History Professor and Theology award winner Julius Rex Gurney III sits down with Mark to discuss the reason for two different kinds of Protestants today. In North America, Protestants can be broken down into two major groups: Mainline and Evangelical. Mark and Rex discover that this division does not always follow strict denominational lines. Tracing the history of this division provides fascinating insight into today’s religious landscape.
Welcome to Jessup think I’m your host Mark Moore. And today on the show, I’m delighted to be joined by the esteemed Chair of the history department and award winning theologian. A little known fact about Julius Rex Gurney the third. So Rex excited to have you on the show. And just for our listeners, maybe tell us how long you’ve been teaching here at Jessup?
Well, first of all, I have to talk about that award. Yeah, award and $3 wanting to give me a cup of coffee. I don’t I don’t actually even put that on my resume. Hey, you can claim your award winning payload. That’d be on your book byline. Right. Right. Right. So I’ve been teaching. I’m here at Jessup for about 14 years. Wow. And so I’m actually came over with the school from San Jose. Oh, Graham, although I still sort of feel like a newbie because I was only teaching one year when we left San Jose. But every graduation I guess I creep further further up to the beginning of the line right now, which is kind of strange and and sort of depressing for
Yeah, you realize especially Yeah, when they line up you realize, Hey, I’m yeah, I’ve been around here a long time. Yeah, exactly. I know. When I first started teaching them about eight years ago, here, I used to be able to say to the students, we like kind of a communal we like we think this and and now eight years removed, I can no longer say we say you, your generation. Right? Right. My generation
clearly distinct at this point, I have to be very, very careful with my cultural references and my history classes because no one else gets them. I’m old. Right? There you go.
Yeah, that’s the marker when you know, movie references. Okay, got it. gotta come up with some nobody’s ever heard of any rock groups from the 70s? a, you know, there’s a little bit of a revival of that. So we can always hope, you know, that’s where Netflix is really helped me because they bring all these old shows back. And so okay, what’s your keep anything long enough? It’ll come around. Right? Yeah. And it’ll be and actually one of my, one of my rules of fashion is, if you wore it when it first came out, you probably shouldn’t wear it when it comes back around.
It’s probably right. Yeah. My plaid, blue and yellow bell bottom pants with cuffs on them with my suit probably should have been retired. Right now. never come back.
Yeah, that comes back that you might be able to wear that again, because that would be amazing. And we have to, we have to see pictures of that will post pictures on Twitter that a long time ago? Well, I’m excited to have you on the show and one for the fact that I love history. And I think history helps us answer how we’ve arrived at a certain place, and covers the steps that have been taken events that have occurred, that lead us to where we are now. Right. And I love to, to look at that. And we neglect history to our own peril, right. Like if we don’t learn from that, I think specifically with the church history is fascinating. I mean, there’s concerned, yeah, there’s been so many twists and turns, right. And you know, for just a little over 500 years now just celebrated the 500 anniversary. Last year, we’ve kind of in the West had this standard binary of Catholic and Protestant and, and then for maybe 200 years or so. And we can kind of talk about that kind of date. We’ve also had kind of another division amongst Protestants. Right. And and kind of a division into two camps, mainline Protestant and evangelical Protestant, right,
especially here in this country.
Right? Yeah. Especially in the West and specifically America. Right. It has been this, this really divide between the two. And so a lot of the conversation that I wanted to bring you on to kind of talk about that divide, why, maybe why it happened, what what that means for the church, okay, before we jump kind of right into that, I thought it’d be helpful to give a little bit of a framework on the reformation, or have you ever probably for most people, when they think of the Reformation they and they envision Luther in that, you know, big brown robe with his stylish monastic bowl cut, maybe the maybe the painting with his Bray Han kind of the floppy Bray. But but really out of the reformation, there seems to be several streams that happen. What were some of those streams?
Well, when when Luther nailed the theses on the church or wynberg, um, he sort of unleashed a division in the church that I don’t even think he anticipated. Right. And basically, Protestants have been sort of dividing ever since. And so the four main streams of the Reformation most scholars consider the the Lutheran stream obviously, right, the reformed stream Which, you know, has its genesis with john Calvin and his associates, what’s sometimes called the radical reformation, okay, which basically involves the Anna Baptists. I guess their descendants now would be the Amish and the Mennonites and folks like that. I like that the word radical was used. They were they were. Yeah, they were. In fact, some of the only people that actually both, you know, mainstream Protestants and Catholics hated were the radical reformers, right? Yeah. Yeah, they were persecuted by everybody. And then whatever Henry the Eighth was doing up in England is sort of the fourth stream and write. What’s kind of fascinating is a lot of our current major denominations actually come from that stream of the reformation, the fourth stream Church of England and the the offshoots of the Church of England, which I think probably most Protestants here in the United States today would be in churches that were offshoots of the English reformation.
