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The Passing of Medievalism

in Religion

By Rev.

A series of sermons delivered in
First Presbyterian Church, Texar-
kana, Ark., issuing in a heresy trial
before Ouachita Presbytery, July
14, 1908.




During the Spring of 1908 Rev. F. E. Maddox, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, Texarkana, Ark., preached ten sermons on “The Passing of Medievilism in Religion,” A synopsis of each sermon was published, as a matter of news, in The Daily Texarkanlan. On account of the intellectuality of the preacher and his advanced views on the things that are fundamental in religion, a wide interest was created in the sermons. Many calls for papers containing the sermons were made, long after each issue was exhausted. For the purpose of meeting a popular demand we secured permission of Mr. Maddox to reprint the entire series in book form. This is the first edition.


(Publishers of The Daily Texarkanian.) Texarkana, Ark., July 10, 1908.

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We live in an age of theological fermentation. Changes are taking place in religious thought not less radical than in the days of the reformation and a process of reconstruction and readjustment is going on which is as widespread as it is revolutionary. We are moving away from some of the traditional positions of theology which for centuries have been regarded as bulwarks of evangelical faith, and both the pulpit and the pew of the present day are breaking with exploded theories and outgrown traditions. Christianity is being christianized and christian thought is being liberated from medieval and paganistic perversions. Much that is in the old creeds has been outgrown and the spirit of revision which is abroad today expunging and prunning old formularies is the result of a demand of the modern mind to readjust the old faith to the new facts. The difficulties of the modern man are not with religion, but outgrown views of it. The break among the educated is not with the truth of the Bible, but medieval interpretations of it.

The present discourses were born in a struggle to find a firmer footing amid the flux of theological opinion. They are a feeble attempt to restate some of the fundamental teachings of christianity in terms of common experience, and from the viewpoint of a modern man. The spirit pervading them is that of an earnest inquirer after truth, and the method pursued is that of accepting and proclaiming truth whatever its variance from orthodox positions or its effect on formulated dogma.

No one is more conscious of the defects of the whole series than the author. They were prepared from week to week amid the press of pastoral duties and handed to the press in the crude form in which they appear. No claim of absolute originality is made nor is acknowledgement always made when using the thoughts of others, since in most instances the substance has been expressed in my own language.

Many expressions of appreciation of good accomplished
by the series have come to me from my own congregation
and friends and this book is now sent forth with the hope
that its contents may do greater good to other and larger

Texarkana, Ark., July 10, 1908.

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