Scot McKnight posted today about a recent visit to Cincinatti Bible Seminary where he spoke at the Stone Campbell Lectures. He had some very nice things to say about the churches who share the Restoration Movement (or Stone-Campbell Movement) heritage, and he concludes his remarks with: "...they are doing excellent work in Bible and theology and church ministry. And neglecting this movement has weakened the robustness of the evangelical voice in the USA."
I grew up in this tradition, and the church I now pastor has a Restoration Movement heritage. Scot is right in observing that these churches have never really been "evangelical" insiders. Their steadfast commitment (perhaps overemphasis) regarding the importance of baptism and weekly communion has always been out of step and worrisome for most evangelicals. In my younger years of ministry, that was a source of frustration to me. Today, with evangelicalism finding more ways to implode upon itself every day, I'm just fine with not fitting in.
I'm happy to say that Valley Christian Church values its heritage--so much so that we are not bound to it. We're not Restoration Movement Christians, we're just plain old Christians. We're just happy to be a group of people doing our best to follow Jesus--seeking God, sharing our lives, and serving others. I hope we're making a contribution to the Kingdom that merits some of McKnight's generous praise.
Scot McKnight is a Bible teacher and author of many books, including two of the books we recommended during our recent Lent and Easter teaching series: The Jesus Creed and 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed. He also writes the popular Jesus Creed Blog.