Right. That is fascinating, because yeah, when we think reformation we think Luther, but be it really, yeah, that many of the traditions, Methodist,
Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostals, greens, I mean, they all basically come off of splits off of splits off of splits of the Church of England. Yeah. And the Church of England, which Yeah, which is really, which wouldn’t shouldn’t surprise us since, you know, we were colonized primarily, by England, at least right coast of our country. Right. Yeah. So historically, that does make sense that, that, that we would have that kind of background and would have that in, in the colonies and in the early colonies. So So kind of out of those streams, you know, this overarching Protestantism, right emerges, right, and particularly here in the United States, mainly because really, Roman Catholic presence in our country didn’t really become prominent until the the antebellum period in the 1800s. And that was due to immigration. I mean, Irish and then later on Italian, you know, Central, your rights, I reset, which kind of changed the religious landscape of our country. But before then we’re primarily Protestant. And I don’t want to say we were one big happy family because Providence have never been one big. Right. But there was sort of a generalized Protestant ethos. I think it’s fair to say that Yeah, about our country. And that that ethos sort of held for most of the 18 hundred’s and then it started to fracture during the 20th century.
Yeah. And is that when we kind of see that, that fracture into what we would consider the two camps sort of two camps
in the mainline Protestantism and evangelical Protestantism? Sometimes, you know, jokesters will call it mainline, the old line or the sideline. In a particularly since the 1960s. Many of the mainline Protestant denominations have really been bleeding members.
Right? Yeah. Not not growing and stagnating.
Other rights and and at least until very recently, most evangelical expressions of Christianity have been growing. So what’s driving having is one stream of Protestantism losing influence and another stream of Protestantism, gaining influence in our country. And that really accelerated since the 1960s. But the genesis of that split actually lies in near the beginning of the 20th century.
Okay. Yeah. And maybe even before we get into the the split, because that’s fascinating. Seeing that within the 20th century, the when we say mainline Protestant, what do we mean? Well,
so what did they call them? The five sisters or the seven sisters? I forget how many they can which is problematic in and of itself, right. Usually the denominations if you’re just talking institutionally that are associated with mainline Protestantism are the elca Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, liberal Lutherans, right, right. United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, okay, the northern Baptist, the American Baptists, and the disciples of Christ, and then probably the pcusa, right and say, I would Presbyterian, right, right. And those are easily considered mainline denominations and I guess the reason why they called a mainline is to have considerable cultural influence. They really did right and most Protestants were probably more or less identified with those denominational streams for much of our history and still, really up until now. The last 20 or 30 years, they still were very, very prominent in the religious landscape. Right. Many of them still think they are but Right, right, they really have his heart’s raw numbers go. Yeah, for example, the United Methodist Church, which is still the second largest Protestant church in our country, a lot of people don’t realize that right. But they used to be the largest. And they started really bleeding members in the 1960s. And so they’ve probably lost three or 4 million members since then. Still a big church. Right. Right. You know, they they’ve they’ve experienced some really sharp losses since then. And all of the mainline denominations pretty much have pcusa. Right. And the losses are due to split off and conservative churches leaving the denominations,
right and now Yeah, Tim, recently that seems to been
happening within especially the Presbyterians. There’s now more conservative Presbyterian churches that are more or less identified with evangelicalism that consists of churches that have left the pcusa. Often, I guess, a shorthand for the two different types of Protestants here are mainline churches are, I guess, considered liberal, theologically, evangelical churches would be considered more conservative theologically? I have to be careful with that. Yeah, it’s it gets fuzzy eight gets fuzzy. There are conservative evangelical congregations in mainline denominations. Right, right. And there are more or less, they usually will call themselves liberal, but maybe progressive. In evangelical denominations, but more or less the divide sort of holds,
right. And yeah, and When, when, in my theology class, we talked a little bit about like, liberal theology versus conservative and I tried to help the students understand that, that those terminologies don’t mean, bad and good, right, or evil and non evil, depending on how they’re doing in some of the polemics. Right, yeah, and some, some ways that they’re used, right. But some of the definitions that I’ve heard of those that have been helpful to me is that, like, a liberal theologian is going to give maximum acknowledgment to the claims of modern thought, right. So as science progresses, as, as even scholarship progresses, right, the New Thought is going to get put to the top right. And, and so and I’ve heard kind of mainline Protestant theology described that way as, as more a more modern theology than a traditional theology and evangelical, so then conservative theologian would give maximum acknowledgement to the claims of traditional thought and rights, and they would be suspicious of of, I guess, theological innovation, right.
