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Source: (consider it) Thread: Do evangelicals love or hate their Jesus?
cliffdweller
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...although maybe it was a word of knowledge? Please, God! [Axe murder]

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Gamaliel
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Ha ha ... no, I'm not making any more claims towards prophetic anointing than I am about proficiency in maths (or math as you Americans say) ...

But who knows?

[Big Grin]

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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fausto
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by fausto:
The same observations apply here in the USA too. I think it's by and large an accurate perception. It may not describe all evangelicals, as cliffdweller points out, but I think it does describe the largest proportion of them, not merely the loudest. (Cliffdweller, you know I love you, but even Rachel Held Evans no longer finds it possible to define herself as "evangelical".

I think this is a bit of reverse "no true Scottsman"-- the name has become so besmirched by this loudly obnoxious contingent that yes, many/most younger believers who meet the Bebbington definition simply don't want to be known by that name anymore. Understandable.
You say besmirched; I would say overwhelmed. It appears to me that the so-called "conservative" or "fundamentalist" flavor of evangelicalism is so domainant right now within the broader evangelical movement -- not just in noise level and visibility but also in numbers -- that it has become the de facto center. The same thing happend in the Unitarian churches with "Humanism" in the mid-20th century, such that Humanism supplanted liberal Protestantism as a defining paradigm of what it meant to be Unitarian. (And in many minds too, "Humanism", which once meant celebrating the inherent worth and dignity of the human spirit and was compatible with liberal Protestantism, became instead a euphemism for atheism, which was and is not.)

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"Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images. The world will not receive truth in any other way." Gospel of Philip, Logion 72

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Steve Langton
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by Gamaliel;
quote:
You are also way wide of the mark on George Whitefield and his relationship to Anglicanism.

Neither Whitefield nor Wesley would have seen themselves as setting up something that would become an alternative to Anglicanism. They both wished to remain within the framework of the Church of England 'by law established'.

Which is precisely why it was a bit surprising that Whitefield was considerably involved in the setting up of the Calvinistic Methodist denomination! So where am I so wide of the mark...?

And AIUI, though Methodism didn't formally split from the Anglicans till after Wesley's death, Wesley had himself taken the rather drastic step of appointing clergy for American Methodism outwith formal Anglican procedures, which made the split pretty much inevitable.

Both Wesley and Whitefield intended and wanted to remain Anglican - the built-in faults of the established Church made it, to say the least, difficult. Had Whitefield lived longer I think he too would have come closer and closer to separation.

I seem to be suffering a bit here from not spending a page per post on ultra-detail of my position, and therefore being assumed more extreme than is actually the case....

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fausto
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
hosting/

In line with Ship practice, I have removed the rest of the text and substituted a link. For reasons of potential copyright infringement and a focus on user-generated content, please don't post the entire text of anything here. A link is quite sufficient.

/hosting

Sorry, I wasn't aware of the rule. Although in this instance I don't believe the Remonstrants have copyrighted their confession. (To do so would run contrary to the spirit of evangelism, if not necessarily certain of the more distasteful strains of evangelicalism, I should think.)

[ 01. August 2015, 17:53: Message edited by: fausto ]

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"Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images. The world will not receive truth in any other way." Gospel of Philip, Logion 72

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Gamaliel
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You are wide of the mark because you are interpreting the history through your own set of assumptions ...

We all do that to a certain extent of course.

What assumptions are these?

1) That Whitefield set up a Calvinistic Methodist denomination. That may have been the unintended outcome of his work but it wasn't what he was trying to do.

2) That the Anglican Church had/has 'inbuilt-faults' -- why has it got any more (or less) in-built faults than any other church - including yours?

(I'm not saying the CofE doesn't have in-built faults by the way but you are operating under the assumption that some kind of Calvinist model or Anabaptist model is THE correct one ... how and why is that any different to any other claim that anyone else might make about their particular model of church?)

You are right on how Wesley's 'ordination' or appointment of leaders for the Methodists in the American Colonies made the split pretty much inevitable - but I'm not sure Wesley himself would have seen it that way. His brother Charles was pretty outraged by the whole thing, of course.

We don't know whether Whitefield would have inclined towards separation had he lived longer - he may well have done, but we have no way of knowing whether or not this would have been the case.

Either way, in and of itself that doesn't tell us anything about the rightness, wrongness or indifferentness of the Anglican system as it existed at that time.

I'm not assuming that you are 'extreme' - I'm simply pointing out the obvious - that whatever 'take' we have on the actions or opinions of people like the Wesleys or Whitefield is going to be coloured by whatever our religious tradition happens to be ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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mr cheesy
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I don't know much about the history of British Methodism, but I understand at one point there were many "Methodist" denominations, I assumed this was because some followed Whitfield rather than Wesley's taken on Arminianism/Calvinism. Is that not the case? Were they ever in "one" Methodist denomination?

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arse

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mr cheesy
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Nice little family tree diagram to answer my own question.

