您的位置 首页 真道辨析

审视“大觉醒”运动(麦克阿瑟)2018-11-7 陈鸽翻译

“大觉醒”(Great Awakening)是始于十八世纪中叶的新英格兰州(New England)。这是一阵翻天覆地的复兴浪潮,卷席了美国各处的殖民地,直到最终销声匿迹。千万人都在“大觉醒”的复兴中归信了主,及至美国殖民地的属灵氛围都彻底改变了,甚至世俗历史的记载中“大觉醒”被视为美国早期历史的最重要事件之一。

 早在 1726,新泽西州《荷兰长老会》教会就出现了复兴的迹象。几年之后,一位年轻就出了名的爱德华兹(JonathanEdwards)牧师,开始发现他的会众中得救人数显著地加增。1736年,爱德华兹出版了他第一本有关复兴的著作《不可思议的归信记录》。那时,他不可能知道,他在自己教会中所看到的信主见证,不过是美国历史上最大复兴运动的先兆,而且,爱德华兹和英国露天布道家怀特腓(GeorgeWhitefield)二人将会成为1740年代神所重用的主要器皿,他们将复兴带入硕果累累的祝福中。到了复兴的尾声,几乎每个殖民地的社区都多少受到“大复兴”的影响。所到之处,“大觉醒”彰显的特征都是强而有力的传道、纯正教义的重振、因信称义的强调、对罪的深恶痛绝、立即的悔改归信、和戏剧性的生命改变。

 然而,“大复兴”的另一大标志就是它所产生的强烈情感反应。有些人听了讲道,以激烈的身体行动来回应,如昏厥、颤抖、呼叫、震惊等等。这些现象偶尔甚至会有更不寻常的表达形式:如蹦跳、抽筋、跳舞、狂喜、幻觉、异象、还有情不自禁的大笑。

显然,“大觉醒”中发生的现象和过去几十年发生的事情之间有很明显的相似之处。这一事实并没有逃过1994年在多伦多(Toronto)诞生的“大笑复兴”拥护者的注意。英国灵恩运动领袖科茨(Gerald Coates)写道:

 那些研究过怀特腓(Whitefield)、卫斯理(Wesley)、爱德华兹(Jonathan Edwards)和其他复兴家的人都知道,这种现象(如多伦多运动中所看到的“笑声、眼泪、扑倒、躺卧在地”)正是在“大觉醒”期间,借着福音与见证的传讲所产生的现象。这些都不是新事,倒是许多复兴运动的标志。虽不是所有,但大多的复兴都有这些现象伴随。[1]

 既然爱德华兹是“大觉醒”最积极发言的捍卫者,许多现代灵恩派人士都希望爱德华兹为他们辩护。例如,德阿泰加(WilliamDeArteaga)就相信“爱德华兹肯定会认同‘信心医治’运动”,[2]他又说:“爱德华兹会为耶稣在灵恩派圈子中所受到无拘无束的颂扬和崇拜而欢喜快乐的。”[3]既然爱德华兹可说是美国有史以来最伟大的神学家和最深刻的思想家,他的认可肯定会成为灵恩运动强而有力的支持。

 然而,爱德华兹真会为“大笑复兴”和现代的“灵恩运动”现象辩护吗?他真会承认这是出于神的复兴吗?不,他留下的几本书都澄清了他对这些问题的立场。这些历史事实显明,其实他会对这场运动感到震惊。几乎可以肯定的说,他会冠以“狂热”的标签。既然如此,为什么这么多神秘现象的倡导者仍相信他会同情他们呢?首先,爱德华兹写书是为了证明“大觉醒”是一场真实的复兴,他撰文是为了回应对“大觉醒”一波接一波的严重攻击,其焦点大多集中在这场运动的过分情绪化上。在“大觉醒”时期,爱德华兹最大的对头是昌西(CharlesChauncy),他是“波士顿第一教会”的牧师,昌西成了“觉醒运动”最直言不讳的反对者,而爱德华兹则是它最能言善辩的维护者。

德阿泰加的论点是:反动派扼杀了“大觉醒”的复兴。他声称当时“正统的共识”(新英格兰州主流的神学观点)叫圣灵担忧,因为像昌西这样的人不能容忍随着复兴而流露出来的情感。

 但奇怪的是,在德阿泰加描述当中,加尔文主义神学倒是罪魁祸首(因加尔文相信上帝凭他的主权拯救罪人);至于亚米念主义(即相信人的自由意志最终决定一个人得救或失落),德阿泰加却描绘为一种温和又被经常误解的福音派神学精髓。在他的评价中,“纯粹的加尔文神学不能解释伴随着‘大觉醒’运动而来的属灵经历。”[4] 因此,德阿泰加总结说:“因着加尔文神学的假设”,昌西“确保了‘大觉醒’的失败。”[5]

