Church History and Sacraments – Modernism

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Last updated: November 22, 2019

Modernism, or the “abuse of that which is modern”, aims at that alteration of the human thought, in relation to God, man, the world, and life, and the afterlife. The intellectual goal of Modernism is the critique of tradition, through the use of science and reason. “It consists in the claim of the modern mind to determine what is true, right, and beautiful in the light of its own experience, even though its conclusions be in contradiction to those of tradition (Major 8).

” Contradicting many of the dogmas of the Church, modernism stands for a new spirit and for modern methods in the study and teaching of religion and morals.Yet, modernist are Christian that seek to connect themselves more with the world of reason. “It is the use of modern science to find, state and use the permanent and central values of inherited orthodoxy in meeting the needs of a modern world (Mathews 23). ” Although some modernists still are present, the main movement has died and the Church has still remained as powerful as it had been. When comparing the Catholic and the modernist beliefs, it is eminent that modernism alters the source and the truth of the core beliefs.

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According to modernism, the only “true” way to believe in an aspect of religion is for it to be ascertained through reason. Also, “Modernists are Christians who accept the results of scientific research as data with which to think religiously (Mathews 29). ” Not accepting all scientific theory as theological thinking, Modernists begin with the presumption that scientists are more knowledgeable about nature and the man, than theologians. Thus, based on scientific reason, they accept evolution over creation.Yet, “Adam would, of course, be just in the first stage, mentally, above the brute and therefore could not possible have had sufficient ability to have given names to all the animals on the earth (McCrossman 73).

” This created a conflict with their belief in evolution, however, in response to this, they declared Adam a mythical being. Also, for the same reasons, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were also declared mythical beings. Being the fundamental foundation for which the Modernist movement was formed on, Modernists also utilize historical and literary sciences in the study of religion.Thus, “Modernist believe themselves true to the spirit and purpose of Jesus Christ when they emphasize his teachings and the inner faith of a century-long movement rather than the formulas in which aspects of this faith were authoritatively expressed (Mathews 31).

” The Bible is the book that is made up of the writings accepted by Christians as of divine origin and authority. It is the primary and most important source of information on the Christian religion. However, when the modernist approaches The Bible and its teachings, they want to find the facts first.By approaching the Bible in this manner, many critiques and differences occur.

One of the minor reasons was because of the way the revised versions translate. There are differences in the actually way it was originally written and the way it was translated, and modernist criticized this. Modernists also criticize the Bible because of its false interpretation of Philippians. Believing that Jesus gave up part of his divinity when he became human, they conclude ” He must have learned much from the Rabbis of His day, and this accounts- according to their explanation- for much of His teachings being open to criticism (McCrossman 183).Through Paul’s advice, “Prove all things,” One of the major defenders of the Church against the modernist was Pope Pius X. Pius X had pointed out the dangers of certain new theological methods.

These truths, which are based upon Agnosticism and Immanentism, are said to necessarily strip the doctrine of the faith of its teachings of objective and absolute, immutable truth and many others. This occurs when those methods are associated with subversive criticism of the Holy Scriptures and of the origins of Christianity.On September 8th, 1907, Pope Pius X published his famous Encyclical, Pascendi, which condemned the system of Modernism.

“It points out the danger of Modernism in relation to philosophy, apologetics, exegesis, history, liturgy, and discipline, and shows the contradiction between that innovation and the ancient faith; and, finally, it establishes rules by which to combat efficiently the pernicious doctrines in question (Fawkes 123). ” Among those discussed to combat modernists, was the establishment of an official body of censors of books and the creation of a “Committee of Vigilance”

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