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arse

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Steve Langton
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by Gamaliel;
quote:
That Whitefield set up a Calvinistic Methodist denomination. That may have been the unintended outcome of his work but it wasn't what he was trying to do.

That Whitefield (not 'set up' but) was significantly involved in the setting up of the Calvinistic Methodists is not my assumption but a historical fact. And yes, it was something he faced as the best that could be done with an 'unintended outcome' rather than his ideal intent.

by Gamaliel;
quote:
That the Anglican Church had/has 'inbuilt-faults' -- why has it got any more (or less) in-built faults than any other church - including yours?
You are of course right that all churches tend to have 'inbuilt faults' - that wasn't my point. It's that the particular faults of Anglicanism made it unable to contain the results of the Methodist revival and in turn made events like the founding of the Welsh Presbyterians and the eventual split-off of Methodism more-or-less inevitable. And the faults in question are essentially the faults of an 'established/state church'.

by Gamaliel;
quote:
you are operating under the assumption that some kind of Calvinist model or Anabaptist model is THE correct one ... how and why is that any different to any other claim that anyone else might make about their particular model of church?)
Definitely NOT Calvin's church model, which was very much a state church whether in Geneva (remember what happened to Servetus) or the UK Presbyterian form . Anabaptist yes, and the difference which makes that 'correct' is that it is biblical, where Anglicanism struggles to give biblical evidence for its position. As of course do other 'Constantinianisms' including Calvin's version.

by Gamaliel;
quote:
We don't know whether Whitefield would have inclined towards separation had he lived longer - he may well have done, but we have no way of knowing whether or not this would have been the case.
We don't know, and I didn't say we do - just that it seems a likely possibility had Whitefield lived longer.

by Gamaliel;
quote:
Either way, in and of itself that doesn't tell us anything about the rightness, wrongness or indifferentness of the Anglican system as it existed at that time.
Well ... the history does seem to tell us that Anglicanism as then constituted couldn't cope with a revival of biblical teaching; and there has to be at least an argument that if so, Anglicanism was not in a very healthy place.

by Gamaliel;
quote:
whatever 'take' we have on the actions or opinions of people like the Wesleys or Whitefield is going to be coloured by whatever our religious tradition happens to be ...
Of course. But also that does NOT mean that the various traditions are all equally as good as each other. None perhaps is entirely right - but some are clearly better than others, and Anglican establishmentarianism would appear to be - well, not exactly 'better' - especially when I bear in mind how many Anglicans I know who aren't happy with that aspect of their body.
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mr cheesy
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Right, but even if that was true of the Anglican church in the 18/19 century, it isn't necessarily true in the 20 century.

Whilst the revivalism of Booth certainly came out of a Wesleyan root (for example), it is said that at one point the Anglican church tried to encourage him to come into the Anglican structure. And when that failed, Carlisle (who IIRC was a contemporary of Booth and moved in similar circles) set up the Church Army.

And the Church Army since that time has had a strange position within the Anglican setup, smudging the boundaries, going to the places the structure can't go, doing the things that are below the radar etc.

And so today one of the major strengths of the Anglican church is that it retains a kind of vitality, which in my view means that if you are looking for Wesleyan-style revivialism, it is far more likely to come from space allowed for it at the edges of the Anglican system than from anywhere else, including the Methodists, Sally Army or, let's be honest, any Anabaptist or Mennonites - who basically do not exist in the UK and are absolutely wedded to the past in most of the North American manifestations. Pretending that revivalism would come from that direction is whistling to the wind.

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arse

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
And the faults in question are essentially the faults of an 'established/state church'.

[Snore]

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Gamaliel
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The thing is, Steve that you are so wedded to this 'let's hammer away at the Constantinian system' thing that whatever you look at appears like a nail.

I'm not saying that all traditions or movements are equally 'valid' either.

But whichever ones I decide are less valid than others would be based on my own particular 'take' and viewpoint -- which applies to all of us, of course.

One of the interesting things about the Methodist family-tree that mr cheesy provided is how short-lived a lot of the Methodist splinter-groups were and how many of them merged back into the parent body over the course of time. In the UK, the Methodist Church has practically absorbed its various sectarian offshoots back into itself ... there are still some independent Methodist groups and congregations around - but not many.

If it is true that the Anglican system you seem to despise so much was unable to 'contain the revival of biblical preaching' or religion as you see it - then why weren't the newly independent Methodist groups - untrammelled by nefarious 'Constaninian' Anglicanism able to sustain things for longer than they were?

If independence from the State were such a wonderful thing in and of itself - and I'm not arguing FOR Establishment, mind you - then how come the newly dis-established Methodists didn't carry all before them?

[Roll Eyes]

Oh - I forgot - perhaps they didn't go far enough and become Anabaptists ...

