Unattractive Restoration Confusion

I have read: The Road to "Elder" ado: Restoration Confusion about "the good old days of evangelical churches" and I confess that

a) I don’t find it very attractive (in either a historical or current setting)

b) it seems to bear little resemblance to the "classic" view of what evangelicalism is. From the Evangelical Alliance: What is an Evangelical?.

Against
this historical and theological background, the following five points,
adapted from key studies of the movement by David Bebbington and
Alister McGrath, represent a workable summary of Evangelical
characteristics:

  • Biblicism – Through the Scriptures of the Old and
    New Testaments, the God who is objectively ‘there’ has revealed
    universal and eternal truth to humankind in such a way that all can
    grasp it.
  • Christocentrism – God’s eternal Word became human in the historical man Jesus of Nazareth, who definitively reveals God to humanity.
  • Crucicentrism – The good news of God’s revelation in Christ is seen supremely in the cross, where atonement was made for people of every race, tribe and tongue.
  • Conversionism – The truth of the eternal gospel must be appropriated in personal faith, which comes through repentance – that is, a discernible reorientation of the
    sinner’s mind and heart towards God.
  • Activism – Gospel truth must be demonstrated in evangelism and social service.

c) As seems to often be the case from New Frontiers it is a very narrow definition of evangelical (something we have seen often in the past from the likes of Adrian Warnock).

Adrian often refers to himself as a Reformed Charismatic, yet it seems that here (again) reformed charismatics are equating their position with evangelical. As an evangelical Methodist our evangelical history is compatible with (b) above (Bebbington’s 5 characteristics) yet seems quite different to the points that BWAHOA looks for in his experience of New Frontiers.

The points that BWAHOA has read are:

  • Priority of preaching the gospel of individual salvation at every opportunity
  • Absolute insistence on a born-again experience for salvation
  • Love of, and knowledge of, God’s Word
  • Desire for doctrinal purity
  • Abhorrence of liberal creeds and intimate knowledge of the errors of Rome
  • Spiritual unity of the Saints without compromise of doctrine.
  • Daily walk governed by scriptural principles.
  • Recognition of the condition of backsliders, correction in the Church
  • Infilling of the Spirit linked to sanctification, not gifts or manifestations
  • Traditional, scriptural worship without excesses
  • Pre-millennial eschatology, with expectation of apostasy before the Lord’s Return.
  • Heavenly goal; rewards sought in heaven rather than on earth.

Overall it seems to me that defining "the good old days" as this specific combination falls very short of the whole of what it is to be evangelical. Instead they end up with something that is inflexible and with very different priorities (the lock hold on "traditional" worship is typical of this).

It is a somewhat Thatcherite version of the gospel (all about me), the activism of historical evangelicalism has completely disappeared. The Christocentrism has been redefined (no incarnation, just the cross). The Conversionism now is not for all (limited to those who we consider doctrinally pure). The Biblicism has lost any idea of all understanding for all as it gets locked into rigid patterns and presentations. The Crucicentrism has become centred on the model of penal substitution (hence BWAHOA’s focus on "the blood").

My picture of evangelicalism today is far different, hearing Joel Edwards speaking at Greenbelt confirmed for me that I am not a wierdo on the extreme but instead this hard, tough, evangelicalism without compromise is in fact not the norm.

My dream for evangelicals today (certainly within the Methodist tradition but also in many others) is that we grasp with both hands our historical view that

  • has as a backbone love, respect, obedience for/to Scripture
  • lives out a deep hunger for Jesus that we see in commited discipleship
  • placees the cross so much at the centre that we want to explore it from every angle
  • we expect change and treansformation of self and society in response to God and in the power of the Holy Spirit
  • seeks to be active for Jesus in every aspect of their lives and communities.

But all this should be done in a Christlike way with love, compassion, mercy, respect and relevance. It will not lock people into patterns from the past but through conversion and discipleship free them from the chains of today (idols, materialism, poverty, debt, suffering, anger, hatred, war, hopelessness, stress, purposelessness, …).

Oh and I have not forgotten, unlike the list from BWAHOA this will be for all people, of all genders, sexualities, ethnicities and denominations that means it is for all the people God loves ie all people.

24 thoughts on “Unattractive Restoration Confusion

  1. PamBG

    placees the cross so much at the centre that we want to explore it from every angle
    I’m not claiming to have exhaustively explored the meaning of the cross, but I do believe that Protestantism today falls short of this. We have one meaning of the cross – that Christ died to pay for our sins – and we don’t want to explore any other meanings as equal.

