Talk:Restorationism

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Seventh-Day Adventism[edit]

There is debate on the talk page to Seventh-Day Adventist Church as to whether that church is Restorationist or Protestant. The Restorationist article says that the Seventh-Day Adventist church was created by Restorationists. I am confused about what the classification should be. Is there anyone who can give a explanation on this topic? After all, this religious database: http://www.religioustolerance.org/sda.htm clearly states that Seventh-Day Adventists are Restorationist. Rob.saberon (talk) 03:25, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Rob: Restorationism is a subset of Protestantism. Does that clarify matters for you?75.71.67.2 (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 20:25, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Actually this is incorrect. It also refers to earlier movements within the pre-reformation RC church. Fremte (talk) 04:37, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

References within 7th Day Adventists[edit]

These require fixing. The listing at the end of the article shows that these are incompletely formatted. Also, it is unclear why a sequence of so many references is required. Can this be shrunk to a few, and properly formatted please. Have a look at Template:Cite book for info. Thanks! Fremte (talk) 04:37, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Old conversation[edit]

Man this article is awful. Completely written from a prejudicial viewpoint, there is no NPOV here at all. The article makes even the term "restorationism" appear highly pejorative and even demeaning to any sect or denomination that is not decidedly mainstream Protestant or Roman Catholic. This article seems to have a lot of good information but it needs a complete NPOV rewrite. --Solascriptura 15:12, 16 May 2006 (UTC)


The re-written section on the LDS is not an improvement, in my opinion. I would like to have comments especially by the LDS wikipedians. Doesn't that paragraph express a rather biased, even proselytizing perspective? Whereas, the paragraph it replaces was, in my opinion, neither criticism nor adulation but simply a description appropriate for the article's context. Mkmcconn 19:20, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)

That replaced paragraph used to read:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sought, as the Campbellites did, to restore original Christianity: but they were much more pessimistic about the state of Christianity. The Great Apostasy was of such disastrous consequence, the Mormons believed, that a new Prophet and Apostle was required in order for God's Kingdom on earth to be re-established. They claimed that their founder, Joseph Smith, was just such a prophet.
Please compare and comment Mkmcconn 19:23, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'm not an LDS member, but I see and agree with your point. I think the previous version was better.

TexasTwister 07:18, Feb 8, 2004 (UTC)

I've reverted the paragraph. The deleted paragraph used to read:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded on the notion, pessimistic to some, that a complete restoration was necessary. Fundamental truths taught in the original Church, once partially or completely lost, could not be known again with certainty without access to the original source(s). Power to speak authoritatively and act in the name of Christ, apparently had been severed by the killing or banishment of the original Apostles. The Great Apostasy had apparently been of such disastrous consequence as to leave the earth bereft of essential truth and power. Man would remain in the dark, since independent resumption of authority was impossible. The only consistent remedy, according to precendents set in the Old Testament, was that God would reveal truth and grant power directly to a Prophet.
In 1820, a fourteen year old boy was perplexed by the choice between many religions of the day. Sensing he would never be able to resolve the issues of salvation by himself, he finally appealed to God by prayer. His humble inquiry was met by power. God the Father, and Jesus Christ himself directly answered that no church then on earth had sufficient truth or power to lead to salvation. The boy was Joseph Smith, Jr. He would be the Prophet of Restoration.

Mkmcconn 14:38, 9 Feb 2004

Seventh Day Adventists[edit]

Most of the sections about religions briefly discuss the history of the religion. But the SDA section has been completely mangled to just say that they don't believe they're restorationists. This doesn't seem appropriate to the article. Also, the new grammar is atrocious. (e.g., "Another words..."?)--Jeffro77 (talk) 22:27, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Religious Tolerance.org classifies Seventh-Day Adventists as Restorationist: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chrrest.htm Rob.saberon (talk) 23:22, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

That's a bit circular, though, since the religioustolerance article cites Wikipedia as its source. However, Seventh Dayism is very typically cited among "restorationist movements" in the sense described in the article (before the addition of the medieval material). And I think there's plenty of evidence that the term isn't usually odious to Adventists; for a passing example: a Publisher's Preface to "The Great Controversy" says, "About the Author" (the founder/prophetess of Seventh Day Adventism) —
Her restorationist writings showcase the hand of God in Seventh-day Adventist history ISBN 1605063053
Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 01:24, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Crumbling definition[edit]

By the addition of the middle ages material, the article is falling apart. With the definition assumed by the new material, will every movement of dissent and reform be called "restorationism"? The new material and lead bury the far more notable 19th century restorationist movements. Please consider a disambiguation page, or a sub-section. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 17:02, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

