a quotation and a proposal

“Nearly every theologian is influenced by a concern about the wrong directions in which that person sees theology moving.”  Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson, Twentieth Century Theology, pg. 79.

Over the next several weeks, I’d like to consider the implications of this statement in an occasional series of posts that have to do with the past, present and future of non-institutional Churches of Christ.  I can claim to speak for no one but myself.  I offer observations that grow out of my own observations, reading and reflections upon Scripture.  Read them, think on them, argue with me, agree with me.  I want to hear what you think.  

I have hinted at most of what I plan to talk about in blog posts from years past.  Now, I hope to put some of this down in a more systematic and fully developed form.  I do this fully aware of the risks involved.  Many of our brethren will not tolerate this sort of discussion at all.  For them, it is not merely a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, it is that no such discussion should be taking place at all.  But, ultimately, I don’t write for them.  Our Lord said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Luke 5.31, NRSV). 

Lord, have mercy.

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10 responses to “a quotation and a proposal

  1. Looking forward to them. I’m certain that what you have to share will be thought provoking- especially if I happen to disagree with it.

  2. Well this ought to be interesting. I’ve long contended that there are two non-institutional church of Christ groups. The Homer Hailey wing, which tends to minimize the whole restoration thing and a more dogmatic group that seems more “old-school”.

    Ken

  3. Ken,

    From my own limited observations I would say there were a handful of distinct networks of preachers that occassionally overlap.

  4. I tend to agree with Owen more on this one. I wonder if it would be possible to map all of this out by geography, by journal affiliation, etc.?

    On the other hand, Ken, I’m intrigued by your description of the “Homer Hailey wing” that “tends to minimize the whole restoration thing.” Are there any other markers of this group that you would identify?

  5. Chris,

    I’ve thought and dreamed about doing just that but I’m certain the Mrs would rather I concentrate on getting the backyard in shape. IMO there are two other key indicators 1)who is invited to preach in gospel meetings and 2) what other sites/congregations do they link to on their congregational website. Even in areas where congregations are thinner on the ground you can still see this pattern.

  6. I dunno, its not like I’m a scholar on non-cocs or have a broad background from a large sample of churches. It’s mainly speculation from personal experience.

    However, other signs may be a reluctance to teach about the five finger exercise and a conscious effort not to engage in “brotherhood issues”.

    I think Owen has a point about the networking of preachers.

  7. Good thoughts, both of you.

    Have either of you read John Mark Hicks and Bobby Valentine’s Kingdom Come? I instantly recognized much of it when I read it a few years ago and I have been batting around the idea of whether their Tennessee/Texas paradigm might be usefully applied to the NI movement.

    More on this soon, hopefully.

  8. I haven’t read it but came across the idea in Richard Hughes’ book.

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