KEEPING ABREAST: REVIEWS OF BOOKS AND MATERIALS RELATING TO THE CHANGE MOVEMENT

John Waddey
John Waddey

May 30th, 2004, 5:26 am #31

KEEPING ABREAST: REVIEWS OF BOOKS AND MATERIALS RELATING TO THE CHANGE MOVEMENT


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Ideas are spread by word of mouth or by print or electronic media. Those determined to change churches of Christ into a denomination of their own liking are issuing a steady stream of books promoting their views. Many immature and unsuspecting souls will be influenced by them. The author of the following reviews has assumed the unpleasant task of reading and evaluating all the books being circulated by promoters of change. He also makes a point of reading, reviewing and recommending those books and tracts that do a good job of responding to the agents of change and promoting the Master's message. Hopefully this page will be a useful resource for those desiring helpful information on this troublesome movement.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To share your ideas, to ask additional questions or to recommend other books for review, email the author @ [url=mailto:JOHNWADDEY@aol.com]JOHNWADDEY@aol.com[/url].
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[emph., d.c.]


<font size=4>
THE CRUCIFORM CHURCH (a review)—Continued
</font>


The author [C. Leonard Allen] dismisses past brethren such as N. B. Hardeman with the wave of his hand, charging him with a "serious dislocation of the past" (p. 8). Of course Bro. Allen assumes he is wiser and a better historian than Bro. Hardeman. The fact is, his biblical knowledge, his ability as a teacher and preacher and most especially his usefulness to the Cause of Christ pales as a dim shadow beside Hardeman!

He says, we must "face the challenge of rethinking our traditional way of reading the Bible" (p. 19). "Some (namely change agents, jhw) have consciously rejected their (traditional jhw) methodology of interpretation and begun casting about for new ones" (p. 19). He assures us that "the traditional view" (i.e. of biblical interpretation, jhw) is in decline. While this is true of change agents and the schools they control, it is not true of the vast majority of our preachers and teachers. He warns that those who reject the traditional approach are "susceptible to theological fads" (p. 20). "The Bible becomes the self-help manual par excellence, a book containing just the things we like to hear. This current secularizing and psychologizing of Scripture provides another compelling reason we must rethink the role of the Bible in Christian faith" (p. 20). Rather than the way "traditional" churches handle scripture, this is a perfect portrait of how change agents such as Allen use it. He criticizes the way our preachers have studied and interpreted Scripture, yet most of them studied and were trained in schools like Abilene. So his indictment includes his own professional peers in our Christian Universities. It is true that some of our preachers did not have a good working knowledge of hermeneutics and some did not always rightly divide the more difficult parts of the Word, but one need not be a highly trained exegete to understand the basic lessons of salvation, the worship and the church. If such were so, how few would be able to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Allen charges that, "Our traditional approach violated the historical and literary character of the Bible" (p. 32). "Among Churches of Christ, the effect of the Baconian method was to shut down serious attention to Scripture's historical or cultural settings" (p. 33). I have always sought to discover the historical and cultural context and the literary style of the particular text I was studying. Maybe his early Biblical education failed him in this respect. It is true that we have not made our interpretation conform to the rationalistic canons of liberal theologians. Perhaps it is this he really objects to.

He says, "Our traditional way of reading the Bible has restricted our Spiritual resources for dealing with the advanced secularization of our time" (p. 35). Does he suggest that the "new hermeneutic" produces a stronger, more courageous disciple who can better resist the temptations of our secular society? Are the students and graduates of Abilene and Pepperdine thus more godly and victorious than their peers from Freed Hardeman or Faulkner U? He asserts that our "traditional' hermeneutic hinders our compassion (pp. 174-175). What a wild unfounded assumption. Does he claim that his change churches exhibit more compassion and benevolence than the traditional churches? He treats us to pages of theological gobbledegook and insists that, "the traditional approach....fostered a kind of spiritual self-reliance, proves theologically inadequate to address an individualistic, self-indulgent secularized age. How we might ask can a self-help Christianity direct increasingly self-indulgent people away from self" (p.37). But it is precisely the change agents who are preaching the self-help gospel!

<font color=blue>This book is a promotional piece for the "New Hermeneutics." This new method of interpreting God's Word is an essential tool to create a mind-set willing to accept their innovations without question or dissent. If they can get novice Christians to read the Word through the tinted lenses of denominationalism, they can lead them anywhere with ease. With their new hermeneutic, they would create a religion without commands and ordinances that must be obeyed; one without obligations or accountability. </font> He sees his approach to Bible interpretation as "more faithful" than the method used by the rest of us (p. 11). Many of the alleged principles of their new hermeneutics are not really new. Much of what they claim to have discovered are basic principles of interpreting Scripture, known by all serious students of the Word for hundreds of years. Preacher students at their Christian universities may not have been taught these basic tools of information, but students in schools of preaching routinely receive this instruction. His critique of our methods of interpretation is flawed because it is built upon a mistaken premise that no one knows how to properly interpret Scripture but the he and his fellow change agents. "Given our familiar, traditional way of reading the Bible, however, such a move may well mean breaking with tradition and entering a strange and unfamiliar world" (p. 71). Change agents are the ones "breaking with tradition and entering a strange and unfamiliar world! "

Dr. Allen's view of Scripture is revealing. He says the "canonical list containing exactly the twenty-seven books we accept today appeared only by the fourth century, though even then there was not unanimity among the various Christian communities" (p. 56). Perhaps he could tell us who wrote those books of our Bible, not accepted until the fourth century after Christ. He should tell us if he believes all the 66 books of the Bible are equally inspired of God, as for example the Gospels

The arrogance and smugness of the change agents is illustrated in his discussion of our understanding of God. He writes as though he has discovered something new that all the rest of us "traditionals" have failed to grasp: that God is transcendent, omnipotent and capable of doing wondrous, stupendous things (p. 98). It is interesting to see him evaluate the Christian's view of God through the lens of atheistic philosophers such as Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872), Karl Marx (1818-1881) and Sigmund Freud (1856-1939).

Change agents like Allen delight in labeling the truths we hold dear as mere traditions that need to be abandoned for the new truths they have discovered. Allen favorably quotes F. J. A. Hort who wrote, "the air is thick with bastard traditions which carry us captive, unawares while we seem to ourselves to be exercising our freedom and instinct for truth" (p. 11). While harshly criticizing our traditions, he insists that we must "take Christian traditions other than our own with great seriousness" (p. 11). He describes the impact his agenda will have on some Christians: "The effect of such an engagement might best be described as a theological loss of innocence" (p. 12). A "loss of innocence" suggests an experience like a seduction or rape, and in a spiritual sense, that is an apt description of occurs when change agents steal into a congregation.

Bro. Allen implies that all but his group of preachers and churches have "lost the word of the cross" (p. 113). The author is totally out of touch with reality! Only the theological liberals, whose works he cherishes, have lost the word of the cross! <font color=blue>The preachers of the change movement, who resort to entertainment and drama to nourish their congregants are the ones who have lost the precious message of the cross. Other brethren continue to preach Christ today as always! </font>

For Allen it is not enough that we believe in the omnipotent, transcendent God, the atoning death of Christ and that we preach those truths; we must plumb the mystery which is incomprehensible (p. 115-120). Allen bases his program on the premise that the true meaning of God's will is an incompressible mystery (p. 118). That being the case, how can we know anything for sure about God, Christ, the Bible and the Church? The very definition of a mystery is that which is not understood.

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THE CRUCIFORM CHURCH (a review)—Part 2 . . . <font color=blue> to be continued</font>
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__________________________________
Reviewed by John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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John Waddey
John Waddey

June 1st, 2004, 6:34 am #32

KEEPING ABREAST: REVIEWS OF BOOKS AND MATERIALS RELATING TO THE CHANGE MOVEMENT


——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Ideas are spread by word of mouth or by print or electronic media. Those determined to change churches of Christ into a denomination of their own liking are issuing a steady stream of books promoting their views. Many immature and unsuspecting souls will be influenced by them. The author of the following reviews has assumed the unpleasant task of reading and evaluating all the books being circulated by promoters of change. He also makes a point of reading, reviewing and recommending those books and tracts that do a good job of responding to the agents of change and promoting the Master's message. Hopefully this page will be a useful resource for those desiring helpful information on this troublesome movement.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To share your ideas, to ask additional questions or to recommend other books for review, email the author @ [url=mailto:JOHNWADDEY@aol.com]JOHNWADDEY@aol.com[/url].
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[emph., d.c.]


<font size=4>
THE CRUCIFORM CHURCH (a review)—Continued
</font>


Bro. Allen has a huge misconception regarding Churches of Christ. He builds his case on the faulty assumption that the Old Testament is universally neglected in our preaching and teaching, that we fail to appreciate and teach its great themes. Allen and other change agents have not actually found points of doctrine we have overlooked or neglected. They have an elitist attitude of superiority and smugness towards their brethren who are not their academic peers and who do not share their appetite for change.

