Ex-, not Post- Restorationist

I pause briefly between posts on restorationism to clarify a point that might be important to a few readers.

I consider myself an ex-restorationist, not a post-restorationist. The difference is between that of someone who decides to abandon a particular path, opting instead to return to the main road, and someone who thinks its important to continue from the current path, albeit in a slightly different direction.

I don’t think there is much of anywhere to “go” from here. I think that we have reached, theologically, a dead end, even though the road may have seemed promising at the beginning. For that reason, I don’t really think of myself as a “post-restorationist”; someone who is ready to “move forward,” albeit in the same tradition. Instead, I feel the need to find an entirely different theological system, one which is more willing to adapt and grow.

That is not to say that I haven’t learned some things along the way. Baptism, for example, is an appropriately emphasized event in the restorationist tradition. I am grateful for the good things I’ve learned and experienced, and don’t intend to leave them behind.

I also don’t think this means that the restoration movement was a useless exercise. Theology needs to be tested in the real world before we know whether it “works” or not. The scout who discovers a treacherous river crossing which is to be avoided at all costs is just as valuable as the one that finds a calm, shallow way through. Both are needed for well-informed travel.

But I’ve still not gotten to the point I want to get at, which is this: if you aren’t a restorationist, why continue in a faith tradition that is based on a restorationist tradition?

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One Response to Ex-, not Post- Restorationist

  1. Matt Wardman says:

    The RC’s have an interesting approach to renewal movement’s – “Baptise” them and make them official, then the new truth perceived becomes a new ploughing of the old earth rather than an attempted start from scratch. In the latter case the mistakes that the RCs remember they made in 657AD may be repeated.

    Examples: Jesuits, Franciscans, and various less formal modern movements “blessed” rather than baptised (e.g., Cardinal Suenens staying a cardinal and exploring the charismatic emphasis).

    The problem comes when the “mainstream” forgets that is supposed to go on learning, or the new learning forgets that it is built on an old foundation.

    As I understand it, “new wineskins” in the Gospel may just as accurately be “renewed wineskins”.

    Just my tuppence.

    Matt W

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