Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Philip Schaff on American Christianity

Philip Schaff
Things have not changed much since Philip Schaff wrote his book America, in which he said
"American Christianity...expands more in breadth than in depth. It is often carried on like a secular business, and in a mechanical or utilitarian spirit. It lacks the beautiful enamel of deep fervor and heartiness, the true mysticism, an appreciation of history and the church; it wants the substratum of a profound and spiritual theology; and under the mask of orthodoxy it not unfrequently  conceals, without intending or knowing it, the tendency to abstract intellectualism and superficial rationalism. This is especially evident in the doctrine of the church and the Sacraments, and in the meagreness of the worship, which lacks not only all such symbols as the cross, the baptismal font, the gown, but even every liturgical element (except in the Episcopal and most of the German churches), so that nothing is left, but preaching, free prayer, and singing...
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