And a lot of that actually comes from the early part of the 20th century, when when there was something called the fundamentalist modernist controversy, right, that really split denominations. I know, the northern Baptist split the northern, the Presbyterian split. It, it really wreaked havoc with a lot of denominations, especially in the north, not so much in the south. But as you would probably imagine, the South has been more conservative, you know, politically rajic. Right. Yeah. But what’s really interesting is is denominations that are national denominations, now, but that still, you know, we’ll have regional names like the denomination, I grew up in a Southern Baptist Convention, Ma, little church, they’re basically we’re a sort of isolated from this controversy back in the beginning of the 20th century, but they have sort of gone through their own controversies in the 1980s and 90s, that in some sense, mimicked what many other denominations underwent 4050 years earlier. Yeah, it’s like nobody’s escaped this, right. But it is hit at different times with different denominations.
Now, with the evangelical Protestants, what are like, how do we use that term? How do we define that
that seems like can also be elusive, and people throw it around? Certainly, in fact, there are many scholars of religion Now, most of them on the conservative side of the spectrum, they actually feel that the word evangelical has sort of lost its its meaning, right, you know, if, if I don’t know, john Piper and Rob Bell could both be considered evangelical, some people think you need to get rid of the word. Yeah, it seems to be a wide wide divide, right. But basically, the evangelical movement as a self conscious movement, um, kind of grew in the late 40s and early 50s. Out of the fundamentalist movement, actual right
Yeah, so when we say fundamentalists, meaning that what would maybe be the
deception more so the word fundamentalist actually comes from a series of they call them tracks, but they’re actually little booklets, okay? that were sent out in sort of response to me in a liberal German biblical scholarship and stuff like that. Right, right, in the early part of the 20th century, and they were sent to every pastor in the United States, Protestant pastor Sunday school teachers, it actually was all bankrolled by some wealthy folks, right? Yeah, actually, Okay, here we go. But they were called the fundamentals. It’s like so if if the liberal theology and and what came to be called higher biblical criticism is going to erode the foundations of the faith, which many folks felt it did. Yeah, of course, we need to get back to the fundament. fundamental right. Okay. And so they’re usually considered five things. And let me hope that I can remember all, there’s a test right now. So the inerrancy of Scripture, right? The virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the reality of miracles, substitutionary atonement, right. And, you know, basically, what would be considered very, very conservative stances on on scripture and theology. And this would be in reaction to, you know, chipping away at that, then yeah, happened in a lot of well, in a lot of the seminaries at the time.
Right. And maybe a lot of the seminaries at the time were feeding the mainline? Well, sure, yeah, we’re a lot of seminaries. One
way I explained this, when I teach church history is so for example, there’s this new fangled degree that sort of invented in Germany in the late 19th century is called a get ready for this a PhD. It’s really a European phenomenon, right? But yeah, aspiring intellectuals, and folks, for understandable reasons would be interested in this. And so, you know, they’ll go to Germany to I don’t know, you know, to begin or somewhere and they get this new research degree, this PhD. And, you know, while they’re there, they sort of, you know, absorbed by osmosis, this German biblical criticism and liberal theology and stuff, and then they crack over to the States. And they’ll teach in seminaries, most of which, you know, well, many of which were in the north, and would serve us to denominations. And of course, the seminaries want these guys, because, you know, they they represent the cutting edge of scholarship. But of course, seminaries are there to train preachers or to educate preachers, right. So because I ended the local church, for example, here’s where here’s, here’s where it gets really interesting. So, so, you know, someone goes over to Germany, and they’ll they’ll, you know, learn over there that the Apostle Paul didn’t write all of the epistles that that, you know, have his name have been attributed to have been attributed to him in the New Testament. So we’ll take like, I don’t know, if escience or something, right. Yeah, the one where there’s a little more controversy. Right, right, right. Well, yeah, we’ll just say that because we got to pick something, right, and so on. So they’ll learn that and you know, you learn what you learn. And I don’t know, these guys are smart, whatever, I grab back to the seminary, United States, and I’m teaching a New Testament class to bunch of aspiring pastors, they’re going to go into the church as well, right? I’m going to teach them what I learned in Germany, right. Paul didn’t write Ephesians. Right. So yeah, I guess if I’m, you know, at the seminary, and I’m trying to be a pastor, well, then I’ll just nod my head too. And then I get on to the local church. And I’m preaching through Ephesians. And I say something like this during the sermon. So as the author of the epistle to the Ephesians said, and then, you know, so some ladies gonna actually tapped me on the shoulder, right? He’s leaving church, and she’s gonna say, but I thought the apostle Paul wrote Ephesians, and then you have some splainin. To do. That’s where when he gets into the pews, that’s where a lot of these church splits start to come to be just this real view, that this, you know, the seminary education in this European liberal theology started to corrode the fundamentals of the faith. And so there’s a reaction, yeah, push a push back against that.
