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March 19, 2010

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These are good reasons for a blog, Dr. John Reeve. (I can't decide what to call you, so I thought the full name would cover my bases.)

I especially resonate with that first thing you've learned from history, the danger of protecting ourselves against the possibility of being wrong. Perhaps our Adventist heritage exacerbates this natural human tendency? From the beginning we've been the weirdos, the protestors, the fringe-people. Even now as we're evangelical-izing, we're still not completely "in," right? Seems to me that we have developed sort of a gut reaction to challenges to the (traditional?) Adventist understanding. I see that same tendency in myself, so I'm looking forward to seeing what MMF will contribute to this lesson in teachability.

Kessia Reyne,

Thank you for your encouragement and candor. (John is fine, by the way.) I appreciate that when you made the obvious jump in application from the early Church to the Adventist Church that you referred to "this natural human tendency." I did intend the current application to our own movement, but I did not want to single us out.

The early Christians did insulate themselves against being wrong by holding on to tradition even as it developed. And, in their defense, it did keep them from having gnostic or docetic understandings of Jesus Christ from becoming the norm. I think the problem is as much that they insisted that they were not chainging even as they changed. This is particularly true in the area of liturgy, but also holds true in many areas of theology as well; like in the area of theological anthropology.

So my comment on the lesson learned from the early Church was directly descriptive of the early Church, but is also somewhat universal and, therefore, applicable to ourselves. However, it is not meant to be prescriptive in a deterministic way. We are not doomed to follow a pattern, but we do have to keep from following the pattern.

Thanks for the comments.

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Memory, Meaning & Faith is a blog covering Christian history in light of contemporary issues.

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