I've been a Quaker since the mid eighties, have worked with New Foundation Fellowship for twenty years, and am a writer with a newly published book titled The Word Within Essays on Prophetic Quaker Faith.
Hi, Patricia. As a matter of fact, a new Philadelphia Friends of Jesus group might be launching soon. I am planning to go down for the launch, once it is scheduled. I was already planning to reach out to you when I went to Philadelphia so that you and I could meet up, but now that I know that you are interested in the FoJF, I will keep you posted on that, too!
In the Eight Proposition section 11, Barclay says "Lastly, though I affirm that after a man hath arrived to such a condition in which a man may not sin, he yet may sin; I will nevertheless not deny but there may be a state attainable in this life, in which to do righteousness may become so natural to the regenerate soul, that in the stability of this condition they can not sin. Others may perhaps speak more certainly of this state, as having arrived to it. For me, I shall speak modestly, as acknowledging myself not to have arrived at it; yet I dare not deny it, for that it seems so positively to be asserted by the apostle, in these words (1 John 3:9), "He that is born of God sinneth not, neither can he, because the seed of God remaineth in him."1"
And this is the difference between himself and Fox who had reached the state of perfection, but as in all revivals of holiness, by the time the second generation comes around, achievement of union is fading amongst the revivalists. Without the discernement of the Spirit which Fox had, and Christ teaching him directly, Barclay is only going to be able to repeat what he had heard from men and therefore, his teaching will differ from those who were in complete union with Christ like Fox in the finer points of the doctrine of holiness..
I should mention that Lewis Benson was well read in Protestant theology, and was particularly attracted to and influenced by the theology of Emil Brunner. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Brunner I suspect that Brunner's theology enters into Benson's reading of George Fox.
We don't study Quaker sources in an intellectual vacuum. Our examination of Quaker texts and experiences is inevitably influenced by other influences at work in our lives. And Lewis Benson was no exception!
Thanks so much, Martin, for welcoming me to this very fine site! There's so much here, and it has substance! I think that Lewis Benson would be pleased! I've written to American NFFers and suggested they explore the site and also saw that a couple of British workers are already members. Your offer to post the Wyoming gathering is much appreciated. One of us will try posting it, and if it's no go we'll get back to you for help. Thanks also for offering to put The Word Within on the Books page. Have a couple of things to do on that first - like get it back from the printer's and put it up on the NFF site. We should be ready by the end of the month. I'll be registering this week for the Pendle Hill workshop. Thanks again!
Patricia! Wow, you've made my day signing up here. I am so happy to see you. I would so love to see more New Fellowship Foundation energy on the site. QuakerQuaker is a lot messier and crazier and diverse than NFF but I've always considered Lewis Benson one of the grandfathers of the Convergent Friends movement. Yes, he's probably rolling in his grave right now, but I'd like to think he'd appreciate the idea behind a "Quaker Quaker":
Is it any wonder that almost everyone today seems to be a hyphenated Quaker? If we became a religious society of Finders, then we'd need to figure out what it means to be a Quaker-Quaker: someone who's theology and practice is Quaker. (From this essay)
I'd love to hear how QuakerQuaker could help raise wider awareness of NFF's vision for Friends. Should I be adding "The Word Within" to the QQ Quaker Books page? I don't see it on the NFF site yet? If you do come to the Pendle Hill workshop we need to find a time to talk about how QQ could coordinate with NFF. One way is to post any and all events up to the "Gatherings/Events" section--do you want to try posting that Wyoming event up? I'd feature it right away. If it's a bit daunting I can post it, but I like to get people doing it themselves so they get comfortable and so the name on everything isn't just "QuakerQuaker".