Riddlebarger On The Buzz Vs Reformation In The OC

the_oc_pcKim Riddlebarger spent his summer sabbatical profitably and one of the things he did was to write a series of fascinating posts on evangelicalism in Orange County, California during the 1970s—2013. It’s not an exhaustive account but it does illustrate well the stark difference between “buzz” and Reformation theology, piety, and practice. The former is rooted in temporary excitement and personalities and the other is rooted in Scripture, in confession, and in a piety oriented around the due use of ordinary means.

The “Burned Over District” is a reference to a period of religious enthusiasm in the 19th century, in Western New York. See Whitney Cross, The Burned Over District. See also Nathan Hatch’s The Democratization of American Christianity.

Here’s the series: The OC: A New Burned Over District?

Part 1: The Buzz
Part 2: TBN
Part 3: Calvary Chapel
Part 4: Robert Schuller and the Crystal Cathedral
Part 5: The Bible Teachers
Part 6: Lessons To Be Learned

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  1. I’ve been reading all of these since he started this and they are just excellent; very informative for a guy growing up on the other end of the country and not knowing much about this.

  2. Well done! I’ve been arguing anecdotally for awhile that Orange County is a burned over district. Kim does a much better job. Worth bookmarking.

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