I strongly support this recommendation. The term Restorationism has a particular meaning within the framework of Chrisitianity and it centers on the 19th century movements. --Storm Rider (talk) 17:43, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I was the one who added the historical info. We must realize that familiarity with the modern ideas does not cause the older to be ignored. Frankly, I hardly think that the inclusion of this section means "every movement" would need to be included. That's an over statement! The use of the term restoration was picked up from the historical info by the 19th century people. However, if someone wants to go to the trouble of putting the older info in a seperate article named appropriately that would be okay, maybe Medieval Restorationism ?. Perhaps this article should be then labelled Modern Restorationism ? It is not okay to eliminate the historical info though and I don't think you intended to do this. Restorationism has a long pedigree and to be accurate, the info from the recent and older movements must be easily seen both seperately and together. Fremte (talk) 18:59, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
"Restorationism" can certainly have a more generic reference - wherever there is an attempt to restore something that has been disturbed or lost, the word is perfectly descriptive. But there is, after all, a difference between a description and a descriptive label; and in this case, the prominence of a highly descriptive label has been subverted by a more generic description. I'm not arguing that the material you've added should be removed from Wikipedia, Fremte; on the other hand, the material doesn't seem to belong here - and it certainly should be positioned in the article in a manner that more accurately represents its proportionate use in modern English terminology. To allege as you have that, the label "Restorationism" applies with approximately equal significance to either the Nineteenth century or to the Medieval situation, misrepresents the facts.
But I'm not contesting that when Christians in any age attempt to restore something damaged, they can be described as "Restorationists" in a sense analogous to what is described in this article. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 01:09, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the unequal significance re the 2 time periods. The 15-16th century situation is much more significant in terms of the impact on history, governance, and western civilization The newer ideas have significance religiously, and may be dear to the hearts of those directly affected, but little impact beyond. History did not begin in the 19th century. (You have offered your opinion, this is mine, and is backed up by facts, no doubt as you would hold that your's is). I think, though, this is a side issue; and as I have said, I am not against a reasonable re-organization of the info, as long as it does not detract. Finally, the idea that every little movement that smacks of restorationism would have to be included in the article is a large over-statment. Nothing of the kind. (As an aside, I am enjoying our little debate, it is always good to be able to discuss the issues in an open and respectful manner -- Thanks!) Fremte (talk) 15:00, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
We are dicussing two different things. Academically, there was a Restorationist movement that is acknowledged to have been in the 19th century; that is fact. What Fremte is talking about may be labeled restorationism (notice the small "r"), but it has nothng to do with Restorationism. It is not that there is a crumbling definition, but that there is nothing in common between to the movement and an event with the Holy Catholic church. Is there any scholar that begins the discussion of Restorationism with a discussino about a rejeuvenation within Catholicism? I know of not one, but my knowledge is finite. How about anyone else? --Storm Rider (talk) 15:39, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
This is an over interpretation StormRider. The small versus large "r" has nothing to do with this. There is absolutely a movement of some disparate groups in 15th-16th centuries identified as Restorationism. The Latin term that translates is "Renovatio", and is used in the writings of the times, which is translated as "restoration" and "renewel" in the sense from the Latin of returning to a previous unsullied and uncorrupted practice of Christianity as was in ancient times, i.e., apostolic and pre-Nicea. The capitalisation of words in older writings is unusual, but many nouns and significant words have capital letters, much as the German language does with all nouns today (Wiederherstellungbewegung is the German for Restorationism). I have the understanding that the others in this discussion might have the recent Protestant (?American) movements as their touchstone, whereas, those steeped in European history have others. The various movements are identified as Restorationist by both people at the time and by historians. Again, however, there is no barrier from me for clarifying the older and newer movements involving different time periods and motivations. Is this not the right solution? Would make all happy? Fremte (talk) 20:03, 2 April 2008 (UTC) I.E., make 2 articles if you would like to, with referrals between - this one is perhaps too lengthy already. Fremte (talk) 21:02, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
"Renovatio"? Wouldn't that be Renovationism? No, wait, that's Russian Orthodoxy.Arch O. La Grigory Deepdelver 18:16, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

(new indent) Scholarly research identifies Restorationism as unaffiliated religious movements that believe that they are restoring pristine, or original Christianity, sometimes referred to as Christian primitivism. What you are talking about in the middle ages has nothing to do with scholarly research and is original research. No references support this being part of Restorationism. If there is not evidence to support your position within two weeks I will delete the material. You are free to start another page to cover your topic, but do not use the term Restorationism; it does not apply and no academic would use such term. I suspect that with further research you will find an appropriate title. --Storm Rider (talk) 21:02, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Really, we need to include all movements that have a common impetus. You may wish to consider Cornelius Jaenen's work The Apostle's Doctrine and Fellowship which attempts to find common points between all restoration movements from the fourth century forward. His book includes discussion of Stone-Campbell, Waldensians and many other 'restoration' movements. I'm a little concerned by a line of argument which wishes to restrict the term when there is at least some scholarly argumentation otherwise. Slofstra (talk) 15:28, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


Split section[edit]

