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Influences: Roots, Trunk and Branches

Page (still!) under construction.

This is a page that describes some things that have influenced me.

You might also like to read my Spiritual Journey.

Evangelical

'Evangelical' is probably my key root. Strong points that have influenced us: Some weak points of the evangelical tradition include:

Evangelistic

'Evangelical' means taking the Bible as God's written message; 'evangelistic' means proclaiming God's message, and in particular that message about Jesus being being what Christians call 'Saviour'.

I have been influenced by various traditions that have held that evangelism is probably the key activity for us to get involved in. Jesus gave his first followers what has become known as the Great Commission:

"Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all I have commanded you."
- and that is what gives evangelism its priority. But, as we enter the twenty-first century, we need to give this a new slant.

Christian Brethren

While many of the Brethren characteristics have fallen away, points from that tradition that have influenced me include: Weak points:

Anglican

In the Scottish Episcopal Church, and then in Highfield Church of England in Southampton, I value the following influences. (It may be noticed that some of these points appear to conflict with others from the Christian Brethren tradition; we hold that there is truth, of God, in both.)

Charismatic

Strong points that have influenced me:

Importance of the Secular

While the majority of the western church has always elevated the sacred over the secular side of life and the spiritual over the physical, there has always been a thin root that has tried to retain a true perspective on both the secular and the physical - interestingly that root is found in both Calvinistic and Celtic Christianity. It has influenced me.

Traditionally, among 'keen' Christians, prayer has been more important than politics, and the priest has been seen as more important than the plough-boy. This emphasis comes, not from God's message in the Bible, but from Greek intellectualism and the dualism that emerged from Plato. Many Christians, sadly, believe that we should not look after the natural world because it will all perish when God completes history.

But people like Francis of Assissi discovered that God loves his creation and that we should look after it. George Herbert, poet and Anglican priest, spoke often of the importance of 'ordinary' chores like sweeping a room. Booth and Shaftesbury worked hard for social justice, because of what the Bible told them.

So, we are following this thin root as one of our branches.

World-wide Mission

From my time at Crusaders, I have had a strong awareness of world-wide (non-Western) Christianity, and rejoices in the rapid growth of the non-Western church such that there are now more Christians in the non-Western world than in the West. Points that have influenced us include:

Creation Responsibility

Because the Bible seems full of 'earthiness', and the clear message that God loves his creation. Not just the animals and plants, but also society, economics, etc.

(Some have given this the label Kingdom - meaning God's rule and effective authroity in the affairs of humankind. But Kingdom can mean so many other different things that we have not used it for the title of this section.)

Some Core Beliefs

I am neither fundamentalist nor liberal in outlook, but rather evangelical - in the U.K. (Anglo-Celtic) sense rather than the American sense. Here are some of the things we hold dear, and which act as a kind of filter on our acceptance of influences from our roots, and as a guide to the exploration that is our branches.


This page is <a href= "offered.html">offered to God as on-going work. Comments, queries welcome.

Copyright (c) Andrew Basden at all dates below. But you may use this material subject to certain <a href= "copyright.html">conditions.

Part of his www.abxn.org pages, that open up discussion and exploration from a Christian ('xn') perspective. Written on the Amiga with Protext. Number of visitors to these pages: Counter.

Created: . Last updated: 16 February 1997. 8 November 1998 some links renewed. 7 February 2001. 26 September 2008 redone as my own roots, rather than as those of my church. 12 August 2014 .nav, new .end, added link to spiritual.journey.