Suggest Resources on the "Problem" with Pietism

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Sean | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Dec 13 2016 8:16 PM

I've frequently come across objections to pietism in Reformed theologies (and also Lutheran; for example W. Pannenberg said something like, "There is one thing I am certainly not; I am certainly not a pietist.") Mostly, however, they're just that: objections, not systematic discussions of the problems of pietism.

Can anyone please point me to orthodox Protestant writers tackling this subject systematically? I'm mostly interested in the theological and practical issues, not so much historical ones with the original movement. I'm posting here in the Reformed forum as I already have a ton of Reformed theologies in my Logos library and would like to start from there...

Thanks in advance!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 13 2016 11:26 PM

??? Pietism is primarily Lutheran in contradistinction to confessional in terms of the swing of the pendulum. It is closely related to the Puritans, highly influenced the Methodists and


Pietism had an influence on American religion, as many German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania, New York and other areas. Its influence can be traced in Evangelicalism. Balmer says that:

Evangelicalism itself, I believe, is quintessentially North American phenomenon, deriving as it did from the confluence of Pietism, Presbyterianism, and the vestiges of Puritanism. Evangelicalism picked up the peculiar characteristics from each strain – warmhearted spirituality from the Pietists (for instance), doctrinal precisionism from the Presbyterians, and individualistic introspection from the Puritans – even as the North American context itself has profoundly shaped the various manifestations of evangelicalism: fundamentalism, neo-evangelicalism, the holiness movement, Pentecostalism, the charismatic movement, and various forms of African-American and Hispanic evangelicalism

As it like the Eastern Orthodox is concerned primarily with the cultivation of personal piety, it's not really a developed systematic theology so I'm not clear what you are looking for ... but then again, I'm unreformedWink

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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