And that’s within the fundamental and then evangelical movement kind of comes
out of out of that, basically, it’s really not a it’s not so much a theological thing, because most conservative evangelicals, who don’t want to be called fundamentalist, still would probably agree with almost all of the fundamentals. Right. It’s not so much a theological thing. It’s more of a an ethos thing, revised thing or a way that you confront the world. Alright. One problem with fundamentalism as a move minute really was separatist? Yeah, it really kind of just kept to itself and separated itself from the world basically. Right. And so, you know, folks like Billy Graham, for example, in the late 40s. It’s like, well, if I’m going to, you know, be an evangelist, then I guess that means that I need to, somehow at least relate to the world. I can’t be separate artistic and share the gospel. Right, right. Therefore, they began calling themselves the new evangelicals or young evangelicals. Yeah, they had a more open attitude towards interacting with the rest of society in order to convert it. Right, right. Yeah, for the gospel. But right, still can’t just stay in your in your corner. If you’re going to do that. Yeah, you have to you have to engage. And it’s really interesting. It’s like, for example, Billy Graham himself, you can just see in his academic career, how this movement from fundamentalism to evangelicalism because he start off by going to Bob Jones University, right, which is, you know, one of the one of I guess, the premier fundamentalist, right, yes. And so, and very proud of it, actually. Right. Right. Right. And I mean, there’s that in my family and my mother’s proud graduate of Bob Jones. There you go. But, but he leaves that he quits it. And he ends up after, you know, a little, little journey. Going to Wheaton. Yeah, Wheaton sort of consider it, you know, conservative school theologically, but it’s not Bob Jones. Right. Right. Yeah. And it’s definitely more progressive evangelical school CCE even in Billy Graham’s life is from Bob Jones to Wheaton. Right? And and it’s not so much a theological move. But it’s, it’s it’s a cultural move.
Yeah. Is there anything I was just reading something that was an interview with with Billy Graham in the late 80s. And someone asked him to define evangelical and in the interview, he says, I’m looking for someone to define it for me he can, because yeah, I was just kind of a term. Right that that was used, but it is interesting to note that that shift from fundamentalism to evangelicalism, right, right, and then that being now kind of the prominent umbrella.
Certainly, it definitely is the most vibrant kind of corner of Protestantism in it as far as, you know, packing people in the pews. Right. Right. There are different ways to you know, to judge all this stuff, but if we add numbers, definitely it’s on the evangelicals.
Yeah, definitely growing and, and the historian David Bebbington, I think has helped me kind of get handles on on on evangelicalism by kind of highlighting four kind of primary characteristics. And they would be they very much flow out of the fundamentalism, right. So I mean, one of them is biblical ism, a high regard for the authority and inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. Right. And, and, and then a stress on the sacrifice of Christ for all humanity.
So we’re on the right substitutionary atonement.
Yeah, exactly. And then conversion ism, the belief the idea of being born again. And that stress and that, that obviously, you really see when with that movement with Billy Graham was,
was to there’s a point where you make a decision for Jesus Christ. Yeah. And it’s just not. You don’t get it by osmosis, you have to it has to be a conscious decision that the prompting of the Holy Spirit, right,
right. And then his fourth one I’ve always found fascinating is activism, which, which, I guess you could associate it with current and he describes it as expression and demonstration of the gospel in missionary and social reform efforts.
