Hey Buddy, the author of this book seems to be going strong and has written a number of other fascinating books. I really appreciate him and wish he could join us for a discussion of Community of the King, one of his earliest productions.
Howard is an older gentleman now and I'd be curious to know his latest opinions and if any have changed over the years. Hopefully, all of us are changing for the better in our minds and lives. Still, it's so hard to admit we were wrong. Haha.
I also appreciate the constructive nature of his writings. Too many writers in this genre are into the 'slash and burn' approach.
He emphasizes a gift orientation rather than a position orientation for the most efficent functioning of the Body of Christ. This point is worthy of our attention.
He has some very interesting free papers which can be downloaded:
David, I did not know of his Pentecostal roots. We had him teach in our house church once when he still lived in Dayton, Ohio.
First, his emphasis on the Church as an agent of the Kingdom of God encouraged me. Secondly, he did not propose discarding organizations, but seeing them as "para church ministries." The Church according to scripture is a community, a family and the Body of Christ. The nature of the Church does not have to be compromised if we keep the "Church" and the "work" separated. (Watchman Nee's terminology).
There is much more. In fact I need to get it out again. What it did for me was to see the bigger picture and the place the simple pattern of the New Testament Church has in it.
Howard S. has been on the staff at Asbury Seminary for many, many years. They, of course, welcome believers from all backgrounds. Which is how it should be.
Concerning the founder if the school: He was the editor of the “Pentecostal Herald” for 20 years. Reminds me of you... :)
In 1923, Henry Clay Morrison began Asbury Theological Seminary with a class of three students and fashioned a seal for the Seminary which audaciously reads “The Whole Bible for the Whole World.” Nearly 100 years later, those three students number in the tens of thousands with a second full campus in Orlando, Florida. Asbury Seminary graduates flourish in every state, on every continent, in every time zone, reaching the world through evangelism, missions, church planting, preaching, teaching, and counseling. Today, the sun never sets on Asbury Seminary graduates. Asbury Theological Seminary was founded more than 80 years ago “to prepare and send forth a well-trained, sanctified, Spirit-filled, evangelistic ministry” in order to spread scriptural holiness around the world. Asbury Seminary continues to hold to this mission, providing holistic ministerial preparation as an interdenominational institution. From Wikipedia.
Asbury, by the way, up to a few years ago was a sponsor of the oldest Christian Music Festival. Ichthus Festival in Wilmore KY. Years ago, I loaded 4 of my kids up in the VW van and told them we were going on a road trip. At the Festival, there were more than 20,000 in attendance. I heard or saw none of these youth smoking or drinking or misbehaving in any way. I was very touched....
The Body of Christ - what a beautiful thing it is. I am so glad to be a part of it.
Howard's position can be observed by his remarks about other authors. This is usually the case. Here are a couple of dynamite quotes from a book that he reviewed on his blog.
Kreider shows that “the early church” was not one, but many. This is a positive, not a negative. The church was constantly changing over time. It took on varying modes in different places. Culture was always a factor. With multiple examples, Kreider details how the church was always adapting to culture, inculturatingmostly in positive but also sometimes in negative ways. His extensive discussion of the kiss of peace is fascinating in this regard.
One of the pleasant surprises (to me) in the book is now consistently and insistently the church in its first three centuries kept pointing to Jesus Christ and especially to the Sermon on the Mount. Another surprise was how important Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 continued to be, with their promise of the Messiah and the day when the Lord “shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (quoted, pp. 91-92). Origen said this text (that is, Isa. 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-4) “is one that all believers knew.”
From his review of The Patient Ferment of the Early Church