Prepare for a debate on Roger Williams’  “Christenings Make Not Christians” and

Prepare for a debate on Roger Williams’  “Christenings Make Not Christians” and

Prepare for a debate on Roger Williams’  “Christenings Make Not Christians” and John Winthrop’s  “A Model of Christian Charity”. Make sure you have a good understanding of each text’s main arguments, historical context, and theological perspectives. For best results, reach out to other students and plan and practice together. You will create a short presentation of your findings, work, and outcomes. You may make a video or audio recording of your work–or you may be more creative if you like. The point is to demonstrate your knowledge and synthesis of your learning. Don’t forget to cite your sources. Length: 3-5 minutes for each side. If you present alone, you need both sides. If you have a partner, one side each. Consider using Genially.com for help. This assignment will open more fully on 6/2 in a discussion board post which encourages questions, sharing, and a repository for your final work. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you a bit more:
Reach out early to a fellow classmate to join you in your investigation, preparation, and debate.  
1. Understand the Texts
Roger Williams’ “Christenings Make Not Christians”:
Main Argument: Williams argues that true Christianity is based on personal faith and spiritual conviction, not on external rituals like baptism. He advocates for religious freedom, separation of church and state, and liberty of conscience.
Key Points:
Critique of forced baptism and its ineffectiveness in making true Christians.
Importance of personal, voluntary faith.
Separation of church and state.
Religious pluralism and tolerance.
True conversion as an internal, spiritual process.
John Winthrop’s “A Model of Christian Charity”:
Main Argument: Winthrop outlines the principles of a godly community based on mutual love, charity, and a sense of collective responsibility. He envisions the Puritan colony as a “city upon a hill” that should serve as an example of Christian virtue.
Key Points:
Emphasis on communal love and charity.
The idea of a covenant with God and a collective responsibility to uphold Christian values.
The concept of the colony as a “city upon a hill” and a model for others.
The importance of social hierarchy and the duty of the wealthy to support the poor.
2. Analyze and Compare the Texts
Themes and Issues:
Faith and Conversion: Compare Williams’ emphasis on personal faith and spiritual conversion with Winthrop’s focus on communal faith and collective responsibility.
Religious Freedom vs. Community Cohesion: Analyze Williams’ advocacy for religious freedom and separation of church and state versus Winthrop’s vision of a unified, godly community.
Role of the Church: Contrast Williams’ argument against the church’s involvement in state affairs with Winthrop’s integration of religious principles into the governance of the colony.
Individual vs. Collective Responsibility: Discuss Williams’ focus on individual conscience and liberty versus Winthrop’s emphasis on collective duty and charity.
3. Develop Your Arguments
For Williams:
Personal Faith: Argue that true faith cannot be imposed and must be a personal choice.
Religious Freedom: Emphasize the importance of liberty of conscience and the dangers of state-imposed religion.
Separation of Church and State: Highlight the benefits of keeping religious practices free from governmental control.
For Winthrop:
Community Unity: Argue that a unified religious community fosters social cohesion and mutual support.
Collective Responsibility: Emphasize the moral duty of the community to care for one another, especially the poor.
Example to Others: Discuss the idea of the colony as a model of Christian virtue for the world.
4. Gather Evidence and Examples
From the Texts:
Williams: Look for quotes and passages where Williams discusses personal faith, liberty of conscience, and criticisms of forced baptism.
Winthrop: Find quotes and sections where Winthrop talks about communal love, charity, and the covenant with God.
Historical Context:
Understand the historical background of each author. Williams’ experience with religious persecution and his founding of Rhode Island as a haven for religious dissenters. Winthrop’s role as a leader of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and his vision for the Puritan community.