I grew up in Southern Baptist circles. I deeply appreciate and continue to respect that American tribe of believers for their nurturing of my faith. In 2003, I resigned from being an SB campus minister on a small campus in southeast Arkansas. My family and I felt called to start a new church in our community, one that would be vastly different from the very traditional churches and denominational structures of our area and state. You can read more about that on our church site.
Over the past 3 years, I've experienced and seen so much of life outside of denominational circles, that I've been deeply impacted and convicted about just how confining those structures actually were and are. I have been deeply burdened by how similar American churches look to American businesses, school, and other organizations. Many are run by the same principles and processes. I've seen very few that are earnestly attempting to be "led by the Spirit." It seems that the GOCC (God Of Common Sense) reigns supreme in Protestantism. So much of American church life lacks spiritual vitality and vibrancy.
I began to look further. There's not time in this post to trace my mental meanderings through a study of American revivalism, the Keswick movement, Puritanism, and finally to the Protestant Reformation. The PR is where so many of our prominent churches and leaders identify their heroes from. I began to ask myself… "Self, why do so many of us stop there… with Luther and Calvin and Zwingli and others?"
It was then that I began to be deeply impressed that the PR, with all its needed correction of the 16th century RCC (Roman Catholic Church), was also a reaction, a deeply powerful and polarizing reaction.The pendulum was on one side, and as the Reformers identified the issues of their day and began to take their stands (some to the death) on them, the pendulum began to swing back. That's what my little pea-brain sees.
Today, however, the pendulum of the Reformation has swung far to the other side and we stand in need of great correction and re-identification as the church of Christ. There was much that was lost in the PR in the 15th-16th centuries as a result of the polarizing effects of the conflict. Today, most Protestants are ignorant of valuable, historic, deeply significant, and even mysterious elements of the ancient church. Some may not be recoverable. But many can be.
It is the purpose of this site to link us to our past, to willingly admit our ignorance and seek the wisdom of Christ through His Word and His people. Ours is an Ancient-Present-Future faith. May God increase our love for Him, for each other, and consequently for His Bride, as we shine like a city set on a hill. Let us no longer be ignorant!
Practically, here's the plan…
- Enlist regular contributors from a variety of Protestant backgrounds.
- Create a healthy, positive, and insightful ongoing dialogue related to Protestantism.
- Assist churches, leaders, and denominations in reclaiming the ancient-future faith established by Christ and the apostles.
- Identify theological, cultural, and philosophical drifts which impact the Protestant church.
And away we go…