The author says that the church must be "a withdrawing community," yet change agents are the champions of mega churches with their elaborate social, recreational and entertainment programs. They routinely make common cause with the world about us. Does the administration and staff of ACU or Pepperdine U live "withdrawn" from the world? One need only visit the campus of either school to get the answer. Are the churches the change agents serve free from worldly influences? Behold they say and do not!

Among his many criticisms of the church is that as a whole (specifically, we leaders, jhw) act as though we have no human history; that we have only the Biblical history of the early church. This is but one of the baseless assertions on which he erects his flimsy structure. A multitude of our preachers had courses in church history and restoration history while in our colleges and in virtually all did who attended our schools of preaching. Books of brotherhood history and biography have enjoyed wide circulation among us over the years. While encouraging his readers to study our past he says, "One may become so keenly aware of the humanness of the tradition that one is tempted to reject it" (p. 13). This is precisely what he and other change agents have done! Allen paints what he imagines one might conclude about us as our history is studied. His description well describes the liberal change agents: "One may perceive serious theological distortions...or discern narrowness and intolerance. One may find overwhelming ironies in the movement (for example, the grandiose plan for unity, yet the runaway fragmentation that ensued). One may be frustrated by institutional intransigence" (p. 13). He confesses that he has felt a longing to start all over again, abandoning the church as she presently exists (13).

Chief among his criticisms are the following: "The central irony that has dogged our movement since its inception: the tendency to creedalize the absence of creeds, to make nonsectarian claims a centerpiece of one own sect, to make rejection of all human tradition a fixture of one's own robust tradition..." (p. 24).

He faults our understanding of the world and consequently our understanding of the Bible...blaming us for seeing the world through the eyes of Isaac Newton's view of nature rather than as did our predecessors in the Dark Ages. I wonder if Bro. Allen prefers that superstitious, medieval view of the world and the Word over that which he grew up with? He faults us for using the inductive method to determine the meaning of Scripture. He prefers the uncertain approach of subjectivism and relativism. He indicts our way of studying Scripture, "The traditional approach elevated inorganic, impersonal, and mechanistic models of the Bible, the church and the Christian life" (p. 31). "The Bible became an inert object, a compendium of separate facts and commands rather than a unified, personal story of God's acts and character" (p. 31). I don't know just where he has spent his life or which congregations he has been associated with, but his experience is totally atypical. I have visited at least 300 of our churches over the years and not found such to be the case. Perhaps he is just repeating an urban legend circulating among his peers. He and other change agents have a hundred criticisms but no positive construction suggestions for the church. Like termites they eat away at the foundation and structure of congregations leaving only ruin.

<font color=blue>On page 46 he tells us Alexander Campbell failed to properly interpret Scripture because "He drew upon a modern western, ‘social compact' theory widely held in the political thought of his day." My what arrogance from a would be scholar not qualified to hold light for Alexander Campbell. Allen is like an armchair critic who deigns to criticize the general who lead a great army to victory. </font>

Bro. Allen bases his program on the premise that the real and correct understanding of the Bible is an incomprehensible mystery. He exalts the incomprehensible mystery and then faults those who do not dwell on the incomprehensible (p. 118). He says "we do not solve true mysteries, we engage them..." He bemoans the fact that gospel preachers commonly cite Eph. 3:2-6 showing that the mystery is now made known in Christ. If Scripture is an unfathomable mystery, then none can know what God's will for us is and all are left to their own ideas and opinions. This uncertainty is the basis of Postmodernism. All of his multi-syllabic discourse about mystery of religion says nothing significant or new. All mysteries that were pertinent to our salvation and faith were revealed to us by revelation. Other mysteries, things unrevealed, belong to God and we must be content with what he has shown us (Deut. 29:29).

He insists that we must "enlarge our canon," meaning "recovering the Jewish Scriptures as a vital and functional part of our Christian life" (p. 52). This falsely implies that we do not recognize the 39 Old Testament books as divine Scripture. <font color=blue>He really wants to convince the unknowing that Old Testament Scripture is equally authoritative for doctrine and practice of the church today. Principally he wants them to accept those Old Testament passages authorizing the Hebrews to use instrumental music in their worship as giving approval for its use in our worship today. He says, "We must embrace the whole canon of Scripture and thereby become a more biblical people" (p. 57). This is pure puffery. Everyone accepts the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. He posits a false impression (that traditional preachers do not accept the Old Testament books), then proceeds to attack and destroy the imaginary situation he has created. </font>

In the same vein, Allen says we must "elevat(e) the Gospel accounts to equal status with the Epistles as authoritative documents for the church" (p. 52). This falsely implies that we elevate one part of the New Covenant over the other, thus neglecting the Gospels. For our preachers, he says, "The Gospels, in short, play a somewhat minimal role when it comes to preaching the gospel or instructing the church about its life together in Christ" (p. 52). False charge! Note that he acknowledges "It exaggerates only a bit (better, a lot, jhw), to say that the Old Testament and to some degree the Gospels- dropped out of the theology of Churches of Christ" (p. 55). False again. He labors to prove that the early church loved and honored the Old Testament (p. 56). But no one believes otherwise! This, like much of his book, is relevant. He tells us "Neglect or eclipse of the Old Testament, for this reason makes us more vulnerable to misalliances with secular or naturalistic world views (p. 57). This statement better describes the change agents who warmly embrace the anti-Christian views of pluralism, relativism and post-modernism!

------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE CRUCIFORM CHURCH (a review)—Part 3 . . . <font color=blue> to be continued</font>
------------------------------------------------------------------------


__________________________________
Reviewed by John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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John Waddey
John Waddey

June 2nd, 2004, 5:48 am #33

KEEPING ABREAST: REVIEWS OF BOOKS AND MATERIALS RELATING TO THE CHANGE MOVEMENT


——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Ideas are spread by word of mouth or by print or electronic media. Those determined to change churches of Christ into a denomination of their own liking are issuing a steady stream of books promoting their views. Many immature and unsuspecting souls will be influenced by them. The author of the following reviews has assumed the unpleasant task of reading and evaluating all the books being circulated by promoters of change. He also makes a point of reading, reviewing and recommending those books and tracts that do a good job of responding to the agents of change and promoting the Master's message. Hopefully this page will be a useful resource for those desiring helpful information on this troublesome movement.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To share your ideas, to ask additional questions or to recommend other books for review, email the author @ [url=mailto:JOHNWADDEY@aol.com]JOHNWADDEY@aol.com[/url].
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[emph., d.c.]


<font size=4>
THE CRUCIFORM CHURCH (a review)—Continued
</font>


<font color=blue>Much of this book is filled with "theo-babble" i.e., heavy, obtuse paragraphs filled with the cloudy language of the denominational theological seminary.</font> Such lines make no sense to the average reader. For example: "Parables are not illustrations; they do not support, elaborate, or simplify a more basic idea. They are not ideas at all, nor can they ever be reduced to theological statements...They contain a surplus of meaning that beckons us beyond ourselves to discover something new...They have hooks all over them; they can grab each of us in a different way..." (p. 61). This, dear reader, is the scholarship of the new hermeneutic.

Allen says, "Life in the kingdom involves a shattering for the settled, predictable, well-managed, ‘possible world’" (p. 102). While eulogizing the mighty power of God, he hints at the idea that God will still work miracles today as in Biblical times (p. 102).

He charges that "the ‘word of the cross' has been significantly displaced in the history of Churches of Christ...we have tended to push the cross into the background and thus to proclaim an anemic and distorted gospel" (p. 113). "The most pressing question facing Churches of Christ today is the question; Can we recover ‘the word of the cross' in its biblical fulness?" This is an arrogant assumption on the part of a professor whose view of the Church and the world is the insular campus of a university. Before he could honestly make such an indictment of a brotherhood of some 15,000 preachers (here and around the world), he would have to interview each, review all the sermons and classes they have taught to see how much emphasis they placed on the ‘word of the cross!' Perhaps he views the whole church through the prism of his ACU classroom where theological liberalism holds sway! "In light of our own theological tradition and our present culture, then, can we truly proclaim—or even—hear the New Testament ‘word of the cross'" (p. 114). This is arrogant presumption. He looks at the faith of the liberal Protestant bodies in our society and then blames us with their malady! It is fair to ask, while he dabbles in his mysticism, ecumenism, and criticism of his brethren, is he himself proclaiming ‘the word of the cross?' Whatever our failures to place appropriate emphasis on the cross, the change agents with their entertainment, feel good message are in no way superior.

On page 63, Allen tells us "We must remember however that torah was not ‘law' in our often narrow usage of the word. It was not simply divine commands and human obligations. It was not legalism. Rather it was the story of God's love and might, of divine graciousness and deliverance." Strange, the Jews did not understand it as does he. On the previous page he discusses the various "law codes" of the Torah. Which way shall it be? Is it the law of God or a narrative of God's love and might? In fact it combines both, but it most certainly contains hundreds of rules and regulations that God expected the Hebrews to obey "For if ye shall diligently keep all this commandment which I command you, to do it..." (Deut. 11:22).

