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Evangelism - Myers Mott Maggay Linthicum        

 Churches of Christ Scholar on Restoration

From The Primitive Church in the Modern World edited by Richard T. Hughes, U Ilin. Pr, 1995. Hughes Preface “The Meaning of the Restoration Vision”  

“… restoration involves the attempt to recover some important belief or practice from the time of pure beginnings that believers are convinced has been lost, defiles, or corrupted. (p. x)

“… restorationists seek to apprehend some particular dimension of the founding age, unmediated through subsequent understandings. (p. xi)

"... it is far more productive to use primitivism and restorationism as roughtly synonymous and there interchangeable terms ... one might well describe Mormons and pentecostals as experiential primitivists, chiefly concerned with replicating a presumed spiritual dimension of the first age; Holiness advocates and sixteenth-century Anabaptists as ethical primitivists, mainly concerned with conforming themselves to ethical norms found mainly concerned with conforming themselves to ethical norms found in the teaching of Jesus and elsewhere in the New Testament, and the American-born Chjrches of Christ as ecclesiastical primitivists, chiefly concerned with repreoducing the forms ans structures they think charaterized the most ancient churches. (p. xii)

“… restorationists clearly differ on those aspects of the first age they find important and normative. Some focus on theology and doctrine, some focus on issues of lifestyle and thics, some focus on early Christ experience, while still others seek to recover the forms and structures they think characterized the ancient church. (p. xi)

“ … all the traditions represented in this book began their careers with a strong restorationist emphasis, but virtually all have now abandoned their restorationist moorings for a modern project that renders the restoration vision essentially powerless. (p. xiii)

“ … it is crucial to remember that many restorationists in American history have descended from that very same Reformed tradition. One thinks here of the Separatist Puritans, of the Separate Baptists, or of people like Barton W. Stone in the early nineteenth century. In each of these instances, Reformed Christians despaired when society failed to conform to the sovereign will of God. When that happened, they often focused their energies not on the construction of the kingdom of God for a future age but on a restoration of the ancient order in their own time and place. (p. xvii)

“Today, restorationist movements continue to emerge, but the vitality of this tradition is found neither in the so-called mainline nor in the older restorationist movements that now have made their peace with the modern world. (p. xvii)”  

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