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Legalism is dead - long live legalism

From the beginning, American Christianity appeared legalistic to many British sensibilities.

Letter from America Josh Moody

With Puritanical emphases on purity of church practice, or the fundamentalist controversy in the 1920s, American faith often tended to be viewed as fixated on the law. Of course, the role of the law in Christianity is a theological matter of great significance. But irrespective of exegetical considerations, the ‘feel’ of American Christianity — with its support for Prohibition at one extreme to some Christians’ tacit (even vocal) support for racial segregation at the other — seemed to many in Britain to be motivated by law as much as grace.