[Roll Eyes]

I don't have an issue with non-conformist or revivalist groups per se - heck, I've been a member of a Baptist church myself and before that was involved with an independent charismatic-evangelical network. There's a lot to be said for that kind of approach - in terms of apparent flexibility and so on -- hence the success of both Baptist and Methodist missions in the Caribbean, parts of the USA and places like the South Pacific during the 19th century.

I'm not knocking any of that.

What I am questioning is the naive notion that if only churches adopted your kind of model then all would be well and we'd see some kind of wonderful revival.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Steve Langton
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by Gamaliel;
quote:
What I am questioning is the naive notion that if only churches adopted your kind of model then all would be well and we'd see some kind of wonderful revival.
Question away - I'm not that naive myself. But I do think that the old 'Constantinian' model is on its way out and that the churches of the future will follow something like an Anabaptist model.

'Wonderful revival' - as an old broadcaster used to say, 'it depends what you mean by "revival"...' Anabaptists don't entirely do the traditional US evangelical revival as per Billy Graham etc; and I'm personally of the opinion that such revivals depended rather on the background of state churches. I think Graham was probably the last major figure who could address mass audiences with a simple "The Bible says...." message and get much response. Somewhat different tactics will be needed in the future. But I believe those new (or in many ways old - Paul doesn't seem to me to be all that much like Graham and Co) tactics will be effective and separation of Church and World will produce clearer, less nominal, and more long-term solid results than traditional 'crusades'.

And if I'm right, those changed tactics will deal with many of the issues of the OP here....

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Arethosemyfeet
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Steve, do you recognise a similarity between the terms in which you describe "constantinianism" and how radical socialists describe "capitalism". I imagine that Anabaptists 4 centuries ago expected much what you expect, just as Marxists a century ago and today expected the proletarian revolution any moment.
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Gamaliel
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I agree that we are all headed into 'intentional' or more 'gathered church' territory - that's likely to become the default position of even the most historic and 'Constantinian' of churches - 'Christendom' has had its day and I've never said otherwise on these boards. That doesn't mean that Anabaptism or something approximating to that would necessarily emerge as the dominant model.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gamaliel
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I'm also not as convinced as you are that Anabaptists are any less connected with 'the world' than the rest of us. They just like to think they aren't.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
'Wonderful revival' - as an old broadcaster used to say, 'it depends what you mean by "revival"...' Anabaptists don't entirely do the traditional US evangelical revival as per Billy Graham etc; and I'm personally of the opinion that such revivals depended rather on the background of state churches. I think Graham was probably the last major figure who could address mass audiences with a simple "The Bible says...." message and get much response. Somewhat different tactics will be needed in the future..

Steve, can you help please - what background of state churches was there in the 50's US, to form a background for Billy Graham's success?

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by fausto:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by fausto:
The same observations apply here in the USA too. I think it's by and large an accurate perception. It may not describe all evangelicals, as cliffdweller points out, but I think it does describe the largest proportion of them, not merely the loudest. (Cliffdweller, you know I love you, but even Rachel Held Evans no longer finds it possible to define herself as "evangelical".

I think this is a bit of reverse "no true Scottsman"-- the name has become so besmirched by this loudly obnoxious contingent that yes, many/most younger believers who meet the Bebbington definition simply don't want to be known by that name anymore. Understandable.
You say besmirched; I would say overwhelmed. It appears to me that the so-called "conservative" or "fundamentalist" flavor of evangelicalism is so domainant right now within the broader evangelical movement -- not just in noise level and visibility but also in numbers -- that it has become the de facto center. The same thing happend in the Unitarian churches with "Humanism" in the mid-20th century, such that Humanism supplanted liberal Protestantism as a defining paradigm of what it meant to be Unitarian. (And in many minds too, "Humanism", which once meant celebrating the inherent worth and dignity of the human spirit and was compatible with liberal Protestantism, became instead a euphemism for atheism, which was and is not.)
I think that would be fair to say were it not for the significant backlash that is happening right now, led by people like Shane Clairborne, Rob Bell, and Rachel Held Evans (even if she no longer self-identifies as evangelical, she's still clearly an evangelical leader). Whether that younger, more progressive form of Christianity will continue to be called evangelical or become post-evangelical or neo-evangelical or postmodern or progressive or emergent remains to be seen.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


Neither Whitefield nor Wesley would have seen themselves as setting up something that would become an alternative to Anglicanism. They both wished to remain within the framework of the Church of England 'by law established'.

Neither of them would have regarded what they were doing in any way incompatible with that.

It might also interest Shipmates to know that William Booth's first groupings were the East London Revival association which became The Christian Mission which, with it's doctrines derived entirely from Methodism, saw itself as a movement charged to usher people into the established churches. Booth had no intention of starting a new church and it's highly likely that he went to his grave in 1912 believing that his Army was not even a church.

Also, very interestingly, Booth spent the year of 1882 - a mere 3 years after establishing The Salvation Army (by simply renaming the Christian Mission as such) - in talks with Canterbury with the view to having TSA assumed into the Church of England.