 然而,有几件相当重要的历史细节,使他这一论点完全站不住脚,即事实上昌西倾向于亚米念主义,并最终帮助创建了上帝独一位格论(译者注:否定了三位一体论);而爱德华兹则一生都持守加尔文主义,毫无动摇。不但如此,‘大觉醒’中另一位关键人物怀特腓(GeorgeWhitefield)也是一位坚定的加尔文主义者。

 还有,那时的“神学共识”实际上是亚米念主义。在“大觉醒”前的三十年中,加尔文主义已经严重地衰落。爱德华兹(Edwards)和怀特腓(Whitefield)因坚持古旧的神学,被大多数同时代人视为“神学的恐龙”(绝种的怪物)。[6]他们大力捍卫加尔文主义,反对象昌西(Chauncy)这样人的攻击。正因他们传讲加尔文主义关于人性全然败坏和上帝绝对主权的教义,所以导致了“大觉醒”的复兴。爱德华兹是这么记载的:

 有些人,甚至在神施行恩典时看见他主权的荣耀,都令他们心中充满甘甜,灵魂惊叹不已,以致欢呼流泪。我记得有一次,一个人正在阅读有关神对罪人主权的拯救原来是神主动的工作。他施恩的动机,不是因为人自己的公义,乃是为了彰显上帝的伟大,同时叫罪人降卑,这就神拯救的目的。当他默想这一真理时,顿时心花怒放,欢喜若狂。[7]

 加尔文主义非但没有对“大觉醒”构成拦阻,反倒是这场复兴运动的核心动力。这些对德阿泰加来说并不重要,在他的书中,他根本不提爱德华兹是加尔文主义者,也没有承认“大觉醒”是因宣讲加尔文主义的宝贵教义而引发的。他只从自己主观偏见的立场来描绘“大觉醒”运动。整本书中,加尔文神学都是德阿泰加最喜爱的箭靶子,也是他最痛恨的大坏蛋,就是“法利赛主义”的现代版;而他对“加尔文主义”的攻击,却是一个为了制造容易攻击的目标而加以夸大的缩影。例如,他认为加尔文对上帝的认识“更接近于可兰经(Koran)所描绘的神观(译者注:阿拉):那位至高的极权者随心所欲地摆布着宇宙万物。”[8]其实,这是对加尔文上帝主权观的一种完全不真实又不公平的表述。德阿泰加甚至引用天主教历史学家海尔(HaireBelloc)为权威,将欧洲灵性的衰退归咎于加尔文主义[9],然而公允的历史学家会坚决反对这种观点的。

 当然,根据德阿泰加的说法,加尔文神学是“大复兴”的衰退的主因 [10] (并最大的杀手)但这一断言全然无视历史的事实。

 如果我们想要得知“大觉醒”的真相,以及导致它最终消亡的原因,最好的信息来源一定是目击者的叙述。正如我们下周将要看到的,爱德华兹(Edwards)已为我们提供了大量深入的分析。

(改编于“鲁莽的信心”)

——————————

 A Look at the GreatAwakening

by John MacArthur

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

 The Great Awakening was a dramatic revival that began inNew England in the mid-eighteenth century and swept the colonies before itfinally subsided. Multitudes were converted in the Awakening, and the spiritualclimate of colonial America was transformed. Even in secular history books, theGreat Awakening is treated as one of the most significant events in earlyAmerican history.

 Signs of revival first appeared in New Jersey among DutchReformed congregations as early as 1726. A few years later a young but alreadywell-known Massachusetts pastor named Jonathan Edwards began to see aremarkable increase in the number of conversions among his flock. In 1736Edwards published his first work on the revival, A Narrative of SurprisingConversions. He could not have known then that the conversions he was witnessingin his own parish were the first stirrings of the greatest revival in Americanhistory. Moreover, Edwards himself, along with English evangelist and open-airpreacher George Whitefield, would be the chief human instruments God used tobring the movement to full fruition in the 1740s. By the time it was over,virtually every community in the colonies had been touched by the revival.Everywhere the Awakening went, it was marked by strong preaching, a resurgenceof sound doctrine, a distinct emphasis on justification by faith, powerfulconviction of sin, immediate conversions, and dramatically changed lives.

 But another significant mark of the revival was thepotent emotional response it generated. Some people responded to the preachingwith intense physical reactions—fainting, trembling, crying out, and shock.Those phenomena occasionally gave way to even more extraordinarymanifestations—jumping, twitching, dancing, ecstasies, trances, visions, andeven uncontrolled laughter.

