Within My Heart (Hardcover)
This book illustrates how Christianity in the modern era has been shaped in the direction of subjectivity. In the Enlightenment, after Locke required faith to submit to reason's judgment, Kant argued that religion should remain within the bounds of reason only. Schleiermacher shifted attention away from belief to devotion to Christ and a feeling of absolute dependence on God. Rejecting Hegel's system, Kierkegaard summoned his readers to a unique subjective approach to justification by faith. Revivalist Evangelicalism has been perceived, and portrayed itself, as a rejection of modernism. This study argues instead that the Evangelical-revivalist movement is unmistakably modern in its assumptions regarding the nature of faith. The Pietist impulse, fueled in part by modern anthropocentrism and subjectivism in religious belief, was appropriated by the Evangelical revivalists, such as John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, and, later, Charles Finney. In short, Christianity today is a religion of the heart. ""Michael Van Horn graciously but forcefully identifies parallels between assumptions embedded in evangelical spirituality and early modernity's subjective turn. His readings of modern philosophical and theological figures illuminate cultural influences upon the evangelical mindset. His rehabilitation of Kierkegaard manifests why evangelicals have so often misunderstood that figure, perhaps in a strange kind of sibling rivalry. Van Horn also weaves in compelling narrative glimpses, reminding us that such ideas affect the spiritual lives of real people."" --Daniel J. Treier, Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College Graduate School ""In this fine study of the sources of the modern faith experience in American Evangelicalism, Van Horn reveals a phenomenon built every bit as much on its appropriation of the Enlightenment 'turn to the self' as its claim to be founded on historic orthodoxy. Anyone wishing to truly understand modern American Evangelicalism would do well to have this well-researched and exceptionally readable volume in their library."" --Jeffrey A. Wilcox, PhD, Bethel University (Tennessee) ""Tracing the roots of Anglo-American evangelicalism to--of all things--the Enlightenment, Van Horn deftly shows us how so many modern Christians came to love the religion of the heart, both in its thoughtful and in its vacuous forms. Fascinating And wonderfully articulate."" --Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Senior Research Fellow, Calvin College ""Van Horn has produced here a penetrating and compelling account of a common denominator in modern Evangelicalism. His breadth is impressive, encompassing primary philosophy, theology, contemporary culture, literary and film texts. His accessible and readable style and his love and care for the topic and material is infectious. The reader will be both enlightened and edified. This tome deserves a place alongside the standard works on the development of modern Evangelicalism (and Protestantism) against the backdrop of the Enlightenment."" --Mark Bowald, General Editor, Christian Scholar's Review; Adjunct Professor of Theology, Wycliffe College Michael A. Van Horn (PhD) has been a pastor at several churches, most recently Trinity Evangelical Covenant Church of Livonia, Michigan. He served as Professor of Theology at North Park Theological Seminary and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and has taught at Ashland Seminary, William Tyndale College, and the University of Detroit.
Michael A. Van Horn (PhD) has been a pastor at several churches, most recently Trinity Evangelical Covenant Church of Livonia, Michigan. He served as Professor of Theology at North Park Theological Seminary and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and has taught at Ashland Seminary, William Tyndale College, and the University of Detroit.