Old High School Pictures, Puberty, and a "Post Restorationist" Perspective  

Posted by Dan Jones

I will never forget when my wife, Meghan, found an old high picture of mine at my parents house. It was slightly embarrassing at the least. I am sure that there are many that can resonate with having to identify with a very awkward time captured in a nice little photo, for our loved ones to see.

How awkward could it have been? Let me just put it this way, I had spiked hair that had way too much gel, a nice layer of oily skin on my forehead, braces, and a goofy version of facial hair that is known as peach-fuzz. I think it was fair to say that I was a disaster at best. So as my wife gazed at this picture of me, then her eyes gazed at mine, I knew exactly what she was thinking. She was probably attempting to understand how that could have been me!

I tried explaining to her that my eyes haven't changed that much, my hair is still brown. I also explained to her that I haven't gained too much weight, and if you look closely you can still see what you see in me today. I don't think she bought it. As of a matter of fact, she explained jokingly (at least I hope) that if she would have known me in high school, things between us would be much more different.

This awkward phase is an amazing time of transition. Puberty, as the text books call it, is a sign of emerging adulthood. And how cool is it to experience the ups and downs, the joy and frustrations of so much change. I will never forget when my voice could not decide to stay deep or not. It was an experience to see my spotted peach-colored facial hair come in. It was also absolutely frustrating to tame the oily skin, to harness desires. The excitement of it all came with mixed emotions and a lot of self examination.

I would like to think that I have emerged out of puberty as more of a whole person. I sometimes look back and cringe at my old pictures, while still having fond memories. The ultimate satisfaction of the puberty process, isn't so much the process, as it is what I've become because of it.

I am very proud of my Restoration heritage. It brings me such joy to see the spirit of this movement, where it all started, and where it is going. With my whole life, rooted in this movement, I am very much aware of the areas that absolutely frustrate me in many ways. With that said, there is much I am excited about as well.

I am tempted to say that the Restoration movement is in some sort of puberty stage. There is a natural tension and joy within our movement because of the transitions, not only within our culture, but within our churches as well. I feel very blessed to be living in such a time of self-examination and progress. With this, there will be pains and frustrations. But even more then this, it is a time of great hope within our movement.

I am still coming to grips with the "post..." terminology and theology that is floating out there. To be honest, I don't know if I ever will understand the complexity of these conversations. I, myself, still believe I am in this "puberty" stage in Jesus. There is still a lot to be learned. With that admission, I would be happy to share my limited knowledge and thoughts on these conversations.

I want to thank Adam Ellis for introducing me to a whole new world within our heritage. He is a powerful witness to the hope of an emergence of a "Post Restorationist" perspective. I would also like to thank him for the opportunity to share within this context.

Let me end with this.

As we dust the old restoration photographs and peer into the eyes of the the church today, let us find hope in our high school snap shots. It is powerful what can be done through awkward times of transition. But just maybe, God will allow us to see a glimpse of what it means to enter in adulthood. If we look closely, I am confident we will begin to see glimpses within this forum as we share and discuss together on what exactly does it mean to be apart of a Post-Restorationist perspective.

-Dan Jones

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at Wednesday, March 04, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

3 comments

Dan,
Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate your thoughts here.
AE

March 5, 2009 at 10:44 AM

Thanks for the invite, I am just gald to add any relevant thoughts to the community.

-Dan Jones

March 5, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Dan,
Thanks for the good article - I resonate with the image of puberty to describe where we are as a movement. I hope that we can maintain our childhood joy and love for Jesus as we move towards mature discipleship.
Kenny

March 5, 2009 at 3:00 PM

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