    Reply
  2. Blue, with a hint of amber

    Hi Dave,
    There seems to be some confusion.
    That is not my definition of an evangelical.
    It was an article accusing “New” church movements such as Vineyard, Newfrontiers, Pioneer etc from moving away from what the writer saw as their “classic” view of evangelicalism.
    I responded to their definition because that was being discussed.
    The “good old days” of evangelicalism was deliberately ironic, and I would agree with many elements of your critique of it if it was an isolated and inclusive definition.
    Joel Edwards spoke here a few months ago on the “Agenda for Change” tour. It sounds like an almost identical talk to what you heard. The five points you allude to fit four square in the vision of our Church.
    Your point C is not effective because that is not a definition I have ever seen before, and the article was attacking new church movements not seeking to define them.
    I would suggest our chruch would stand up fairly well against the criticism of both the original article and the criticisms of your post.

    Reply
  3. Dave Warnock

    BWHOA,
    I realised the definition was not from you, but it appeared to me that you were going through it in order to show how your church was aligned with it.
    I did not realise that it was intended to be irony.
    I would be interested in reading the original discussion.
    My perception of New Frontiers (which is why I referred to Adrian) is that when Bebbington’s definition is used it is always clarified and narrowed down. For example “Biblicalism like us”(usually meaning inerrancy), “Crucicentrism like us” (penal substitution is required and the only valid way of understanding the cross).
    That is very different from Joel’s presentation.
    I stand against the narrow view point of New Frontiers (making it clear that I disagree with these views and reject the narrowing down of what it is to be evangelical while recognising that they are legitimate views however much I disagree with them). They key areas of disagreement for me are:
    - inerrancy. restricting Biblicism to inerrant views only.
    - penal substitution as the only model of atonement
    - restricted gender roles
    - the extent to which we operate in Christendom and modernist modes of thinking
    (as if you didn’t know).

    Reply
  4. Blue, with a hint of amber

    The expression “good old days” of evangelicalism was meant to be ironic. The existence of so many different new church movements suggests all was not always rosy in the “good old days”.
    The whole post was meant to show how we had not drifted that far from some of the definitions proposed. So it was alignment with some of those things, many of which nestle neatly within Bebbington’s definition.
    But it was not to say I define an evangelical as that – my point was I found it odd newfrontiers was being criticised for not being like something I could find many similarities with.
    Why would newfrontiers seek to define what an “evangelical” was?
    Are you talking about when people define their own position (when clarifying points is valid and helpful) or when people seek to define evangelicalism on behalf of everone else?
    I would clarify what I meant by aspects of Bebbington’s definition, but it wouldn’t exclude those who disagreed from being “evangelical”. I don’t own the term.
    Likewise I would certainly need to define clearly what I meant when I used the expression “complimentarian” while recognising other people use it quite differently. So any over-arching definition needs to be inclusive, as Bebbington’s is for evangelical, but I reserve the right to clarify what I believe when I use the term, and also what I don’t align myself to when I use the term.
    Please expand on the 4th point for me as I am not really clear on what you mean.

    Reply
  5. Blue, with a hint of amber

    Oh and I have not forgotten, unlike the list from BWAHOA this will be for all people, of all genders, sexualities, ethnicities and denominations that means it is for all the people God loves ie all people.
    Could you also clarify this a bit more for me?

    Reply
  6. Dave Warnock

    BWAHOA,
    I thing we have both missed attempts at humour in each others posts/comments which always makes conversations bewildering.
    I felt that by going through the original list point by point you were using it as a yardstick for New Frontiers and therefore saw it as valid, I accept that was not your intention.
    I agree that the “good old days” were probably not as good as we like to think. I agree that the number of splits is an indication of that.
    I find the whole list totally joyless, it reminds me of a time when it was not considered acceptable to enjoy your faith (something I grew up with in UK Methodism and which I am overjoyed to find is no longer the case).
    My reactions to you are (probably completely unfairly) coloured by interactions with other New Frontiers bloggers in the past, who have a number of times re-defined terms like “evangelical” so as to exclude those who do not accept issues such as inerrancy, only penal substitution and gender equality. They way they have written has lead me to believe that these are requirements (possibly unwritten but generally accepted) by New Frontiers.
    Beyond the boundaries of New Frontiers this is typical of the teaching of Mark Driscoll and other members of Together for the Gospel.