It seems that the bishops were glad to welcome even this fervent, evangelical revivalist, holiness movement into the ranks of Anglicanism. The reason it didn't work out was nothing to do with doctrine or evangelicalism at all - the talks foundered on women ministry, the sacraments, and the role of William Booth within Anglicanism.

How different it all could have been...

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Gamaliel
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So, aren't those issues you mention also doctrinal, Mudfrog?

It is interesting to reflect how things might have turned out had the CofE 'assumed' the SA. My guess would be that it would have been domesticated to a certain extent and would probably have become a stronger version of the Church Army - but with fervent young turks breaking away after a while to form their own 'Salvationist' denomination rather along the lines of the SA as it has subsequently developed outwith the Methodists or Anglicans.

There have been several Anglican/Methodist attempts at reunion and these have foundered for similar reasons.

Unless large swathes of the CofE abandon a more traditional approah to the sacraments, then this will remain a sticking point.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Mudfrog
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No, not doctrinal in the slightest:

There is no doctrine involved in the issue of women's ministry.
No doctrine involved with the discontinuation of the sacraments.
No doctrine regarding the position given to Booth (in the context of his not having a priestly ordination and yet being the leader of a worldwide movement).

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
No, not doctrinal in the slightest:

There is no doctrine involved in the issue of women's ministry.
No doctrine involved with the discontinuation of the sacraments.
No doctrine regarding the position given to Booth (in the context of his not having a priestly ordination and yet being the leader of a worldwide movement).

Well, I'm Anglican, and I think these are all doctrinal issues.

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Forward the New Republic

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Gamaliel
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So would many other people who aren't Anglican, Doc Tor.

Aside, perhaps, from Booth's own position within a CofE that had absorbed or assumed the SA, I ccan't see how those issues can be anything but doctrinal.

After all, the SA itself must be basing its view on these issues on some doctrinal basis or other - surely they didn't dream them up out of thin air?

I'm staggered how Mudfrog can even claim that they are distinct from doctrinal issues in some way - 'lex orandi, lex credendi' and all that.

How on earth is the SA's position on the sacraments not a doctrinal one? It might accord with other available views but it's still doctrinal.

How can it possibly be otherwise?

If I refuse to decorate my wall and leave it as bare brick that's still a conscious DIY decision and a form of decoration.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Jack o' the Green
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# 11091

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
No, not doctrinal in the slightest:

There is no doctrine involved in the issue of women's ministry.
No doctrine involved with the discontinuation of the sacraments.
No doctrine regarding the position given to Booth (in the context of his not having a priestly ordination and yet being the leader of a worldwide movement).

Well, I'm Anglican, and I think these are all doctrinal issues.
As would I. Perhaps Mudfrog could give us his definition of doctrine so we could see how these aren't covered by it.
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Steve Langton
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by Gee D
quote:
Steve, can you help please - what background of state churches was there in the 50's US, to form a background for Billy Graham's success?

Sorry - in trying to avoid prolixity (a word which would have had to be invented for me if it hadn't already existed for Paul and Calvin!) I didn't quite spell out enough.

'Revivalism' grew out of 'Christian countries' with state churches - which before Independence included the USA. The US may have rejected having a specific established Church, but in practice still operated largely as a 'Christian country', a state of affairs that the 'Religious Right/Moral Majority' seeks to perpetuate in the style complained of in the OP here.

Thus when preachers like Graham came along they could rely on widespread knowledge of the faith even among outright unbelievers; and in practice were mostly 'reviving' the faith of those who were nominal Christians or had grown up in such a background. Note that the very phrase 'revival' means bringing back to life something that already more-or-less existed, rather than starting something new; so in a way that word assumes something like a 'Christian country' starting point, but in which the faith has declined and needs 'revival'.

In the modern world this applies less and less, and even in a 'Christendom' country like England what knowledge there is may be both vague and distorted. Thus anyone 'evangelising' (in the broadest sense) increasingly needs an approach more like bringing the gospel for the first time to pagans.

That was the basic point I was trying to make.

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Steve Langton
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by Arethosemyfeet;
quote:
Steve, do you recognise a similarity between the terms in which you describe "constantinianism" and how radical socialists describe "capitalism". I imagine that Anabaptists 4 centuries ago expected much what you expect, just as Marxists a century ago and today expected the proletarian revolution any moment.
Interesting and I very much see what you mean!

One way of looking at this is that actually we have got a lot of what those early Anabaptists expected; as someone said a few years ago, in the modern world "We're all Anabaptists now - it's just that some of us haven't fully realised it yet". To take the obvious example, the modern CofE is a long way from the body that used to penalise non-conformists, as for example when Baptist John Bunyan was imprisoned for his faith. Even the 'semper idem' RCC has changed from the days of Crusade and Inquisition.

Of course in some areas there's a long way to go yet....

At least modern Anabaptists know not to do violent revolution. Interestingly Marxism has also attained a lot of its goals in much of the West, while it can be argued that the violent and coercive form as in the Eastern Bloc and China ended up betraying Marx's intentions ('Democratic Republics' which were not at all democratic, for example).

