Looking At Restoration Movement History: An Introduction

This life therefore,
is not righteousness but growth in righteousness,
not health but healing,
not being but becoming,
not rest but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be but we are growing toward it,
the process is not yet finished but it is going on,
this is not the end but it is the road.
All does yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.
Martin Luther

“We need something to set against the present, to remind us that the basic assumptions have been quite different in different periods and that much which seems certain…is merely temporary fashion.”
C.S. Lewis (1949)

Church historian Justo Gonzalez asserts: A person wearing tinted glasses can avoid the conclusion that the entire world is tinted only by being conscious of the glasses themselves. Likewise, if we are to break free from an undue weight of tradition, we must begin by understanding what that tradition is, how we came to be where we are, and how particular elements in our past color our view of the present.

Douglas A. Foster (ACU) says: Of all the creatures made by God, only humans can truly break out of their little narrow circle of the “right now.” We can investigate, interpret, learn from and be thrilled by our past. When we neglect that wonderful ability we are partially incapacitated-partially blind-limping and stumbling through our lives.

In the 1987 book, American Memory, Lynn Cheney quotes a couple of pretty hard-hitting statements. The first is from the ancient philosopher Cicero:

“To know nothing of what happened before we were born is to remain forever a child.”

The second was by the modern philosopher and historian George Santayana:

 “When experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual.”

Some years back, I set out to search for materials to be used in a series of classes on post-New Testament Christian history. The materials I will post over the next few weeks are a part of that series that pertains to the “Restoration Movement” – essentially a timeline of statements and events made by and involving individuals I found to be extremely interesting and enlightening. Some comments will be made about the material, but mostly I am just presenting it and letting it stand on its own.

This Restoration Movement timeline may begin a little earlier than most,  as I found in my search that even history has history.

Here is the beginning:

1553 Michael Servetus was executed for heresy by John Calvin in Geneva. Servetus was one of the first persons to write a book on  “The Restitution of Christianity.” He taught believer’s baptism by immersion. As he died amidst the flames, he cried out, “O Jesus, Son of the  eternal God, have pity on me.”


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Filed under Church History, Church of Christ, Religion, Restoration Movement

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