    Reply
  7. Dave Warnock

    BWAHOA,
    Clarifications you asked for,
    1. I wrote “the extent to which we operate in Christendom and modernist modes of thinking”
    I mean that I am very much of the post-Christendom and post-modern generation. In this I am very different from the typical New Frontiers blogger (which does not bother me).
    I find much of the original list to come from modernist (and to a lesser extent Christendom) thinking which contributes to my not seeing them as essential to (or even supportive of) evangelicalism.
    eg the strictness of adherence to the “proper” beliefs.
    2. I also wrote “Oh and I have not forgotten, unlike the list from BWAHOA this will be for all people, of all genders, sexualities, ethnicities and denominations that means it is for all the people God loves ie all people.”
    This was a mean dig and clumsy attempt at humour. I was snidely referring to the fact that it strict observance to the original list will typically result in excluding women from equal roles, something that I stand very firmly against. I routinely fail to not mention this even if it is of only tangential relevance and also fail to control my tendency to exaggerate for effect.
    On the other hand I believe that exaggeration is justified against the response that “women are equal, it is only xyz role that we do not allow them to do”. People are equal or they are not and I feel that at times exaggeration is needed to make this clear.

    Reply
  8. Blue, with a hint of amber

    I think we have both missed attempts at humour in each others posts/comments which always makes conversations bewildering.
    Yep – that covers it!
    My reactions to you are (probably completely unfairly) coloured by interactions with other New Frontiers bloggers in the past, who have a number of times re-defined terms like “evangelical” so as to exclude those who do not accept issues such as inerrancy, only penal substitution and gender equality. They way they have written has lead me to believe that these are requirements (possibly unwritten but generally accepted) by New Frontiers.
    Do you mean for defining the term evangelical or for defining what newfrontiers churches have in common?
    I see a clear distinction between, “I am in a newfrontiers Church, and believe x, y and z and am an evangelical, ”
    And “I am from a newfrontiers Church, and I am an evangelical which means I believe x,y and z”
    I am not just trying to play with semantics here. I have many evangelical friends who have a more postmodern viewpoint and would disagree with me firmly on things like inerrancy, gender, ecclesiology etc, and we are on mission together in our town. They point people to Jesus, so do we.
    I believe they are wrong on certain issues of doctrine, they believe I am wrong. They don’t know or love Jesus any less and neither do I.
    Your distinction that newfrontiers is a very “modernist” movement is absolutely correct.
    I have never, ever heard anyone define “evangelical” with any reference to gender issues.
    I find the whole list totally joyless, it reminds me of a time when it was not considered acceptable to enjoy your faith
    I would agree with that. The charismatic renewal and focussing on the grace in the gospel has made “Church” a very different beast and “faith” a much less dour thing. I know people in churches who would hold that list or similar as their orthodoxy and generally they don’t seem very joyful.
    I don’t mind you having a dig about gender roles, it is your right, although I think it can start to prevent discussion and entrench positions and make the discussion one of defensiveness rather than conversation. If I am to be won over by an egalitarian’s views it won’t be through being offended enough times, if you see what I mean.
    The bit of your post I was actually referring to was the term “ethnicities” because having lived in West Africa and travelled widely, and being in a movement of churches in many different nations across the world I would find that accusation well over the line, even in humour.
    But if that was just part of a tease about gender then no worries.
    Thanks for engaging with my blog. It really helps to see how different things can be understood or misunderstood which helps me to clarify what I actually meant.
    My reactions to you are (probably completely unfairly) coloured by interactions with other New Frontiers bloggers in the past
    and I am constantly trying to process your posts through my previous experiences with methodism, which includes a former local minister stating publicly “I don’t care if you believe God lives in a tree in the bottom of your garden, as long as you believe in God”
    But I also seem to share a bit of heritage with UK methodism:
    http://theroadtoelderado.blogspot.com/2008/08/am-i-methodist.html

