by Burk Parsons
The nineteenth century witnessed the rise of theological liberalism in the Protestant church. It wasn’t new. It was an old liberalism repackaged with attractive branding and a clever marketing strategy, and the Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries laid the perfect foundation. The Enlightenment viewed reason and empirical evidence as the primary way to construct a comprehensive system of all things pertaining to scientific and religious knowledge, as well as a way to understand ethics, government, and aesthetics, providing man with the supposed ability to obtain objective truth about reality. The Enlightenment was heralded as the “Age of Reason,” as opposed to the “Age of Faith.” Theological liberalism was simply the Enlightenment applied to theology, and so it was the obvious child of the Enlightenment.
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