Home > Book Project, Christianity, Quakers > A Quaker Apology for Today?

A Quaker Apology for Today?

I began this blog with a call for submissions for a new book which will tell the stories of young Quakers who have come to call the Friends church home. This type of “testimonial narrative,” as Paul Anderson notes, is a type of apology, albeit one that is perhaps too personal to be generalizable to others. That said, telling our stories is a significant form of truth telling in our postmodern culture. We need to tell our stories – for others to hear, and to be able to make sense of who we are becoming.

This type of apology for the Quaker church is, in my estimation, needed. Especially from younger mouths. But the Quaker church needs more than just story. It needs a framework within which to work. Perhaps the most dangerous and yet most exciting aspect of Quaker belief and practice is the freedom is has preached, due to the correct belief of the Holy Spirit’s immediacy. This is both exciting and dangerous at the same time – a combination that has the potential for great growth or great peril.

This is where I want to continue to interact with the most recent issue of QRT, specifically Paul Anderson’s article which distills and contextualizes Robert Barclay’s Apology from 1673. Calling it An Apology for Authentic Spirituality, Anderson collapses 16 of Barclay’s original propositions into 12, in which the “timeless message of Scripture will be connected with timely concerns for today” (21).

On this blog, I will be interacting with a few of the propositions he lists – focusing on those that I perceive the larger Christian movement is most suspicious about. I would encourage you to read through both David Johns article and Paul Anderson’s article, including Arthur Robert’s response to them (which I eventually get to) and then join in the conversation – either here, on your own blog, or (gasp!) in person over a beverage of some sort.

Thanks for joining in – through reading, wrestling, and investing in the conversation.

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