Archive for the ‘Worldview’ Category

‘Chile,’ We Don’t Even Know the Half!: A Reflection on African American History — The Soul of American History

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 by Antipas Harris

bhmFall 2013, I was blessed at the invitation of Archbishop Idem Ikon of Revival Valley Ministries International to travel Nigeria for the first time! The experience was  another life-changing one. In the picture to the lower right, I stood in a beautiful garden just off of the shores of  a river in Cross River.

This could be my ancestor’s home – I don’t know! That very area where I stood, gazing into the beautiful greenery is where, during the late 18th–early 19th centuries, many African people were forced to board slave ships to begin a 6 month (or more) journey to the Americas. Read the rest of this entry »

Jazz, Holiness, and a Pentecostal Aesthetic

Thursday, October 10th, 2013 by Dale M. Coulter

Charles+Mingus+-+Blues+&+Roots+-+LP+RECORD-494063Sometimes I wonder how Noll missed so much, but then I read on the opening page of his Scandal of the Evangelical Mind that evangelicals have largely abandoned “high” culture. Ah, that’s it: it did not produce a J. S. Bach like Lutheranism did. No high culture, you see, that’s part of the problem.

And then, I listen to the Jazz bassist Charles Mingus bang out “Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting,” and I think, “that’s my music, that’s my culture.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Technocrat and the Midwife: Two Models of Education

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 by Dale M. Coulter

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Call the Midwife … 'We don't go out on bikes.'

 

 

There remains a fundamental tension in the American approach to education between the “utilitarian” model and the “liberal arts” model. It has been the case from the push toward higher education in the mid-nineteenth century with the importation of German models of learning. This tension is grounded in two competing impulses of American life: a pragmatic spirit and a democratic populism.

The pragmatic spirit in America drove the industrial revolution during the Gilded Age and Progressive Eras (1865-1920). It led to the creation of institutes whose primary task was to advance technological aptitude and discovery. These “institutes of technology” the most famous of which is MIT, began in the late nineteen century and have dotted the landscape ever since.

Democratic populism, on the other hand, was less about technological advance and more about forming the soul of individuals and thus the soul of a nation. Americans took  to heart Matthew Arnold’s admonition that a democracy must find a unifying principle beyond the monarch. This unifying principle would be a culture–a national identity grounded in common values–that shaped the individuals within it. While pluralism always questions what is common, democratic populism, at its best, pulled the nation back to the original ideals of “we hold these truths.” With its focus on exploring the ultimate ends of human existence, the liberal arts model aimed at the moral formation of students.

We need to acknowledge the tensions between these models and also the way in which each model conceives the role of the faculty member.

Read the rest of this entry »

Retrieving the Past, Forging the Future of Renewal Studies

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 by Dale M. Coulter

Here at Regent School of Divinity our aim is to cultivate a brand of scholarship that consciously interacts with or draws from issues related to the global pentecostal-charismatic movement. We call what we do Renewal studies because we are interested in exploring all dimensions of renewal as a historical, social scientific, and theological phenomenon.

To focus on renewal as a method does not limit us to the study of global pentecostalism because renewal encompasses a broad array of historical phenomena including populist movements, spirituality, periods of renaissance, etc. For more on renewal and what we do at the Regent School of Divinity, go here.

To that end, here are the latest explorations from our faculty. Read the rest of this entry »

Noll, the Evangelical Mind, and the Elephants in the Room

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013 by Dale M. Coulter

Elephant in the roomWhen Mark Noll’s Scandal of the Evangelical Mind hit the market in the early 1990s it created a “title” wave that continues to move out in multiple directions. This fact alone means that if evangelicalism is going to reboot its examination of its own intellectual resources–a process already begun in the cultural liturgies series of James K. A. Smith–then it must grapple with Noll’s critique.

In my previous post I tried to set Noll’s work within the context of American religious historiography.

In this post I want to highlight some elephants in the room of Noll’s analysis.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to Alleviate an Uneasy Evangelical Conscience

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 by Dale M. Coulter

right-and-wrong-decisionsIn 1947 the famous defender of Evangelicalism Carl F. H. Henry took on his own movement. Toward the end of the 1940s Henry and others were feeling a little uneasy about what Henry called the “evaporation of fundamentalist humanitarianism.”

What he meant was a genuine reluctance on the part of Fundamentalists like John R. Rice and Bob Jones, Sr. to come to grips with the social evils of the day as the revivalist tradition had done in the nineteenth century.

Henry recounts asking one-hundred pastors, “how many of you, during the past six months, have preached a sermon devoted in large part to a condemnation of such social evils as aggressive warfare, racial hatred and intolerance, the liquor traffic, exploitation of labor or management or the like–a sermon containing not merely an incidental or illustrative reference, but directed mainly against such evils and proposing the framework in which you think the solution is possible?”

The response? None.

Here is what Carl Henry did not know at the time. Read the rest of this entry »