More Blowing in the Wind – No one needs no stinkin’ Stone-Campbellite Heritage

Alexander Campbell
Alexander Campbell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This editorial “we” is very problematic, as it blurs the line between the “we” of the church, the “we” of Emmanuel, and the “we” of secular public opinion.

I do not mean to tackle every issue Blowers puts forth, but some of them are just too silly to pass up. Like this one above. What Blowers is actually saying is that every time a professor as Emmanuel makes a public statement, he is speaking for the school. Odd… his statements across the internet for the last few days would seem to say that he is speaking directly for Emmanuel Christian Seminary.

Obviously they do not teach reading comprehension or logic at Emmanuel.

And then, in his almost mocking tone of Dr. Cargill and through Dr. Cargill of others who have journeyed many of the same paths is, well — I’ll say it: unchristian.

Take it or leave it, that’s our stated understanding of things, and we expect students not only to “manage” their new-found learning in an ecclesial context, but to find constructive ways to use it for edifying purposes.

English: Barton W. Stone (1772-1844) Português...
English: Barton W. Stone (1772-1844) Português: Barton Stone, pastor e teólogo estadunidense. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In other words… if you think too terribly much, don’t. This is a bit hypocritical and sorely misses the opportunity Dr. Rollston presented with his piece. What is more edifying then looking at your narrative structure, your scaffolding, only to identify and call out those areas that do not meet satisfactory measures? Are we no longer allowed to point out the ethnocentrism of Ezra or the subjugation of women found at the end of Judges? Blowers asked for push back texts; but where is the push back against his marginalization of Dr. Rollston? Where, then, is grace?

One of the more interesting aspects of the Restorationist Movement is the controversy surrounding Barton Stone. He challenged Christian orthodoxy on more than one occasion and could not found solace in the denominations. Alexander Campbell has much the same story. So, because they were marginalized for questioning Christian Tradition, and in many cases, Scripture. Because of this, the United States experienced a wonderful revival of the open table, a heritage Blowers is constantly claiming by pushing back.

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Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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