Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
It would seem reasonable to suppose that, nearly three centuries after the death of George Fox, there would be some measure of consensus among church historians concerning the place he should be assigned in Christian history. But this is not the case. They all agree that he has an assured place in history, but there is an astonishing variety of theories purporting to tell us exactly what that place is.…
There are many ways which this could be continued. But I think that with the previous post and with the material presented below, it is sufficient to get the direction of Fox's insights on what Christendom refers to as the "second coming of Christ."
I searched through the 8 volumes and found only one reference to "second coming" and that was a phrase used by a detractor. See below. Fox did not use that term, at least in the language we have recorded in the 8 volumes or in That Thy…Continue
The "Second Coming" is a hot topic in many Christian circles today, giving rise to much speculation of when it will occur and the order in which certain expected events will happen. One reader expressed a desire to know more about Fox's view of these matters. The following is not an exhaustive listing of all the material available.
"Vol. ?? refers to a designated volume of the Works of George Fox. Nickalls is the editor of an edition of Fox's Journal. The material from Vol. III is…Continue
Lewis Benson's The Antipathy Between Prophecy and Religion is rich, too rich to be properly summarized in a short blog post. In the following distillation, much of value has been passed over. I can't gather the essence of this work into a few short, concise paragraphs. It cries out to be read, reread, thought about, and perhaps even argued with.…Continue
Belief is a component of faith. But by its nature, belief is secondary. To have any validity, it must be connected to the right thing. George Fox put it this way:
And Christ saith, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is past from death to life.' John v. 24.
Now this is and was their belief in the light, that were the children of the light, and born of God,…
I have run into a number of issues and causes over the years put forth as being things "we should be involved in." I have first-hand experience of being "involved in" a number of such worthy causes. But it is not the worthy causes that form the foundation of righteousness.
Many will come to me on that day saying, "Lord, Lord, did we not..." [and there follows a list of worthy issues and causes]. I will say to them, "Depart from me you workers of iniquity, I never knew…Continue
Saturday, during our reading and discussion of Fox's Journal (See Works of Fox, Vol. 1, pp. 83-86) an opening began growing in my mind concerning Fox's temptation.
"All things come by nature," said the tempter. And, as is usually the case, the lie is coated with enough "fact" to make it easy to swallow the poison.
First of all we need to establish a working definition of what nature is. My definition, that which was opened to me, is nature is the vehicle by which God works.…Continue
For information on joining the monthly, Saturday, Fox Reading Conference Calls, watch for the monthly listing at http://nffquaker.org/events.
On the 1-9-2016 conference call we read and considered text from The Works of Fox, 1831, pp-75-77. (Note: this material is also available in C.D. format from www.foundationpublicationsnffusa.org/.) We covered such topics…Continue
Added by Ellis Hein on 1stMo. 12, 2016 at 14:21 — No Comments
A group of us were considering Fox's epistle 24, which contains the following passage:
And so, our unity and fellowship with vain man are lost, and all his evil ways are now turned into enmity; and all his profession is now found to be deceit, and in all his fairest pretences lodgeth cruelty; and the bottom and ground of all his knowledge of God and Christ is found sandy, and cannot endure the tempest. For being brought off from that foundation, and having suffered the loss…Continue
A small number of us gathered by conference call to read and discuss the Works of Fox, beginning with Vol. 1. So this time we began with Fox's account of his early years of how the Lord prepared and fitted him for the work to which he was called. We read as far as Fox's account of the deep trouble and despair he had to undergo before coming to that opening of "There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition...
Our discussion centered on the universality of the human…Continue
If you listen to the language of professing Christians, a recurring phrase you will hear is "In Jesus' name," "In Christ's name," "In his name," or some other variant. I am not sure what they mean by the phrase, neither am I sure if they understand what those words really mean.
To do something or request something in Jesus' name is to act under his authority. "Have you been authorized by Jesus to act in his stead?" I have often wondered. From my perspective, I would have to conclude…Continue
Continued from part 3. This is the final installment
What are you doing?
The Exodus 19 passage quoted above gives voice to the concept of the kingdom of God that was fundamental to the foundation of Israel. But the prophets spoke of a life in the Kingdom of God that would transcend the Mosaic law. Moses pointed to the prophet whom God would raise up, into whose mouth He would put His words. This prophet would speak God’s word to the…Continue
The Good News: part 3
….Continued from part 2....
The Good News, the real Good News, is all good news. There is no dualism involved. Jesus began his earthly ministry announcing “repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand.” He continues his earthly ministry proclaiming “repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand.” “So,” you may ask, “when do we get to see that Kingdom come? It has been 2,000 years since Jesus announced that it was at hand. Shouldn’t it have arrived by now? ” The Kingdom…Continue
Added by Ellis Hein on 7thMo. 18, 2015 at 10:30 — No Comments
...Continued from part 1....
Look at the contrast between what modern evangelists and preachers declare as the gospel and the message proclaimed by George Fox and the early Quakers:
...therefore, fear the Lord, let him be your fear and dread, and turn to the light, which Christ the Son hath enlightened you withal, and believe in Christ, the saviour of the world, the offering for the sin of the whole world, that you might have life in him, and through him, and come to…Continue
Added by Ellis Hein on 7thMo. 17, 2015 at 11:32 — No Comments
Note: the following four posts are taken from the my presentation at the 2015 gathering, which has been broken at logical break points into a series of smaller sections.
All churches claim to be preaching the gospel. We can either accept that as a given and live with the confusion of disparate messages or we can come to some yardstick that is able to distinguish the true gospel from the false. In this session I want to hold before us such a…Continue
Added by Ellis Hein on 7thMo. 16, 2015 at 12:03 — No Comments
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…