Funny Quote of the Day

It is significant that hard-line groups such as the Restoration movement, a group within fundamentalist Christianity which seeks to legislate as much of the Old Testament as possible upon today’s world, confines this activity to the sphere of private morality.

“Ethical Experience in the Old Testament: Legislative or Communicative Rationality?” in Theory and Practice in Old Testament Ethics by John Rogerson, edited by M. Daniel Carroll R. (p 78)

I am aware that the tradition in which I was raised is not the only “Restoration movement” around (e.g. Mormons view their tradition through a similar lens), but ours is the one typically referred to by the “the Restoration movement” moniker (historians now use the less ideological “Stone-Campbell Movement”). Nevertheless, the idea that such a movement “seeks to legislate as much of the Old Testament as possible upon today’s world” has me wondering what Restoration movement he is talking about. The hallmark of our tradition is our ability to dismiss the relevance of the Old Testament for today’s world. I heard a preacher once say concerning New Testament Christians (i. e. those Christians who identify with the project of the “restoration” movement) that Psalm 150 could not be sung as a “Christian” hymn. Why? Because the New Testament does not authorize musical instruments! The arguments for such lines of thinking come from reading Col 2:14 as revealing that “the law [= the Old Testament] was nailed to the cross” or that Jesus not only fulfilled the law, but also abolished it. Needless to say, I’m not sure where Rogerson is getting his information from, but I’m categorizing this as a Theology FAIL!

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One thought on “Funny Quote of the Day

  1. I see that he is from the UK so I wonder what his exposure to the restoration movement (RM) is. Is it to the Sandemanian/Glassite heritage which is native to the UK and related but not identical to the US version of the RM? Generally, conservative/fundamentalist versions of Christianity still see religious duty as loyalty to a set of immutable rules more like what is encountered in the OT. And for some reason, it is sexually related things that receive the most focus. Maybe he is referring to that. But I don’t know why the RM should be selected specifically from other fundamentalists which I think do the same thing. Also, the RM heritage is by no means monolithic. The Disciples of Christ are considered to be a liberal mainline denomination. The Christian Church is evangelical. The Churches of Christ are changing with some churches comfortable with considering themselves as in sync with evangelicalism generally while others maintain a separation from all churches outside of their immediate cohort. Interestingly and tellingly, scholars who have grown up in the CofC can end up anywhere on the spectrum, it seems to me.

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