Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution--
A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First
A Paper Submitted to
Dr. Jonathan Yeager of the Liberty Theological Seminary
In Partial Completion of Course Requirements For
Paul J. Limato 111
Donald Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life explores eleven different spiritual ...view middle of the document...
Necessarily, the survey is quick and often superficial.
The second section, “Manifestation,” surveys the primary beliefs and positions taken by Protestants. Various chapters deal with theological views of the Bible, major teachings regarding man and salvation, the church and sacraments, the Christian’s relation to culture, politics, and society, and the way Protestantism has interacted with science and the arts. Again, the book quickly summarizes these important and detailed points. I think his discussion of Protestantism and science was especially helpful. Since Protestants include such a wide variety views on these subjects, it is hard to determine a center for each. McGrath sees unity more in the idea of the method of theology (individual judgment from Scripture) than in the results in each of these areas.
The final section, “Transformation,” emphasizes the more recent history of Protestantism in America and in the “Global South,” that is, the Southern Hemisphere. Especially important is the development and the tremendous growth of Pentecostalism, whose adherents now outnumber all other Protestants put together. The Author McGrath articulates this development as a natural outcome of the genius of Protestantism—the reinterpretation of Scripture by each generation, adapted to its own time and place. The Author communicates for the reader that he sees a bright future for Protestantism, viewed as a method with a very narrow agreed-upon base of doctrine, even if the older denominations decrease and fade away. Not only is Protestantism able to adapt doctrinally to new situations, but is able to adapt the structure and worship of the church to different times and cultures. This capability, McGrath believes, makes the future of Protestantism impossible to describe, but it makes its future existence and growth more probable.
Overall Whitney does and excellent job of outlining eleven spiritual disciplines that are essential to one’s spiritual development. One critique that this reviewer had is that Whitney opens the way for Christians to look for that inner voice of God to guide them. He quotes A.W. Tozer on page 199. Whitney seems to be one of “soft...