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Old 10-02-2017, 01:24 AM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,664
Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The Reformation was not Christless. The Reformation is seen as the start of the Recovery. What became Christless was the church organizations that resulted from the Reformation and satisfy Rev 3:20a. These church organizations became affiliated with the governments of the time. Today, many of these state-churches support gay marriage and such. Christless fits them well. Even though God led them out of the Roman Catholic church, they became dead themselves. For this reason God used the inner life mystics such as Madame Guyon and Brother Lawrence, Catholics, to show the Protestants the way.
How can Madame Guyon show Protestants the way, being a woman?

"Oh, that's experientially, not defining doctrine."

I always felt the "Recovery" narrative leaned on slender reeds; and at the end, the tale-bearer exclaimed, "Hey! Look everyone! I'm the center of the universe!!" Yes, how convenient.

My own, equally arbitrary (but I admit it) narrative of church history runs thus:

In the beginning (e.g., Pentecost in Acts 2), the Church was nearly 100% Jewish. Within a few centuries the Church was not only nearly 100% non-Jewish, but even anti-Jewish in tone (see Justin's 'Dialog with Trypho the Jew').

Not coincidentally, the Church subsequently fell into disarray over ideals like the meaning and application of the word "nature" ('ground of the church', anyone?). By 450 CE the Church had split itself apart at the Council of Chalcedon. Six regions left: the Ethiopians, the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Armenians, the Persians, and the Indian churches. Remember that at this time the Christian mission had engulfed what is today Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, etc.

With the infighting and rancor, the stage was set for Islam to replace Christianity as the dominant force in the Levant. It nearly swallowed Europe at one point. (Its European resurgence bears note, today).

And so, the Recovery (or Reformation, or Restoration) narrative lurches forward, fitfully. Going back to my point about the Church vis-a-vis the Jews, our narrative has coherency and/or legitimacy only inasmuch as it doesn't try to de-legitimise all the rest. Remember, what you do to others will be done to you.
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
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