Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
John McCandless told me many years ago that a prominent Friend (whom he did not name) took him aside at the Haverford College Friends collection to offer words of admonition. The Friend noted John's interest in the work of Lewis Benson, and urged John to stay away from Lewis and his ideas. Fortunately for us, John did not follow the Friend's advice!
Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy…Continue
“God's guidance is sure and perfect, but our discernment can always fail.” This is often the argument put forward to counter claims that we can know and do the will of God in this life.
But if we focus on human weakness rather than on the power of God, we might not notice how God intervenes to correct us when we are going wrong and don't realize it.
Recently I experienced such an intervention. A minor episode in my work had been claiming part of my attention because it had…
So, are we doing anything more than playing semantics? What difference of understanding is to be gained by looking at things from one point of view or the other?
Consider Epistle XXXII in Vol. VII of the Works of Fox, "When your minds go forth from the pure spirit of God and are drawn out from it, there the image of God comes to be lost, in those whose mind goes out from the pure to lust after that which is in the fall, which may appear like truth in the notion..."
Even though Fox spoke and wrote about the spirit of God, at times calling it the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, what he has to say and how it relates to the gospel is all Hebrew, there is not a shred of similarity with Holy Spirit Christianity. For example: "For though I read the scriptures that spake of Christ and of God, yet I knew Him not but by revelation as he who hath the key did open and as the Father of life drew me to his son by his spirit." (Works, Vol. I, p. 75) Fox asserts that…Continue
Some years ago, while attending a lecture series given by Lewis Benson, I asked how we could convince Holy-Spirit-Christians that what Fox was saying was substantially different than what they were saying. Lewis replied that, given my background from evangelical Christianity, he hoped that I could provide the answer. I could not then articulate what I felt to be a great difference between Fox's proclamation that Christ has come to teach His people Himself and the gospel of Holy Spirit…Continue
I have had a sense that this discussion about the early Friends not practicing the ritual of taking the bread and wine is not complete, but I have not seen where it should go until now. We have said, "Paul wrote..." and "Paul must have meant..." in our grapplings with the subject. We have looked at various passages from the works of Fox showing how scripture had been opened to him. This morning I was shown what to do with all this.
There is a beautiful passage from Vol. 4 of Fox's…Continue
Here are the quotes from Lewis Benson that deal with how Christian community stands in relation to the Scriptures. I wish I could have quoted the entire works I cite, but space only allows excerpts. However, I encourage all to go and read the original articles by Lewis.
A Universal Christian Faith by Lewis Benson, p. 48
When the church declines or disappears from the historical scene, the problem of renewal is…
The following list of references are not meant to be exhaustive, merely representative. Most are organized by stating a principle (P.) and an answer (A.). Other places have an objection (O.) and answer. These are mostly passages from Fox's answers to anit-Quaker tracts and books.
I promised Jim Wilson that I would include some quotes from Lewis Benson. Those will appear in a separate posting. This one is a bit long as it is.
vol. iii, p. 152
P. He saith, ' They lay in wait…
Added by Ellis Hein on 4thMo. 2, 2015 at 0:00 — No Comments
Yesterday, I received the sad news that our dear Friend, and long-time New Foundation Worker, Ursula Windsor passed away two days ago (29-3-2015)
Even though this may not be the most suitable or appropriate means for sharing news of this nature, nevertheless, I feel it right to use our web site to let Friends now that this has happened.
We in the UK keenly feel Ursula's passing, because of her long and sustained contribution to our work. She was one of the last…Continue
As I promised, here is a beginning of sharing references from Fox. This one is entitled A Distinction Between The Two Suppers and is about 6 pages long, so I have placed in the Online Resources under the Resources tab above. You can either go there for it or use this link: http://nffquaker.org/page/a-distinction-between-the-two-suppers. It is a rich…Continue
In a discussion on Bill Carsley's last post, two people have raised questions about how to reconcile George Fox and the apostle Paul concerning the issue of partaking of the bread and wine, which most of Christendom has practiced while Fox and the early Quakers did not. Would it not open an avenue for the rest of Christendom to receive what Fox and the early Quakers had to say if these two positions could be reconciled? The following words have risen in my heart in response.
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
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
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
Here is another example of how Fox viewed the so-called Sacraments, practiced by most of Chrstendom. This is also an example of how Fox understood the relationship between the people of God and Christ. The quote below is taken from The Works of George Fox, Vol. 1, pp. 364-366.
I was moved by the power and spirit of the Lord to open unto them the ' promise of God, that it was made to the seed, not to seeds, as many, but to one; which seed was Christ: and that all people,…
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
In regard to my first post, "The Coming of Christ, Sacraments etc.", the question has been asked, "What is meant by a preterist approach to biblical eschatology? What is preterism?" In response I offer this very brief introduction and overview.
In a nutshell, preterism is one of the three main approaches to interpreting the "end times" prophecies of Scripture. These three are preterism, historicism, and futurism. Of course there are almost…Continue
Added by Earlon William (Bill) Carsley on 3rdMo. 5, 2015 at 2:00 — No Comments
I've recently been doing a lot of reading regarding the very early Quaker view of the "parousia" (or second coming) and how it provided the original rationale for rejecting ritual sacraments or ordinances - the Mass, Eucharist, or Lord's Supper in particular. It's interesting that by the second generation of Quakers (Barclay etc.) Friends had already pretty much dropped their claim that such ordinances were anachronistic (Paul had said the meal was "to proclaim the Lord's death till He…Continue
There’s a radical difference between Quaker understanding of Genesis and that of other Christian traditions. One reason for that is our understanding that sin is “not for term of life,” or at least needn’t be. The binary alternatives before each of us (salvation from sin or condemnation in it) are of utmost importance, and is the main topic of Scripture, which aims to support us in our move toward salvation.
Genesis not only gives us a creation myth, but it also emphasizes the binary…Continue