podcast 168 – The Death of Unitarian Congregationalism
How and why did American Unitarian Congregationalism die?
In this episode I react to last week’s chapter by Dr. Alvan Lamson, and talk about some further statements of his.
I then put this movement into its historical context, briefly explain how it ceased to be Christian, and then discuss factors which led to its demise. I focus in particular on their extreme anti-creedalism, their anti-intellectualism, their devotion to politics and focus on various humanitarian causes, the upper-class nature of the movement, their elitism and dismissal of more “emotional” piety, and their fetishizing of theological diversity.
Finally, I discuss ten factors which sociologist Dr. Rodney Stark has suggested explain the success or failure of religious movements, and how they apply to the case at hand. If I’m right, Stark’s theory reveals some key weak points of the movement.
Links for this episode:
- Joseph Priestley, Theophilus Lindsey, Thomas Belsham
- The New Testament, In an Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: with a Corrected Text, and Notes Critical and Explanatory, 4th ed. (1817)
- Rethinking Hell – Exploring Evangelical Conditionalism
- podcast 85 – Heretic! Four Approaches to Dropping H-Bombs
- Origen, On Prayer
- Origen, Against Celsus
- Who Should Christians Worship? (pdf)
- Worship and Revelation 4-5
- podcast 48 – 2 interpretations of Philippians 2 – part 1 (part 2)
- podcast 141 – Dr. R.T. Mullins – Is God timeless?
- podcast 142 – Dr. R.T. Mullins on the coherence of “classical” theism
- podcast 91 – Dr. Joshua Thurow on theories of the atonement
- podcast 92 – Dr. Joshua Thurow on objections to atonement theories
- Noah Worcester, The Atoning Sacrifice; A Display of Love, Not of Wrath, 3rd ed.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Theology
- Earl Morse Wilbur, Our Unitarian Heritage (1925) (pdf)
- Grodzins, American Heretic: Theodore Parker and Transcendentalism
- The Great Awakening, George Whitefield
- Rodney Stark, “Why Religious Movements Succeed or Fail: A Revised General Model“
- Matthew 28: 16-20; 1 Corinthians 1:10-30; Revelation 5.
- This week’s thinking music is “Golden” by Little Glass Men.