Split of Restorationism (middle ages) is complete I think. Regardless of your belief abuot the exclusivity of the use of the term restorationim as recent only, a check of the references for the section that is now another article will show otherwsie. Some text changes in Restorationism may be required. May I respectfully suggest you review the policy WP:OWN. I find your approach (this is the second time) aggressive Storm Rider. Fremte (talk) 14:49, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Fremte, thank you for your counsel. I may be abrupt, but seldom when there is not someone insisting on pushing the boundaries of academic mainstream. Your position is outside of the mainstream academic thought and historical application.
For example, you use for your main reference to support this application of the term "Restorationism" Tuchman's historical narrative, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Historical narratives are not the first place one should go to support an academic claim. You are attempting to stretch the term Restorationism so broadly as to include anything that encouraged a renewal in history and in Christianity. That position is not supported by academics or scholars. This does not mean that the Catholic church has not undergone several periods of significant renewal or a searching for a more holy form of governance and teaching. These topics are valid articles, but not under the heading Restorationism. It is a subtopic of the history of the Catholic church. It is not not Restorationism. Restorationism has a very definite meaning and definition that is easily found in any encyclopedia.
Furthermore, Restorationists did not create this definition. It was created by academics and scholars to describe a collection of religious movements. In closing, my commitment is to accuracy and proper application of reputable references. In this context your proposition fails. I would also add that your new article title fails; no historian recognizes that period as Restorationism even though scholars may use descriptors as to "restore" the Catholic church to what it once was. I believe you fundamentally do not understand this area of religious history. I would suggest you spend some time asking questions of academics and scholars; it would be an enlightening discussion. I do not speak without having done the same thing. --Storm Rider (talk) 19:32, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't agree Storm Rider. The word 'restorationism/ist {movements}' will do best service as an umbrella term using a very broad connotation. Within that umbrella various divisions can be parsed out. There are those that wish to make dis-associations either between epochs or between various groups, but that can be done within the umbrella. Otherwise, we will have what is now starting to emerge, a mess. Slofstra (talk) 14:48, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
But to add this point, any article Restoration/Middle Ages should certainly indicate the controversy and different thoughts on the re-appropriation/ revisionist tendency to use the term Restoration in this context. (In a section labelled Controversy).Slofstra (talk) 15:04, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Separate branch[edit]

Restorationist groups frequently consider themselves to be historically unrelated to other branches of Christianity, except prior to that juncture at which the Great Apostasy is thought to have taken place. This belief is depicted for example by the dotted line of the graphic that appears at Category:Restorationism and treating it as a separate "branch", distinct in some sense from Protestantism, is also widely conventional throughout the wiki.
What is the best way to express this explicitly but very briefly, in the introduction, without introducing an over-generalization? — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 18:17, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Further to this I've noticed there are two 'category' articles with this diagram. One is called Category:Restoration Movement, the other Category:Restorationism. There is only one arrow on the diagram though, so this is quite confusing. Either have two arrows, or one category. I would suggest one category will be much clearer. If Stone-Campbell don't want to be lumped in with the other groups, find another way to do that.Slofstra (talk) 15:00, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I would argue that there's value in distinguishing between the principle or tendency of "restorationism," which has been expressed in different ways at different times and places throughout the history of the church, from the "Restoration Movement" which was a specific instance, at a particular time, of a movement motivated by the desire to "restore" primitive Christianity. EastTN (talk) 22:12, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

A camel is a kind of a horse[edit]

Sorry, I don't have time to read all this today - I will later - but it does looks unappetizing. I would just submit the idea for your consideration, that the whole series of articles under 'Restoration' -ist, -ism, Movement, etc. is now quite a mess. It appears that various camps are fighting to 'own' the word. If you've come up with something that appeases everyone that might seem good, but clarity has been the cost. I submit the following for your consideration. The word Restorationist/ ism/ or Restoration Movement, using the word Restoration without a modifier, should only appear in wiki once, one article. Any other article making use of the word should contain a modifier, e.g Stone-Campbell Restoration, Mormon Restoration, Restoration in the Middle Ages. Slofstra (talk) 14:32, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

In my readings of church history, the idea of restoration crops up repeatedly ever since folks realized that the mainstream had been diverted in the first centuries. Thus, I find your suggestion, Slofstra, to be very good. Mikeatnip (talk) 23:18, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


I am surprised that Plymouth Brethren are not included as "Restorationists". Is not their doctrine of "The Church in Ruins" and their desire to return to what they saw as "The New Testament Pattern" restorationist ideas? They called out Christians from the denominations, and beseeched them to gather only to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe there are parallels to the Plymouth Brethren movement and the Campbell Church of Christ movement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.171.104.62 (talk) 12:31, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Latter Day Saint Restorationism not a "Protest against Protestantism"[edit]

That's not quite an accurate description of Joseph Smith Jr.'s position. Using this as a title is like saying vegetarianism is "A Protest Against McDonalds". What do you all think? --BenMcLean (talk) 21:25, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Ben, it was just bad language period and I have changed it. The section clearly explains that all Restorationist movements rejected all previous churches and their doctrines. --StormRider 22:53, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Proposed work group[edit]

There is currently discussion regarding the creation of a work group specifically to deal with articles dealing with Restorationism, among others, here. Any parties interested in working in such a group are welcome to indicate their interest there. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 16:48, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Basic beliefs all share[edit]

This article does not tell a reader (one not already familiar with restorationism) what the churches listed have in common. Is it only that they believe their methods of worship matches with the way the earliest Christians worshiped? Are there any basic beliefs that all the listed groups share? From this article it appears they reject the trinity and yet also believe Christ was the Son of God and that the Holy Spirit must enter into the individual. How can this be true? Nitpyck (talk) 05:44, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

