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?