Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
Ellis has made a comment on my latest post, posing three important questions. He has given me permission to include the full text of his comment here. In this post, I’ll attempt to address those questions. Hopefully this will be helpful to other readers as well. Here is his comment:
Comment by Ellis Hein
You stated: "Preterism gives powerful biblical support to some of Fox’s most controversial ideas." I am coming from a background where, upon reading Fox,…Continue
Posted on 3rdMo. 23, 2015 at 17:00 — 23 Comments
In response to my last post, a very good question was raised which I'll attempt to answer here. In doing so, my hope is that I can tie up some of the loose ends that are still out there, and that the overall intention of this series will begin to become clearer for everyone. The gist of the question is this:
“We know that George Fox’s central focus on Christ’s coming was its awesome spiritual power for our present experience. He emphasized Christ’s office as Prophet (the one like…Continue
Posted on 3rdMo. 13, 2015 at 3:38 — 3 Comments
In my first three posts I outlined a proposal which seeks to understand George Fox’s view of the “Second Coming” (parousia) of Christ, particularly as he saw it being realized in the Quaker movement of his own time. I pointed to the fact that Fox believed that Christ’s coming (at least in some sense) had already happened, and was an ongoing reality, and that this was one of the arguments he used to make his case against celebrating Eucharistic rituals or sacraments. I pointed out that later…Continue
Posted on 3rdMo. 11, 2015 at 3:47 — 5 Comments
I'm currently working on a blog post which will explore where George Fox may fit in the various eschatological schools of interpretation. However I believe the Spirit is prompting me to post a little aside to clarify my motivations and intentions before proceeding. Some responses to my previous posts have alerted me to the fact that there's a more important issue to be addressed first. That is, I don't want there to be any unnecessary misunderstandings about where I'm going with this. …Continue
Posted on 3rdMo. 5, 2015 at 19:00 — 4 Comments
Hello Bill Carsley and welcome to the NFF website. Please feel free to introduce yourself to the rest of us. You can enjoy reading what the rest of us have put up, make comments on material on site, and post new material as well. I am glad to have you join us.
hi Bill, thanks for the affirmation on the blog. It has been very hard in coming the last few years. I owe much to others, especially Ellis and my wife, Lucy.
I grew up in NWYM and know many folks there. I am glad you are in touch with Lorraine Watson. I think highly of her and her integrity. and there are many others in NWYM with a deep faith they treasure.
I resigned my membership in one of the churches more than 10 years ago. It was a pastor "mill" - grind em up, spit em out. I finally told them that this was not the Gospel and laid down my membership.
harder to explain is that I have joined one of the liberal meetings in NPYM. I felt it was the command of the Lord to me. It has often been difficult but I have not been released from it. I maintain many contacts within NWYM. Much of my extended family are members. But I became a convinced unprogrammed Friend while still in college. Protestant worship every Sunday took a heavy toll. The liberal unprogrammed worship is a mixed bag. Sometimes depressing, but at other times covered and even extraordinary.
Sometimes it seems that different ones of us have different crosses to bear. I was released from the one at NWYM to be given another.
Perhaps it will be a haven for you. One of my nieces came back to Friends at North Seattle after a period in the wilderness. i would credit the faithfulness of those folks and Lorraine in particular for providing a haven for her. I found their open worship to be deep and tender when I visited.
I guess we can now officially be friends. Ah, the double meanings of words engendered by our uses of the language!
Thanks for the friend request, Bill. You are welcome to call me Pat. The book Heaven on Earth: Quakers and the Second Coming can be found at FGC Bookstore for $25, still not a bargain but better than the Amazon price! I believe that Doug Gwyn told me last spring that this book was going to be re-published in the coming year, which would be 2015. The binding on the first edition was so bad that the book came apart immediately and had to be held together with a couple of rubber bands. If you want to check with Doug, you might try reaching him at Pendle Hill, which is a study center for Quakers. He was teaching there last year, and he may be there still. Timothy Peat was (and still may be) a tutor at Woodbrooke, which is the study center in Britain.
I appreciate your quotes from Fox's understanding of Christ's fulfillment of the Lord's Supper in His Second Appearing, as reported by the Apostle John in Revelation. I know a little about Preterism, but never thought of Fox's idea that the "Marriage Supper of The Lamb" as now being the spiritual meaning of the "sacrament" for this age. I like that very much.
Are there any of his writings or teachings still extant so I can learn more about his thinking on the book of Revelation ?
Thank you, Richard
I'm glad you were touched by this. Actually, Fox quoted more often from the book of Revelation than from any other biblical book! He clearly believed that the Revelation of Christ to the prophet John was a pivotal event in history. He saw that as the beginning of the "Second Coming" (as do preterists). He also believed that this First Century coming (or Parousia) marked the end of the Old Covenant system and the beginning of the New Covenant in its fulness (as do preterists). He believed that the Marriage Supper in Revelation 19 depicted Christ's spiritual communion with His people in His Kingdom (which began in John's time and has been ongoing since), and this is also the belief of preterists. Fox also believed that the New Heavens and Earth, and the New Jerusalem, were symbolic of the New Covenant Age (not literal pictures of a future change in the physical universe) and this is also what preterists believe. Fox didn't take a preterist approach with everything in Revelation. Things which had their primary historical fulfillment in the events surrounding the early Christians and Nero and the Roman-Jewish Wars and destruction of Jerusalem (according to the preterist view) were applied by Fox to the spiritual upheavals and battles of his own time. He used Revelation creatively and prophetically to address his own contemporary situation.
I have a book that has very helpful material about Fox's use of Revelation, but it has long been out of print. It's titled The Day of the Lord: Eschatology in Quaker Perspective. Each chapter is written by a different author. If you could find a copy I know you'd find it useful. Another book which would be a good choice is Apocalypse of the Word: The Life and Message of George Fox, by Douglas Gwyn. This is also an older book, but it's still readily available at Amazon. I hope this helps!
Thank you for adding me as a Friend. I am grateful for your comment to me re Fox and his treatment of Revelation. I will try and locate the books you recommended.
I was drawn to Quakers by the teaching of the ongoing witness of the Spirit to the believer's inner man. I had come to realize this truth sometime ago, though not in the precise way that Fox, Barclay and other Friends express it.
I knew the Spirit had to make the Truth directly known by revelation to the believer's heart, even through the Scriptures, or Scripture is just a dead letter. But, the understanding of Christ continually speaking, in this and every age, through, or apart from, the written scripture, is a new and wonderful discovery. I often wondered about that "still small voice" that saved me from several potentially serious dangers throughout the years.
Any further advice for study will be appreciated.
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