Re: history please

Inge Frette (
Thu, 27 Feb 1997 09:02:13 +0100

Hello all,
I have been following this projector for some months now. So this is the
first time I write. Thus a brief introduction. I am 29 years old, from
Norway and lives in Norway, but I am a member of ASA. Never been in USA.
I graduated from
the University in Oslo last year with a graduate degree in condensed matter
physics, actually in the physics of disordered systems and materials, an
area where the use of fractals are kind of useful and necessary.
I also have univeristy degrees in theology and engineering.
Now I work with computer science in a seismic company.

I think it is interesting to follow this discussion from Norway, because
it shows that "hot" issues in one country might be "dead" issues in another
country. The evolution issue is more or less dead in Norway among evangelicals.
I have some thoughts on why this is so, but leave that for another time.
I just want to respond to Paul Averson's request for books about the
decline of evangelical theology in american seminars.

You should check out books by the historian George Marsden. He is probably the
leading historian in USA on the issue of evangelicalism, fundamentalism and
the history behind them.
Among his books are

"The Soul of the American University : From Protestant Establishment to
Established Nonbelief" (Oxford U.Press, 1996).

And his book
"Reforming Fundamentalism : Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism"
(Eerdmans) tells the story of the foundation of Fuller in 1947 as a response to
fundamentalism trying to recover the intellectual strength of
evangelical thelogy.

Check books for other books by him too.

In the book "Faith and rationality" edited by A. Plantinga and N. Wolterstorff
Marsden also has an article discussing the collapse of evangelical
scholarship in the academia at the end of last century, focusing among others
on the philosophy of the Princeton giants (Hodge and others).
A prime example must be the developments going on at Princeton at the beginning
of this century leading to the foundation of Westminster Theological
Seminary in Philadelphia. Thus getting a book - a biography - about
J.Gresham Machen -former prof. at Princeton and founder of Westminster might
help you.

Paul Averson wrote:
> All my Christian life I've heard about this 'takeover' of the seminaries.
> At this point I would like some historian to describe this process
> without using any military metaphors. How did this happen? Was it
> like the Scopes trial, where the conservatives were found to be wanting
> in knowledge and scholarship, merely supported by popular opinion?
> Were there debates or discussions about the big issues? Were there
> committees making policy statements and votes? Was all this done
> behind peoples' backs, so to speak? Is there any documentation of
> the actual history and statistical trends in the denominations?
> All I've heard of an analysis is Schaeffer's famous comment that
> "presuppositional apologetics would have stopped the decay."
> Is there a book in print about all this?

Regards, Inge Frette

Olav Inge Frette Schlumberger Geco-Prakla
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