied by writing Christ in Theology (1851), in which he employs the important argument that spiritual truth can be expressed only in approximate and poetical language, and concludes that an adequate dogmatic theology cannot exist. That he did not deny the divinity of Christ he proved in The Character of Jesus, forbidding his possible Classification within Men (1861). He also published Sermons for the New Life (1858); Christ and his Salvation (1864); Work and Play (1864); Moral Uses of Dark Things (1868); Women's Suffrage, the Reform against Nature (1869); Sermons on Living Subjects (1872); and Forgiveness and Law (1874).
An edition of his works, in eleven volumes, appeared in 1876; and a further volume, gathered from his unpublished papers, as The Spirit in Man: Sermons and Selections, in 1903. New editions of his Nature and the Supernatural, Sermons for this New Life, and Work and Play, were published the same year.

Civic interests
Bushnell was greatly interested in the civic interests of Hartford, and was the chief agent in procuring the establishment of the first public park in the United States. It was named Bushnell Park in his honor by that city.

Books By Bushnell
·       Views of Christian Nurture, and of Subjects Adjacent Thereto (1847), Facsimile ed., 1876 ed., 1975, Scholars Facsimilies & Reprints, ISBN 9780820111476: text online
·       God in Christ: Three Discourses Delivered at New Haven, Cambridge, & Andover (1849), University of Michigan Library, 2005, ISBN 1-4255-3727-8, 1876 edition: text online, includes a preliminary dissertation arguing that language is inadequate to express things of the spirit.
·       Sermons for the New Life (1858), New York: Charles Scribner, text online
·       Nature and the Supernatural: As Together Constituting the One System of God (1858), University of Michigan Library, 2006, ISBN 1-4255-5865-8, 1860 edition: text online
·       Parting Words: A Discourse Delivered in the North Church, Hartford (1859), Hartford: L.E. Hunt, text online
·       Christ and His Salvation (1864), New York: Charles Scribner, text online
·       The Vicarious Sacrifice, Grounded in Principles of Universal Obligation (1866), University of Michigan Library, 2001, ISBN 1-4181-5431-8, 1871 edition: text online
·       Sermons on Living Subjects (1872), New York: Scribner, Armstrong, and Co., text online
·       Forgiveness and Law: Grounded in Principles Interpreted by Human Analogies (1874), New York: Scribner, Armstrong, and Co., text online
·       Horace Bushnell, Selected Writings on Language, Religion, and American Culture, David L. Smith, ed., Scholars Press, 1984, ISBN 0-89130-636-6
·       Horace Bushnell: Sermons, Conrad Cherry, ed., Paulist Press, 1985. ISBN 0-8091-0362-1

Books About Bushnell
·       David L. Smith, Symbolism and Growth: Religious Thought of Horace Bushnell (1981), Scholar's Press, ISBN 0-89130410-X
·       Howard A. Barnes, Horace Bushnell and the Virtuous Republic (1991), Scarecrow Press, ISBN 0-81082438-8
·       Robert L. Edwards, Of Singular Genius, of Singular Grace: A Biography of Horace Bushnell (1992), Pilgrim Press, ISBN 0-82980937-6
·       Robert Bruce Mullin, The Puritan As Yankee: A Life of Horace Bushnell (2002), Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, ISBN 0-8028-4252-6
·       Michiyo Morita, Horace Bushnell on Women in Nineteenth-Century America (2004), University Press of America, ISBN 0-76182888-5
·       Andrew Jackson Davis, The Approaching Crisis: Being a Review of Dr. Bushnell's Course of Lectures, on the Bible, Nature, Religion, Skepticism, and the Supernatural (1870), Boston: W. White & Co., text online; a response to lectures by Bushnell during December 1851 and January 1852 on rationalism vs. supernaturalism.

·       Description: article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclop√¶dia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
1.     ^ Pattee, Fred Lewis. The First Century of American Literature: 1770–1870. New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1966: 500.
2.     ^ Lewis, R. W. B. The American Adam: Innocence, Tragedy, and Tradition in the Nineteenth Century. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1955: 68.
3.     ^ Douglas, Ann. The Feminization of American Culture. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977: 342. ISBN 0-394-40532-3

External links
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Horace Bushnell
·       Horace Bushnell Papers at Special Collections, Yale Divinity School Library
·       Horace Bushnell Papers at Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library
·       Biography by Bushnell Park Foundation
·       Congregational sermon from 1993 honoring Bushnell
·       "Two American Divines", in Appletons' Journal: a Magazine of General Literature, New York: D. Appleton and Company, Volume 9, Issue: 51, Sept 1880, p. 277–280
·       Review of "God in Christ" in The Princeton Review, Vol. 21, Issue 2, Apr 1849, pp. 259-298
·       "Recent Doctrinal and Ecclesiastical Conflicts in Connecticut" in The Princeton Review, Vol. 25, Issue 4, Oct 1853, pp. 598-637
Bushnell, Horace
Alternative names
Short description
Date of birth
April 14, 1802
Place of birth
Date of death
February 17, 1876
Place of death
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