Summary Of The Civil War As A Theological Crisis By Mark A Noll

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In the monograph The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, Mark A. Noll is arguing that the American Civil War was not just a political and cultural issue, as is commonly argued, but also a theological crisis. Noll successfully attests that the Civil War was also a theological safe haven per se before it was even fought. Noll points out that the United States shifted from a theological safe haven to one with a theological crisis during the Civil War. Noll is able to write a successful monograph and explain how the Civil War affected the theology of the day. Noll constantly compares different religious arguments but only focuses on the sole issue of slavery in the south.
Noll is able to show how there was a theological safe haven before the Civil …show more content…

This crisis revolved around slavery in the south. Noll shows both sides of the argument. one whether or not slavery was theologically correct according to the Bible, but Noll focuses more on defending the theological argument for slavery. Noll starts off his book with giving an example on how the two views thought of slavery, one said it is the “cause of national sin” while the other states it is “good and merciful.” These two points start off Noll in an unbiased direction in that he points out that the North cannot view the south as heathenistic for they are all part of the same nation and cannot use the Mosaic Law against them. Noll points out that the South is still at some fault for its treatment of slaves were not treated completely as human, but still the slaves are human. These help Noll’s point in that there was a crisis. Both the North and the South had their own ideas. This is compounded in that Northern and Southern Protestant churches both believed the Bible is true and that their interpretation of the Bible is correct. This is feeding in to the conflict during the Civil War. If both sides thought they were scripturally correct as Noll suggest, they are not just fighting a physical war, but a spiritual battle over theology and which interpretation if correct and which one is …show more content…

An important example Noll points out is for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Jackson has been pointed out to have given credit to God for the victories of the Confederates. Noll points out that when Jackson died, it was thought by some that it was because of some sin. This is important towards Noll’s point because the thought for slavery was not simply that they are justified in the Bible but that sense they are justified they will win the war. Noll uses the words of James M. Pendleton, a big defender of biblical inerrancy, as it caused him to write that “slavery is not of necessity sinful” and that he then has a hard time refuting the slave laws in Kentucky according to the Bible, Mosaic Law and Abrahamic tradition. Pendleton reluctantly supports Noll’s point in Biblical justification for slavery. This helps Noll tremendously because he is able to give a very real and honest opinion into his list of sources. Pendleton is honest because he was bound by his strong willed defense of the inerrancy of the Bible and would then not try to make some doctrine up just to fit his

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