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Pomona
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Not quite sure Marxism has achieved its' aims in any of the West [Confused] Except maybe Scandinavia, perhaps.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
'Revivalism' grew out of 'Christian countries' with state churches - which before Independence included the USA. The US may have rejected having a specific established Church, but in practice still operated largely as a 'Christian country', a state of affairs that the 'Religious Right/Moral Majority' seeks to perpetuate in the style complained of in the OP here.

Nine of the thirteen colonies had an established church (six CofE and three Congregational), but in some instances the establishment was in name only and the number of people who were adherents of a church other the established church or who were unchurched altogether far exceeded the number of those who belonged to the established church.

And yes, while the religious right seeks to "perpetuate" America's status as a "Christian country," most historians will tell you that they are really re-writing history, and that America never was a Christian country in the sense claimed by the religious right—at least not in the 18th Century. (As for the Moral Majority, they dissolved almost 30 years ago.)

quote:
Thus when preachers like Graham came along they could rely on widespread knowledge of the faith even among outright unbelievers; and in practice were mostly 'reviving' the faith of those who were nominal Christians or had grown up in such a background. Note that the very phrase 'revival' means bringing back to life something that already more-or-less existed, rather than starting something new; so in a way that word assumes something like a 'Christian country' starting point, but in which the faith has declined and needs 'revival'.
I think you are reading way too much into the use of the word "revival," as well as assuming too much about the religious background of those at whom revivals were aimed. (The accepted historical term for these periods, of course, is "Awakenings.")

I also think you are misunderstanding what Graham—who called what he did "crusades" rather than "revivals"—and others like him saw themselves to be doing. Reviving the faith of nominal Christians was secondary to them. Reaching those who were not Christians was their primary focus.

In any event, I don't think American history will bear out the Constantinian imprint you're trying to impose on the activities of Billy Graham and others.

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Gamaliel
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And there is a distinction to be made between 'revival' and 'revivalism' too.

I can see what Steve is driving at but one could turn it around as an argument FOR Constantinianism rather than against it ie nominally Christian state of affairs is a good thing as this is where the vast majority of converts come from.

Whatever the case, once people who profess a Christian faith reaches some kind of critical-mass then society itself becomes Christianised to some extent

I agree with Steve that revivals - as traditionally understood - happen within predominantly Christianised societies - and that was certainly the case with the First and Second Great Awakenings.

It seems to me that Steve wants to have his cake and eat it - he wants to have 'revival' - or perhaps 'vival' rather - but he doesn't want the kind of Christianised society that provides the necessary conditions to bring this about.

The only exception to this I can think of are the various 'people movements' that missiologists have identified, such as among the Lisu people of Burma/Myanmar.

So what happens when the Lisu nevome - or became - thoroughly Christianised?

It strikes me that Steve's model requires some kind of Pol Pot approach - which is sociologically unfeasible

If my understanding of Steve's own faith journey / testimony is concerned is correct - he himself comes from a 'Constantinian' background. However we cut it we all find faith in some context or other - Steve found the Christian faith in a broadly Christian context - had he grown up in a society shaped by Islamic or Hindu faith he'd more than likely have followed suit.

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Eutychus
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hosting/

Gamaliel, for the nth time, please stop telling everyone what you think another poster thinks. As has been shown many times, this is a sure-fire way of annoying people; repeat offending, of which you are surely guilty, qualifies as a C1 violation.

Either interact by addressing them directly, or tell us your views.

Also, to remind you, Steve Langton has been warned about posting solely on the topic of Constantinianism as this could be interpreted as violating C8 (don't crusade, no pun intended).

By my reading Steve's most recent post manages to engage with the topic without straying into this territory, but yours, Gamaliel, could be seen as an attempt to lure him there.

Tl;dr: the next person to mention Constantinianism gets a referral to admin.

/hosting

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Gamaliel
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Ok, I was thinking aloud and not trying to lure Steve into anything - but re-reading my post I can certainly see how it could cause annoyance. I do apologise.

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Mudfrog
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Well, the sacramental issue is not a doctrinal one because The Salvation Army fully accepts the doctrines of atonement, resurrection and eschatology that are part of the eucharist. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again is OK with us [Smile]
We don't dispute any of the doctrinal bases for the Lord's supper. Our non-observance of the eucharist has nothing to do with credal doctrine; it has to do with mission.

It's a theological position, not a doctrinal one.

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Gamaliel
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Ok - so I can see something of a distinction between theology and doctrine - but it's a very fine distinction to make.

I wasn't having a 'go' at the SA's position necessarily but surprised to see issues like views of the sacraments described in a way that seemed to suggest that they had nothing to do with doctrine and purely to do with local custom -say ... such as a dispute about vestments and so on.

I'm sure there'll be High Church Anglicans who'd consider views on the eucharist equally as doctrinal as views on baptism or the relation between faith and works.

