Evangelicalism

2149 WordsApr 20, 20059 Pages
Introduction Evangelicalism did not evolve or operate in a space. It is essential to consider the ways in which members of this group participated in and changed their culture, and, conversely, to assess how its social context provided both the ideas which evangelicalism adopted or transformed and those which it actively rejected or resisted. As movements that came of age during the first half of the nineteenth century, Evangelical Protestantism can be understood most clearly in the political, economic, and religious contexts of post-revolutionary American society. Although the movement would come to effect profound changes in its society it was very much in a sense that the culture had grown ripe for its emergence. The tension between…show more content…
An answer to that question must begin by considering the spiritual and theological tenets of evangelical Protestantism. It was in the transformation of Calvinist theology that the Second Great Awakening had the most profound impact on individuals and on American religious culture. In its broad strokes, the Awakening abandoned the stricter aspects of Calvinism, in particular the doctrines of predestination and innate depravity, and established as normative the Arminian belief in the possibility of universal salvation through personal faith and devotional service. Where traditional Calvinism had taught that divine grace, or election into heaven, depended on the arbitrary will of a severe God, the evangelical Protestants preached that the regeneration and salvation of the soul depended on one's inner faith. As the belief in unalterable reprobation faded, the notion of free will was correspondingly
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