The Last Great Revival - Galilean Baptist Church

The Last Great Revival
The Fight for
Inerrancy and the Bible
The Last Great Revival
• The Third Great Awakening is generally
considered to have occurred from 1850 to
about 1925. That start date is actually a little
early. The Third Great Awakening came about
in response to political, social and religious
changes in American society. We will take
these in reverse order.
The Last Great Revival
• Religious changes in America
– Many of the changes occurring from 1870 to 1925
dealt with the Bible.
– The most important was an interpretive method
known as critical theory. This is sometimes called
the Graff-Wellhausen Theory.
– These scholars argued that the Bible was not
written by the people we think it is—it is, rather, a
“layer cake” of documents edited together around
800 B.C..
The Last Great Revival
• Religious changes in America
– The other change was the rise of something that is
called the Social Gospel.
– This was a philosophy that argued against
personal salvation and focused on addressing
community issues.
– There was a legitimate need for this. As a
consequence of social and economic change, the
United States had a very large number of urban
The Last Great Revival
• Religious changes in America
– The final change was the rejection of the concept
of inerrancy of Scripture.
– This was a logical outgrowth of new theories
about how the Bible came about.
– What was surprising was that many of the
mainline denominations began to follow this
The Last Great Revival
• Social changes in America
– The first, and perhaps most important social
change undermining religion in American life was
the developments of paleontology.
– By 1860, evolution had begun to dominate natural
– Many scholars were investigating Darwin’s theory.
– Dinosaurs, which had been studied scientifically in
1827, became a major topic of discussion in the
The Last Great Revival
• Social changes in America
– Another change was the increasing number of
people living in cities.
– This was a consequence of industrialization.
– This brought in a large number of immigrants who
were from southern Europe and Asia.
– They brought with them very distinctive cultures,
including beer, boxing and very different religious
The Last Great Revival
• Political changes in America
– One of the most important political changes was
the rise of the progressive movement.
– Many of the leaders of progressivism rejected core
concepts of American government.
– This movement led to a weakening of rural
communities, a loss of state autonomy and
significant changes to our Constitution.
– Many progressives were not religious at all.
The Last Great Revival
• The Church Responds:
– We responded poorly to the scientific revolution.
– Many theologians attempted to integrate
evolution into the Bible.
– Many theologians also failed to challenge new
theories of psychology.
• Theologically, however, we were on the
– Methodists published The Fundamentals: A
Testimony. Baptists soon joined in.
The Last Great Revival
• The Fundamentals: A Testimony contained
articles from some of the greats in Bible
Scholarsip: R A Torrey, G. Campbell Morgan, B
B Warfield.
• This was a compilation from the original 7
volume The Fundamentals by W. Fisher
Markwick, which can also be found in
The Last Great Revival
• Our response to the textual critics– that the
Bible was not composed by the authors
claimed, was two-fold.
– We opened Bible Colleges, and
– We created the field of Biblical Archeology.
– We also established Bible summer camp
– We sent missionaries out by the thousands. This
was a revival in mission fervor.
The Last Great Revival
• The Great Preachers included:
– Billy Sunday on Prohibition: “Say, will you line up for
the prohibition? Men of Boston, Massachusetts and
our nation, how many of you will promise that by the
help of God you will vote against it? Stand up. Let me
have a look at you!”
– On Gethsemane: “When Jesus sweat drops of blood
there in the garden, it was a new sight for the angels.
They had seen their brother angels rebel against God,
and they had seen the conflict which followed and
they had seen these rebel angels hurled over the
battlements of Heaven. . .”
The Last Great Revival
• Walter and Phoebe Palmer led the Awakening
in Canada.
• Jeremiah Lanphier held a prayer meeting in
New York to pray for America. During this
time, we had a bank failure and depression.
• Many scholars say this was a Revival of Prayer.
• Other Great Preachers:
– D L Moody.
– Charles Finney– Grandson of Finney of the 2nd
The Last Great Revival
• Politicians Affected:
– Herbert Hoover, in his Inaugural: “THIS occasion is
not alone the administration of the most sacred
oath which can be assumed by an American
citizen. It is a dedication and consecration under
God to the highest office in service of our people.
I assume this trust in the humility of knowledge
that only through the guidance of Almighty
Providence can I hope to discharge its everincreasing burdens. 1
The Last Great Revival
• William McKinley: “Our faith teaches that
there is no safer reliance than upon the God
of our fathers, who has so singularly favored
the American people in every national trial,
and who will not forsake us so long as we
obey His commandments and walk humbly in
His footsteps.”
• As you can see, our Leaders confessed their
faith as publically as you could get. We should
pray for such a revival today
The Last Great Revival
• The Fundamentals: A Testimony
• The Fundamentals, by W. Fisher Markwick

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