    Reply
  9. Dave Warnock

    BWAHOA,
    Trying to explain myself on the issue of terminology.
    Specifically Adrian Warnock has a number of times claimed that not accepting any of inerrancy, male headship & penal substitution (as the only valid understanding of atonement) means you cannot be an evangelical.
    He and other New Frontiers bloggers were over the moon about the inaccurately named “Together for the Gospel” conference (which was only for men). That conference in their “statement of affirmations and denials” specifically states that denying male headship damages the gospel. They also affirm that an inerrant understanding of scripture is required.
    One of the organisers of that conference is Mark Driscoll who spoke at the New Frontiers conference this year.
    I assert that to outsiders it does appear that in the New Frontiers eco-system being evangelical and being part of New Frontiers are held to be synonymous. Also that those who differ on these 3 issues (none of which are in Bebbington’s historical review of evangelicalism) are no longer evangelical.
    I have been told on more than one occasion by New Frontiers bloggers that I am not an evangelical because I disagree on these issues (mind you I have also been told that I am not really a Christian either – but then to some people only evangelicals are Christians).
    Some pointers into the discussion are at:
    - 42: Can you respect scripture and allow women to teach, lead, minister?
    - 42: Together or divided?
    - 42: Uniting Christians who disagree

    Reply
  10. Dave Warnock

    BWAHOA,
    On ethnicities. I confess that this is very important for me. We have an extended family from the UK, Australia, Trinidad, Ghana & too many other places to list. The church we were members of when first married was West Croydon Methodist which is and was very culturally mixed – we still dearly miss that here in East Northamptonshire.
    In Acts we see the sudden shock to the apostles when Peter discovered that the gospel was for pork eating gentiles as well as for Jews.
    Now we agree that to deny the gospel or a call to any role in the Church based on ethnicity is a perversion of the gospel.
    Yet it seems to me that male headship does exactly this for 50% of the population.
    You will reply that the reason is that Scripture demands male headship.
    I do not accept that. Among many other reasons it ignores too much other scripture and it ignores the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of women in leadership in the church.
    There is much better support for slavery in the New Testament than there is for male headship.
    For me male headship is very similar in many ways to racism (and equally unacceptable). That is why my remarks associated male headship with racism.

    Reply
  11. Blue, with a hint of amber

    I assert that to outsiders it does appear that in the New Frontiers eco-system being evangelical and being part of New Frontiers are held to be synonymous. Also that those who differ on these 3 issues (none of which are in Bebbington’s historical review of evangelicalism) are no longer evangelical.
    Well I can only add in my own experience – which is to say that having done the Year project training and Word Plus course within newfrontiers I have never heard anyone claim gender issues have anything to do with a definition of evangelical.
    Quite the opposite in fact – the gender issue is the biggest source of criticism from fellow evangelicals, whom we work with.
    J. John, Mark Stibbe and Eric Delve to name but three, have spoken at headline events I have been to. I don’t know 100% but I would doubt that they held a complimentarian position.
    I would define “reformed evangelical” down lines similar to that, but not evangelical. For example, arminian theology does not come very high on the list of priorities for newfrontiers even though it is a dominant worldview amongst huge swathes of the UK evangelical scene.
    Now we agree that to deny the gospel or a call to any role in the Church based on ethnicity is a perversion of the gospel.
    For me male headship is very similar in many ways to racism (and equally unacceptable). That is why my remarks associated male headship with racism.
    Are you not then implying that teaching male headship is damaging our witness to the gospel? As a perversion of it similar to racism?
    Isn’t that exactly the same claim you got so annoyed about when the Together for the Gospel event said We further deny that any church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel.
    Aren’t you just doing exactly the same thing from an egalitarian perspective?
    Or have I misunderstood?

    Reply
  12. Dave Warnock

    BWAHOA,
    Yes I agree that the term “Reformed Evangelical” would be more accurate, however, that is not what Adrian Warnock etc use when they redefine Evangelical.
    I am not concerned about Male Headship damaging the witness to the gospel.
    I am concerned about Male Headship damaging the people of God (male headship damages both women and men). It denies that women are equally made in the image of God, it denies the call of God on their lives, it denies the work of the Holy Spirit in women called to ministry and it places some of them in dangerous and abusive situations.
    Review the comments on my various posts from women who have experienced male headship. These represent the ones who are damaged, they are my neighbours, I love them and I want justice for them.

    Reply
  13. PamBG

    Now we agree that to deny the gospel or a call to any role in the Church based on ethnicity is a perversion of the gospel.
    Yet it seems to me that male headship does exactly this for 50% of the population.

