Some time ago, I posted a series of articles asking about the future of the progressive Churches of Christ. Are we going to merge with the independent Christian Churches? Become a collection of detached community churches with no common works? A new denomination? You see, no one is talking about where we go from here. We’ve shed ourselves of some truly bad theology, great things are happening, but as a community of congregations, what’s the plan?
Well, thanks to the recommendation of Alan Rouse, I subscribed to the Christian Standard. The Standard was founded by Isaac Errett before the Civil War and is, I believe, the oldest Restoration Movement periodical that’s been in continuous publication. And although the Churches of Christ often buy books and Sunday school material from Standard Publishing (its parent company), the periodical is largely unknown among the a cappella Churches of Christ.
But I’ve quickly come to appreciate it and I heartily recommend it. The Christian Standard offers a useful blend of doctrine and practice, leadership and reflection. Unlike the Gospel Advocate and its ilk, the Standard makes a point to present both sides of the issues. For example, it recently published an issue with articles on both sides of the role-of-women question. Good stuff.
And unlike, say, the Christian Chronicle, the Christian Standard has taken the notion of unity in Christ seriously — so seriously that they publish many articles written by us in the a cappella Churches of Christ. They truly strive to include all autonomous congregations within the Restoration Movement. I don’t know why the a cappella Churches of Christ seem incapable of publishing anything that presents more than one side of an issue!
The September issue is captioned “Five Questions for the Restoration Movement,” and it asks about what the future of the Movement should be. At last! People in positions of leadership and influence are asking these important questions!
Hence, I plan to post a few thoughts around those questions.