At what point does doctrine stop being doctrine and become theology?

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Mudfrog
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Well, the discontinuation of sacraments would have been a doctrinal decision had we decided, for example, that Jesus' death was not at atoning death, thus rendering the Lord's supper without meaning.

We fully accept all doctrinal bases of the Eucharist - the atoning blood, the new covenant, the doctrine of the Body of Christ, the impurtanmce of remembrance, the centrality of the cross, etc, etc, etc, (and we even as far as to say that the bread and wine are means of grace), but we don't practice them because in the days when the decision was made we didn't see ourselves as a church and we found that, much more than today, they were a devisive influence within the church.

The talks with Canterbury foundered because, like Methodists, we hadn't been using fermented wine in our Lord's suppers and that was evidently not acceptable to Anglicans. But that's not a doctrinal issue.

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Steve Langton
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# 17601

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by Nick Tamen;
quote:
I also think you are misunderstanding what Graham—who called what he did "crusades" rather than "revivals"—and others like him saw themselves to be doing. Reviving the faith of nominal Christians was secondary to them. Reaching those who were not Christians was their primary focus.
Agreed - in theory. In practice I recall 'Crusades' in the UK where almost all attendees had come (as I did myself to the Maine Road Manchester one) as part of church or Christian youth organisation parties. The broadly European and therefore 'Christendom' background was still I think significant.

As in some ways is Gamaliel's distinction between 'revival' and 'revivalism' - the former being something that comes about from basic preaching of the gospel, the latter being a more calculated and intentional thing, a kind of attempt to artificially generate a revival.

Also by Nick Tamen;
quote:
And yes, while the religious right seeks to "perpetuate" America's status as a "Christian country," most historians will tell you that they are really re-writing history, and that America never was a Christian country in the sense claimed by the religious right—at least not in the 18th Century. (As for the Moral Majority, they dissolved almost 30 years ago.)
Again, I see what you're getting at but it's hard to deny the European 'Christendom' background even of US states which didn't have a pre-independence establishment. My mention of 'Religious Right/Moral Majority' was intended as a broad-brush reference to that trend in general and any of several organisations or broad groupings which have represented it (eg, what I understand to have been considerable involvement of that kind of evangelicalism in the 'Tea Party').

Eutychus - I'm doing my best but if you think about it the kind of evangelicalism mentioned in the OP is VERY close to the kind of issues I have concerns about. It's not easy....

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Steve Langton
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Nick Tamen - I was just watching the weird film "Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter" and it reminded me of this line from the 'Gettysburg Address' which I think makes the point of an at least significantly 'religious' nation at that time....

quote:
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom
I don't recall a huge volume of complaint against Lincoln putting it that way...?!
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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Mr. Cheesy: re Mennonites.
There are many modern and engaged with the group. The Mennonite Central Committee is absolutely engaged in western Canada in relevant, practical assistance. Locally and abroad. I find, as middle of the road Anglicans, that we have good affinity with them. They wish to live what they believe and are shy with giving complete answers to questions we all wrestle with. There are some curious ( to me ) cultural ways with them but they are socially very mainstream. Hutterites and Haldeman Mennonites (uncertain spelling) are completely different groups. Appearance wise, for Hutterites, think Amish with 4x4 extended cab trucks, selling at farmer markets and ask if you can try the wine.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
As in some ways is Gamaliel's distinction between 'revival' and 'revivalism' - the former being something that comes about from basic preaching of the gospel, the latter being a more calculated and intentional thing, a kind of attempt to artificially generate a revival.

If this thread teaches one lesson, it is the sheer silliness of trying to generalise about evangelicalism in the United States or anywhere else.

Having said that, if there is one feature of SOME American evangelicalism which is peculiar to the US, and which evangelicals elsewhere find strange, it is the habit of announcing in advance that a "revival" is going to be "held' at a certain venue on a certain date.

This is attributable to the influence of Charles Finney, who taught that a revival was an assured outcome of meeting prescribed criteria, and was therefore as predictable as the result of a properly conducted scientific procedure.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:

Having said that, if there is one feature of SOME American evangelicalism which is peculiar to the US, and which evangelicals elsewhere find strange, it is the habit of announcing in advance that a "revival" is going to be "held' at a certain venue on a certain date.

This is attributable to the influence of Charles Finney, who taught that a revival was an assured outcome of meeting prescribed criteria, and was therefore as predictable as the result of a properly conducted scientific procedure.

Well, I have seen the same sort of announcements in Central Africa. But then, to be fair, they probably got it from us. Not all of our exports have been benign ones.

[code]

[ 03. August 2015, 05:46: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Palimpsest
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Nick Tamen - I was just watching the weird film "Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter" and it reminded me of this line from the 'Gettysburg Address' which I think makes the point of an at least significantly 'religious' nation at that time....

quote:
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom
I don't recall a huge volume of complaint against Lincoln putting it that way...?!
You might want to look at the review at least of the book
Lincoln and the Jews
From the review
quote:
from the early 1850s, as well as later during his two presidential campaigns, and in response to Jewish sensitivities, even changed the way he thought and spoke about America. Through his actions and his rhetoric--replacing "Christian nation," for example, with "this nation under God"--he embraced Jews as insiders.