That's the problem with this article - there is, in fact, very little that all of these groups share. It's written in a way that suggests that groups that share a similar tendency - the desire to go back to an earlier, presumably purer form of Christianity - form a coherent historical movement or family of Churches. That's a bit like creating an article on "Hierarchialism" and grouping together all churches that have hierarchichal structures, or "Liturgicalism" and grouping together all churches that have a liturgical form of worship. We should have articles discussing church hierarchies and liturgical worship, but neither forms a coherent branch of Christianity the way, for instance, Protestantism or Adventism do. EastTN (talk) 16:29, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
These churches all claim to restore the original church. They did not protest against Rome or even Protestant churches. They uniformly believed they were all wrong; that there was an apostasy. For most the restoration consisted of a return to the Bible, sola scriptura, more than earlier Protestants had done. It is generally perceived as a complete break with current churches. I guess, the easiest step to take is to provide reliable sources that describe Restorationism and leave it at that. Where did the name come from? What was unique about this movement? etc.--StormRider 16:44, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I've never been very comfortable with scope of the current article. Looking at the lead, it waffles between talking about "Christian Primitivism" and talking about a restorationist "movement." The first makes sense to me - it's a recurring thread in church history - but I don't think these groups constitute any kind of "movement."
"These churches all claim to restore the original church." Yes, but we could also grab other groups and say "These churches all claim ongoing revelation . . ." or "These churches all reject clerical hierarchies . . ." or "These churches are all pacifist . . . " or "These churches all teach baptism of adult believers . . . " or "These churches are all non-trinitarian," etc. Any of these characteristics could be used to define a group of churches. But, they would group together churches that came from different time periods throughout church history and that have no direct historical connection with each other - and it wouldn't make sense to call the resulting groups "movements."
I believe I have seen a couple of sources that group together "restorationist" churches, but my sense is that this is a rather uncommon approach. Far and away, most of the sources I've seen are based on family trees or common theological heritages. So, for instance, you would look at Protestant churches, or Reformed churches , or Adventist churches, the Latter-Day Saints movement or Holiness churches, and you end up with groups that can legitimately be described as "movements" or as closely related theologically. That's simply not true here. The "Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ," for instance, don't have a family relationship to either the Latter-Day Saints or the Iglesia ni Cristo, and have almost completely different theologies as well.
Bottom line, I don't think this is a movement. I'm convinced that the article was taken down the wrong path sometime in the past based on a couple of sources that chose to discuss groups with "primitivist" tendencies. That makes sense in the right context, just as it might make sense to discuss groups with "exclusivist" or "inclusivist" tendencies - but they don't really make sense for defining a movement or a branch of Christianity. I would strongly suggest re-focusing the article to discuss "Christian primitivism" in much the same way one might discuss "Christian exclusivism," "Christian anti-clericalism" or "Christian pacifism." EastTN (talk) 19:43, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure we are at cross-purposes here. Let's look for some reliable sources that explain what Restorationism is and then bring the article in line with that. It may mean that some groups are not appropriate to be listed in this article, but that would be a problem for experts. I do agree that over time this has become a catch-all for a diverse groups...I don't see how the ni Cristo fits within the Restorationist movement as I understand the meaning. Let's find some references and see where the article can be improved. --StormRider 20:27, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I don't think we're at cross purposes. It seems that I may be seeing this a little differently than you are at this point, but that's just part of the process.
Maybe it would help if I told you where I'm coming from. I've done a good bit of study on the Restoration Movement, which includes a well-defined group of historically related churches and there's a well-developed literature that discusses the movement. I've done less study on general church history, but it's still something that I've spent a fair amount of time on. I've seen "restorationism" used as a synonym for "primitivism", and I've seen it used as a synonym for the Restoration Movement, but I've never seen it used the way this article seems to want to - to describe a broader "movement" of related churches that share multiple fundamental characteristics and sweeps together the Restoration Movement with the Latter-Day Saints movement, the Adventist movement, the Jehovah's Witnesses.
That broad super-grouping seems quite odd to me - it's not a grouping you usually see, and I've certainly never seen it described as a "movement." More than that, it doesn't seem to be a particularly useful categorization. Does it really help the reader to suggest that the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Iglesia ni Cristo are part of a related family of churches? It just doesn't seem to have the same sort of explanatory power that groupings like Lutheranism, Reformed churches, Restoration Movement, Adventism, Oriental Orthodoxy and Latter Day Saint movement have. In each of those cases you can explain how the churches are related in important historical and theological ways.
I'll second your suggestion that we look to sourcing this. I would add two additional sub-suggestions: 1) that we don't go into it assuming that the term "restorationism" is being used to describe a "movement" rather than a characteristic of a church like "pacifism," "exclusivism" or "liturgical," and 2) that we also search for sources on primitivism. My hunch is that we'll find the sources leading us in a different direction than a "movement" or "branch" of Christianity. EastTN (talk) 23:12, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I think we are on the same page and you did a good job of explaining it. Terminology seems to be of prime importance in this article. In my reading Restorationism, in the USA, was really centered around a specific period of time where several new churches evolved. The impetus for their development was similar, but their doctrines were not similar beyond a belief in Jesus Christ, the apostasy, and a return to what they believed was a more pure form of Christianity. It seems we need to at least address primitivism and the fact that Restorationism does not describe a group of related doctrinal churches. Interesting conversation and important to bring this to a more precise, accurate article. --StormRider 23:36, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

In response to Nitpyck, I am not sure I understand your question about what can be true. Are you saying that one cannot believe that Jesus was the Son of God and the Holy Spirit plays a significant part in the lives of disciples and not believe in the Trinity? If so, why do you think these beliefs are not possible outside of the Trinity?--StormRider 16:46, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for the excessively long delay in getting back here. One can accept Father and Son and Holy Spirit and reject the Trinity, but then you also reject the idea of monotheism and the 10 Commandments or you say that 2 of the 3 are not god. Nitpyck (talk) 05:34, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Jehovah's Witness[edit]