He repeatedly implies that the advent of the Age of Reason caused modern man (us jhw) to have a view of God inferior to that of medieval man (p. 81). Does he really believe that the medievals in their ignorance and superstition had a better understanding or a closer relationship with God than he does! "Our tradition among Churches of Christ makes it easy for us to think this way. For we have not focused on the biblical doctrine of God" (p. 82). Have any change preachers done a better job of focusing on God? Which ones? He hints that we whom he labels "traditional" have such a distorted view of God that it borders on idolatry (p. 85, 90).

Like all true liberals, whether political or theological, Allen sees all thing through a racial prism, Blacks against Whites, harkening back to the slavery of a century ago, setting the faith, even the concept of God between the two races in opposition to each other. Do liberal changes agents form God in their own image? "The God of slaves is the commendable liberator who identified with their suffering. The God of middle class White Americans views America as Number One, or perhaps as the elect nation chosen to lead the world in the paths of righteousness. God sanctions the American work ethic where prosperity and affluence becomes sign of divine favor and poverty becomes a sign of moral failure. God becomes an ardent capitalist, a support of the nuclear arms race..." (p.93). These lines sound like they are borrowed from CNN television! Of conservative congregations, he alleges, "A church can be ‘sound' while excluding black people from its midst" (p. 174). No one approves of such conduct today. All would condemn it. He would be hard pressed to find such a congregation in our nation. Does his broad brush condemnation include his liberal congregations?

The change agents are determined to make the thought of Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone the basis of our faith! No doubt it is the basis of theirs but the rest of us will rest our faith on the foundation of the New Covenant of Christ. No preacher or church is as neglectful of the cross as the liberal who disregards the will of the crucified one who expects his disciples to "obey all things whatsoever (he) commanded" (Matt. 28:20).

He faults A. Campbell for assuming that most of his contemporaries understood the atonement of Christ and that the major challenge at hand was restoring the ancient order of things–and focusing energies on calling people into Christian union on the basis of the ancient order (p. 116).

Allen asserts that our "mindset sought hard facts and precisely stated propositions. It sought formulas and equations whereby on might exercise ever greater control over the world" (p. 117). Would he tell us the name of one person in the church of the last two centuries who sought this!

He faults us for our desire to understand metaphorical language, but does he not attempt to explore obscure and poetic and symbolic language? Of course he does.

He cites Bill Love who claims to have surveyed hundreds of books of Restoration sermons over five generations. (Being very familiar with the literature of our brethren, I wonder where he found hundreds of books of sermons?) Bro. Love selected five preachers of five generations (25 in all) and exploring their published sermons, he concluded that "in general our movement has failed to preach the ‘word of the cross.' Love's survey is not scientific. The average preacher normally preaches upwards of 100 sermons per year. Most influential preachers may well have preached 200 or more times per year. Few preachers publish their sermons in books and most who do only publish a handful of the sermons they preach, some 20-30 in a book. Few preachers have more than one or two books of sermons published. In addition to sermons, preachers usually teach two or more Bible classes per week and many have newspaper, radio or television lessons which also are occasions for teaching fundamental themes of the faith such as the ‘word of the cross.' Before Love or Allen can conclude that all preachers have failed to preach on this theme, they must be have analyzed the content of every sermon preached, every class taught, every article written. Not just the title, but the contents. This seems to be an assumption he first made and then selected some evidence to try to prove his assumption. What kind of record do Love and Allen have? Has anyone analyzed their preaching, teaching and writing to see just what percentage of it focuses on the ‘word of the cross?'

Allen has a low and critical estimate of his brethren in the Churches of Christ. He finds his message and his delight in the liberal theologians and philosophers of Protestantism and the world.

He says that to follow the way of the cross, "We will require a community that stands in sharp contrast to the dominant social order." Do ACU or the mega Churches of the change agents live in sharp contrast to the dominant social agreement? He says, "Jesus' way calls in short, for character traits and moral skills that appear either incomprehensible, foolish, or impossible to a world schooled only in the ethic of self-advancement' (p. 163). But the change agents strive to build their worldly mega churches by making common cause with the world!

He tells us that, "By dwelling in Christ's body, which is the church, the Spirit continues Christ's incarnation" (p. 165). Could he please give us a Scripture for this statement.... a favorite of the change brotherhood. Perhaps he found that in "The Second Incarnation" by Shelly and Harris.

He repeatedly cites J. S. Lamar's Organon of Scripture, written and published in 1859 as having profoundly warped the ability of our brethren to properly understand scriptures. It is not likely that a hundred of our preachers have heard of, much less read Bro. Lamar's book. I happened to have read it. When one first assumes his point and then seeks for supporting evidence he is liable to say anything!

Allen and his fellow change agents are "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (II Tim. 3:7).

<font color=blue>I am pleased to report that Dr. Allen is now a visiting professor at Biola University in California, a Baptist school. There his theology fits his benefactors. It is a blessing for the church and the young Christians who would be under his blighting influence were he still teaching in one of our schools. If he cannot find his way back to the simple faith and practice of New Testament Christianity, we should pray that he will stay there. </font>

__________________________________
Reviewed by John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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John Waddey
John Waddey

August 19th, 2004, 7:18 am #34

KEEPING ABREAST: REVIEWS OF BOOKS AND MATERIALS RELATING TO THE CHANGE MOVEMENT


——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Ideas are spread by word of mouth or by print or electronic media. Those determined to change churches of Christ into a denomination of their own liking are issuing a steady stream of books promoting their views. Many immature and unsuspecting souls will be influenced by them. The author of the following reviews has assumed the unpleasant task of reading and evaluating all the books being circulated by promoters of change. He also makes a point of reading, reviewing and recommending those books and tracts that do a good job of responding to the agents of change and promoting the Master's message. Hopefully this page will be a useful resource for those desiring helpful information on this troublesome movement.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To share your ideas, to ask additional questions or to recommend other books for review, email the author @ [url=mailto:JOHNWADDEY@aol.com]JOHNWADDEY@aol.com[/url].
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[emph., d.c.]


<font size=4>
CHRIST—NO MORE, NO LESS
</font>


In this book Milton Jones proposes to teach us "How to be a Christian in a Postmodern World." It was published by Leonard Allen's New Leaf Books, a familiar name in "change" literature. The author's stated design is to help us understand postmodernism so we can be more effective witnesses for Christ. Discerning readers will conclude, however, that the author himself has embraced postmodernism and is molding his ministry to its canons in order to attract and keep young postmoderns under his influence.

He asks, "How do we fit Christianity in a postmodern world?" (p. 20). This is surely the wrong question. We should be asking how can we help those lost in the maze of postmodernism escape and find salvation in Christ?

On page 20, the writer relates how "many churches" are trying to adapt and survive in the postmodern world. Some "are taking more of an Eastern approach to religion by emphasizing an inner subjectivism and allowing for the validity of all religions." "Others are changing or softening their core beliefs. Congregations are giving in to the intellectual marketplace where whatever is popular becomes the rule of thumb for the church." "The new trend is to create a church that is more pleasing to people of the postmodern mind, while avoiding those who do not fit into the postmodern philosophy." In these quotes Jones paints a vivid picture of the change churches among us that are willing to sacrifice everything and try anything to attract or hold on to people who want religion without the demands of Christ revealed in he Word.

He knows and states the correct answers to the postmodern challenge: "In the postmodern world, Christianity must be seen as distinctive and not something that can be changed to fit an ever-changing mold." "Christianity and postmodernism, in many of their foundational tenets are mutually exclusive" (p. 20). "In postmodernism we are to leave everyone alone and celebrate diversity..." "The heart of the Christian message is not the celebration of diversity..." (p. 33). How truly said! But his problem is in following his own better judgment. His practice is to change the church to fit the ever-changing mold of the world. Paul plainly says, "Be not conformed to the world" (Rom. 12:2).

He says, "The church itself started to act as if it had everything figured out." (p. 74). "In the postmodern world, no one can be sure of anything. But it goes deeper than that. No one can tolerate anyone who is sure of something." (p. 49). It is a cardinal rule of postmodernism that no one can be sure of anything, or be certain that he has figured out anything, especially in the realm of moral and spiritual truth. One of the chief complaints of change agents against us is that we are too sure of our faith! They are intolerant of those who refuse their program! Thus he joins them in this conclusion. "In the church of my heritage,(i.e., Churches of Christ, JHW), we tried to figure out everything it took to be the right church. ... It was called Restorationism... But too often we put the emphasis on our work of discovering the ancient pattern rather than God's revelation of his current movement" (p. 75). Perhaps he would explain just what kind of revelation from God concerning his current movement he and his tribe are looking for? Have they received such revelations? If such are available, why do we need the Bible?

He quotes Mike Regele, "Thousands of churches are about to die..." "A local church has only two options as its surrounding culture moves from modernity to postmodernity. It can die because of its resistance to change or it can die in order to be reborn as something new. Either way the church as we know it will die. Most churches are choosing the first alternative. The second choice is possible only if old structures and approaches and perspectives give way to new ones" (p. 87). From this quote we can deduce that Jones believes that churches that resist the change movement are doomed to die. This, by the way, is what the progressives said a hundred years ago of our fathers who refused to embrace their call for instruments of music in worship and missionary societies. Strangely they survived and flourished and the change agents (Disciples of Christ) have been in decline ever since. We agree that those churches embracing the change agenda will be changed to such an extent that they will "reborn as something new," i.e., a new denomination, even if, God forbid, they still use the name Church of Christ. Many churches will die as a result of change agents sowing seeds of discord that splinter and scatter their members.

