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Apocalypse delayed : the story of Jehovah's Witnesses

Author: M James Penton
Publisher: Toronto ; Buffalo ; London : University of Toronto Press, 2015.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : Third editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Since 1876, Jehovah's Witnesses have believed that they are living in the last days of the present world. Charles T. Russell, their founder, advised his followers that members of Christ's church would be raptured in 1878, and by 1914 Christ would destroy the nations and establish his kingdom on earth. The first prophecy was not fulfilled, but the outbreak of the First World War lent some credibility to the second.
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: M James Penton
ISBN: 9781442647930 1442647930 9781442616059 1442616059
OCLC Number: 892301589
Description: xix, 547 pages, 11 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm.
Contents: pt. I. History : 1. The doctrinal background of a new American religious movement : Charles Russell : the early years, George Stetson and George Storrs, The British Millenarian revival, The dispersion and development of Albury Park Eschatology, Dr. Joseph A. Seiss, Russell and the object and manner of Christ's return, Dr. Nelson H. Barbour and the Three Worlds, Russell breaks with Barbour ; 2. Charles Russell and the Bible student movement: The Bible Students' Association, The "conspiracy" of 1894, Russell as the faithful and wise servant, Russell's marital tribulations, The New Covenant Schism, Russell's external adversaries, Russell's last years and death ; 3. The creation of a theocracy: Joseph Franklin Rutherford, The Watch Tower Schism of 1917, The Bible students and the First World War, Post-war reorganization, Millions now living will never die, Rutherford's ministry, Conventions, Rutherford's growing power, The new name, The development of theocratic government, Growing social alienation, The growth of the Bible student-Jehovah's Witness community, The vindication of Jehovah's name, The attack on religion, The great multitude, Rutherford's personal life and last days, Rutherford's death and legacy ; 4. The era of global expansion: Rutherford's successors, The Olin Moyle case, The remoulding of the Witness Community, The growth of the Witness Community, New World Assemblies, Fighting for freedom to preach, Congregation committees and disfellowshipping, Stay Alive till '75, Organizational and congregational liberalization ; 5. Prophetic failure and reaction: The attack on intellectuals, Closing Heaven's gates, Doctrinal vacillations, Growth of dissent, Governing body's response to dissent ; 6. From dynamic growth to organizational stagnation: Administrative changes, Doctrinal changes, The effects of changes on the Witness Community, The continued promotion of false history, The growing critical study of Jehovah's Witnesses, Dissident attacks on the Witness movement, The Watchtower's response to "apostates" ; 7. Relations with the world: Attitudes towards other religions, Religious persecution, The nature of anti-witness propaganda, The charge of sedition, Witness concepts of relations with the State, Opposition to preaching, Military service, Patriotic exercises and political neutrality, Marxist persecution, Witness compromises with the world, General social attitudes, Blood transfusions, Separateness and social concerns. pt. II. Concepts and doctrines : 8. Bases of doctrinal authority: The faithful and the discreet slave, Progressive revelation, Natural theology and the Bible, Biblical interpretation, Philosophy of history ; 9. Major doctrines: Theology, Christology and soteriology, Covenantal relationships, Spirit creatures, The nature of humankind, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, The church, The great crowd, Creation, Bible chronology and eschatological prophecy, The resurrection, The sacredness of life and blood, The preaching work --
pt. III. Organization and community : 10. Organizational structure: The Witness hierarchy, The development of the governing body, Governing body committees, The world-wide headquarters, The legal corporations, Watch Tower wealth, Watchtower literature, Zone, district, and circuit overseers, Branches, Elders and ministerial servants, Pioneers, Congregational meetings, Evangelism, Formal organizational controls, Informal controls, Organizational efficiency ; 11. The witness community: Membership, recruitment, and conversion, Sex, marriage, and the family, Education, Entertainment, the arts, and literature, Moral values and social relationships, Moral behavior, Ethnic and racial attitudes, Witness mental health, Decreasing zeal, Dissonance and dissent, Response to dissent, The effects of Watchtower policy, Witness instability and conservatism --
Conclusion.
Responsibility: M. James Penton.

Abstract:

For almost thirty years, M. James Penton's Apocalypse Delayed has been the definitive scholarly study of the Jehovah's Witnesses. As a former member of the sect, Penton offers a comprehensive  Read more...

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'This is not a vindictive slamming of the Witness organization by a raving ex-member, but a carefully written, well-documented critical analysis by a scholar with the special insight that only a Read more...

 
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Bases of doctrinal authority: The faithful and the discreet slave, Progressive revelation, Natural theology and the Bible, Biblical interpretation, Philosophy of history ; 9. Major doctrines: Theology, Christology and soteriology, Covenantal relationships, Spirit creatures, The nature of humankind, Baptism and the Lord\'s Supper, The church, The great crowd, Creation, Bible chronology and eschatological prophecy, The resurrection, The sacredness of life and blood, The preaching work -- pt. III. Organization and community : 10. Organizational structure: The Witness hierarchy, The development of the governing body, Governing body committees, The world-wide headquarters, The legal corporations, Watch Tower wealth, Watchtower literature, Zone, district, and circuit overseers, Branches, Elders and ministerial servants, Pioneers, Congregational meetings, Evangelism, Formal organizational controls, Informal controls, Organizational efficiency ; 11. 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