The Child in American Evangelicalism and the Problem of Affluence

A Theological Anthropology of the Affluent American-Evangelical Child in Late Modernity

By David A. Sims

The Child in American Evangelicalism and the Problem of Affluence

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  • ISBN: 9781556359576
  • Pages: 346
  • Publication Date: 6/1/2009
  • Retail Price: $40.00
Web Price: $32.00
Web Price: $32.00
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eBOOK

  • ISBN: 9781556359576
  • Format: epub
  • Publication Date: 6/1/2009
  • Retail Price: $40.00
Web Price: $32.00
Web Price: $32.00
 

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The Child in American Evangelicalism and the Problem of Affluence

A Theological Anthropology of the Affluent American-Evangelical Child in Late Modernity

By David A. Sims

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781556359576
  • Pages: 346
  • Publication Date: 6/1/2009
  • Retail Price: $40.00
Web Price: $32.00
ebook-logo

eBOOK

  • ISBN: 9781556359576
  • Format: epub
  • Publication Date: 6/1/2009
  • Retail Price: $40.00
Web Price: $32.00
Web Price: $32.00
 

*All eBooks are non-returnable

** Click here to review our ePub FAQ and policies.

About-

This work presents an evangelical theology of the child nurtured in the context of American evangelicalism and affluence. It employs an eclectic theological-critical method to produce a theological anthropology of the affluent American-evangelical child (AAEC) through interdisciplinary evangelical engagement of American history, sociology, and economics.
Sims articulates how affluence constitutes a significant impediment to evangelical nurture of the AAEC in the "discipline and instruction of the Lord." Thus, the problem he addresses is nurture in evangelical affluence, conceived as a theological-anthropological problem. Nurture in the cultural matrices of the evangelical affluence generated by technological consumer capitalism in the U.S. impedes spiritual and moral formation of the AAEC for discipleship in the way of the cross. This impediment risks disciplinary formation of the AAEC for capitalist culture, cultivates delusional belief that life consists in an abundance of possessions, and hinders the practice of evangelical liberation of the poor on humanity's underside. The result is the AAEC's spiritual-moral "lack" in late modernity.
Chapter 1 introduces the problem of the AAEC. Chapters 2 and 3 provide a diachronic lens for the theological anthropology of the AAEC through critical assessment of the theological anthropologies of the child in Jonathan Edwards, Horace Bushnell, and Lawrence Richards. Chapters 4 and 5 constitute the synchronic perspective of the AAEC. Chapter 4 presents an evangelical sociology of the AAEC, drawing upon William Corsaro's theory of "interpretive reproductions," and chapter 5 constructs an evangelical theology of the AAEC through critical interaction with John Schneider's moral theology of affluence. Chapter 6, "Whither the AAEC?," concludes with a recapitulation of the work and a forecast of possible futures for the AAEC in the twenty-first century.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"David Sims has offered us not only a neologism, "Affluent American-Evangelical Child" (Afflamec?), but also a strident analysis of how this product of the 1950s has been prepared by the age of twenty as a lamb to be slaughtered on the idol of the "spirit of democratic capitalism." With careful analysis of the works of Jonathan Edwards, Horace Bushnell, and Lawrence Richards, contemporary sociologists, and key biblical passages and themes, the author concludes that an idolatrous theology has emerged. It is strong on individual liberty as a way of life, and very weak on repentance, the Cross, and the call of Christ to obedience through costly discipleship. It is a timely prophetic wake-up in the tradition of Bonhoeffer and Barth."
--Keith J. White
author of The Growth of Love

"At a time in history when modernity's dilemmas over children are increasingly being recognized, this book is truly prophetic. Combining original research into the theological anthropologies of influential figures in American Evangelicalism with critical insights from biblical and theological reflection on economy and society in late modernity, Sims challenges us to recognize the truly baleful effects of our culture of affluence on the Christian formation of our children. By reading the story of the rich young man in Matthew 19 with the help of Barth, Bonhoeffer, John Paul II, and Marion Grau, Sims makes a compelling case for a renewal of evangelical culture, church, and pedagogy towards true gospel freedom."
--Stephen C. Barton
Department of Theology and Religion
Durham University

Contributors-

David A. Sims

Bio(s)-

David Sims is the father of eight American evangelical children (including a foster son) nurtured in the matrices of affluence generated by the inexorable advent of technological consumer capitalism in the United States since World War II. He earned his PhD in 2006 at the University of Durham in Durham, England. He is the Chair of Theological Studies and teaches systematic theology at the Anglican School of Ministry in Little Rock, Arkansas, and serves on the Board of Mentors for Peacemaker Ministries.

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