    I worked in London for a short while with a congregation of African immigrants. I mean people who arrived in the UK 2 or 3 years earlier, not thoroughly acculturated individuals.
    In this congregation, the welcome call to worship was always something like ‘No matter who you are, where you came from or what language you speak, you are welcome here. This is God’s house. This was an important welcome because people were used to being distinguished by country, language group and ethnicity. I’m not talking about racism. I mean a history of different ethnic and language groups not getting along.
    Many of these people – who mainly immigrated with a Methodist identity they had acquired in Africa – absolutely and utterly saw ethnicity and male domination of women as the same issue that needed to be healed by the power of the Spirit. I appreciate that many fellow Christians in Africa would not agree – and that not everyone in the congregation agreed – but that’s part of the reason they chose to be Methodist.
    At the risk of offending, I too see discrimination between ethnic groups and gender as absolutely and utterly the same thing.

    Reply
  14. Peter Kirk

    It has been interesting to follow this discussion. Dave, while in principle I agree with your positions I think you should realise that not all in newfrontiers take the same hard line that Adrian does. I know from comments in the days when Adrian allowed them that Blue’s friend Phil differed from Adrian significantly on some issues. In fact I think you would get on rather well with Phil, from what I read on his blog. But you seem to be putting Blue on the spot by attacking newfrontiers as a whole, and so he as an elder within it is put on the defensive. Why don’t you instead recognise that the two of you have a lot in common, even though there may be a few matters still dividing you?

    Reply
  15. Blue, with a hint of amber

    At the risk of offending, I too see discrimination between ethnic groups and gender as absolutely and utterly the same thing.
    That is where different viewpoints really do clash, but it does help to have the cards on the table and say it how you see it. I appreaciate that Pam and respect it.
    I am seeing more and more how two worldviews collide having taken up positions that really at their core find it very hard to meaningfully correlate.
    Yet I have as much disagreement with elements of headship teaching as I do of some egalitarian teaching. Even more so actually.
    If this was political I would see myself slightly one side of centre rather than at an extreme of it. It appears to me that criticisms of both sides tend to rest of charactures of what people mean and an underlying nervousness of what the motivations of the others are.
    I enjoy reading the compligalitarian blog because it brings together many viewpoints and overall a centrist viewpoint on either side seems to dominate which doesn’t go too far in either extreme.
    It also depends on the overiding principles we approach scripture with. It is clear for Dave justice is high on the list. But I am not sure I see scripture working out justice in quite the same way as he does, which explains how we get to very different places fairly quickly.
    Question for both of you. Has the church replaced the Jewish nation in the purposes of God? Or does the Jewish nation still have a future role alongside, although somehow distinct from the gentiles?

    Reply
  16. PamBG

    That is where different viewpoints really do clash, but it does help to have the cards on the table and say it how you see it. I appreaciate that Pam and respect it.
    Thanks, I said it because I think it explains why I can’t back down on it. To me – and I understand you don’t agree – it’s absolutely as core to the Gospel as saying that Gentiles can be saved.
    If this was political I would see myself slightly one side of centre rather than at an extreme of it.
    Personally, I understand that from our earlier conversations. But I find your position more puzzling than that of a hard-form complementarian, to be honest.
    Has the church replaced the Jewish nation in the purposes of God? Or does the Jewish nation still have a future role alongside, although somehow distinct from the gentiles?
    I’m going to have a really hard time answering that because I think it addresses a ‘picture’ or a ‘metanarrative’ that you have that I don’t share.
    I think Jesus was ‘the Suffering Servant’ and that, in him, prophecy is fulfilled. So, in him, the role of the Jewish people is fulfilled. I think God’s covenant was promised to all people in both the Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant (very Methodist).
    All God’s people – whatever ethnicity and gender they may be – have a role to play in the coming of his Kingdom. The question here is ‘Who are God’s people?’ My answer is, ‘I can’t identify them’. I know that those who trust in Christ are God’s people. I personally suspect that there are also ‘anonymous Christians’ – people who don’t call themselves Christians who God will nevertheless save. That’s where it’s not up to me to judge.
    So I guess ‘The True Church’ – whoever they may be – replace the Jewish people, but it certainly includes people who are Jewish. Equally, I don’t think New Frontiers is going to bring in the Kingdom. ;-)
    This is where your (NF’s) restorationism becomes pertinent. I don’t think any earthly ‘church’ is going to usher in the fulfillment of the Kingdom. Personally (not actually being a real liberal), I think it’s going to take a supernatural, eschatological event.
    Hope this is comprehensible!

