Thursday, March 27, 2008

And Now This From RL Dabney

"The best argument for any creed is the godly living of its professors. Protestantism used to have a grand and victorious advantage on that point. She is ceasing to wield it. The wealth begotten by her very virtues of industry, thrift, and probity has debauched many of her children. 'Jeshurun has waxen fat, and kicked.' And unbounded flood of luxury sweeps Protestant families away. A relaxed and deceitful doctrine produces its sure fruits of relaxed and degraded morals. Church discipline is nearly extinct. Meantime spurious revivalism, relying upon all species of vulgar clap-trap and sensational artifice, upon slang rhetoric and the stimulating of mere animal sympathies, instead of the pure word and spirit of God, is hurrying tens of thousands of dead souls into the Protestant churches. These evils have gone so far that a profession of faith in these churches has come to mean nearly as little as a professed conformity to Rome means." (R. L. Dabney, Discussions: Secular, Vol. IV, p. 545f)



ScottH said...

I understand spurious revivalism. What specifically does Dabney mean by vulgar clap-trap? Liberal Theology perhaps? I assume sensational artiface means being cunning? Animal sympathies? Not sure what he means by that.

srhoyle said...

clap trap...similar to happy clappy

sensational artifice...innovations into worship or services

mere animal sympathies ...appealing to physical and emotional needs, or today's "felt needs"

Think of Finney's inventions

ScottH said...