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Postmodern Restoration Movement: Intro June 8, 2006

Posted by fajita in Christianity, emerging church/emergent, Post-restoration/Restoration Movement.

The American Restoration Movement began in the early 1800's as part of a lot of frontier revivalism going on at the time. It must have been an exciting time to be alive. The American Restoration Movement was really an extention of the Reformation Movement began a couple centuries prior. The American Restoration Movement birthes the Church of Christ, The Independent Christian Churches and the Disciples of Christ. However, this Restoration Movment had a twist to it, it was American and it was enlightened.

Firmly rooted in modern philosophy, the American Restoration Movement sought, like all things philosophy and science in the day, the locate and know all truth, knowledge, and understanding. It was honest and innocent, for the most part. Such great technological advances had occured since the 1500's that all of the evidence pointed toward some great time when knowledge an truth would finally be uncovered.    

In this context, it makes sense to appraoch the bible the same way. "We will finally unlock the mystries of the Bible." With 3 centuries of history under their belt of the common man having direct access to the Bible in his own language, with the beginnings of an expansion of literacy, with the wild eyed American frontier spirit taking root, and without any sense of Papal governance – something had to happen. And it did.

However, as exciting and cutting edge as it was, there were significant blind spots in the American Restoration Movement. There were assumptions made that allowed for the missing of meaning. Certainly there are some fixed points (absolute truth), but what the American Restoration Movement did was to assume everything had a fixed point, especially as it matured. Worship, prayer, communion, ecclesiology, fellowship, and on and on and on. Furthermore the movements degraded until most of its adherents assumed those fixed points were the point.

I wonder what would have happened if the American Restoration Movement had waited for a couple centuries and just got underway today, in the increasingly Postmodern America rather than in modern America.

My goal is to have a series of posts imagining this scenario as compared to what the history of the American Restoration Movement has to offer.  



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