Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Finally getting somewhere in reading 'The Pilgrim Church'

I've had a copy of 'The Pilgrim Church' (by E.H. Broadbent) since last Christmas, but until this week I only got a few chapters into it, even though the subject is very interesting to me. I am now about 2 thirds through it and I think it's an amazing perspective on church history which everyone interested in the subject should read, even if they don't agree with the doctrinal and theological perspective of the author. The book is very well documented, and gives many quotes and stories of men, and some women, who were great influences in the churches throughout the centuries in different regions, mainly Europe.
In reading the different thoughts of the men described and quoted, I see that I am most in agreement with the oldest forms of Baptists and those the author refers to as 'the Brethren', as opposed to the mainline protestant denominations. Also, the modern Baptists have only surface resemblance to those earlier believers and congregations. That is why when I first started blogging I hesitated to call myself 'protestant' because technically the Baptist beliefs and denominations did not come out from Roman Catholicism, though some of the people who became Baptists came out of it; the Baptist beliefs came from groups that existed at different times parallel to Roman Catholicism, and also the beliefs come straight from Scripture and not as remnants of Roman Catholic practices, as some protestant practices are. I use the term 'protestant' out of convenience only.
It's very interesting to see how similar the perspective of the author is to mine, in that he recognizes believers in all denominations, also seeing their strengths and weaknesses as groups. Also in that churches should not be united with the state and have temporal power; and should allow freedom of conscience for all believers, and encourage forebearance among believers toward each other's differences in doctrine if the doctrines are not against the truth of scripture.
More to come....

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