Well, I think you can’t say that. Yeah, I’m in the evangelical community right now. It it’s primarily conservative, but there is sort of, I guess, progressive or liberal wing, but what’s really interesting is they both consider themselves activists. Yeah, man, they, you know, want want to see different policy. Things happen, but they they all agree that you need to advocate for that. So they’re engaged politically.
Yeah, yeah. And yeah, and that’s where Yeah, that idea of activism is involved on both sides. Right. Right. And right, and maybe how they’re defining in the areas that they are being active, may differ,
but definitely activism is something that they have in common.
Yeah. And, and we’re, and maybe some of this, too, so a lot of this is 20th century, are their streams of evangelicalism that mean kind of begin in the 18th and 19th century.
I guess, if you’re looking at a historical juncture in American history, that’s sort of the fount of what ends up I guess becoming evangelical Protestantism, is probably helpful to look at the Second Great Awakening which was sort of Right. It happened in both the south and the north that it was kind of a series of revivals of, of seriousness of religion that happened during the first three decades, kind of of the 18 hundred’s? Yeah. And I mean this be Jonathan Edwards. No. So this is this is about 80 years later, okay. And I mean, there’s individuals that are associated with it. I mean, people like Fannie and folks like that, right? Probably nobody of the stature really, of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield, and folks like that right with the first great awakening. But I’ve always believed that is far as a awakening or revival that had real institutional impact in our country, the second writing was probably more important than the first. Okay? Because this is where Baptists and Methodists really began to grow. What’s kind of fascinating is that during that whole thing, actually the ecclesiastical or theological stream that our our school William Jessup University actually comes from is from the Second Great Awakening. Okay. And in the camp meetings in the south, right, right. Are you where you would have like, for example, the cane ridge cap meeting, and I think 1802 was like the most famous one. And you have some people think as many as 20,000 people in Kentucky, and that must have been everybody bleary eyed, intend for for a week. Right? Right. And they have all sorts of preachers of all sorts of different denominations that will just set up shop and and it’s almost like, I don’t know, a state fair of preachers or something. Yes. And one, then you go listen to that another day. And you can just you know, and what’s really interesting, though, is they all word denominational preachers, and so there were some folks. It’s the I sometimes call the stone Campbell movement, that actually thought that what we need to do is really drop all of our denomination we’re fighting and just call ourselves Christians. Yeah. And that’s kind of known as the restoration movement. Right. And that movement, you can actually trace forward to the birth of our school, William Jessup University. Yeah. Through San Jose Christian College, back in the day, because a school that has deep connections with the restoration movement.
Yeah, it’s interesting within that is still under the evangelical umbrella. Right. And that it’s
right it at least now. It’s really Yeah. Because there have been some conversations historically over the years as to whether you actually you can call restoration churches, evangelical or not, but most people think that those are just sort of academic picky arguments. Right. Right. That most
I mean, maybe most academic arguments are I know, we have to do something
to justify salaries. I think most folks that go to restoration churches now would consider themselves evangelical. Right. Yeah. would would they would we take that probably and our school basically when when is asked to sort of define itself theologically considers itself your broadly evangelical
Yeah. And what it’s what it seemed like in America too, that a lot of our a lot of those maybe strong denominational divisions are being unified under that umbrella of evangelical
or subsumed under Yes, sir. Okay, sound, you know, it is true that denominational marketing, and denominational branding doesn’t mean what it used to mean, right. You know, it used to be for example, if you move from one city to another, and you were, say, a Methodist or a Southern Baptist, you would you would check out the local United Methodist Church of Southern Baptist Church. And you know, even if you didn’t really like it, you’d go there because I’m a Baptist. Right? That’s, yeah, that’s part of it. And what happens now is that, you know, folks don’t really feel the necessity to do that denominational loyalty has really changed, right? Yeah. And so they’ll go to the church that they feel feeds them and that they want to go to and it could be, you know, a different denomination than they grew up in. Right. Um, you go to the church so much, in fact, so much so that some of the largest churches of even our denominations right now don’t have the denominational name and the church title. Exactly. Saddleback Church in Southern California is a Southern Baptist Church, but most people don’t even know Yeah, that’s it. They don’t put it in the name. Right. Yeah.
Yeah. And, and as we as you’re interesting that the that maybe with the, the new maybe marker identifier of evangelical, it has maybe Have role in, in kind of downplaying that maybe would people look for. If they moved to a city, they would look for a church that feeds them. And maybe they would look like is this in underneath the evangelical or if they were right, yeah, I would kind of look for an evangelical church or if they were mainline we made.
