Launching A New Blog  

Posted by Adam in , , , , ,

Welcome to Post-Restorationist Perspectives! Several years ago, my friend Phil and I launched a podcast called Post-Restorationist Radio, and were surprised at how many people seemed to resonate with such a perspective. We did the podcast for a while, but then took a 2 year hiatus due to the general craziness of life. (In the meantime, we also launched a facebook group). We are in the process of relaunching it as "The Post-Restoration Podcast", and have already recorded the first episode. This blog is an attempt to provide people who find resonance with this conversation an outlet. I'll be posting here frequently, but I'm also inviting several of my friends to be contributing authors as well. If you would like to be a contributing author, please email me with the text of your first post, and I'll add you.

To my knowledge, I coined the term "Post-Restorationist" a few years ago in a blog post. By way of explanation, I am re-posting it below." Welcome to the conversation.
Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Post-Restorationist

My religious tradition (the churches of Christ) is a part of what has historically been known as the American Restoration Movement. It was a movement dedicated to both unity and "the restoration of 1st century Christianity." Interestingly enough, the term "Restoration Movement" was not used by either Campbell or Stone (founders/leaders of the movement) and was applied in retrospect to describe it by others. Campbell prefered to think of it as a new or continuing reformation. Campbell, however was a thoroughly modern fellow, and truly believed that if everyone would simply put aside their preconceived ideas and approach the Bible objectivly, they would all reach the same conclusions on key issues. There is much that I admire in both Campbell and Stone, but I believe that human beings simply do not have the ability to approch things with complete objectivity, nor were the scriptures written that way.

I recently have been thumbing through a book called "The Post-Evangelical" by Dave Tomlinson. In the introduction, Dallas Willard says "To correctly appreciate this, you have to start with the realization that what Tomlinson calls post-evangelicalism is by no means ex-evangelacalism. There are, of course ex-evangelicals, and even anti-evangelicals, but post-evangelicals are evangelicals, perhaps tenaciously so. However, post-evangelicals have also been driven to the margins by some aspects of evangelical church culture with which they cannot honestly identify."

There has always existed some confusion over whether or not churches of Christ are evangelical or not. The best answer seems to be "sort of." However, this comment resonated with me as I read it. I realized that it kind of sums up my feelings about the restoration movement and restoration thought. It's like I told a friend of mine a while back when he asked me "What are you still doing here (in the churches of Christ)?" I believe in the movement. I believe in the spirit of continuing reformation that Campbell and Stone bought into as opposed to crystalizing their beliefs (or the agreed upon beliefs of the majority of the churches) at any given point. I disagree with the modern/Enlightenment based assumptions of the "Restoration Movement" such as unity based on total agreement of the meaning of the scriptures in matters of (arbitrarily chosen) core doctrines. I also would say that instead of the forms of the 1st century church, it is their spirit and ability to redeem and subvert the culture they existied in for the kingdom of God that needs restoration. Forms are almost always relative to context. So, here I stand as a Post-Restorationist in an awkward loving relationship with the movement that has nurtured my faith since I was born, desperatly wanting it to live up to its potential, unwilling to settle for the mediocrity, compromise, and lethargy that its founders and indeed Jesus himself would not have settled for, and unwilling to leave it to an anemic and pathetic fate.

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