Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Restoration: A movement or a monument?

This is from an interview transcribed in a Ketcherside book I just ran across called "In the Beginning." I'll try to post a PDF of the book in the near future.
    Q: Has progress in restoration been as rapid in the last fifty years as before?

    A: Not at all! Those who were the spiritual descendants of the men mentioned[Thomas Campbell, Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, Barton W. Stone] made the mistake of thinking that they had taken them all the way back to the original, and thus have rested on their oars. They have spent much of the last half century trying to defend what they already have and wrangling with each other over what it is. As a result they have ceased to be a movement and have become a monument. A movement is ever changing. A monument stays where it is. It is visited by many to celebrate the accomplishment of dead heroes instead of living giants.

That's a pretty profound observation, I think. A monument stays where it is and is meant to celebrate past of accomplishments. It can do nothing but deteriorate with time. It glorifies the old paths forged by a previous generation, not the old paths described by the New Testament writers.