Francis Chan and Restoration Movement Principles

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This is quite a lengthy video but starting around 24:00 Francis Chan lays out some principles that are very familiar to those of us who are a part of the Restoration Movement or attend churches that grew out of the American Restoration Movement. He works through what biblical interpretation (exegesis) is supposed to be about but how too often we get caught up in eisegesis (reading what we want to see back into the text). From there he talks about congregational life and church structures that we have today. He says that if we really listen to the Bible and do what we find there would we come up with what church “looks like” today? What would church look like? “Whatever it says, that’s what I will teach.” For instance, we are doing communion on Sunday nights together. There are people who have a problem with that. They won’t raise a fuss but they don’t like that we are doing that. Why? Is their complaint biblical or is it personal? Do they not like it because God doesn’t like it or because it is outside their comfort zone? He says, “If you started with this, would you really come up with your belief system?” The problem is over time, tradition, stagnation, etc what we find in the Bible is not always reflected in the way we do things. I am not saying we have it all wrong or that everything is messed up but it is important that we make sure the core truths and purposes of the church are genuinely and regularly reflected in our congregational life and ministry. Some really refreshing comments here from Francis Chan…

0 Responses

  1. A conspiracy theorist might be tempted to think that Francis Chan is a kind of Manchurian Candidate. Be the COOLEST, most hip preacher to come along the way… and then start preaching Restoration Movement practices.

    That’s the best idea that Restoration Evangelists have had for converting Denominationalists yet!

  2. I love Francis Chan. And I like the emphasis on scripture. I love his humble spirit.
    But instead of loving one another as number one, i would put worshipping God, seeing God, coming to know God, etc. as number one.
    I suppose 2a would be loving one another with HIs love.
    and 2b would be sharing our faith.

    1. Our love for each other does flow out of God’s love for us. The two are so intertwined it is nearly impossible to separate them but I think you got the order right.

  3. I haven’t watch the video but I have some concern regarding the question “He says that if we really listen to the Bible and do what we find there would we come up with what church “looks like” today?”

    In theory, the answer to this question ought to be a simple “yes”. However, we who are part of the Restoration Movement have been trying this patternistic approach to the Bible for quite some time and still have yet to have a unanimous agreement on what the church looks like. Quite to the contrary, the patternistic approach has only yielded more and more division.

    I would say – and this is what I believe scripture is pointing us to – that the more we learn to follow Jesus Christ and become the living presence of Jesus Christ, the more we will be what Jesus wants his church to be. That approach is not primarily about trying to reproduce the forms of early Christian we have recorded in the New Testament but instead is about trying to reproduce their function.

    Grace and Peace,


    1. I don’t think he is calling for patternism. He is calling for us to take the Bible seriously enough to allow it to challenge our traditions, especially if those traditions detract from God’s intention for His church as we find in the New Testament.

    2. Martin Luther and all of recorded history: Notice the CENI applied to IMPOSING.

      “16. Now, Paul’s thought here is that nothing should be taught and practiced in the Church but what is unquestionably God’s Word.

      It will not do to introduce or perform anything whatever upon the strength of man’s judgment. Man’s achievements, man’s reasoning and power, are of no avail save in so far as they come from God.

      As Peter says in his first epistle (ch. 4:11): “If any man speaketh, speaking as it were oracles of God; if any man ministereth, ministering as of the strength which God supplieth.” Luther Law and Gospel”

  4. Earlier this month, Francis Chan spoke at the North American Christian Convention, a gathering of the independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. I have not seen a video or audio yet, but I was glad to see that he has connected with another group of Christians with similar goals.

  5. Why not name one of the “traditions” or mayb he names one or two.

    However, it is a bit of psychological violence to say that the Churches of Christ sected out of the Christian church in 1906. The folly is the fact that the NACC didn’t begin to sect out of the Disciples/Christian churches until 1927 and finally when the Disciples “Restructured” (a restorred patternism?) in1968: the Disciplels delisted the Christian Churches in 1971. That is about 60 dacades too late. Some people need to repent. That was about the time that they began “unity” meetings meaning you use instruments and you can be like us.

    The only thing that happened during the first church census in 1906 was that the Census Taker knew that the Disciples could NOT count churches of Christ in their new denomination. David Lipscomb simply affirmed that the were not connected although people had tried to work together throughout that period.

    Nor was what became Churches of Christ ever “unioned” with the Disciples/Christian churches at any time place or doctrinal agreement. A few churches shook hands and held a few joint meetings beginning in 1931 at which time the Stoneites had absolutely nothing in common with the Campbellites: Stone denied the Atonement. A Campbell mocked the idea that “we had come over to them” based on a few handshakes.

    The Disciples split Disciples churches by the brand new tradition of adding the organ to add income for the churches overbuilt out of carpetbags. No protestant group used any kind of machines in the BIBLE CLASS at the time. The Disciples got swept away by the Millerites and decided that they had to save all of the Jews to ALLOW Jesus to return. Millerites AKS SDA.

    The traditions which were added mostly in the 20th century were:

    Preachers, Singing secular songs for entertainment and the LAW of laying by in store.

  6. make that 6 decades and the handshake between a few preachers was in 1831 and not 1931.
    Lipscomb added Millennial Harbinger after the Disciples got swept up in the 1843-44 “Rapture” movement.

    At that time ALL Disciple preachers rejected the use of instruments in what the Campbells understood correctly to be a school (only) of the Word of Christ (only).

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