Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
Fox repeats this call over and over: "Keep your testimony...for your worship in the spirit and in the truth, that Christ Jesus hath set up" (Works, 8:34); "keep up your testimony in the light, power, and spirit of God, for the worship that Christ set up above sixteen hundred years since, in spirit and in truth,...which is a worship that cannot be shaken." (8:84) This is a testimony that the Quakers had before the peace testimony was formulated in 1660, and I think in Fox's mind it was the…Continue
Love mercy and true judgment, justice and righteousness; for the Lord delighteth in such. Consider these things in time, and take heed how ye spend your time. Now ye have time, prize it; and show mercy, that ye may receive mercy from the Lord: for he is coming to try all things, and will plead with all flesh as by fire (Works, 1:115)
This statement is from a letter that Fox wrote in 1651 while he was being held in Darby jail. In this letter, Fox…Continue
Added by Patricia Dallmann on 12thMo. 15, 2016 at 14:00 — No Comments
Ye that have seen the everlasting gospel, and known the everlasting gospel preached again, which was among the apostles, and have been reaped out from among the apostates, got up since the apostles’ days; I say, live in it, and dwell in it; in which life and power ye see over to the apostles’ days (The Works of George Fox 7:268).
"The Everlasting Gospel Preached by George Fox" is the second of ten lectures given by Lewis Benson in his lecture series Rediscovering the…Continue
A year and a half ago I wrote an essay titled “The Only Antidote,” in which I argued for the need to think critically: to use natural powers of reason and conscience to honor, discern, and communicate the truth. Referring to Hannah Arendt’s understanding of the cause behind the rise of Fascism and also referring to a Bible story of John the Baptist’s execution by Herod, I pointed to the crucial and perennial role of critical thought in containing the spread of evil.
Receiving faith through hearing Christ, the Word of God, was the life-changing event for Fox, and so it is for everyone who follows the same excruciating path of partaking of sufferings.
Receiving faith ends the old, worldly order of misery as well as the moral evil that arises from humanity's determination to muffle and quell the fear of weakness and self-diminishment, the fear of death.
Emil Brunner in The Christian Doctrine of Church, Faith, and the Consummation…Continue
Two centuries before Dickens wrote about the Roman Carnival, the seventeenth-century men and women that would bring forth the Quaker movement had been engaged in something like a Lenten practice. George Fox and others subjected themselves to rigorous self-examination that was, in fact, the awareness the Lenten discipline was intended to evoke. That Friends opted to undergo this self-scrutiny in the absence of any cultural prod vouches for their having been guided not by a culturally…Continue
Added by Patricia Dallmann on 8thMo. 22, 2016 at 12:29 — No Comments
[This essay was first presented at our annual gathering last month. This is the first part of three, and in the next couple days, I expect to post the second and third parts.]
And our hope of you is steadfast knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation (2 Cor. 1:7).
In a world that is ever plagued by deceit and cruelty, suffering seems unavoidable. Yet Paul in this verse implies that suffering is optional: one may choose…Continue
Added by Patricia Dallmann on 8thMo. 21, 2016 at 17:01 — No Comments
New Foundation workers and supporters gathered at Ellis and Rebecca Hein's property near Casper, Wyoming, for an annual gathering in Seventh month, 7th through 10th. Seven people attended, two of them new to our gathering. Those attending were Kevin Anderson, Casper; Patricia Dallmann, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Rhonda Fuller, Lansing, Michigan; Ellis Hein, Casper; Rebecca Hein, Casper; Rae Lawrence, Milton-Freewater, Oregon; and Ron Sirkel, Lees Summit, Missouri. On the first evening of…Continue
Added by Patricia Dallmann on 8thMo. 1, 2016 at 13:21 — No Comments
Today is the day the world celebrates as Pentecost. Though we Quakers have a mild taboo against celebrating particular days, I do often celebrate them, privately, because all the direction and structure of my life is acknowledged in these particular days, and I am affirmed through celebrating a shared knowledge and purpose with those of the past. "Hello Peter; hello David; we are just some centuries apart, but our inward life, our knowledge and love of God, is the same."
