New School or Old School

Are we revisiting this old argument? The Old School Presbyterians were Christians who held strongly to the idea that the church should not get involved in social matters. Their responsibility was the purity of the church and disciplining of members. The New School Presbyterians held to a more integrated understanding of the church and state and felt that involvement was key to the health of the church and an obligation of the people.The New School movement was one of the first groups to ban slave-owners to become members in the church.

Does this divide exist today within the church? There is such a strong movement among the young to get out there and serve.While at the same time there seems to be a movement in the heart of others to self preserve.

Everyone seems to be getting involved in some form of short term missions and I have to image this will lead to more missionaries. I think one of the reasons this field will see a revival is due to the internet. People can now stay in touch with their social network while still serving in remote parts of the world.

At the same time people want the church in America to avoid hot topic issues that seem to divide. The call is to keep the gospel in the center and not let much else into the discussion. I think that is what is so powerful about men like Tim Keller who won’t allow us to hide behind gospel centrality because he says to live a gospel centered life is to live out in our culture and enhance it from a gospel centered place.

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2 thoughts on “New School or Old School

  1. I like the conclusion of this. I think it is absolutely essential to both focus on growing your faith internal to a church but also focus on serving/evangelical acts outside as well. Our church leaders articulated this well for us recently, saying we should always have both: focus on the Great Commandment (to love God and love each other) and also the Great Commission (to go and share the word in the world). I was also just reading James and came across another relevant thought which put me over the tipping point of commenting on your post here 🙂 “In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works is dead… you see that faith was active together with his works, and by works faith was perfected”.

    • I think what really fascinates me the more history I read is how circular our society as a human race really is. The perspective of Solomon in Ecclesiastes that their is nothing new under the sun is so profound. We label ourselves with different titles but really just say the same thing over and over.

      The fun I am trying to have is figure out how I would be labelled 100, 200, 500 years ago and how the various categories are placed out today.

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