Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
For those who are still thinking about the discussion last week:
How the Friends Movement's emphasis on God's love for everyone, and that everyone is capable of ethical choice
is totally contrary
to the horrific views of Reformed/Calvinism (that billions of us including Quakers are predestined to Hell).
Here's a book you may want to read by T. L. Underwood, (Oxfore Studies in Historical Theology, Oxford University Press).
I read it 5 years ago and still remember it as being a power explanation, (though a little on the dry side like most academic histories).
A few quotes:
"The most telling arguments that Friends used...were based on their concept of the nature of God, who because of love and mercy was unwilling that people should live and die in sin."
"Here the Quakers reacted strongly against the Calvinist doctrine of predestination. How could a God of love condemn the major portion of humankind to destruction?"
In response to the Friends' universalistic views--that God loves everyone,
the Calvinist John "Tombes reportedly concluded, 'When I mean to Go to Hell, I will go among the Quakers.'"
Much of the book's historical background and analysis is taken up with the Quaker's view of the Light and the Holy Spirit versus the Calvinists' contrary theology with a focus on a fundamentalistic interpretation of the Bible.
"Friends strongly disagreed. The Bible, they argued, had been inspired by the Spirit...surely therefore , the Spirit, not the Bible, ought to be the rule of Christians."
The Calvinist John Tombes met and contended against George Fox. And he wrote an anti-Quaker tract called "The Old Light Exalted Above the Pretended New Light," against "the Quaker, Arminian, and other Assertors of Universal Grace."
I am very thankful for the witness of George Fox and other Friends for the "ocean of light" and against the horrific religion of the Reformed.