Jehovah's Witness is mentioned in passing, but nothing more. Aren't they big enough to deserve a paragraph? Joshuajohanson (talk) 18:46, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe Jehovah Witness beliefs are closer to Arianism, Michal the Arch Angel being Christ, who is the first created being by God, Their Christology appeared on the scene in the 3rd century. --Wer2chosen (talk) 13:10, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Be bold.--Jeffro77 (talk) 23:44, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree - they have roughly as many members as LDS or 7th Day Adventists. Mish (talk) 20:55, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

References[edit]

Although I am not sure these are reliable, but they do describe what I think of Restorationism:

I just did a quick google to come up with these rather than go through hard copy. Thoughts?--StormRider 23:54, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

I did the same thing. If nothing else, it suggests the importance of getting this right - three of the sources you mention explicitly say that they were based on prior versions of this Wikipedia article (http://www.religioustolerance.org/chrrest.htm, http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Restorationism, and http://www.fact-index.com/r/re/restorationism.html). One of the others is a category in another wiki that has as subcategories the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormonism. The opening to the fifth (http://www.gotquestions.org/restorationism.html) looks like it may have come from this article (the rest of the page is a criticism of "restorationism" from another religious perspective, and the book The Kingdom of the Cults is cited as a "recommended resource"). A lot of what we see on the web seems to be coming from this article. EastTN (talk) 15:36, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Ah, a cases of garbage in and garbage out. I guess it is off to some reputable sources and see what is said. --StormRider 16:39, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I just did a Google Scholar search, and found some things that mention "restorationism" or "primitivism" in one context or another:
I've only glanced at these, but they seem to be using the terms in different senses. EastTN (talk) 19:41, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
As an aside, I'm beginning to think the most common usage of "restorationist," when applied to a person, may be parallel to "reformer." A reformer wants to fix up and purify an existing church, while a restorationist wants to step away from existing churches and go back to an earlier, more primitive form of Christianity. If that's true, instead of a single "restorationist" movement, we might want to think about these as characteristics of different movements. In other words, some religious movements were started by reformers (e.g., Luther), while others were started by restorationists (e.g., Thomas Campbell). EastTN (talk) 19:57, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree; those who are recognized as part of the Restorationist movement were not interested in any of the current sects/churches; they all were wrong and were and were in a state of apostasy. They believed that they could restore the pure gospel of Jesus Christ by a diverse set of means. --StormRider 20:26, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
At this point, I'm still uncomfortable with the term "restorationist movement" to describe all (or most) churches with restorationist/primativist tendencies. There's certainly a restorationist tendency that we see cropping up in different places and times in church history, and it's characterized by exactly what you describe. The ferment of the Second Great Awakening spawned a number of distinct movements, several of which had pronounced restorationist tendencies. But for those individual movements to share a restorationist goals seems insufficient grounds to say that they collectively made up a single "restorationist movement."
Take a look at the sources. I think you'll see at least four usages:
Honestly, I could imagine this turning into a disambiguation page that linked out to separate articles on Christian restorationism/primitivism, the Restoration Movement, Christian Zionism and these new Apostolic Restorationist churches. EastTN (talk) 21:32, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Let me throw one more thought into the discussion. I've found a source (The encyclopedia of Christianity, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0802824161, 9780802824165) that talks about restoration movements (plural). That's an approach that I can completely get behind. There have been a number of movements that have had restoration of primitive Christianity as a goal. In my mind, where we go off track is when we take multiple restoration movements and try to compress them into a single movement. EastTN (talk) 16:18, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I did take a stab at being cautiously bold to move the article forward, using the sources I already had. What I'm hoping to do is start distinguishing between the different uses of the term. If it helps, then we can move the concepts up into the lead. If not, then we can kill it. If it's really ugly, feel free to call me an idiot - in a polite and supportive, way, of course ;-)
I don't know, when I read some of these references it is apparent that the term Restorationism movement is used to describe all of them at once. What you have just brought forward does not deny that, but simply puts it in perspective. The thread that binds is their belief in a restoration and not uniform doctrine.
The term Restorationism has been used by different groups throughout history. I think if you look at the archives I recall a conversation where an editor was saying there was a a Catholic Restorationism movement. This article really is about a specific period in time in the USA where there seemed to be many churches that started all with the same impetus, to restore the original church, which was needed because of an apostasy. Do experts call these churches a movement? The answer is yes. Are there other Restorationism movements? Yes, but those are topics for another page(s). Your thought of a disambiguation page and then clearer article titles may be the way to go, but I would want more input from the community before we do that.--StormRider 17:21, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
If nothing else, I think we're clarifying the issues.
". . . is apparent that the term Restorationism movement is used to describe all of them at once." That's where I'm getting hung up - I see where the terms "restorationist" or "restorationism" are used to describe all of these groups, but I don't see where the combined term "Restorationism movement" is used that way.
"This article really is about a specific period in time in the USA where there seemed to be many churches that started all with the same impetus, to restore the original church, which was needed because of an apostasy." There certainly was a period in the US when many groups were looking to restore the original church, but we already have an article on that - the Second Great Awakening. That would seem to be the most natural place to discuss the common characteristics of religious groups that originated in that period of revivalism. Having two articles that discuss the same period seems likely to create unnecessary confusion.
"Do experts call these churches a movement? The answer is yes." I don't think this particular statement is true, or if it is, it's fairly uncommon. That's really what I need to see explicit sources on to get comfortable with. I have seen a couple of sources (and at this point, I'm forgetting which ones) that group current churches together under certain headings (e.g., Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant) that used the category "Restorationist," but it was just a taxonomy - they didn't describe them as a "movement." I think they were surveys. But none of the church histories or handbooks of Christian denominations that I've seen use that categorization. I also don't think it's legitimate to assume that a categorization of churches implies a church "movement."
I was exaggerating a bit when I suggested turning this into a disambiguation page. What I would propose is spending some time chasing down how the terms are used, carefully distinguishing between them, and linking out to appropriate articles as we go. My guess is that the result would ultimately be more of a summary article that does a better job of explaining how the concept of restoration has played out over church history, and moves some of the more detailed current material out into other articles (such as the one on the Second Great Awakening). I could see, for example, a more historical organization for the article with short summary sections on different time periods that linked out to articles such as Medieval Restorationism, Radical Reformation, Second Great Awakening and a new article on modern restoration movements. This could be done incrementally without trashing the article all at once. EastTN (talk) 18:43, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Restoring the Bible[edit]

