Mike Cope's blog

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

My buddy Leonard Allen has this great paragraph in his book THINGS UNSEEN: CHurches of Christ In (and After) the Modern Age: The restorationist vision is fundamentally a means of critique and dissent. For this reason it will never fit comfortably with mainline or establishment forms of Christianity. Its sins tend to be those of severity rather than laxity, blind obstinancy rather than easy compromise, too-quick exclusion rather than too-ready inclusion, irrelevance rather than trendiness. Restorationists are constantly putting burrs under the seats of the sleepy and comfortable. They work from the conviction that accommodation and compromise are far easier and subtler than most suppose and that the call of Christ is higher, more serious, and more demanding than most care to entertain. That restorationists often fail to embody their own ideals should not obscure to our eyes the truth and power of the ideals themselves.

15 Comments:

  • Mike,

    Long time no talk--I pray you are doing well. I am in a class right now on Advanced Restoration History with Doug Foster. I think the quote you shared represents our tradition. I am thankful that our tradition has esteemed the calling of Christ as the highest, though we haven't always known how to get there. From what I have observed in my readings, some of our trouble, in the past, seems to come from our uncritical adoption of modern categories of thinking. Although we said we did not want to accommodate and sought to put burrs under the seats of the culturally comfortable, we were so closely tied to modern worldviews we could not see it. It is so tough to identify the cultural lens one uses to view the world. An author that has helped me with this is Thomas Oden: especially his "Agenda for Theology". I would love to know what you think of it if you have read it. I wonder what lens the Church of Christ of today uses...I pray that it is one that will truly move us closer to the high calling that Christ has for the church. Thanks for the quote and God bless,
    Matt

    By Blogger Matt Tapie, at 9/21/2005 02:43:00 PM  

  • A well written assessment of Oden's Agenda for Theology.

    http://www.utulsa.edu/sharpchapel/presCon/pn.asp

    God bless you my brother.

    By Blogger Steve Puckett, at 9/21/2005 06:40:00 PM  

  • Mike,

    This is exactly what I'm longing to be a part of.

    Where do I sign up??? :-)

    By Blogger Dwiggy444, at 9/21/2005 07:24:00 PM  

  • I find it inane to see that 170 years after a movement like the restoration movement that people still write about it. But if the power of Christ is touted and expressed as ideal, then it along with any movement should perpetuated.

    By Blogger WDS, at 9/21/2005 08:33:00 PM  

  • Blogger isn't letting me post this morning. But my prayers are with those trying to flee Houston -- including my son and daughter-in-law. They live near Baylor Medical School and the med center complex -- an area that provided a few years ago to be vulnerable.

    By Blogger Mike, at 9/22/2005 05:23:00 AM  

  • Mike.

    I'm keeping your kids in prayer!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 9/22/2005 06:25:00 AM  

  • Mike, have been catching up on your blog, since I have not had a chance to read it since Katrina hit. You would not recognize Biloxi or Gulfport now. All the big beautiful homes on the beach, gone. The business community along the beach, gone. In many areas, anything south of the tracks is gone. Nothing but slabs left. Most of the historical places, gone. It would break your heart.

    But on a bright note, several churches here are working hard on relief efforts. Within 3 or 4 days of the storm, churches from all over the country began sending truck loads of stuff. The churches of Christ in this area are busting it, in the name of the Lord. Many congregations have sent much needed cash to help. It has truly been a blessing. But we are just getting started.

    These churches were organized and helping people long before FEMA or the Red Cross showed up. And they continue to out-shine the government agencies. Praise God.

    Some stats from todays Sun Herald newspaper:
    -219 dead state wide
    -799 in New Orleans
    -of 171,000 dwellings in the six county South Mississippi area, 65,100 homes, or 38% are destroyed.
    -some 25000 jobs gone

    For some good pics and articles on Katrina, go to www.sunherald.com

    Bill

    By Blogger Bill, at 9/22/2005 12:08:00 PM  

  • Mike -- I'm hoping Matt and Jenna aren't stuck in those lines of cars. We took back roads out of Baytown yesterday and made it to a friend's house in Waco without encountering any traffic problems. My parents left Houston this morning, drove 14 miles in 3 hours, and turned around and went home. Thanks to everyone for your prayers - this one is not looking good!

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 9/22/2005 04:36:00 PM  

  • As someone who was raised outside the "tradition" (and someone who also studies religious organizations and communication), I find it fascinating that we had to have a movement to get back to basics. But I guess that's how it always is with organizations, anyway. It's easy to stray from first principles as we get caught up in the "church" as a building and a meeting place, rather than a body of believers focused on Him.

    Have enjoyed the first chapter of Stormfront--looking forward to Zoe!

    By Blogger "George", at 9/22/2005 07:55:00 PM  

  • Blogger hasn't let me post in two days either! I too am stuck in comments. Plaese let us that Matt and Jenna are safe!

    By Blogger SG, at 9/23/2005 08:19:00 AM  

  • I'm a Barton Stone man, myself, rather than a big fan of Alexander Campbell.

    I think we need to have more "spiritual exercises" like those demonstrated at the Cane Ridge Revival (barking, running, shaking, falling down, etc...) in some of our current services!

    By Blogger Steve Jr., at 9/23/2005 09:22:00 AM  

  • Mike,I sure am praying for your kids & everyone fleeing "Rita". Please let us know when you can how Matt & Jenna are doing.

    By Blogger annie, at 9/23/2005 10:35:00 AM  

  • Once again I'm trying to post, and blogger won't let me on. Frustrating!

    By Blogger Mike, at 9/23/2005 12:32:00 PM  

  • Mike,
    Is it possible to get a copy of "The Cup" video you mentioned in the prior post. We are starving for ways to enhance our communion experience. If you have other ideas or ecommendations along these lines, it would be really helpful. Thanks.

    By Blogger Rcutsinger, at 9/23/2005 01:47:00 PM  

  • Rcutsinger - We can certainly ask Matt. If you'll e-mail my assistant (gina@highlandchurch.org), she can check for you. And let's be sure you get the RIGHT one! Don't think you want any images of Hitler during communion. :)

    By Blogger Mike, at 9/23/2005 03:24:00 PM  

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