Jones says, "In reality, society needs someone to stand up and say when something is wrong" (p. 93). This is true, but such is contrary to the change philosophy. They only have criticism for the Christians and congregations that refuse to follow them into the world of change.

He reminds us, "In our culture today, the facts are not enough to convince. In fact they may not even be heard coherently by the masses. Without a story there is little change for belief" (p. 101). One wonders, who told him this and on what authority? "You don't have to prove the story or analyze it to death-just tell it" (p. 103). But I Thess. 5:19-20 says, "Prove all things...."

He glowingly speaks of "Fred Craddock, the great teacher of preachers" (p. 102). Mr. Craddock is the darling of the change professors and preachers. He is a minister of the liberal Disciples of Christ denomination and a professor at Emory University. By giving heed to teachers of this stripe many good men are now enmeshed in the snares of the postmodern change movement.

He tells us, "Post modern worship must be something altogether different. It must celebrate the joy of life in Christ. It must be centered in the retelling of the story in such a way that the worshipers find themselves inside the story even as they worship" (p. 103). Perhaps he could explain why it took some 2000 years to discover that man must have a postmodern type of worship? The result of postmodern thinking and behavior is a society of chaos, confusion and disintegration. Why should Christians even think of following their crooked path? "The focus in a postmodern world must be upon participating in the story that rests at the heart of the Bible" (p. 105). Does he mean we must give them a role in a drama program for the worship service? "The story then become the shaping influence in our lives and the evidences of their truth resides not in scientific proof, but rather in the fact that Christians pattern their lives by them" (p. 105). To teach sinners the gospel in the words of and by the example of Christ and his apostles is distasteful to postmodern change agents. They seek to discredit such old fashioned efforts by likening them to dry scientific experiments. What if Christians pattern their lives after false stories? Does such matter in a postmodern church?

To Jones, "A blessing of postmodernism is that it will create a culture unresponsive to legalistic, works-oriented churches" (p 122). In case you haven't understood, it is us who refuse to follow the pied-pipers of change to whom he has reference.

"Change has been extremely difficult for churches as the modern world has given way to the postmodern. However churches that are interested in evangelism will do more than change for the sake of change. They will have to change for the sake of the mission. They will have to change in order to help younger people find Christ" (p. 124). Millions have been taught and brought to salvation through the preaching of the gospel such as was common among our brethren. It is a venture fraught with risk to assume the church will prosper by abandoning the tried and proven Bible mandate of preaching the word (II Tim. 4:2) for postmodern story-telling.

"Older church members, accustomed to modern thought and modern churches will be reluctant to change. But that reluctance may thwart the church from accomplishing its mission" (p. 124). It grieves agents of change to think that any Christians are so stubborn in their faith as to resist their calls for change.

"One of our problems as Christians is that we may have spent too much energy maintaining our umbrage against postmodernism. Our approach has been that we are right and they are wrong. Such an inflexible tactic in dealing with those of another viewpoint doesn't work well in our current age of tolerance." (p. 124) A change agent does not protest, because he has embraced this new world view and is willing to adjust his Christianity to fit into its mold. The following quote verifies this conclusion. "Christians who actually want to see change should not react in a hostile way to postmodern people" (p. 124-125).

"Paul's unique realization is that there are indeed, many other Christians, but they are not all exactly alike" (p. 134). Note his implication that Christians may be found in all sorts of denominational bodies. Does he include Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists, The Jonestown Cult and David Koresh's Cult?

"Postmodernists tend to have a negative, irreverent spirt towards the church and even toward people in general" (p. 135). So do change agents. An entire book could be assembled of negative, irreverent quotes directed at Churches of Christ and their past and present ministers, who did not and will not accept the change agenda.

He cites columnist George Will, "Today, however there also seems to be s small-minded, mean-spirited resentment of those who rise, a reluctant to give credit where it is due, a flinching from unstinting admiration, a desire to disbelieve in the rewarded virtue of the few" (p. 136). Mr. Will was writing about baseball, but Jones applies these words to those of us who fail to appreciate the efforts of change agents to capture and redesign the church into a worldly denomination! He continues from Will, "We have a swamp of journalism suited to such an age, a journalism infused with a corrosive, leveling spirit..." (p. 136). These lines Jones directs at those who dare to express in print their objections to his change proposals.

"We could conclude that postmodernism is the ultimate end of human arrogance" (p. 140). We add our Amen. In the spirit of America's liberal political establishment, he writes, “It would be hard to argue with the opinion that the people of the modern West became the most arrogant people in history of the World." (p. 140). What a broad, derogatory generalization. Most of the Christians in the world, including all the change agents, are among those he labels as "arrogant!" I suspect the author excludes himself and fellow-change agents from this judgment.

He says, "The church needs a prophetic ministry that will mature, nourish and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us" (p. 144). Having read sixteen books promoting change, I am impressed at the repetition I find in them, both in ideas and phrases. "Prophetic ministry" is one of them. I wonder from whom they borrowed it?

Because of its watery content and opaqueness, this book is not the serious threat that some change productions are. The author failed in his purpose to inform us about the threat and challenge of postmodernism because he, knowingly or unknowingly, is in it up to his neck. In reality, the author is an apostle for a postmodern version of Christianity.

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

August 21st, 2004, 10:06 pm #35

Another "New Testament" has hit the market, titled “Good As New: A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures,” the latest in the Change Movement’s never-ending passion to produce more “exciting,” “up-to-date,” “politically correct,” and “culturally relevant” biblical paraphrases. Written by John Henson, whom the Associated Press described as being a “fundamentalist-hating Baptist” from Great Britain, the book is not only further described as the “wildest, wackiest and possibly worst of those trendy attempts to update Holy Writ,” but also as “women, gay and sinner friendly.”

The book has been endorsed by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who proclaims the translation to be “of extraordinary power.”

An exceedingly loose treatment of the Scriptures, Henson’s book seems to imply approval for unwed heterosexual and homosexual couples, among many other “doctrinally denuded” passages. For example, compare the KJV passage of First Cor. 7:2, “Nevertheless, (to avoid) fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband” to Henson’s version, “My [Paul’s] advice is for everyone to have a regular partner.” Also compare KJV First Cor. 7:9, “But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn” to Henson, “If you know you have strong needs, get yourself a partner. Better than being frustrated!” Henson stresses only “partner” (which can be married or unmarried, heterosexual or homosexual) and avoids specific reference to heterosexual marriage.

One of numerous examples of how the book prefers modern colloquialisms over accurate translations is seen in the paraphrase of Mark 1:10-11: “A pigeon flew down and perched on him. Jesus took this as a sign that God’s Spirit was with him. A voice from overhead was heard saying, ‘That’s my boy!’” Such a paraphrase likens God to a prideful dad sounding off about his son, who has just made a showy spectacle of himself. How many times have we been at children’s sports events and heard some parent yell, “That’s my boy!” when their son scored a goal, touchdown, basket, or hit a home run? Such a paraphrase reduces Scripture to worldly elements and violates Romans 12:2 and James 4:4.

Worse, Henson completely deletes eight New Testament books, because they “don’t suit him”: 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus, 2nd Peter, 2nd and 3rd John, Jude, and Revelation.

Clearly, “Good As New” cannot be seriously taken as a legitimate Bible except perhaps by the biblically illiterate and naïve, who mistakenly assume that all Bible translations and paraphrases are alike and present the same Word of God. That reasoning is just as fallible and dangerous as the reasoning that as long as you “love” and have a “heart for Jesus,” everything else about the Bible is “disputable”; that as long as you “love your partner,” mutual co-habitation (live-in girlfriend or boyfriend) is acceptable, that marriage and gender of that partner are irrelevant.
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Kenneth Sublett
Kenneth Sublett

August 25th, 2004, 1:28 am #36

[emph., d.c.]


<font size=4>
CHRIST—NO MORE, NO LESS
</font>


In this book Milton Jones proposes to teach us "How to be a Christian in a Postmodern World." It was published by Leonard Allen's New Leaf Books, a familiar name in "change" literature. The author's stated design is to help us understand postmodernism so we can be more effective witnesses for Christ. Discerning readers will conclude, however, that the author himself has embraced postmodernism and is molding his ministry to its canons in order to attract and keep young postmoderns under his influence.

He asks, "How do we fit Christianity in a postmodern world?" (p. 20). This is surely the wrong question. We should be asking how can we help those lost in the maze of postmodernism escape and find salvation in Christ?