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Gamaliel
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Yes, Kaplan but the term 'revival' in the US can have a different meaning to the weight the term carries elsewhere in the Anglophone world. As well as meaning what you mean by the term it can also mean something like 'rally' or 'crusade' - rather in the way that Steve describes.

So someone announcing a 'revival' to start at 7.30pm on Tuesday next at 4th Street Baptist might not be saying what the rest of us might understand by that term. There have been some good articles on this point.

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

Eutychus - I'm doing my best but if you think about it the kind of evangelicalism mentioned in the OP is VERY close to the kind of issues I have concerns about. It's not easy....

By normal guidelines, you'd be best raising the need for clarification in the Styx. But I think we've already done that. All we're saying is avoid making "the kind of issues I have concerns about" the only focus on threads which have been set up for other or wider purposes. In this thread you seem to me to be genuinely trying to do that. Try to avoid temptations thrown your way.

And feel free to PM me (rather than restart the Styx) if you would appreciate more specific one to one advice.

Barnabas62
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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Yes, Kaplan but the term 'revival' in the US can have a different meaning to the weight the term carries elsewhere in the Anglophone world. As well as meaning what you mean by the term it can also mean something like 'rally' or 'crusade' - rather in the way that Steve describes.

Right, though unlike a "crusade," a revival is typically sponsored by an individual congregation for the purpose of strengthening the faith of members as well as evangelizing non-members (usually invited by members). A crusade or rally is typically sponsored by some other organization, supported by a number of congregations, primarily for the purpose of evangelization.

In some sense, in the US a revival is to evangelical Protestants as a (Lenten) mission is to Catholics.

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Gamaliel
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Yes, I think that distinction is a good one, Nick Tamen and also the parallel with the RC Lenten mission ...

As you're probably aware, here in the UK - and in Australia it would seem from Kaplan's observations, the term 'revival' tends to be used for a more widespread and apparently spontaneous 'awakening' on a regional or national scale - as in the 1st and 2nd Evangelical Awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries or the Welsh Revival of 1904-05 or the Lewis Revival of the 1950s in the Hebrides.

In discussions here about 'revival' before, I think I've quoted Steve Latham's useful definitions from his presentation/essay 'God came from Teman' from a conference I attended in 2002 which subsequently appeared in the book 'On Revival: A critical examination' edited by Andrew Walker and Kristen Aune in 2003.

Latham defined revival - as commonly understood here in the UK - in the following six ways:

R1: spiritual quickening of the individual believer.

R2: a deliberate meeting or campaign, particularly among Pentecostals to deepen the faith of believers and bring non-believers to faith.

R3: an unplanned period of spiritual enlivening i a local church quickening believers and bringing unbelievers to faith.

R4: a regional experience of spiritual quickening and widespread conversions, eg. the Welsh, Hebridean, East African and Indonesian revivals.

R5: Societal or cultural 'awakenings' eg. the transatlantic 1st and 2nd Awakenings.

R6: the possible reversal of secularisation and the 'revival' of Christianity as such.

The book is currently unavailable on Amazon, I notice.

However, those would be the most commonly articulated ways in which revival is understood here in the UK.

Interestingly enough, I was talking to an RC friend the other way and his understanding of the term was pretty much in line with this too - he was saying that he'd like to see some kind of 18th/19th century style widespread revival/'awakening' ...

I won't get into whether we require a 'Christendom' - however residual that might be - in order for R4, R5 and R6 to take place ... but it's an interesting question ...

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chris stiles
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Surely the point to draw is that belief in any of those subsets of revival, doesn't necessarily correlate with being interventionist in social terms (as per the original post), or even how that would be framed politically. And that such things are more coloured by the social context in which those religious movements exist.
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Gamaliel
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Meanwhile ...

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Well, the discontinuation of sacraments would have been a doctrinal decision had we decided, for example, that Jesus' death was not at atoning death, thus rendering the Lord's supper without meaning.

We fully accept all doctrinal bases of the Eucharist - the atoning blood, the new covenant, the doctrine of the Body of Christ, the impurtanmce of remembrance, the centrality of the cross, etc, etc, etc, (and we even as far as to say that the bread and wine are means of grace), but we don't practice them because in the days when the decision was made we didn't see ourselves as a church and we found that, much more than today, they were a devisive influence within the church.

The talks with Canterbury foundered because, like Methodists, we hadn't been using fermented wine in our Lord's suppers and that was evidently not acceptable to Anglicans. But that's not a doctrinal issue.

