The nineteenth century was a time of great revolution in the fields of agriculture, communication, transportation, technology, marketing and industry. It is in this period that the collapse of great empires likes Portugal, Spain, Mughal, China, and the Holy Roman kingdoms was experienced and in their place arose the German, British, Japanese and United States realms. Great philosophical and religious leaders also come from this century, like William Booth, the main founder of the Salvation Army, Karl Max, Ellen White, John Stuart Mill the great philosopher, among others.
This century also marked the beginning of great evangelical revivals in a number of protestant churches and countries across Europe and America. It also marked the beginning of the effects of modern scientific theory and reasoning on Christian thought and beliefs. Scientific theories like Darwinism had great impacts on the churches, making many Christians to question some of the beliefs and values they once held. These theories led to a mass movement of Christians from the regular and traditional observance of religion and belief in Christian teachings, to secularism and a belief in a ‘personal god’.
As the radical effects of scientific secularism continued to take their toll on the Christian churches, several theologians and scholars like Friedrich Schleiermacher arose to defend Christianity. Unfortunately, his defense did not protect Christianity from the criticism since it led to the emergence of liberal theology and liberal Christianity. Liberal theology is a flexible method of understanding and knowing God through the use of scriptures by making use of the same hermeneutics and principles applied in understanding other forms of ancient writings.
This new philosophy made it almost impossible for people to take the bible as divinely inspired and as the final authority in Christianity. Instead, they subjected it to human reasoning and questioning, compromising its authority to the extent of taking it as an anthology that records the author’s own feelings and beliefs about who God is. This liberalistic act led to emergence of further criticisms about the bible, consequently creating more reliance on human experience rather than the authority of the scriptures.
In an attempt to reject the influence the radicals were having on their religion, Christian fundamentalists arose to oppose these critical approaches to scripture interpretation. Their opposition was also an attempt to prevent the influence of the atheistic scientific theories from making their way into their churches.
This era of bible criticism led to emergence of new knowledge of religious diversity and the growth of science leading to deism among many Christians. It appeared like every effort to defend God or the scriptures resulted into further breakdowns or attacks on the Christian thought. Given that the intentions of the earlier scholars and theologians like Friedrich...