On page 20, the writer relates how "many churches" are trying to adapt and survive in the postmodern world. Some "are taking more of an Eastern approach to religion by emphasizing an inner subjectivism and allowing for the validity of all religions." "Others are changing or softening their core beliefs. Congregations are giving in to the intellectual marketplace where whatever is popular becomes the rule of thumb for the church." "The new trend is to create a church that is more pleasing to people of the postmodern mind, while avoiding those who do not fit into the postmodern philosophy." In these quotes Jones paints a vivid picture of the change churches among us that are willing to sacrifice everything and try anything to attract or hold on to people who want religion without the demands of Christ revealed in he Word.

He knows and states the correct answers to the postmodern challenge: "In the postmodern world, Christianity must be seen as distinctive and not something that can be changed to fit an ever-changing mold." "Christianity and postmodernism, in many of their foundational tenets are mutually exclusive" (p. 20). "In postmodernism we are to leave everyone alone and celebrate diversity..." "The heart of the Christian message is not the celebration of diversity..." (p. 33). How truly said! But his problem is in following his own better judgment. His practice is to change the church to fit the ever-changing mold of the world. Paul plainly says, "Be not conformed to the world" (Rom. 12:2).

He says, "The church itself started to act as if it had everything figured out." (p. 74). "In the postmodern world, no one can be sure of anything. But it goes deeper than that. No one can tolerate anyone who is sure of something." (p. 49). It is a cardinal rule of postmodernism that no one can be sure of anything, or be certain that he has figured out anything, especially in the realm of moral and spiritual truth. One of the chief complaints of change agents against us is that we are too sure of our faith! They are intolerant of those who refuse their program! Thus he joins them in this conclusion. "In the church of my heritage,(i.e., Churches of Christ, JHW), we tried to figure out everything it took to be the right church. ... It was called Restorationism... But too often we put the emphasis on our work of discovering the ancient pattern rather than God's revelation of his current movement" (p. 75). Perhaps he would explain just what kind of revelation from God concerning his current movement he and his tribe are looking for? Have they received such revelations? If such are available, why do we need the Bible?

He quotes Mike Regele, "Thousands of churches are about to die..." "A local church has only two options as its surrounding culture moves from modernity to postmodernity. It can die because of its resistance to change or it can die in order to be reborn as something new. Either way the church as we know it will die. Most churches are choosing the first alternative. The second choice is possible only if old structures and approaches and perspectives give way to new ones" (p. 87). From this quote we can deduce that Jones believes that churches that resist the change movement are doomed to die. This, by the way, is what the progressives said a hundred years ago of our fathers who refused to embrace their call for instruments of music in worship and missionary societies. Strangely they survived and flourished and the change agents (Disciples of Christ) have been in decline ever since. We agree that those churches embracing the change agenda will be changed to such an extent that they will "reborn as something new," i.e., a new denomination, even if, God forbid, they still use the name Church of Christ. Many churches will die as a result of change agents sowing seeds of discord that splinter and scatter their members.

Jones says, "In reality, society needs someone to stand up and say when something is wrong" (p. 93). This is true, but such is contrary to the change philosophy. They only have criticism for the Christians and congregations that refuse to follow them into the world of change.

He reminds us, "In our culture today, the facts are not enough to convince. In fact they may not even be heard coherently by the masses. Without a story there is little change for belief" (p. 101). One wonders, who told him this and on what authority? "You don't have to prove the story or analyze it to death-just tell it" (p. 103). But I Thess. 5:19-20 says, "Prove all things...."

He glowingly speaks of "Fred Craddock, the great teacher of preachers" (p. 102). Mr. Craddock is the darling of the change professors and preachers. He is a minister of the liberal Disciples of Christ denomination and a professor at Emory University. By giving heed to teachers of this stripe many good men are now enmeshed in the snares of the postmodern change movement.

He tells us, "Post modern worship must be something altogether different. It must celebrate the joy of life in Christ. It must be centered in the retelling of the story in such a way that the worshipers find themselves inside the story even as they worship" (p. 103). Perhaps he could explain why it took some 2000 years to discover that man must have a postmodern type of worship? The result of postmodern thinking and behavior is a society of chaos, confusion and disintegration. Why should Christians even think of following their crooked path? "The focus in a postmodern world must be upon participating in the story that rests at the heart of the Bible" (p. 105). Does he mean we must give them a role in a drama program for the worship service? "The story then become the shaping influence in our lives and the evidences of their truth resides not in scientific proof, but rather in the fact that Christians pattern their lives by them" (p. 105). To teach sinners the gospel in the words of and by the example of Christ and his apostles is distasteful to postmodern change agents. They seek to discredit such old fashioned efforts by likening them to dry scientific experiments. What if Christians pattern their lives after false stories? Does such matter in a postmodern church?

To Jones, "A blessing of postmodernism is that it will create a culture unresponsive to legalistic, works-oriented churches" (p 122). In case you haven't understood, it is us who refuse to follow the pied-pipers of change to whom he has reference.

"Change has been extremely difficult for churches as the modern world has given way to the postmodern. However churches that are interested in evangelism will do more than change for the sake of change. They will have to change for the sake of the mission. They will have to change in order to help younger people find Christ" (p. 124). Millions have been taught and brought to salvation through the preaching of the gospel such as was common among our brethren. It is a venture fraught with risk to assume the church will prosper by abandoning the tried and proven Bible mandate of preaching the word (II Tim. 4:2) for postmodern story-telling.

"Older church members, accustomed to modern thought and modern churches will be reluctant to change. But that reluctance may thwart the church from accomplishing its mission" (p. 124). It grieves agents of change to think that any Christians are so stubborn in their faith as to resist their calls for change.

"One of our problems as Christians is that we may have spent too much energy maintaining our umbrage against postmodernism. Our approach has been that we are right and they are wrong. Such an inflexible tactic in dealing with those of another viewpoint doesn't work well in our current age of tolerance." (p. 124) A change agent does not protest, because he has embraced this new world view and is willing to adjust his Christianity to fit into its mold. The following quote verifies this conclusion. "Christians who actually want to see change should not react in a hostile way to postmodern people" (p. 124-125).

"Paul's unique realization is that there are indeed, many other Christians, but they are not all exactly alike" (p. 134). Note his implication that Christians may be found in all sorts of denominational bodies. Does he include Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists, The Jonestown Cult and David Koresh's Cult?

"Postmodernists tend to have a negative, irreverent spirt towards the church and even toward people in general" (p. 135). So do change agents. An entire book could be assembled of negative, irreverent quotes directed at Churches of Christ and their past and present ministers, who did not and will not accept the change agenda.

He cites columnist George Will, "Today, however there also seems to be s small-minded, mean-spirited resentment of those who rise, a reluctant to give credit where it is due, a flinching from unstinting admiration, a desire to disbelieve in the rewarded virtue of the few" (p. 136). Mr. Will was writing about baseball, but Jones applies these words to those of us who fail to appreciate the efforts of change agents to capture and redesign the church into a worldly denomination! He continues from Will, "We have a swamp of journalism suited to such an age, a journalism infused with a corrosive, leveling spirit..." (p. 136). These lines Jones directs at those who dare to express in print their objections to his change proposals.

"We could conclude that postmodernism is the ultimate end of human arrogance" (p. 140). We add our Amen. In the spirit of America's liberal political establishment, he writes, “It would be hard to argue with the opinion that the people of the modern West became the most arrogant people in history of the World." (p. 140). What a broad, derogatory generalization. Most of the Christians in the world, including all the change agents, are among those he labels as "arrogant!" I suspect the author excludes himself and fellow-change agents from this judgment.

He says, "The church needs a prophetic ministry that will mature, nourish and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us" (p. 144). Having read sixteen books promoting change, I am impressed at the repetition I find in them, both in ideas and phrases. "Prophetic ministry" is one of them. I wonder from whom they borrowed it?

Because of its watery content and opaqueness, this book is not the serious threat that some change productions are. The author failed in his purpose to inform us about the threat and challenge of postmodernism because he, knowingly or unknowingly, is in it up to his neck. In reality, the author is an apostle for a postmodern version of Christianity.

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
Heisenberg noted that if you want to determine the position and velocity of an ELECTRON you have lots of problems because it would be like trying to define the position and shape of a bowling ball by shooting bowling balls off of it. But, that only works with SUBATOMIC PARTICLES. You can line up a million atoms on the head of a pin and an electron is almost infinitely small compared to the total atom.

This advancement of science was used in the same way by the SOPHISTS who decided that the uncertainty by, say discovering that the earth was round, could be turned into a Lucifer like TRAFFICK. That was before the time of Christ.

We have noted that the daisy chain of "scholars" FLOODING the brotherhood trying to wash away the church do not have the physical possibility of quoting men like Lucian of Samosata or Luther without lying about them. Well, perhaps it is INTELLECTUAL INCEST where doctors quote doctors who lied about Luther. That fits with the STRONG DELUSION promised by God for those who tamper with the Word of God as latter day PROFITS.

All generations are "modern" and the next infant born is "post modern" and knows, within a few years, that he is God's awaited Messiah. Of the victory of the Catholic church over paganism. Of the victory of the Catholic church over paganism:
  • <font color=blue>"The generation that arose in the world, after the promulgation of Imperial laws, was ATTRACTED within the pale of the Catholic Church, and so RAPID, yet so GENTLE was the fall of Paganism, that only twenty-eight years after the death of Theodosius [the elder], the faint and minute vestiges were no longer visible to the eye of the legislator." Now, how can this great and rapid revolution be accounted for? Is it because the Word of the Lord has had free course and been glorified?

