Saturday, January 10, 2009


Just a quick plug: the first post of the new year is up on Four, Seven and Twelvefold.  For those of you who don't know, 4712 is a collaborative blog exploring conversations about evangelicalism and Christianity in the 21st century.  If you haven't been, check it out and feel free to jump in to the conversation.


Erin Field said...

Hey Colin,
If you could pick five of the most significant developments in the Church from the time of the Reformation to present day. What would they be and why?

Colin Toffelmire said...

Haha, wow that's a huge question. Why from the time of the Reformation? That's a pretty huge limitation. Also, when are we dating the Reformation? This is all hedging of course. Let's see...

1. The invention of the printing press. Why? Because it's the most important technological invention of all time and the first thing it printed was a Bible.

2. The rise of the historical-critical method for biblical interpretation - if you don't know what this is that's because it's so pervasive that it's almost the only kind of interpretation that anyone consciously does anymore (outside of the academy I mean).

3. The development of congregationalism and other democratic versions of church polity (Presbyterian models for example). This totally changed the formerly authoritarian nature of the Church. It's even impacted church models that are still formally authoritarian (e.g. The Roman Catholic Church).

4. The rise of denominationalism. You could argue this as good or evil, but it's a big deal either way. It's closely related, I think, to #3 and is representative of the modernization of Western culture.

5. The liberalism/fundamentalism debates. Again, most people don't know the formal issues, but this has impacted every single church in North America especially, but also in the rest of the Western world. This has been one of the most divisive issues the Church has known in its history.

I'm sure there are lots of others, anyone else want to chime in?