By Rick Ostrander
Throughout the overdue nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Christians carried on an excessive debate about the doctrine of prayer. This ideological revolution affected not just the ways in which they interpreted the Bible but additionally how they prayed. during this booklet, Rick Ostrander explores the makes an attempt of yankee Christians to articulate a resounding and enjoyable ethic of prayer amidst those altering situations.
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Extra info for The Life of Prayer in a World of Science: Protestants, Prayer, and American Culture, 1870-1930 (Religion in America)
27 The Christian, Hodge began, believes that God can answer prayer for material as well as spiritual needs. ’’ Humans produce real effects by combining various natural forces. In like manner, ‘‘God accomplishes his purpose by a similar intelligent and voluntary combination of natural causes. ’’28 Mark Hopkins, president of Williams College, president of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and nineteenth-century America’s educator par excellence, explained all this in his discussion of the prayer-gauge in 1874.
But the radical, pietistic evangelical ethos encompassed more than merely protoPentecostals. Moody, the evangelist who was to the Gilded Age what Finney had been to antebellum America, exhibited many of the same tendencies. ’’ As Grant Wacker has observed, the Keswick Higher Life spirituality characteristic of Moody and other evangelicals was itself a reaction against the perceived spiritual aridity of nineteenth-century Reformed orthodoxy. 12 Proving the Living God 39 Answered Prayer Narratives Part of this radical evangelical spirit of the nineteenth century was an emphasis on, and for some an apparent fascination with, answered prayer.
10 All this meant that American religious culture in the second half of the nineteenth century witnessed an emphasis on experiential religion, often coupled with supernatural displays. As Stephen Gottschalk explains in his account of the rise of Christian Science in America, there existed a ‘‘longing, expressed in different ways, for religious experience which was vital, immediate, and comprehensible in practical terms, . . 11 Anyone familiar with Pentecostalism will undoubtedly recognize the movement’s roots in this supernaturalist, experientialist seedbed of nineteenth-century popular religion.
The Life of Prayer in a World of Science: Protestants, Prayer, and American Culture, 1870-1930 (Religion in America) by Rick Ostrander