    Then, what means the new aspect that the Roman Church has now begun to assume? In exact proportion as Paganism has disappeared from without the Church, in the very same proportion it appears within it.

    Pagan dresses for the priests, Pagan festivals for the people, Pagan doctrines and ideas of all sorts, are everywhere in vogue.

    The testimony of the same historian, who has spoken so decisively about the rapid conversion of the Romans to the profession of the Gospel, is not less decisive on this point. In his account of the Roman Church, under the head of "Introduction of Pagan Ceremonies," he thus speaks:

    "As the objects of religion were gradually reduced to the standard of the imagination, the rites and ceremonies were introduced that seemed most powerfully to effect the senses of the vulgar.

    If, in the beginning of the fifth century, Tertullian or Lactantius had been suddenly raised from the dead, to assist at the festival of some popular saint or martyr, they would have gazed with astonishment and indignation on the profane spectacle which had succeeded to the pure and spiritual worship of a Christian congregation.

    As soon as the doors of the church were thrown open, they must have been offended by the smoke of incense, the perfume of flowers, and the glare of lamps and tapers, which diffused at noon-day a gaudy, superfluous, and, in their opinion, sacrilegious light." Gibbon has a great deal more to the same effect. Now, can any one believe that this was accidental? No. It was evidently the result of that unprincipled policy, of which, in the course of this inquiry, we have already seen such innumerable instances on the part of the Papacy. </font>
Gibbon distinctly admits this. "It must ingenuously be confessed," says he, "that the ministers of the Catholic Church imitated the profane model they were so impatient to destroy."
  • <font color=blue>He has seen that, about the very time when the Bishop of Rome was invested with the Pagan title of Pontifex, the Saviour began to be called Ichthys, or "the Fish," thereby identifying Him with Dagon, or the Fish-god; and that, ever since,

    advancing step by step, as circumstances would permit, what has gone under the name of the worship of Christ,

    has just been the worship of that same Babylonian divinity, with all its rites and pomps and ceremonies, precisely as in ancient Babylon.
    </font>
The Catholic Church confesses that SHE stole musical instruments because they were COMMON IN ALL CULTS.

http://www.piney.com/MuCandles.html

<font color=red>Nothing is clearer in history than the adoption by successful rebels of the methods they were accustomed to condemn in the forces they deposed. -Will and Ariel Durant </font>
  • <font color=blue>When once it was proved that the Pope was willing to adopt Paganism under Christian names, the Pagans and Pagan priests would be his most hearty and staunch defenders.

    And when the Pope began to wield lordly power over the Christians, who were the men that he would recommend--that he would promote--that he would advance to honour and power? Just the very people most devoted to "the worship of the strange god" which he had introduced into the Christian Church.

    Gratitude and self-interest alike would conspire to this. Jovinian, and all who resisted the Pagan ideas and Pagan practices, were excommunicated and persecuted. </font>
Ask Milton Jones about those weeping widows.
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John Waddey
John Waddey

January 1st, 2005, 8:30 am #37

KEEPING ABREAST: REVIEWS OF BOOKS AND MATERIALS RELATING TO THE CHANGE MOVEMENT


——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Ideas are spread by word of mouth or by print or electronic media. Those determined to change churches of Christ into a denomination of their own liking are issuing a steady stream of books promoting their views. Many immature and unsuspecting souls will be influenced by them. The author of the following reviews has assumed the unpleasant task of reading and evaluating all the books being circulated by promoters of change. He also makes a point of reading, reviewing and recommending those books and tracts that do a good job of responding to the agents of change and promoting the Master's message. Hopefully this page will be a useful resource for those desiring helpful information on this troublesome movement.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To share your ideas, to ask additional questions or to recommend other books for review, email the author @ [url=mailto:JOHNWADDEY@aol.com]JOHNWADDEY@aol.com[/url].
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
<font size=3 face=Times New Roman>
<font size=5>DISCOVERING OUR ROOTS (A Review)
</font>

In 1988 Leonard Allen and Richard Hughes gave us Discovering Our Roots: The Ancestry of Churches of Christ, published by Abilene Christian University Press. While other books have been written to undermine the foundations of the Church of Christ, this was one of the first written by men claiming to be faithful brethren. Since this volume was issued, the attacks have grown bolder and more venomous. Now a sizable band of dissidents have declared open war on the church and are attempting to occupy the kingdom of Christ and make it their own.

To disarm their readers, the authors assure us, “We do not seek to demean the church by implying that it is only a human institution, nor do we want to ridicule the church through a cynical treatment of history. And we do not wish to disturb our sisters and brothers by calling into question cherished beliefs and suppositions" (p. 8). But that is precisely what they proceed to do. They write under the guise of being friends of the church, brethren whom we should trust and follow, but in reality they are subversives whose mission is to weaken the foundations of our faith in order that other teachers and books might be able to bring it crashing down. In large part they have succeeded. Again they tell us, "We did not write this book simply to praise the tradition in which we stand" (p. xii). This is the understatement of the year, for the purpose of the book is to paint a new picture of our past and persuade the unknowing that the Church of Christ is nothing more than a misguided band of sectarians who mistakenly think they have restored the faith and practice of the apostolic church.

The authors open with a verse from Wendell Berry that well sums up their shipwrecked faith. Speaking of the important landmarks of the past, "my mind grew new, and lost the backward way." And such they have!

The declared intention of the authors is to explore the roots or ancestry of the Churches of Christ. These they find in the Renaissance, the Reformation, among the Puritans and the Baptists and the "American Experience." No discerning student of church history would deny that we have connections with these various influences. While the authors do briefly mention that we have roots in the biblical documents, they proceed to develop their thesis that we are primarily the product of the non-biblical forces mentioned above. The possibility that the ultimate roots of those who desire to be simply Bible Christians are in the teaching of Christ and his apostles and the church they planted in Palestine some 2,000 years ago is evidently foreign to their thinking. They fail to take into consideration that the Word of God is the seed of the kingdom (Lk. 8:11). Wherever it is planted in good and honest hearts, no matter the generation, it will produce the same kind of disciples and church that it produced in the beginning.

This book is not without some value for the careful reader. It is like eating bony fish; while there are some bites of worthwhile information about church history, about others who also were interested in restoration and about our own history, there are many bones which could cause serious injury to one’s faith if swallowed. Its greatest value is that it clearly reveals the denominational origins of the "new hermeneutic," a key ingredient of the change agenda, their new found doctrines on grace and salvation and their rejection of the New Testament as a pattern that God expects us to follow. Their inspiration, the reader will see, is found in the theology of Dr. Martin Luther.

This is a book filled with false assumptions.
<ol>[*]They tell us, "We (Churches of Christ) have often assumed that our roots are simply in the New Testament and that we really have not been shaped in any significant way by the intervening history" (p. 2). While there may be some with no training or awareness of our movement's past who would say such, the average preacher has not thought so!

[*]They say that to see our roots as essentially biblical "lures us into thinking that we can escape history and tradition entirely..." (p. 3). No educated preacher of the gospel would make this silly assumption.

[*]They assert that, "We ... have simply failed to recognize the traditions at work in our midst" (p. 3). True, all have some traditions. But not all traditions are harmful or contrary to God's Will. It is true that some have traditions they do not recognize. The point missed is that most brethren desire to hold fast to the Word of God and not allow unscriptural traditions to grow up in their midst. When they recognize them, they are willing to admit them and either reject them or modify them so they no longer go against God's Will. The motive of the change agents, with all their talk about traditions, is not to point out our traditional time of assembling or of having gospel meetings, or song leaders; it is to subtly convince the unsuspecting that all we believe and hold dear is nothing more than human tradition. Especially those distinctives that embarrass ecumenically minded change agents, such as weekly communion, acappella singing, our distinctive names, insistence on immersion as a condition of salvation, etc.
[/list]The authors labor under the misapprehension that we as a people don't realize that we have historic roots in human history as well as in the apostolic age. But we deny their greater assumption that therefore we are just another denomination. "Since those early days, members of Churches of Christ often have assumed they are a people with no history and no tradition, a people whose only roots lie in the Bible itself" (p. 110). Yet no one has ever said this save the change agents. It is the figment of their fevered imagination. "For restoration ... often begets a sense of historylessness, an identification with the first century church so strong that the intervening history becomes irrelevant or even abhorrent" (p. 152). They need to show us such a preacher or teacher of note among us.

