Christ came to overcome the darkness and to liberate both humanity and the whole creation from the power of evil.
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The Fall and its Implications. Therefore if heaven is defined as the true knowledge of God, then hell consists of a state of separation from and ignorance of God.
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Wilson p. For early Quakers the Genesis fall narrative presented Adam and Eve turning away from the inward knowledge of God and focusing instead on outward things which by their nature were not God. Ultimately therefore, early Quakers understood sin in terms of a breakdown of relationship, human alienation from God Gwyn , p.
What were the Implications of the Fall? The early Quaker understanding of the fall included implications that ranged from the personal to the cosmic.
Good and Evil, Quaker Perspectives by Jackie Leach Scully | | Booktopia
Essentially, they saw the fall in terms of a fundamental breach with the God-given wholeness, harmony and order of the creation:. Evil and the Truth. Although early Quakers associated the fallen state with the domination of evil, separation, disunity and disorder, they did not accept that this was the true nature of things. Their particular view of the fall combined with a belief in the infinite power of truth over the finite power of evil demonstrates a distinctive feature of early Quaker understanding.
They were extremely realistic about the pervasive presence of evil in the world and the darkness of the fallen human condition but at the same time steadfastly optimistic about the essential goodness of creation and the ultimate defeat of darkness and evil in the world. The Human Condition in the Fall.
Although early Quakers regularly condemned the evils ways of humans under the conditions of the fall e. The Human Condition in the Light. Balancing this overwhelmingly pessimistic understanding of human nature in the conditions of fall early Quakers had an equally fervent belief in the transformative power of Christ in the human heart:.
Evil: Personal or Structural? The early Quaker understanding of evil includes both personal and structural dimensions. However, this is a theology which sees the seeds of evil located firmly within the heart of each individual:. And this is not against love, nor everlasting peace, but that without which can be no true love nor lasting peace. James Nayler — The Lambs War Responding to Evil. What did early Quakers believe was required in order to effectively respond to evil?
Christ Within Brings Transformation. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. For early Quakers Christ, who had returned in spirit and could dwell in every heart, was the only true solution to evil being the only power that could deal with evil in the world. First and foremost therefore, the early Quaker response was to allow Christ to reveal and destroy the evil within each person and to bring them to new life.
Ultimately, the defeat of evil within the wider world would have its foundations in this experience. Isaac Penington quoted in Weddle , p. A Spirituality of Subtraction and Attentiveness. The early Quaker focus on the work of Christ destroying evil within each person led to the development of a distinctive spirituality of discernment that became known as quietism:.
The Role of Suffering. Early Quakers expected to experience suffering and regarded it as an inevitable consequence of the conflict between the waning kingdoms of this world and the emerging kingdom of God.
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As an imitation of Christ, suffering would play a key role in the destruction of evil and the redemption of creation:. Obedience over Effectiveness. A key test for early Quakers was not whether their actions would achieve a desired outcome but rather whether they were being truly obedient to divine guidance. This approach assumes that humans have limited awareness and that in the battle to defeat evil God may act in ways which defy human reason and understanding.
Good and Evil
Answering That of God in Others. In early Quaker practice the link between the destruction of evil within the individual and its eradication in the whole world can be found in the principle of answering that of God in others. Nonviolent Spiritual Conflict.
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The Role of the Church. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Pink Dandelion Editor. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. Ships in 7 to 10 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Industry Reviews ' Introductory section: Introduction Continuing revelation - gospel or heresy?
Historical Perspectives: George Fox's witness regarding good and evil Early Quakers and divine liberation from the universal power of sin Beyond depravity: good and evil in the thought of Robert Barclay John Woolman and good and evil Present-Day Perspectives: Mental illness, ignorance or sin?
Good and Evil
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