In the section, "Disagreements with Established Churches," I found the following sentence: "Some even claimed the Bible suffered from ancient corruption, which required correction." I think this statement is far too vague. Throughout the so-called "restorationist" movements and other sorts of Christians, there have always been discussions about whether certain English translations of the Bible might be in need of revision. Even the Roman Catholic Church, which could be considered the antithesis of the restoration movement, has periodically issued a variety of translations. If the statement refers to this sort of thing, there is no reason for it to be in the article. But if the article refers to something stronger, like a unique belief in the deep corruption of the Bible text, the only example I know of this is Joseph Smith, who produced his own edition of the Bible with additional material which he believed to have been lost over the centuries. If this is what we're talking about, why don't we just make the statement specific and name him. Mitchell Powell (talk) 18:23, 10 September 2009 (UTC)—Preceding unsigned comment added by Mitchell Powell (talkcontribs) 18:21, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

The key word here is "ancient". The belief is that the Bible was corrupted long before an English translation was thought of, for example by adding Trinitarian statements into the 'older' manuscripts. Your statement about Joseph SMith is not quite correct. His writings are not simply "his own edition of the Bible with additional material". DJ Clayworth (talk) 16:20, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Names of Movements and the Manual of Style[edit]

This article has seen a series of edits that have de-capitalized the names of a variety of well-know historical groups and movements. The edit comments refer to the Manual of Style. The section of the manual that's referenced says:

"Philosophies, theories, movements, and doctrines do not begin with a capital letter unless the name derives from a proper noun (capitalism versus Marxism) or has become a proper noun (lowercase republican refers to a system of political thought; uppercase Republican refers to one of several specific political parties or ideologies, such as the US Republican Party or Irish Republicanism). Doctrinal topics or canonical religious ideas (as distinguished from specific events) capitalized by some religious adherents are given in lower case in Wikipedia, such as virgin birth, original sin, or transubstantiation."

I believe these edits misunderstand both the manual of style and the nature of the literature on these movements. The statement "Philosophies, theories, movements, and doctrines do not begin with a capital letter" is qualified with "unless the name derives from a proper noun. . . or has become a proper noun . . ."

The sources cited in this article consistently use terms such as "Protestant Reformation" and "Restoration Movement" as proper nouns. So, for example, lowercase "reformation" can be used to refer to any movement that tries to reform an existing church or other institution. The upper case Protestant Reformation (and often just the "Reformation") describes a particular reform movement from the 16th century. Similarly, many religious movements have had restoration of the primitive church as a goal, and can be described as "restoration movements." But the upper case "Restoration Movement" (a.k.a. the "American Restoration Movement" and the "Stone-Campbell Movement") refers to a particular movement that originated around the turn of the 19th century. Lower case "reformation" and "restoration" are both doctrinal topics rather than specific events; the "Reformation" and the "Restoration Movement" are both specific movements originating in a particular time and place. Both terms are used as proper nouns in the histories that deal with those movements. This is exactly parallel to the example from the MOS of using lower case "republican" to describe a particular type of political thought, and upper case "Republican" to describe a specific party or ideology.

Bottom line, I believe that the standing, consensus usage of capitalizing these terms in this article is fully consistent with the manual of style because it reflects the use of these terms as proper nouns in the academic literature that studies the related movements. EastTN (talk) 21:14, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Other examples are easy to think of. The word "pilgrim" is a perfectly good common noun, but we also have the "Pilgrims" who settled Massachusetts; "congregationalist" is a perfectly good lower case noun or adjective describing someone who supports a particular form of church organization, but we also have "Congregationalists" who are members of a particular family of denominations (and who also happen to be lower case "congregationalists"); "presbyterian" is an adjective that can be used to describe a particular form of church organization, but we can also have the "Presbyterian" church; and lower case "catholic" simply means "universal," but we can also ask "is the Pope Catholic?" It's foolish - and ruins the style of the article - to mechanically say "is it a movement - then by golly, we're gonna use a lower-case noun" without stopping to ask "is it a description of the movement or the name of the movement?" (i.e., is it a common noun or a proper noun?) EastTN (talk) 21:20, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