A telling quote is offered from Huldreich Zwingli, "the clear and pure light, the Word of God, has been dimmed, confused and diluted with human principles and teachings so that all those who call themselves Christians do not know the divine will. They only have their self-invented worship, holiness and external spiritual knowledge which is man-made" (p. 21). This quote is a perfect description of those preachers, professors and congregations that have embraced the change agenda and are promoting it among our brethren. </font>

(To be continued…)

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

January 2nd, 2005, 7:26 am #38

Continued—


<font size=3 face=Times New Roman>
<font size=5>DISCOVERING OUR ROOTS (A Review)
</font>

They reveal the basis of their new theology. They tell us, “Lutheran and Reformed (churches) had different approaches to the Scripture...Does the Bible provide a complete blueprint for all time, laying out the details of church government, forms of worship, and rules for behavior? Or does it rather provide a central core of saving truth, leaving many of the details to human discretion and changing circumstances of time and place?" (emp. mine, JHW). Luther took the latter approach and so have the change agents! (p. 23-24). "Luther believed that Zwingle's insistence on making scripture the exclusive norm for the entire life of the church, including its forms of worship, turned gospel into a new legalism (p. 28). This has become the theme of the change agents ever since they discovered it!

They use examples from other reformers to land subtle blows against their brethren of the Church of Christ. Of Roger Williams, "He saw with keen vision just how easy it was to delude oneself into thinking that one had fully restored the true church. He understood how easy it was to let such smug certitude cloak self-serving ends and justifies mistreatment of opponents." (p. 60). They intend this as a slap at those of us who are strongly committed to the restoration ideal and who are confident in the success of our efforts.

They cite Zwingle, whose extremism even "excluded all audible music from the Christian assembly," as where a strong commitment to restoration can take a body of people (p. 27). In this they imply that this is the natural end of those who insist on restoring the faith and worship of the early church.

In this book, the authors set forth their proposition that rather than a true restoration of primitive Christianity, the restoration fathers were tainted in their thinking by the influence of John Lock and the Common Sense School of Philosophy. They prefer the mystical approach of the pre-modern age, i.e., the dark ages. It is remarkable that virtually all the change agents prefer mysticism, subjectivism and emotionalism to a studied, objective, reasonable approach to understanding God's Word. Perhaps this is because their new-found doctrines and practices cannot be upheld or justified if Scripture is read and interpreted just as any other book of instruction would be.

They remind us that "Baptists, Mormons, Shakers and other radical sects intended to restore primitive Christianity." Their implication is that our restoration movement is not unique nor anything special (p. 89). In their thinking, our brotherhood of churches is of the same value as that of the Mormons, Shakers and Baptists.

They labor to show that our movement was really only a product of social and political idealism prevalent in America in the late 18th and early 19th century; a quest for social and political freedom from the old European tyranny (p. 92) and from the tyranny of the old state churches.

They tell us, "No group uses the language of ‘restoration" more consistently and more effectively than did the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or the Mormons" (p. 94). I am certain that such commendation warms the cold heart of Joseph Smith Jr. Good pluralists and multiculturalists that they are, they can compare the LSD church with us, without noting the vast differences in the two groups. To put the goals and intentions of Joseph Smith in the same category with those of Stone and Campbell and other of our early restorers is slanderous. To leave the impression that the Mormon church is in any way related to the Church of Christ is no less. It leaves one to wonder if they see any real difference. If both are sects founded by men, then there is no essential difference. One wonders if they would have any problem embracing the Mormons as their fellow-Christians?

In discussing Elias Smith and Abner Jones and their New England Christians, they fail to note that many of those disciples flowed into Stones' restoration movement. They say, "the movement (New England Christians), ultimately merged into the United Church of Christ, a contemporary denomination..." (p. 102). We would like to know if they consider this good or bad? If unity is the most important item on their agenda, then they would have to commend this merger.

They tell us, "Even believer's baptism, acknowledged by practically all Stoneites as apostolic, was simply left to the discretion of the individual." They fail to note that they soon became uniform in the conviction of the necessity of immersion for salvation (p. 104). This book is noteworthy for the things the authors do not tell us. It is a selective "telling of the story" as change agents like to say, in order to paint the picture the way they want it to be...not necessarily as it really was.

They say, the "Stoneites' primitivism equally stressed the hastening of the millennial kingdom of God... (they) were convinced that the millennium was near" (Note: they offer no citations for their assertions about the role that millennialism played in their preaching and writing (p. 105). It is no secret that many of the early pioneers held mixed and confused ideas about the millennium. But it is the case that they were not trying to make those assumptions an essential aspect of the movement. In fact they wrote and said relatively little of the subject. The authors are trying to convince the unknowing that our fathers were wrong in rejecting the premillennialism of R. H. Boll and his disciples (ca. 1920-1945) and that we should not allow the millennial speculation of our denominational neighbors hinder our accepting them in fellowship, especially those of the Christian Churches. </font>

(To be continued…)

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Kenneth Sublett
Kenneth Sublett

January 3rd, 2005, 1:26 am #39

If you remember, Jesus warned that "doctors of the Law take away the key to knowledge." These would have included the Scribes who REWROTE God's History specifically, according to Jesus, so that the Pharisees could teach THEIR OWN doctrine to PREVENT the teaching of God's Word.

I have looked as some of the HISTORY revisioned by Hughes and Allen and remembering that they are "doctors of the Law" find that they are completely DETACHED from the Bible, church history and especially the history of the Restoration Movement.

http://www.piney.com/Restoration-Roots.html

They do not represent the views articulated by the Campbells but are STONEITES. Their "restoration" roots grow out of ancient and even fairly modern Devil worship in modern Iraq or Babylonia.

http://www.piney.com/Layard8.html

Saying that the ANTI-instrumental churches of Christ LACK history is based on the historian's total ignorance of TRUE history which you cannot PROCURE from another Phd. In my review I point you to the TRUE writers of history. These prove that NOT being forced to "bow or burn" in paganistic, musical worship is totally consistent with the History of the Bible and 100% of TRUE writers of church history. The view of baptism as for its purpose is 100% faithful to ALL true church history until Zwingli in 1525 gave birth to the VIEWS of the hate mongers out of the stolen universities.

My reading of Satan's introduction of MUSIC to produce MADNESS which the pagans sell as HOLY spirit--especially if it makes you puke and attack the priestess in the holy place--was understood by ALL of church history BUT APPROVED by Satanic cults. Therefore, the ANTI-instrumentalists did not BEGIN to do what they had NEVER DONE. Nor did they STOP doing something. Therefore, you have to have been driven MAD to believe and make HATE ATTACKS on those who FEED you.

As far as I can determine, the Stoneites as late as 1878 latched onto the word PSALLO translated as MELODY to try to JUSTIFY the massive sowing of discord they had produced with NO NEED for Bible authority or CIVIL concern for others. But EXTERNAL psallo or melody meant "shoot reall arrows, shoot love arrows" or "shoot out hymns."

Nevertheless, like the elders of ISRAEL who fired God by demanding SET A KING OVER US, modern elders have SOLD THEIR OWN souls and the prophecy for the first KINGS was that they would move on from CANAAN land to Babylonian captivity. Those getting a sensory orgasm from the worship TEAM and their productions have had their feet NAILED to the diverted TRAIN to Babylon. The universal theory and glad confession is that musical performers of religionism were the HAREM OF THE GODS or DEMONS. I KNOW that it sounds obscene, but THAT was the PURPOSE of music as "worship." I say that they have hitched a ride on the back of the prophecied "Babylon Whore" who in John's view from Patmos was CIRCE or KIRKE. That is why literates say assembly or SKUL even as do Jews of their synagogue.

Ken
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John Waddey
John Waddey

January 3rd, 2005, 7:15 am #40

<font size=3 face=Times New Roman>
<font size=5>DISCOVERING OUR ROOTS (A Review)
</font>

In 1988 Leonard Allen and Richard Hughes gave us Discovering Our Roots: The Ancestry of Churches of Christ, published by Abilene Christian University Press. While other books have been written to undermine the foundations of the Church of Christ, this was one of the first written by men claiming to be faithful brethren. Since this volume was issued, the attacks have grown bolder and more venomous. Now a sizable band of dissidents have declared open war on the church and are attempting to occupy the kingdom of Christ and make it their own.

To disarm their readers, the authors assure us, “We do not seek to demean the church by implying that it is only a human institution, nor do we want to ridicule the church through a cynical treatment of history. And we do not wish to disturb our sisters and brothers by calling into question cherished beliefs and suppositions" (p. 8). But that is precisely what they proceed to do. They write under the guise of being friends of the church, brethren whom we should trust and follow, but in reality they are subversives whose mission is to weaken the foundations of our faith in order that other teachers and books might be able to bring it crashing down. In large part they have succeeded. Again they tell us, "We did not write this book simply to praise the tradition in which we stand" (p. xii). This is the understatement of the year, for the purpose of the book is to paint a new picture of our past and persuade the unknowing that the Church of Christ is nothing more than a misguided band of sectarians who mistakenly think they have restored the faith and practice of the apostolic church.

The authors open with a verse from Wendell Berry that well sums up their shipwrecked faith. Speaking of the important landmarks of the past, "my mind grew new, and lost the backward way." And such they have!

