Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
A common phrase you may see describing a particular denomination or church is, “Bible based.” But the Biblical basis of Fox’s message was not a surface adherence to certain passages, but a comprehensive alignment with God’s purpose throughout history.
Fox lived in a period that was Biblically literate and highly religious. Since Fox rejected all the various forms of Christianity of his day, an appropriate question might be, “Was Fox a Christian?” Lewis Benson’s lecture no. 3, The Relation of Fox’s message to the Bible, answers that question with a resounding “yes.” Further, if you understand what Benson is saying about Fox’s Christianity, you begin to wonder how people rejecting the message of Fox can claim the title, “Christian.”
The early Quaker’s Christianity is based upon the experience of Jesus Christ in and among them performing the functions of His offices. They experienced Christ fulfilling all the prophecies, types, figures, and shadows of the old covenant by becoming the New Covenant between them and God. The Christianity of their day, as well as much of that of ours, is built upon something else: a doctrine, a theology, a culture, a tradition. This is not the same as being a people gathered by the revelation of Jesus among us, whom we are to hear in all things. Lewis Benson stated:
I have seen many denominations who claim to be calling people to a personal encounter with Jesus as their savior. But I have never encountered any other group than the early Quakers who calls people to an encounter with Jesus who is present in the midst of his people in a functional way, performing the duties of his offices in a way that we can all experience. And by these functions, we are made into the people of God.
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