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Archive for the ‘Restoration’ Category

Restoration Of Scriptural Church Organization

By H.E. Phillips

The “restoration” of anything is putting it back as it was. The word presumes that a departure, decay, destruction, a turning away, has taken place. Galatians 6:1 tells those who. are spiritual to “restore” the one who is overtaken in a fault. “Overtaken” in a fault is the return to the state of sin after having been redeemed by the blood of Christ. To “restore” such an one is to bring him back to the state of redemption by repentance and prayer, according to the word of God.

The restoration of the scriptural organization means putting the local organization of the church back as it was in New Testament days. That local organization was quite simple and unsophisticated. The scriptural arrangement is congregational autonomy with no organization but the local congregation.

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The Restoration Principle

James R. Cope
Temple Terrace, Florida

The difference between policy and principle may properly be considered the basic difference between the "Protestant Reformation" begun in the Sixteenth Century and the "Restoration Movement" of the Nineteenth Century. The word policy often conveys the idea of human wisdom, sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs. Whereas the word principle, derives from the Latin princeps, principis, whence come the English word , , prince," meaning "first" or "chief"; hence, "a fundamental truth; a primary or basic law, doctrine, or the like." Policy may change when in fact principle is "a settled rule of action; a governing law of conduct" (Webster). Compromise is a way of life with persons who consider truth and right as policies. With men of principle, truth and right are never negotiable!

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The Restoration Plea: An Appeal for Bible Unity

Mike Willis

In recent years, several major publications among our liberal brethren have issued a call for a new hermeneutic. The old hermeneutic is rejected. The restoration plea is castigated as backward looking and divisive. In calling for unity-in-diversity, the restoration plea is thrown aside.

Several historians assert that there are two sides to the restoration movement of the 1800s: (a) a unity plea and (b) a restoration plea. The unity plea was followed by the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ which led them into the mainstream of Protestant denominationalism and the ecumenical movement. The restoration plea was followed by the churches of Christ and led them into dozens of divisions (or so the claim is made). Significantly, some historians ignore the division between the independent Christian Churches and the Disciples of Christ which the "unity plea" brought and exaggerate the number of divisions among churches of Christ.(Though there are brethren who hold many different positions on a number of different subjects, the divisions which have come in the churches of Christ can largely be reduced to two or three: the institutional division, premillennialism, lesser and isolated divisions [one cup, no located preacher, etc.].)

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The Impact Of Calvinism On The Restorers

Although the name of John Calvin may be less of a household name than that of Martin Luther or John Wesley, yet he is second to none in influence among Protestant orders.

While studying law in Paris, Calvin experienced what he called a "conversion" which placed him in the class of a heretic when Francis I began his persecutions. Calvin then fled to Switzerland where he had the liberty to follow and develop his religious beliefs. Here he set forth a system that is considered a masterpiece of logical reasoning. This work The Institutes of the Christian Religion which was first published in 1536, is considered one of the greatest books on systematic theology ever written.

Calvin's form of church government is Presbyterian. His doctrine of salvation has man being born into this world a "totally depraved" sinner that has been predestined (or elected), either to eternal life or to eternal damnation, that Christ died only for those predestined to eternal life, who in turn will find the Holy Spirit, as the irresistible grace of God, acting directly upon him assuring him of salvation which cannot be revoked. The influence of this doctrine and Calvin's power over the Protestant world can hardly be over-estimated.

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