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The Decline and Fall of the True Christian Church: The English Deist View

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Christian Deism broke radically with the past and had its starting point in the notion that Christianity, as it was known, was perverted and no longer represented in the true and apostolic faith. Many of the titles of most of the Deist's books expressed this dismay over the state of the Christian religion, the need for re-interpretation of the nature of the true gospel and for reform. While most books reflected on the matter, the individual perspectives differed on the questions: Whom to blame for this fall? How to date it? What was the correct issue? The article argues that it was not the contention of the English Deists that some churches had erred in some points, but that all the churches had erred in all points: The entire system of the Christian religion was perverted. Their view of the history of Christianity was intimately connected with their view of the person and significance of Jesus.


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