Exactly, exactly. And you sort of, you know, if you’re, if you’re a church person, you sort of know who they are and what they are. Right. Right. And And if you don’t, he would know after visiting one Sunday,
yeah, yeah. Right. Yeah. You would, yeah, you would get the feel. And and I guess, with that, with what’s the divide, kind of maybe coming back to the divide between mainline and evangelical? The what what would maybe how do you foresee how they treat each other now, like today, cuz it’s kind of fluctuated? I mean, time there was right, there was maybe animosity or just ignoring each other.
I think there still is honestly, especially with theological education. I, I’ve shared this with you personally before but I went to two different seminaries, one, that would be considered evangelical or yummy indev. And one way that would be considered, I guess, mainline that I got my PhD in, in church history. And honestly, they don’t even talk about the same thing. Right. And, and, and that’s okay, I guess. But they don’t even acknowledge that the other exists, which is really interesting. And so instead of trafficking in, in, you know, dialogue or something, they pretty much traffic in caricatures. Right on both sides. Yeah. Yeah. Sort of unfortunate, but they don’t even really talk to each other much. Yeah. You know, I guess, because they both think that they’re right, that they’re right about different things. And so there you go. Right. Right. Right. And, and I do think that, for example, the cultural I guess, influence of mainline Christianity probably peak mainline Protestantism peak probably in the 1950s. And, and since then, their influence has been retreating in the influence of evangelicals, as far as any of us have influenced right now. Right, which is a really interesting phenomenon, because a lot of folks think that we actually have have more in common with each other than we do with the culture at large in a way, so maybe we ought to stop some of the infighting. I don’t see that happening much soon. Because, right. There’s just this there’s a theological rift actually, between the two groups there just says, and that’s a hard thing to that’s a hard thing to bridge. Right.
Yeah, it really is. And, and I think maybe one of the things for, for the church as a whole, and this would, would include Catholic, Protestant, orthodox, and I think we have seen a change, even in my lifetime from Protestant and Catholic relations. And it certainly certainly has been different. I remember, we wouldn’t in the church, I grew up and we wouldn’t have even have a Christmas Eve service, because it’s like, that’s what the Catholics do. Right? Yeah.
And now, you would hardly find a Baptist Church that doesn’t, right. You know, it used to be when I was growing up that, you know, on Good Friday, all the Catholics would go to church, and on Easter Sunday, hardly any of them would. And and we would ignore Good Friday, and we’d all come for Easter. And now, you know, most evangelical churches will have a good Friday, service and well attended and in most Catholic churches will be packed out on Easter. So yeah, there really is a coming together on the Easter event sort of thing. Yeah, as far as that goes. I do know that conservative Catholics and conservative Protestants, despite the theological riffs and ecclesiastical rifts, there is much queasy asticus theological writing. Right, right. I really feel that it is far as dealing with a secular culture. They sort of have have a common cause against that. Yeah, so maybe, yeah, no, you just at least put down your swords for a while. So that you can actually both advocate against some things that are that they both feel are eroding. Right, our culture and our anti christian and yeah, yeah, and I guess what, I don’t know, I guess once you get those things resolved, then you can start fighting each other. Yeah,
yeah. But maybe maybe like, or maybe not. To two Roman generals who have taken over and then they have each other left. Right, right. Right. Right. Yeah. The but I think, for me, it’s been kind of a breath of fresh air to see that unity within the church, even even amongst those ecclesiastical differences amongst the theological differences. And I think one of the things here Jessup can may be coming out of the restoration movement and, and part of our core values that the value of unity in the church
Exactly if the if the restoration movement was initially founded to just bring unity among Protestants so that, you know, Presbyterians and Methodists and Baptists don’t start fighting over the stuff they fight over. They just agree on the the vast things that they agree about. Yeah, the common man just call ourselves Christians instead of you know, right. Which is why, for example, you know, William Jessup University comes out of the independent Christian church movement, you know, where you just call yourself Christian? Right? You know, you don’t have to have the denominational marker. And that is the stream that we come out of as a unifying stream, it tries to focus on the important thing. Yeah. And the things that are central to the faith, right, which are often more identified with with the conservative side of theological spectrum. Right. But but they’re there. It’s not argumentative. Yeah. Yeah. You know, and so it is more of a unifying movement. Yeah,
yeah. And that’s, that’s what’s great being a part of that. And I think, even here at the school, to having students that come from all of these different streams, and faculty to faculty, yeah, right.
