Philosohical & Theological Context
The philosopher Immanuel Kant once famously remarked: “Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” This seemingly banal observation and the philosophy behind it was to launch a revolution in western thinking. From that point on, the realm of nature and the observable would be the domain of science, while religion and morality would increasingly be confined to the internal and the personal. Within a generation the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher would systematize and “theologize” Kant’s initial formulation, completing religion’s “turn to the subjective.” Faith, and in particular Christian faith, would no longer be considered authoritative on matters such as the nature of the cosmos, history or even humanity in a broad sense. Instead its truths would be seen as most applicable to areas such as inner psychological dynamics, emotions and most importantly, individual or personal experience. This new approach was to become the founding principle of all liberal theology.
Yet liberalism was not the only stream of theological thinking to embrace this new subjectivism and experientialism. Much of what has called itself evangelical …
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Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace In His Presence