Ok, so this week I'm taking the History of the American Restoration Movement in school. Since most of my blog-o-sphere are Church-of-Christ-ers, I'm wondering what it is that you want to know about the history of the Churches of Christ. What question has always baffled you? I have access to books and a person with some credentials - I might just be able to help you out.
Ok, I dare you to guess the names of these important Restoration Movement figures:
1. Walter Scott
Walter Scott (1796-1861) came to North America from Scotland in 1818. He was drawn to the work of Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone and joined with them as an evangelist. He was an amazing evangelist and developed the mnemonic device of the Six themes of the gospel:
-Forgiveness of Sins
Using this simple message from 1830-1861 He baptized an average of 1000 people a year (Dag, yo!). This morphed into the five points of the gospel (Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, and Be Baptized).
2. Thomas Campbell
Thomas Campbell (1763-1854)
He studied 3 years at Glasgow University in Scotland and aligned himself with the Presbyterian Church. He came to North America in 1807 ahead of his wife and son (Alexander). He became less and less satisfied with the Presbyterian church and so in 1808 he wrote the “The Declaration and Address” which outlined the principles of rejecting creeds and denominationalism and advocated reading the Bible for all authority and understanding of how Church ought to be practiced.
3. Barton W. Stone
Barton W. Stone was born in Maryland in 1772 he was a young child during the Revolutionary War. He was a minister in the Presbyterian church in 1801 when he attended the Cane Ridge Revival where somewhere between 12,000 and 30,000 people attended in an eccumenical display of Christian faith. There was a lot of ecstatic display (falling down, dancing, laughing in the Spirit, barking, etc.). This made Stone question the staunch doctrines and exclusionary attitudes of the Presbyterian church.
In 1804 he broke from the Presbyterian church all together with the document "The Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery" where he said:
"We will, that this body die, be dissolved, and sink into union with the Body of
Christ at large; for there is but one body, and one Spirit, even as we are
called in one hope of our calling."
He led many people in the same move and they began to call themselves only Christians rejecting the sectarian, denominational names that divided the body of Christ.
4 Alexander Campbell (a.k.a. Beardy-McBearderson).
So Alex Campbell pretty much did it all when it comes to the ol' Retoration Movement. He published a couple of journals (for like 37 years) and taught a bunch of people at Bethany College (which he founded). If you're interested in why the Churches of Christ are what they are you need to start with the life and times of this man.
And "The Beard" would totally own in a thirties-style boxing match.
"I ain't got no dukes."