    Reply
  17. Peter Kirk

    Pam, does anyone “think any earthly ‘church’ is going to usher in the fulfillment of the Kingdom”? Or is this an outsider’s misunderstanding of restorationism? Yes, it is surely the task of the church to fulfil God’s purposes for the kingdom as far as it can – in its forms of community and worship as well as in mission and action for social justice, things which shouldn’t really be separated. And it may be that in some way we don’t understand the better churches do that the sooner God will act to bring in the fullness of the kingdom. But that does not imply that the church, let alone any one part of it, can expect to bring that fulfilment by its own efforts. And I doubt if anyone except perhaps some extreme cultists really believes that it can.
    The problem with your criticism is that it tends to promote the idea all too common among professing Christians that since we can’t hope to complete God’s work for him, whether of evangelising the whole world, bringing peace and justice on earth, or establishing his kingdom, then we shouldn’t bother to do anything about any of these things. I’m sure you don’t want to teach that.

    Reply
  18. PamBG

    Peter, no I don’t mean to ‘teach’ what I didn’t say and what you have read into my post.
    I fully confess that I don’t understand restorationism. I also plead that I have repeatedly asked BWAHOA to explain his metanarrative and so far he hasn’t done so.
    I do understand restorationism broadly as ‘We are the genuine church and it’s our responsibility to expand so that the Kingdom will come.’ I’m open to hearing from others, but they have to open their mouths. It’s no good telling me I don’t understand but refusing to explain.

    Reply
  19. Blue, with a hint of amber

    Pam – forgive my lack of clear response.
    I am still working through elements of this and it is still very much a work in progress. It will come!
    My question about the Jewish nation is interesting, because many evangelicals hold to a role specifically for Jewish believers to come in the future alongside gentile believers as part of their eschatology. Within that framework different races of believers will have different roles in partnership before God – and there is a clear racial distinction leading to different roles. I just thought it was an interesting parallel.
    I don’t think any “Type” or “way” or “movement” of churches is going to usher in the kingdom of God per se.

    Reply
  20. Dave Warnock

    BWAHOA,
    I don’t hold to that specific role and I do not support Zionism.
    BTW as is so often the case Pam thinks more clearly than I do and then writes more clearly than I do. So I follow her on this as many other issues.
    As for the bringing of the Kingdom being choices, actions and results of God’s work, not ours – hallelujah.
    Oh and by the way I also believe my own thinking & living is very much work in progress, the Holy Spirit may have changed me a lot, but it is obvious to all that there is a lot still to do.
    Peter,
    “Yes, it is surely the task of the church to fulfil God’s purposes for the kingdom”
    I am not entirely comfortable with this phrase.
    I think the Church needs to fulfil God’s purposes for the Church and needs to recognise that God will work for his kingdom in other ways too.
    It is the old saying that “It is not the Church of God that has a Mission but that the God of Mission has a Church”.
    A key task for us is to seek out what God is already doing and get involved. In other words focus on the mission of God rather than our internal church politics and rules.
    We can see for example that in the areas of justice (racial, gender, sexual, etc) many others are far ahead of the Church (to our disgrace).
    When the Church won’t listen and won’t act why would we be surprised that God won’t wait for us?

    Reply
  21. Peter Kirk

    Dave, thanks for the correction. Perhaps we differ mainly in our interpretation of “for”.
    Let me rephrase this: it is surely the task of the church to fulfil God’s purposes given to the church for the advancement of the kingdom – in other words, to fulfil its God-given mission. But God and maybe others will also be working for the advancement of the kingdom, and its fullness will come only as everyone works together as they should.

    Reply
  22. PamBG

    I am still working through elements of this and it is still very much a work in progress. It will come!
    That’s fine. I just need to make it clear to Peter – and, I suppose others reading – that I don’t understand restorationism and I don’t claim to.
    My question about the Jewish nation is interesting, because many evangelicals hold to a role specifically for Jewish believers to come in the future alongside gentile believers as part of their eschatology.
    First of all, I do not claim for myself the title ‘evangelical’. I’ll claim ‘small-c catholic’ as in my recent post on my blog but I don’t want to have anything to do with the classification of ‘evangelical’. I’m happy to be ‘evangelistic’ myself, but the category of ‘evangelical’ is fraught with too many confusing definitions, many of which I repudiate.
    Secondly, I think many Christians put way too much emphasis on the ‘how’ of ‘eschatology’. I don’t think it’s our business to figure out the ‘how’. Which rather leads me into Peter’s topic…
    …If Rabbi Gershon will permit a gross liberty in my ‘Christianising’ of his thought: I believe that God does not require the Church to bring about the Kingdom. He does, however, ask us as part of our discipleship to live out Kingdom values.

    Reply

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