Original Sin and Everyday Protestants: The Theology of Reinhold Niebuhr, Billy Graham, and Paul Tillich in an Age of Anxiety
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Original Sin and Everyday Protestants: The Theology of Reinhold Niebuhr, Billy Graham, and Paul Tillich in an Age of Anxiety

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  6 ratings  ·  2 reviews
In the years following World War II, American Protestantism experienced tremendous growth, but conventional wisdom holds that midcentury Protestants practiced an optimistic, progressive, complacent, and materialist faith. In "Original Sin and Everyday Protestants," historian Andrew Finstuen argues against this prevailing view, showing that theological issues in general--an...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by University of North Carolina Press
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Katherine
"The essential point of Christianity, Niebuhr observed, was that 'we are asked to forgive one another.' But in order to forgive, humans had to admit that 'we are ourselves sinners, and that we have been forgiven.' For Niebuhr, without an acknowledgment of the universality and inescapability of sin, Christianity--and by extenstion his deeply Christian criticism--had no center of gravity" (58).
"They revived Kierkegaard's analysis of the 'dizziness,' 'dread,' and 'angst' that humans experienced bec...more
John
Feb 23, 2012 John added it
Very nice summary of the everyday correspondence that Niebuhr, Graham, and Tillich responded to from their "lay theologian" readers. It seems that the inclusion of Graham was a bit of a stretch (Finstuen could have picked any other sin-oriented intellectual and come off better in the comparison) but it was fascinating to get a peek into the letters provoked by reading Nature and Destiny of Man or The Courage to Be. I also learned some interesting bits about Niebuhr I will investigate later. Grea...more
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