Thursday, July 09, 2009

Noll on the Characteristics of American Christianity

The American tendency has been

to see authority as self-created rather than inherited;

to read the Bible for oneself rather than just to accept biblical interpretation from others;

to create organizations to meet a need rather than simply to inherit organizations;

to empower laypeople, first laymen and then laywomen, as opposed to being super-clerical;

and to use the forces of the market for the church rather than to worry about the forces of the market.

The American tendency has been populist, and sometimes democratic, rather than aristocratic."

--Mark Noll Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame

"Does Global Christianity Equal American Christianity?"

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