Wineskins Archive

December 19, 2013

Church History Jigsaw Puzzle – Part 2 (Mar-Jun 2010)

Filed under: — @ 9:52 pm and

by Edward Fudge
March 20, 2010

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The Methodist movement took the gospel out of the church buildings into the marketplace and fields where the people were, and taught the importance of a heart “strangely warmed.” The Holiness revival reminded us of God’s purpose to transform us into Christ’s likeness. The Pentecostals correctly understood that we need heavenly power for earthly service. The charismatic renewal was right that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that the God who is most high is also most nigh.

The Adventist revival changed Christendom by its teaching that Jesus indeed can come at any moment. Today thousands of other Christians are learning the truth of conditional immortality (or immortality by grace) as well. The Campbell-Stone Restoration Movement cast a vision for Christian unity which would enrich the larger Church, and its formal insistence on following Scripture rather than human creeds and traditions still challenges every believer I have known or encountered, wherever located in denominational terms.

Pastor John Robinson was right, in his farewell address of 1620, to urge the Pilgrims to keep learning, for God “hath more light” to “break forth from his holy Word.” There is a unifying Great Tradition of apostolic teaching, as Roger Olson reminds us, which exists across The Mosaic of Christian Belief. Orthodoxy is very important, but it is only a pretended orthodoxy if it is not A Generous Orthodoxy. This gracEmail family includes believers from every part of the Christian church in countries around the world. We have many differences but we share Jesus Christ, and that makes us members of one another.

None of us has grasped all the truth, and all of us have comprehended some. I speak for many believers today in saying that I want all the light that others already have, and I also want to share whatever light God might have given to me. Truth is ultimately a Person rather than a proposition, and even propositional truth only becomes alive to us as we personally experience its power and reality in our individual lives.

Copyright 2010 by Edward Fudge. Permission hereby given to reproduce, reprint or forward this gracEmail, but only in its entirety, without change and without financial profit.

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