This essay examines the contrast in Scottish and American church history from the 1730s to the 1840s, and focuses on the difference in theological development. The author argues that the study of the relationship between formal religious thought and its social, political, and intellectual contexts shows why theology developed differently in the two regions during this period.
Are problems of racial discrimination, crime, public health, housing, and similar social issuues the concern of Christianity? This article wants to indicate how any authentic teaching of the gospel and Word of God will speak to every situation of human life including social and economic problems of our day.
Congregations, so long the normative form of church life, are under threat. Haddon Willmer demonstrates how the threats come from social and economic forces. The situation is made worse by the internal loss of bearings in churches themselves. In particular he identifies the flight from a critical intellectual life and the problems of inculturating faith in our twenty-first century world.