 Obviously there are some rather remarkable parallelsbetween the phenomena that occurred in the Great Awakening and what hashappened in the last few decades. And thisfact did not escape advocates of the laughing revivalbirthed in Toronto in 1994. Gerald Coates, a British charismatic leader, wrote,

 Those who have studied Whitefield and Wesley, JonathanEdwards and other revivalists will know that it is precisely this phenomena[“laughter and tears and people’s strength failing them” as seen in the Torontomovement] which took place [during the Great Awakening] in worship, throughtestimonies and the preaching of the gospel. These things are not new andmarked very many (though not every) [sic] revivals. [1]

 Since Jonathan Edwards was the most outspoken defender ofthe Great Awakening, many modern charismatics hope to enlist Edwards as anapologist for their cause. WilliamDeArteaga, for example, is convinced that“Edwards would have relished [the faith-cure] movement,” [2] and that “Edwards would rejoice in the way Jesusis unabashedly praised and worshiped within the charismatic community.” [3]

Edwards, who is arguably the greatest theologian and mostprofound thinker America has ever produced, would certainly serve as aformidable ally for the movement.

 But would Edwards defend laughing revivals and moderncharismatic manifestations as true works of God? He left several volumes thatmake his opinions on these matters quite clear. The historical facts actuallysuggest he would be appalled by the movement. He would almost certainly labelit fanaticism. Why do so many promoters of mystical phenomena believe he wouldbe sympathetic to their cause?

First of all, Edwards wrote to defend the Great Awakeningas a true revival. And he wrote in response to a wave of severe attacks thatfocused largely on the movement’s emotional excesses. Edwards’s nemesis in thedays of the Great Awakening was Charles Chauncy, pastor of Boston’s FirstChurch. Chauncy became the most outspoken opponent of the Awakening, whileEdwards was its most articulate defender.

 DeArteaga’s thesis is that opposition killed the GreatAwakening. He claims that “consensus orthodoxy”—the prevailing doctrinalopinions in New England—grieved the Holy Spirit because men like Chauncy couldnot tolerate the displays of emotion that went with the revival.

And, oddly, the chief theological villain of DeArteaga’saccount is Calvinism—the belief that God is sovereign in the salvation ofsinners. Arminianism—the teaching that the human will ultimately determineswhether a person is saved or lost—is portrayed by DeArteaga as a benign butoften misunderstood refinement of evangelical theology. In DeArteaga’sassessment, “pure Calvinist theology could not interpret the spiritualexperiences that were to accompany the Great Awakening.” [4] And so, DeArteaga summarizes, “using theassumptions of Calvinist theology,” Charles Chauncy “ensured the defeat of theAwakening.” [5]

 One or two rather significant historical details renderthat thesis altogether untenable. The facts are that Chauncy leaned towardArminianism and ultimately helped found Unitarianism —while Jonathan Edwardsremained a staunch Calvinist all his life. Moreover, the other towering figurein the Great Awakening, George Whitefield, was also a committed Calvinist.

 The “consensus theology” of that day was, in fact,Arminian. In the thirty years before the Awakening, Calvinism was in seriousdecline. Edwards and Whitefield were perceived as theological dinosaurs by mostof their contemporaries because they held to the old theology. [6] They brilliantly defended Calvinism againstattacks from men like Chauncy. Their preaching of the Calvinist doctrines ofhuman depravity and divine sovereignty were the very thing that sparked theAwakening. Edwards recorded this:

 In some, even the view of the glory of God’s sovereignty,in the exercises of his grace, has surprised the soul with such sweetness, asto produce [weeping, joy, and crying out.] I remember an instance of one, who,reading something concerning God’s sovereign way of saving sinners, as beingself-moved—having no regard to men’s own righteousness as the motive of hisgrace, but as magnifying himself and abasing man, or to that purpose—felt sucha sudden rapture of joy and delight in the consideration of it. [7]

Far from posing a threat to the Great Awakening,Calvinist doctrine was at the heart of the movement.

None of that matters to DeArteaga. Nowhere in his bookdoes he even acknowledge that Edwards was a Calvinist or that the Awakening wasprompted by the preaching of doctrines precious to Calvinists. He simplyrecounts the Great Awakening with his own revisionist slant. Throughout thebook, Calvinist theology remains DeArteaga’s favorite bogeyman, the epitome oflatter-day pharisaism. But the Calvinism he attacks is a caricature,exaggerated to make an easy target. He suggests, for example, that Calvin’s viewof God “is closer to the concept of God depicted in the Koran, all sovereignyet ruling the universe capriciously” [8]—analtogether untrue and unfair way to represent the Calvinist conception of God’ssovereignty. Citing Catholic historian Haire Belloc as his authority, DeArteagaeven blames Calvinism for Europe’s spiritual decline [9]—aview impartial historians would roundly reject.

 And, of course, according to DeArteaga, Calvinisttheology was responsible for the demise of the Great Awakening [10]—an assertion that utterly disregards the factsof history.

 But if we want to get the real facts concerning the GreatAwakening and what led to its eventual demise, our best source will always bean eyewitness account. And as we’ll see next week, Jonathan Edwards has alreadyprovided us with plenty of in-depth analysis.

  

(Adapted from Reckless Faith)

关于作者: 陈鸽

热门文章