Download e-book for kindle: A Church with the Soul of a Nation: Making and Remaking the by Phyllis D. Airhart

By Phyllis D. Airhart

ISBN-10: 0773542485

ISBN-13: 9780773542488

"As Canadian because the maple leaf" is how one observer summed up the United Church of Canada after its founding in 1925. yet was once this Canadian-made church fallacious in its layout, as critics have charged? A Church with the Soul of a country explores this question by way of weaving jointly the historical past of the United Church with a provocative research of faith and cultural swap. the tale starts off within the aftermath of Confederation, while the customers of establishing a Christian country persuaded a gaggle of Congregationalist, Methodist, and Presbyterian leaders to put aside denominational adjustments and concentration as a substitute on shared ideals. Phyllis Airhart lines the recent church's fight to avoid wasting its acceptance in the course of a sour controversy with dissenting Presbyterians who refused to affix what they thought of a "creedless" church. Surviving the organizational and theological demanding situations of monetary melancholy and struggle, the way forward for the church appeared vivid. however the ties among own religion and civic existence that the founders took with no consideration have been quickly tattered by means of the secular cultural typhoon sweeping via western Christendom. The United Church's remaking got here with the belief that making a Christian social order in Canada was once not going - maybe even bad - in a pluralistic global. A Church with the Soul of a country sheds mild at the United Church's earlier controversies and current dilemmas by way of displaying how its founding imaginative and prescient either laid the foundation for its accomplishments and complex its variation to the recent international taking shape.

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John Calvin had not only advanced a particular theological position but also devised a polity that expressly sought to put in place a representative approach to church government that included lay power and participation (well suited to Geneva’s republican spirit). Calvin’s representative style of church government had been modified as it moved from Geneva around the world. C. 101 The stereotypically dour Presbyterians had little reason to be gloomy about their future in Canada as they considered union.

62 Prospects for such a union were promising since Methodist polity was, in his view, essentially Presbyterian, and “verbal differences” were insignificant when gauged against problems facing both. ”63 In Grant’s approach, creating a regenerated society through cooperation in missions and social reform was pivotal to overcoming debilitating theological and organizational differences. 64 Such co-operation, suggests historian Carl Berger, is the key to understanding both Grant’s imperialism and his ecumenism.

Their talent was less for originality than for adapting ideas already at hand; they traded on familiar ideas that seemed new when fashioned to meet the challenges and opportunities of the twentieth century. The impulse of the previous century to unite a divided Christendom became a bridge to the ideals of a new generation of leaders who made the case for church union in Canada. Their strategic adaptation to modernity was selective: more apparent at the operational (administrative) than the ideational (theological) level.

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A Church with the Soul of a Nation: Making and Remaking the United Church of Canada by Phyllis D. Airhart


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