I'm not sure I've made myself clear, Mudfrog. I wasn't commenting directly on the SA's stance on the Lord's Supper - so much as making an observation that unless people share a similar view to the SA the issue of doctrinal content - or the lack of it - is less clear cut. What you - or I or anyone else - might see as theologically rather than doctrinally important - someone else might see as a crucial issue.

I am not for a moment suggesting that the SA has altered or overlooked any particular issues with the atonement and so on ...

What I am saying, though, is that whilst, in its typically pragmatic way, the Anglicans would probably have been happy to take on Booth and his holiness views and revivalist fervous - because it would have put bums on seats (or penitent forms) ... not all of them would have been happy with the apparent lack of emphasis on sacraments and orders ... and they would have applied this just as much to people at the other end of the Anglican spectrum to themselves as they would to in-comers like Booth and his followers.

The grape-juice issue might have been the 'outward' one ... but I'd be prepared to bet (were I a betting man) that this wasn't the actual issue so much as a deeper seated one about sacraments and orders -- and that's why attempts at Methodist reunion with the Anglicans have foundered too.

The irony, of course, is that those ancient Churches which have a very 'high' view of sacraments and orders - the RCs and the Orthodox - wouldn't accept Anglican claims to have the self-same thing ...

So, whilst I can understand the point you're making, I'm not sure we can so easily elide the doctrinal issue. As far as many Anglo-Catholics would be considered, these issues around orders and sacraments would be as much as doctrinal issue as anything else we might care to mention - and the issues couldn't be torn out and examined in isolation ... rather like the Orthodox with their 'seamless robe' view - ie the whole thing works in-toto and you can't pick and choose ...

I'm not 'taking sides' on this one, so much as pointing out what the issues would have been in the minds of those who would have put stumbling blocks in Booth's way.

Conversely, it would have been naive for Booth and the Salvationists to think that they could have simply slipped aboard the CofE ship and put their hands to the capstans and the ropes without first getting to know who things were done ...

There would have been necessary adjustments on both sides - which is why I suspect that some of the more fiery Salvationists wouldn't have stuck it for long but put out to sea themselves on their own cutter or rowing boat ...

Or that some officious petty-officer Anglo-Catholic or other would have put so many conditions on the way they spliced the mainbrace or whatever else that they would have seen no option but to abandon ship or mutiny ...

But I might be wrong ...

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
Surely the point to draw is that belief in any of those subsets of revival, doesn't necessarily correlate with being interventionist in social terms (as per the original post), or even how that would be framed politically. And that such things are more coloured by the social context in which those religious movements exist.

Yes, absolutely, Chris.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

What I am saying, though, is that whilst, in its typically pragmatic way, the Anglicans would probably have been happy to take on Booth and his holiness views and revivalist fervous - because it would have put bums on seats (or penitent forms) ... not all of them would have been happy with the apparent lack of emphasis on sacraments and orders ...

Well, at the time of the conversations with thre bishops, TSA was still observing the sacraments of the Lords Supper and (infant) baptism. It was as a direct result of the breakdown of these talks that we decided (at the time, temporarily) to cease from offering them in worship.
Our doctrines didn't change.

Our 11 doctrines (established in English law, interestingly) were in place in the Methodist New Connexion, into the Christian Mission and then into TSA. They were unchanged during this time of experimenting with Anglicanism, and they remain unaltered to the present day. The change from sacramental practice to sacramental non-observance came about with no reference to doctrine whatsoever.

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Gamaliel
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You are still missing the point I was trying to make, Mudfrog. The point I was trying to make was about other people's doctrines, not yours necessarily.

I was making the observation that to some people - including some within the CofE - those aspects the SA wouldn't consider 'doctrinal' would certainly be considered as such.

I'm not saying they are right or wrong, simply making the observation that if Booth, thee, me or anyone else were or are considering joining someone else's church or denomination then we can't really expect the other group to change to accommodate us ...

I mean, it's a different example I know, but if I were to approach the RCs and say, 'Look, I'll join you if you were to reject transubstantiation ...' do you think they'd suddenly ditch that after hundreds of years simply to accommodate me?

Of if I were to say to the Orthodox, 'Look, I really like you guys and would love to join, but I can't be doing with this notion you seem to have that you are the One True Catholic and Orthodox Church. Could you dilute that or, better still, abandon it entirely in order to make me feel more comfortable?'

Now, don't get me the wrong way - I'm not criticising Booth or the Salvation Army in any way, shape or form -- I've created a new 'counter-factual' thread on what I think may have happened had his discussions in 1882 led to the SA joining the CofE ... and inviting some other counter-factual examples of what might had been ...

All I'm saying is that what you consider not to be doctrinal others might well consider to be exactly that.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15997 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
But I do think that the old 'Constantinian' model is on its way out and that the churches of the future will follow something like an Anabaptist model.

You mean they'll become a bunch of inward-focused, largely-hereditary, backwards-looking quaint Volkland churches which avoid the stain of involvement in greater society and politics out of regards to their reading of a "New Testament" church that probably never existed and was a product of a completely different world?

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



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