Studying the History of Fallible Religious Leaders

Restoration Movement Leaders

Besides studying the Bible, the topic I enjoy learning about the most is religious history – particularly the history of the Restoration Movement (sometimes called the Stone-Campbell Movement). This was a period in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States in which many were troubled by the divisions they saw in the religious world and endeavored to correct this by striving to simply go back to the Bible and follow it alone as their only rule of faith and practice.

Some of the more influential figures in this movement were Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Barton W. Stone, and Walter Scott. Usually when people think of this history today, these are the men who come to mind. As we begin to study this history, we learn of others who played a significant role in the direction of this movement – men like Moses Lard, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Sommer, and David Lipscomb. Going deeper into the study of this history, we can learn about the contributions of others like David Purviance, Pardee Butler, Samuel Robert Cassius, and more – men who may have been largely forgotten, but can provide us with some valuable lessons.*Continue Reading

Book Review: Torn Asunder

Torn Asunder (cover)I recently finished reading Torn Asunder: The Civil War and the 1906 Division of the Disciples by Ben Brewster. The book is about the history of the Restoration Movement leading up to the officially recognized division between the Disciples of Christ and the churches of Christ in 1906. But the author took an interesting approach by looking at how the Civil War impacted this division. An excerpt from the book is below:
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The Want of Records

Amos S. Hayden, near the end of his book, Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, lamented the fact that there were not more records from the previous generations from which his generation could learn. He wondered if future generations would have an even harder time finding the writings and history of their predecessors.

In these pages, personal knowledge and gathered data have, in part, supplied this lack. But this source of information is, with the passing generation, rapidly going down to the dumb grave; the silent receptacle of all things human.

The scribe was a man of high authority among the Jews, a little vain, and a sweep of his robe somewhat too ample. The horn of oil made the nation jubilant when it was emptied in the consecration of a priest or a king. But the horn of ink has made many nations joyful by its recitals of their deeds, and its transmissions of their jubilees.
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