I remember when I first started teaching at at Jessup we draw from a broader base. Now, would you almost have to if you’re going to grow as a school, and that’s a great, that’s a very, that’s very much an evangelical, distinctive and yeah, right. Right. So you want to do that? But yeah, it probably means that you’re going to have more people of different denominations that are here. And yeah, it certainly has been reflected with the faculty here. Right. When I first started here, I was one of just a few non restoration movement faculty, actually. Yeah. Which is interesting, because, you know, the restoration movement calls itself Christian. So I guess technically, I was a non Christian member of the fact that Southern Baptist such as sounds really strange, right, right. Yeah. Anyway, nobody would even bat an eye to that today, even 15 years later. You know, we still we still have ties to the restoration movement as still right? heritage is important. Definitely. That but we have faculty, you know, from all sorts of Protestant denominations. In order to sign our face statement, you probably would need to hail from a more conservative evangelical, right, theological place. Right. Right. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a Methodist place or a Baptist place or place, Presbyterian place, Pentecostal place or whatever. Right. Right.
And that’s what I think I’ve really appreciated about being here is that it is the sense on unity. And it is unity in the midst of that diversity. And and I think that, that for me, my maybe hope with the church, and even the split between mainline and evangelical, Catholic and Protestant, orthodox, Catholic Protestant, is that we would find that unity, right, that we would find that unity, find that common ground, and we’d be able to celebrate that. And I do think it’s important. Yeah, I do. And then we can talk about our differences, right. And we can debate about that, but in
a way that it doesn’t necessarily mean conformity, and right doesn’t necessarily mean that you just, you know, treat important differences as not important. You just focus on the fact that there are some major things that you really do share that are just as important, if not more important, particularly once again, in the culture that we live in. Yeah. Which is rapidly sexualizing. And right. And, you know, it’s it’s, it’s hitting everybody. Yeah,
yeah. And then and I think for that, that idea of unity seems even more important and and seem to stress what it seems like Jesus talked about that a little bit. Yeah. You know, I think I think it’s, you know, we could maybe say it’s going to his core, right. And same with Paul, this idea of unity in the church in unity in that and well, it’s been great having you on the show, ragged talk to you all day weekend, and there’ll be many more to come from here, but he enjoyed it. But as we as we kind of end and wrap up the show, I do have we’re going to move into just a short segment here at the end. And it’s a game I’ve had other guests play. I’m excited about briefed on this. Yeah, this is not in the morning briefing. Okay. But this is I like to call it nerdy Would you rather so so it’s kind of a game of Would you rather, but it’s the nerdy edition. Okay. Just tried to go. Yeah, exactly. I mean, I tried to go with a historical theme, but not not necessarily just a church history theme, but just a broader historical theme or so go for it. So would you rather have dinner with Napoleon? Or your namesake Julius Caesar?
You know, I wanted one of the only things I appreciate and say this but one of the only things I ever remember from a Western Civ class in New Mexico was my professor saying that Napoleon never had an original thought in his head, but he had an opinion about everything. So I guess I go with Julius Caesar. Yeah. Just say you’d want to you want to hear an original thought? Yeah. He actually wrote his own copy. Right. So yeah, you know, something that our presidents don’t even know like that.
Right? Yeah. Yeah. write his own speeches. Well, now, that would be a great scene there would be to Julius’s. Julie is really high, setting a table. Although nobody knows me as Julius you do understand that? I do. I do. But I think more people need to because my real name exactly is Yeah, it’s great. And so we’re getting it out there. We’re gonna spread the word. Okay. All right. Well, thanks again. JOHN. The show’s been great. enjoyed it. Thank you for listening to Jessup. Think Be sure to follow us on Twitter at Jessup think we would love to hear your thoughts on the episode and engage with any questions you have. Our aim is to provide a framework for further reflection and deeper exploration of these important topics. You can also help the show by leaving a review on iTunes these reviews help the podcast reach new listeners. Until next time, I’m Mark Moore and this is Jessup.
If you’re interested in learning more about Jessup, please visit us at jessup.edu. William Jessup is the premier fully accredited four year Christian University in the Sacramento area offering over 60 academic programs in undergraduate and graduate studies designed to see every student equipped and transformed into the leader they are called to be as you go, don’t forget to hit subscribe and share so you never miss an episode. Thanks for joining us for Jessup think.