I Have taken notes on several books over the years. I will post a set here, if anyone is interested I can post others from time to time. Let me know.
“Righteous Empire: The protestant experience in America“. Martin E. Marty; 1970, The Dial Press, New York
1. A complex society is held together by certain common assumptions and shared beliefs . . . large groups of people do not organize themselves simply around philosophical concepts. These become concrete in certain traditional slogans, promises, threats. Much of what was concrete in American hopes and dreams had been fashioned under religious auspices. Pg 148
2. This anti-social teaching (Social-Darwinism) individualized the old Puritan-evangical idea about “election,” ideas which were previously seen in the context of a covenanted community, and used them to justify personal economic competition as being guided by the principal of natural selection. Pg 152.
3. . . . the reality of personal religion in the late nineteenth century was itself part of the history that was being made. Colonial Protestantism involved believers in custodianship of the covenant for the whole community. Early nineteenth century evangelicalism called people to the trusteeship of a religious-political empire. But in the late nineteenth century there was a growing acceptance of a division of labor in religious life. Particularly among individualists in religion, there was a widespread feeling that to comment on politics, economic, and social issues as the Beeches did was meddling in areas that did not concern religious people gathered in churches, to them religion had to do with sequestered and segregated areas of life. The personal, the “spiritual” and the familial, and that having to do with private life comprised the whole. The postulation of this sphere, then, represents the obverse side “of religion that makes history.” pg.168
4. Protestantism had provided the nation with the symbolism and mythology that shaped folklore as well as sophisticated literature of novelists and poets. Its architecture highlighted the landscape and its hymnody, from the lips of blacks and whites alike, was the folksong of a majority of the people. What was often called the Protestant ethic had left its stamp on public institutions, the business and industrial creeds and the way people raised their families and styled personal life. Non-protestant symbolism was arcane and exotic to all but those who adhered to minority creeds, while protestant mythology and ethos were recognizable beyond the churches. pg 210
5. The automatic identification of Protestantism with the middle-class way of life points to still another reality. The acceptance of social Christianity had never been widespread or more than skin deep. With the South and much of the northern Protestantism permanently and deeply committed to revivalist individualism, only the few - however articulate they may have been - had been won to a deep involvement that Christianity should get out of its private corner, where it had reposed for one century, and back to all areas of life where it had been at home for many centuries. pg 229
6. The passions which later Protestantism was to bring to the racial question and which earlier evangelicals had brought to personal vices and reforms of them, the social realists directed to the problems of labor. pg 239
7. To the critics of nationalism and colonialism, the former (worldwide missionary activity) was an expression of Anglo-Saxon and even of American empire. To the partisans of mission, it was an enlargement of witness to the power of the Kingdom of God and a fulfillment of Christ’s command to go into all the world. To the cynical outsider, or anti-ecumenical Christian, the ecumenical movement represents a great retreat, a failure of nerve, the compromise men make when they have no longer much to profess, when their faiths are vague and meaningless.
The missionary movement of the nineteenth century and the ecumenical movement of the twentieth, however, had common roots. Both were in their origins, expressions of northwest European and Anglo-American desires to reduce the world in the name of Christ to the faith and the culture of the superior West. Missions would convert and transform men; they would save souls, spread holiness, bring education and healing, help develop cultures. Unitive would be the agent for missions and the follow-up to them. pg. 244
8. Premillennialism, a view that would have been heretical to colonial and the early national period evangelicals, says in effect that the churches cannot do much about the nagging issues of their day. pg 256