East, you are correct or at least my thinking aligns with yours. --StormRider 17:54, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Move to Restorationism (Christian Primitivism)?[edit]

I've been wondering if it would make sense to rename this article. The current name, "Restorationism," doesn't provide any indication that the article is dealing with Christianity (or even religion, for that matter). Moving it to something like "Restorationism (Christian Primitivism)" would make that clear, while also giving the reader a better indication of what the article is talking about. A side benefit would be opening up the article name "Restorationism" for a potential future disambiguation article that could distinguish between this and Christian Restorationism, "restorationism" as Universal reconciliation and perhaps other uses of the term outside Christianity. EastTN (talk) 00:24, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Good move. This removes the confusion that at times occurred. Thank you for your work. --StormRider 20:22, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
My pleasure! EastTN (talk) 20:27, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
What about simply renaming the article Christian primitivism? It seems awkward to have a title, then a parenthetical that is merely a slightly more specific synonym of the title. You could say that there are several types of restorationism, but this article is specifically about Christian primitivism. COGDEN 16:37, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Historical reasons? Seriously, the article started out with the name "Restorationism," which caused some confusion. The parenthetical was added to clarify things. Having said that, the current references use the term "restorationism" more often than the term "Christian primitivism." In my mind the second term is clearer and more precise, and less likely to cause confusion, so I don't have any real philosophical problem with making it the article title. On the other hand, Wikipedia's article naming guidelines do encourage following the most common usage in choosing titles. EastTN (talk) 14:49, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
By itself, the article title "Christian primitivism" might be understood to refer literally to what primitive Christians believed and behaved, as though that were a matter of little dispute. An article restricted to what is historically undisputed might serve an archeological or historical audience; however, this article concerns a classification of Christian religions which is distinct from Catholicism and Protestantism.
By contrast, the term "Restorationism" is clearly now looking chronologically back. It's understood that modern groups will look back from differing points of view, and will restore what they themselves feel significant, perhaps uniquely. However, the unelaborated term "Restorationism" had/has a pre-existing association with the Stone-Campbell Movement, much of which remains firmly under the umbrella of Protestantism and pointedly not "distinct from Protestantism".
Oppose proposal to change article name from Restorationism (Christian primitivism).
--AuthorityTam (talk) 16:10, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I think what you are referring to in the first paragraph is primitive Christianity rather than Christian primitivism. I'm not aware of anyone using the latter to refer to early Christianity itself. The "-ism" at the end of the term indicates it is a modern religious perspective. I don't think we have a problem with the article naming guidelines: the difference between restorationism and Christian primitivism is that the latter is more specific. It's like, you can refer to the color "red", but if your article is really about crimson, they you'd want to simply use the more specific term, rather than something like "red (crimson)", even though most people who see the color crimson would probably call it red. COGDEN 17:29, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with COgden - "Christian primitivism" is clearly different than "primitive Christianity." It is the goal or ideal of restoring primitive Christianity. I don't think there's any likelihood that readers will be mislead into confusing the too, especially with a reasonably well-written lead section. Whether we need to change the title is a different issue - my sense still is that "Restorationism" is the more common term.EastTN (talk) 17:43, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
I see the present title as redundant. Christian primitivism is a type of restorationism, and since we can't simply use "restorationism" because of a name conflict, we should use the more specific term. Whenever there is a more specific term, we can use that even though a more general and less precise term might be used more often. For example, we don't entitle the Mauve article "Purple (mauve)", even though most people call mauve purple. We simply use the more specific term. COGDEN 08:22, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I interpret the above as that nobody really opposes renaming the article to Christian primitivism. I'll make the change, but if people really do disagree, we can discuss further. COGDEN 07:18, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

2012 Revert move[edit]

Oppose rename from 'Restorationism (Christian primitivism)' to 'Christian primitivism'. Frankly, it seems very odd that my earlier unambiguous opposition (also written plainly as Oppose) would be interpreted as "nobody really opposes renaming the article". "Restorationism" as a term is far more WP:V than "Christian primitivism". Alongside 'Catholicism' and 'Protestantism', 'Restorationism' (not 'Christian primitivism') is typically cited as a major branch of Christianity.
  • Faith & philosophy of Christianity by Maya George, Gyan Publishing, 2009, page 12,14, "Christianity may be broadly represented as being divided into five main groupings: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Protestantism, and Restorationism. ...Restorationism is compiled of various unrelated churches that believe they are restoring the original church of Jesus Christ and are not reforming any of the churches existing at the time of their comprehended restorations."
  • Encyclopedia of death and the human experience edited by Clifton D. Bryant, Sage, 2009, page 193, "There are five major branches of Christianity--Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, and Restorationism--and over 34,000 Christian denominations."
Plainly, the term "Restorationism" enjoys superior WP:V (the term Christian primitivism is much less verifiable). Furthermore, the article titles "Restorationism" and "Restorationism (Christian primitivism)" were stable for more than EIGHT YEARS. Per WP:TITLECHANGES, "If an article title has been stable for a long time, and there is no good reason to change it, it should not be changed." I've reverted the recent rename; the article title is again Restorationism (Christian primitivism).--AuthorityTam (talk) 20:19, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Support (already done) revert move to Restorationism (Christian primitivism) - this might call for a RM but for the time being Restorationism is better supported than "Christian primitivism", so should be in the title. There may not be a clear title for this as both terms get used.

