A new book designed to help congregations and students encounter or recover their Restoration roots has recently been published by Wipf and Stock Publishers. Edited by John C. Nugent, professor of Old Testament at Great Lakes Christian College, Restoration Appreciation: The Rich Legacy and Hopeful Future of the Stone-Campbell Movement invites restorationists to rise above the partisanship of our day, rally around our core commitments, and lead out in our strengths.
“The Restoration vision is being tested,” said Nugent when Christian Standard asked what motivated him to compile this book at this time. “Once-prominent colleges and publishing houses have closed. Restoration churches are closing their doors or being absorbed by larger congregations. Members of our thriving churches have little awareness of their Restoration heritage.”
If the Restoration Movement is to continue its vital witness to the centrality of Scripture to the church’s life and the pressing need for Christians to remain united amid the polarization of our age, we need to remember and talk about where we came from, why it is important that we exist, and how we can strengthen our witness going forward. Restoration Appreciation facilitates such conversations by covering Restoration basics and contemporary challenges in a manner that all church members can read, understand, and engage.
The book’s 12 chapters are a collection of essays originally presented orally at GLCC. The speakers/writers include Jerry Harris, Christian Standard publisher and teaching pastor at The Crossing; Lloyd A. Knowles, professor of history at GLCC; and James Riley Estep, founding dean of Lincoln Christian Institute and a regular Christian Standard writer.
In his Introduction, Nugent says,
The contributors to this volume are well-aware of the great, even grave challenges facing the Stone-Campbell heritage today. The long-term survival of any tradition requires facing new challenges—even ones that threaten the tradition at its core. . . . So while the overall tone of this book is appreciative, these essays pull no punches. Its authors expose sore spots in our heritage, name problematic trends, and suggest significant corrections.
If taken to heart, says Nugent as he closes his Introduction, the authors’ suggestions “might position our churches to be catalysts within the global church—empowering all Christians to begin answering Jesus’ prayer that his followers unite so the world may come to know God’s love.”
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Restoration Appreciation is available in paperback, eBook, or hardcover. 148 pages. It may be purchased online from the publisher or from Bookshop.org or Amazon.com.