The declared intention of the authors is to explore the roots or ancestry of the Churches of Christ. These they find in the Renaissance, the Reformation, among the Puritans and the Baptists and the "American Experience." No discerning student of church history would deny that we have connections with these various influences. While the authors do briefly mention that we have roots in the biblical documents, they proceed to develop their thesis that we are primarily the product of the non-biblical forces mentioned above. The possibility that the ultimate roots of those who desire to be simply Bible Christians are in the teaching of Christ and his apostles and the church they planted in Palestine some 2,000 years ago is evidently foreign to their thinking. They fail to take into consideration that the Word of God is the seed of the kingdom (Lk. 8:11). Wherever it is planted in good and honest hearts, no matter the generation, it will produce the same kind of disciples and church that it produced in the beginning.

This book is not without some value for the careful reader. It is like eating bony fish; while there are some bites of worthwhile information about church history, about others who also were interested in restoration and about our own history, there are many bones which could cause serious injury to one’s faith if swallowed. Its greatest value is that it clearly reveals the denominational origins of the "new hermeneutic," a key ingredient of the change agenda, their new found doctrines on grace and salvation and their rejection of the New Testament as a pattern that God expects us to follow. Their inspiration, the reader will see, is found in the theology of Dr. Martin Luther.

This is a book filled with false assumptions.
<ol>[*]They tell us, "We (Churches of Christ) have often assumed that our roots are simply in the New Testament and that we really have not been shaped in any significant way by the intervening history" (p. 2). While there may be some with no training or awareness of our movement's past who would say such, the average preacher has not thought so!

[*]They say that to see our roots as essentially biblical "lures us into thinking that we can escape history and tradition entirely..." (p. 3). No educated preacher of the gospel would make this silly assumption.

[*]They assert that, "We ... have simply failed to recognize the traditions at work in our midst" (p. 3). True, all have some traditions. But not all traditions are harmful or contrary to God's Will. It is true that some have traditions they do not recognize. The point missed is that most brethren desire to hold fast to the Word of God and not allow unscriptural traditions to grow up in their midst. When they recognize them, they are willing to admit them and either reject them or modify them so they no longer go against God's Will. The motive of the change agents, with all their talk about traditions, is not to point out our traditional time of assembling or of having gospel meetings, or song leaders; it is to subtly convince the unsuspecting that all we believe and hold dear is nothing more than human tradition. Especially those distinctives that embarrass ecumenically minded change agents, such as weekly communion, acappella singing, our distinctive names, insistence on immersion as a condition of salvation, etc.
[/list]The authors labor under the misapprehension that we as a people don't realize that we have historic roots in human history as well as in the apostolic age. But we deny their greater assumption that therefore we are just another denomination. "Since those early days, members of Churches of Christ often have assumed they are a people with no history and no tradition, a people whose only roots lie in the Bible itself" (p. 110). Yet no one has ever said this save the change agents. It is the figment of their fevered imagination. "For restoration ... often begets a sense of historylessness, an identification with the first century church so strong that the intervening history becomes irrelevant or even abhorrent" (p. 152). They need to show us such a preacher or teacher of note among us.

A telling quote is offered from Huldreich Zwingli, "the clear and pure light, the Word of God, has been dimmed, confused and diluted with human principles and teachings so that all those who call themselves Christians do not know the divine will. They only have their self-invented worship, holiness and external spiritual knowledge which is man-made" (p. 21). This quote is a perfect description of those preachers, professors and congregations that have embraced the change agenda and are promoting it among our brethren. </font>

(To be continued…)

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
Continued—


<font size=3 face=Times New Roman>
<font size=5>DISCOVERING OUR ROOTS (A Review) </font>

We are told, "As the years passed, Campbell and his followers ... increasingly accepted unity in pluralistic diversity and subtly downplayed a strict adherence to the restoration ideal" (p. 109). No citations are offered for this assertion. They do not proceed to explain that those who "accepted unity in pluralistic diversity and ... downplayed a strict adherence to the restoration ideal, parted company with us at the opening of the 20th century and evolved into the ultra liberal Disciples of Christ denomination. They seek to paint Campbell in the tone of their present day "change" apostasy. It is true that Campbell's militancy tempered as he grew older. It is true that he hoped to lead the various Protestant bodies back to the Bible. It is true that in his latter years he embraced such error as the American Christian Missionary Society which he had rejected in his younger years. That just proves that Campbell was a fallible leader. It is precisely the reason that our brethren have never considered him more than a brilliant preacher, writer and educator. We never viewed him or revered him as our founder, as the creator of our belief system, or as our authority for what we belief or do. The scholars of the Change Movement seem determined to paint Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone as our founders and their writings as the standard by which our faith and practice must be measured.

They tell us, "… the Common Sense (school of philosophy) perspectives rendered their (our restoration forefathers) emerging traditions essentially invisible, at least to themselves. When on occasion they recognized their traditions, moreover, they viewed them as an essentially biblical, primitive, and apostolic and not in any sense the traditions of a particular people..." (p. 109-110). They are set on painting our faith and practice as only traditions such as those of the Baptist, Methodists, in order that we can be more easily convinced to give them up to the clamor of the change agents. With no apparent love or respect for the Church of Christ, they lay the axe to her foundations.

Chapter 10 of this book is worth the price of the book. The authors devote ten pages to "Restoring the Gospel of Grace: Martin Luther." They here reveal the roots and foundations of the change theology. Read this chapter carefully and you will understand what the new gospel of the change movement is all about. It will put twenty other of their books in clear perspective.
  • The authors are enamored with the theology of Martin Luther. Especially his emphasis on salvation by faith alone and the rejection of scripture as the law of God (p. 114-115).
  • They identify with his rejection of the New Testament as a pattern for our emulation. Note these quotes which they offer without contradiction.

    <ol>
  • "For Luther, the divine Word was spoken supremely in the person of Jesus Christ, not in a mere book" (p. 116).
  • "For Luther the Bible functioned much like a window in a house...It is possible...to so focus on the window that one fails to see beyond it..." (p. 116).
  • "When Luther proclaimed ‘scripture alone' he always was proclaiming ‘Christ alone'" (p. 116). How does he know this contradictory assertion to be true?
  • "Luther could point to, "an inner canon of Scripture...a ‘canon within a canon' consisting of those writings that most clearly reveal Christ." This idea shows up repeatedly in the writings of later change agents.
  • "For Luther insisted...that there is great danger in looking to external forms and patterns, for one is tempted to think that in restoring outward forms alone one has restored the essence. For Luther, the outward forms constitute only an empty shell" (117). This is the basis for change theology.
  • They tell us that for Luther, "All the external marks and structures were expendable in restoring and preserving this gospel, the living Word" (p. 117). The theme of change agents is here revealed.
  • "Luther therefore did not look for the restoration of a church that had been entirely lost, but rather for the reformation of a church that had been seriously corrupted” (p. 117). This evidently is the change agents’ idea of what we are about today.

    In a section under "Reform of the Church" they write:
  • "Luther's view of the hiddenness of the true church led him to reject and warn against the mere imitation of biblical examples and patterns" (p. 118). This is a plank in their new hermeneutic.
  • "The first task of church renewal, Luther believed, was not restoration of biblical patterns, but rather restoration of the gospel message of divine grace, the recovery of the living Word (i.e. Jesus) through which faith was stirred up and through which believers received forgiveness. Fixation on biblical forms and patterns he believed, too easily obscured the centrality of grace and faith" (p. 118). This is the program the change agents have in mind for us.
  • "Luther saw serious dangers in the imitation of biblical models" (p. 119). So do change agents!
  • "For Luther the early age of the church was not an ideal age to which those in the present must return" (p. 121). Here is the basis for change thinking.
  • "Luther viewed the effort to restore the patterns and traditions of primitive Christianity fundamentally at odds with the gospel" (p. 119), and so do our change agents.
  • "Such Restorationism, Luther believed, placed human effort above God's grace and was therefore the worst sort of idolatry" (p. 120).
  • They quote Luther as saying "we do not want to follow any example ... we want the Word for the sake of which all works, examples, and miracles occur" (p. 120). This is the theme song of all change agents.
[/list]It seems to me these men have found their heart's home in the theology of the Lutheran church and they should follow their hearts. Perhaps they could help unite the ten branches of the Lutheran denomination.

They describe how the major Protestant churches were seduced by the modern world. "The churches rushed to construct ornate and costly sanctuaries where choirs and organs replaced unadorned congregational singing and where dramatic presentation and church festivals competed with secular organizations for the time and money of the cultured middle class" (p. 139-140). This is a striking contemporary picture of those Churches of Christ caught up in the change movement that is sweeping through our large affluent city and university churches.

Their conclusion and application is expressed thusly: "With such an assumption, a restoration movement easily accumulates an array of full-blown traditions, most of which remain invisible under the traditional rhetoric of scorning tradition."

This book, unlike later volumes by the authors, has some redeeming value; some useful historical information. It is the foundation on which they have erected their house of apostasy. The latter works of other more bolder and militant change agents are full of their ideas and terminology.

It demonstrates that deviation by only a few degrees can over years lead to a total abandonment of the restoration concept. If you want to have a clear and balanced view of the early years of our restoration movement, you are encouraged to read Dr. Earl West's Search for the Ancient Order, available from the Gospel Advocate, or Firm Foundation Book Stores. </font>

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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