Added by Patricia Dallmann on 5thMo. 15, 2016 at 16:33 — No Comments
In his booklet “A Revolutionary Gospel,” Lewis Benson writes of three stages of work that seventeenth-century Friends undertook: the first in the sequence was turning people to Christ through preaching the Word (the substance of vocal ministry), which reached to the witness of God in others (convincing/convicting of sin); the second stage was settling and establishing the newly convinced, which entailed repentance and amendment of life; and the third was building on this newly laid…Continue
Added by Patricia Dallmann on 1stMo. 24, 2016 at 14:37 — No Comments
If we died with him, we shall live with him;
if we endure, we shall reign with him.
If we deny him, he will deny us.
If we are faithless, he keeps faith,
for he cannot deny himself (2 Tim. 2:11-13).
These simple, beautiful lines are preceded by the Apostle's guarantee: "Here are words you may trust." It seems likely that he's informing us that the words are inspired, and therefore trustworthy. In addition, the breadth and depth of understanding,…Continue
We’re here today because we’ve gone through these trials; we've been tempted countless times to love something more than truth, and for the love of it, we’ve chosen truth instead, though our choice entails baptism into Christ’s death, the world's brief triumph. We know that the eternal triumph, the resurrection to new life, follows the inward dying to the self. In that triumphant inward resurrection, we know not only rightness but the joy and the peace of having received Christ, the life, of…Continue
Arendt’s ideas of the necessity for deep, critical thought to halt evil, and evil's impervious resistance to thought, has a Scriptural corollary in the work and execution of John the Baptist. Like Arendt, John is calling people to engage in thought when he cries, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Mt. 3:2). The word “repentance” at its etymological root means “to think differently.” John's call to repentance is a call to re-think or to begin to think more deeply and…Continue
Added by Patricia Dallmann on 8thMo. 8, 2015 at 11:08 — No Comments
For the next few days, I will be posting in three parts the paper that I gave at the New Foundation Fellowship gathering last month near Casper, Wyoming, U.S.A. As readers might surmise from the title, this paper examines the question of where resides the power to counteract and overcome evil. Nowhere are the essential criteria for victory over evil upheld and identified more succinctly than in Jesus's rebuttal of Satan, which occurs in the first 17 verses of the fourth…Continue
Added by Patricia Dallmann on 8thMo. 7, 2015 at 10:55 — No Comments
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
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
New Foundation Fellowship announces the arrival of our new literature website at Foundationpublicationsnffusa.org. At the site are approximately two dozen items available for purchase: books and pamphlets written and/or edited by NFF workers from Britain, Europe, and the United States. One may also subscribe for one or two years to Foundation Papers, a quarterly periodical. The site is clearly organized and easy to…Continue
I saw this law was the pure love of God which was upon me, and which I must go through, though I was troubled while I was under it for I could not be dead to the law but through the law which did judge and condemn that which is to be condemned. I saw many talked of the law, who had never known the law to be their schoolmaster; and many talked of the Gospel of Christ, who had never known life and immortality brought to light in them by it.…Continue
An exchange on a recent blog post brought to mind Lewis Benson's first published work, titled "Prophetic Quakerism." Written in 1943, the piece diagnoses the state of modern Quakerism as a deviation from the original prophetic faith into a philosophical idealism, which has so beleaguered our Society in the past century. In an excerpt from "Prophetic Quakerism," Benson describes the difference between the two doctrines of the Inner Light: prophetic and philosophical (italics…Continue
As I read and re-read Traditional Quaker Christianity, I felt a spirit of humble diligence intent upon conveying the core substance of Quaker understanding, as well as the practices that have thus far assisted its continuation. The original draft of this book was the result of a study of Friends faith and witness by Ohio Yearly Meeting member Michael Hatfield. He gave his work to the yearly meeting "to do with as it saw fit." Small study…Continue