Term Paper: Premodernism Is Defined as Possessed by Authority

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Premodernism is defined as possessed by authority and dominated by tradition. The term is broken down as having two other meanings which include: defined as a spirit of truth; the truth is taught through religious institutions under the leadership of religious leaders and defined as the ultimate reality; reality is spiritual and influences the circumstances in the natural physical world. This era in our history ran up until the 1650's and the modernist era began.

Premodernism is beginning to make resurgence in modern days as people realize that they cannot out there trust and hopes in material things. The scientific views that lead people away from the belief in God and the Bible is now seeing more scientists discovering that there are too many details in the creation of Earth and the sustainability of only this planet to be able to support human life.

I support the theory that God created the Earth and that he is the divine ruler. Humans were made by God for God and humans are to follow and read the Bible for instructions on how they are to live.

Literature Review

The culture of society today is lead by money and power more than ever. Greed and corruption are causing a destructive path that has led the world's economies to virtually collapse. Adults and even children have no values or morals and think only in the terms of 'what is in it for me.' The moral decay of society is at an all time high and is only going to get worse; but there is a solution. People need to return to the religious teachings, of right and wrong, from the Bible. The Bible is the oldest book in the world and is the instructions from God as to how people are to live and conduct themselves.

In the premodern era, people relied on the teachings of the church to guide their ways and to lead them in all aspects of life. In the Bible, Exodus 20:3-17, God gave the following ten commandments to Moses in regards to laws not to be broken:

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

3. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

4. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's (Holy Bible (KJV), 1972)

These commandments are broken daily and lives are being lost and corrupted at younger ages every year. Preteens are committing murders and crimes just like the adults. Parenting is done by the schools and by television or the internet.

Premodernism is seeing resurgence in the new ways, spiritual leaders are finding new ways to reach out to the younger generations and bring them back to the Church. Millard Erickson, in the article, "Evangelical Christology and Soteriology Today," claims,

"Evangelicals, by their very nature, have always emphasized the importance of doctrine. Evangelicalism can be defined as that branch of Christianity that emphasizes the authority of the Bible, the full deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, and the necessity of supernatural regeneration for salvation, through faith in Christ. Other aspects of the person of Christ considered crucial to proper belief are his virginal conception and sinlessness, bodily resurrection, substitutionary atonement, and future personal and visible return" (Erickson, 1995, pg 255).

One example of premodernism, as listed above, is the chance to have eternal salvation is offered to all human beings and the choice of living in paradise vs. never-ending torment is ours to make. God put man on Earth to fulfill his plans for him and live a spiritual life; not the life of abundant excess that we live now. This is a temporary life until the day we are called to join God in Heaven and begin the eternal life in Heaven.

In the late 1600's, men like Descartes came up with new philosophies; such as cogito ergo sum ("I think, therefore I am"). In writing about Descartes, in the article, "Some Eighteenth Century Views of the Relationship of Science to Religion," Richard Riss states,

"His premise that reason is the principal method of determining truth was used by others, such as Spinoza, to discredit the authority of the scriptures. (4) His insistence upon clear and distinct ideas as necessary for knowing truth seemed opposed to maintaining doctrines such as the Trinity and the Incarnation, which could not really be explained on rational grounds" (Riss, 2006).

The philosophers and scientists of the era sought to prove or disprove everything by logic and rational. The relied more on what could be seen than what they were told. This has some good points and helped bring a better understanding about how a lot of things work; but it caused man to change their views on religion. Religion was considered for the weak minded and uneducated.

Recently, several scientists are reversing their thinking and returning to the role of religion in the creation of the universe. Groups like Reasons to Believe are made up of scientists and theologians who work together to show how creation and the Bible correlate. There are over 200 universal constants that allow the Earth to support life and if one of these is moved by the slightest degree, life could not exist. An explosion could not create those kinds of variables and only God could be that detailed.

Millard Erickson has written numerous other books in addition to the one referenced earlier. "Erickson defends Christianity and its claim to absolute truth. Without engaging in a full-scale apologetic for Christianity, he first suggests that not only does Christianity in general work pragmatically, but it also offers logical consistency and coherence (Bertolet, 2002,). The articles' author states this in regards to the book, "The Promise and Perils of Postmodernism." Society needs consistency and coherence instead of the demands of the world to have it their way and now.

In regards to the rebirth of the religious community, leaders are searching for ways to bring the context of Biblical teaching into line with the world situations occurring now. Lorne Dawson, in the "Sociology of Religion" article, "Anti-modernism, modernism, and postmodernism: struggling with the cultural significance of new religious movements" declares,

"New religious movements, whether in the Christian, Buddhist, or any other tradition, are not in the strict sense revivals of a tradition: they are more accurately regarded as adaptations of religion to new social circumstances. None of them is capable, given the radical nature of social change, of recreating the dying religions of the past. In their style and in their specific appeal they represent an accommodation to new conditions" (Dawson, 1998).

Is teaching religion in a way that correlates it meaning with events of today a bad thing? People today do not understand the value of morals and the implications that follow from not living a righteous life.

"On the one hand, modern individuals live in an environment where more and more aspects of their so-called "private" life are being converted from the realm of taken-for-granted experience to that of choice. Patterns of courtship, marriage, child-rearing, sexuality, gender relations, consumption, vocation, and spirituality are being de-institutionalized. In the private realm, there are no set and secure behaviors" (Dawson, 1998).

Marriages are ending in divorces at alarming rates and divorces can be obtained for a $100 dollars and they claim that no one was at fault. The Bible, in Jesus' own words, in Matthew… [END OF PREVIEW]

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