  • The American quest for the primitive church - Page 172 Richard Thomas Hughes - 1988 More specifically, though, who actually used restorationism as a guideline to the religious work they pursued? Mr. Outler includes Wesley, Asbury, Bangs, Abbey, and Watson in the mainstream of Methodist evangelical primitivists who ...
  • Encyclopedia of American religions J. Gordon Melton - 2003
  • A directory of religious bodies in the United States J. Gordon Melton, James V. Geisendorfer, Institute for the Study of American Religion - 1977 Popular among Adventists is Restorationism, a view traceable to the Disciples of Christ. ...
  • Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions: A Comprehensive ... James Beverley - 2009 The most well- known advocates of this return to “primitive” Christianity are Barton Stone (1772–1844), Thomas Campbell (1763–1854), and his son Alexander Campbell (1788–1866). Restorationists deplored the concept of denominations and ...

In ictu oculi (talk) 01:29, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Requested move again[edit]

Though offhand it seems to me "Christian primitivism" is clearer, I am convinced by the source arguments that "Restorationism" is more widespread overall. However, the posts that rightly objected to the synonymy (see e.g. WP:AND, WP:PRECISE) have not been answered. Further, this article is the WP:PRIME topic for the search term "restorationism", and all the other topics there (if they are not subtopics here) are secondary. The WP:WPDAB solution is clear: move "restorationism" to "restorationism (disambiguation)", and move this page to "restorationism". The first half is noncontroversial and nonadmin so I did it, and then requested a technical deletion to ensure the second half can be done. The concerns in the above thread are, according to standard practice, sufficiently addressed by the routine hatnote that already appears on this page. In short, this would be undoing the 2010 move because it "solved a problem that didn't exist". Questions, comments, smart remarks? JJB 03:00, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

should be/has been[edit]

I question the wording in the lede that Restorationists believe Christianity "should be" returned to a purer form. It is key to many of the groups mentioned that a purer form of Christianity has been instituted, and that they are it. DJ Clayworth (talk) 16:22, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree and have made an edit to reflect this thought. Maybe you should check it out to make sure it flows properly. I did not try to indicate that each thinks their group is the actual restoration of the primitive church, but that might be a further addition to the lead. --StormRider 16:43, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I think we need to back off of this a bit. The sources we're citing talk in terms of restoring a purer form of Christianity as being the goal or vision of Restorationism. Some groups believe they've pulled it off, but groups with Restorationist tendencies vary in the extent to which they believe they've been successful - and most would say that it's an ongoing effort. I'll take a stab at trying to add this nuance.EastTN (talk) 17:37, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Merge in[edit]

The following 2005-2012 discussions are hereby merged in from the talkpage of the former unwieldy article Primitive Apostolic Christianity (Sabbatarian), which is now merged and redirected here (with portions merged to Sabbath in Christianity and Noahide Laws, as the article seemed to be all over the place). Article showed no activity for 1.5 years. JJB 20:54, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

POV[edit]

The article still reads very POV. Another term for primitive apostolic Christianity is Christianity; a redirect to Early Christianity seems appropo. This is a term that is used by many traditions to refer to the early Church. KHM03 22:04, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

I was going to thank you for the redirects, but I see you have already flagged the article (as if that is not POV)! Apostolic Christianity was and is very different from modern mainstream Christianity in a number of respects. The problem with an article about Early Christianity is that is about a time period of about 330 years. This article is about a time period of almost 2000 years. If you would like to point out specifically which statements you find POV, then I would like to improve and provide more support for each. That is how you can help KHM03.--Kevin 23:28, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Mainstream Christianity (MSC for short) considers itself Apostolic. Accordingly, an article about "Apostolic Christianity" in an NPOV encyclopedia needs to discuss the largest group which considers itself apostolic...MSC (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestantism). It may also mention some groups on the margin (Latter Day Saints, for example), but the "meat" of the article needs to deal with the largest, most representative group. Otherwise, it's POV.

Now, primitive Christianity is equated with the early Church; in fact, greats such as Luther, Calvin, and Wesley actually called the early Church the "primitive Church". That is the most prominent definition. Therefore, in an NPOV encyclopedia, primitive Christianity = early Christianity. A simple redirect ought to suffice.

I am uncertain what claims you are making here, and I don't want to put words in your mouth. But it seems to me that you are making the claim that some (not all, certainly) "Church of God" groups claim something else for "Apostolic" Christianity or "Primitive" Christianity. If so, that's all well and good, but these names are generally understood to mean something else by MSC and by the public-at-large.

Is there a specific school of theological thought that makes these claims, i.e., Arminian, Calvinist, Roman, etc.? If so, we may be able to help fashion an NPOV article with a more appropriate and accurate name. Until then, it seems very POV. KHM03 00:44, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

What MSC considers itself to be is POV. The claim to the name is POV. What would be a beneficial discussion is how Apostolic observance and teachings relate to both MSC and PAC (Primitive Apostolic Christianity), and this would be a good addition to the article. The term Primitive, can refer both to time, and practice. Early refers only to timing. Primitive can be used as an adjective describing time as in your example above, or as an adjective describing a basic or primary (understanding) of a noun (Christianity). The school of thought for PAC uses only one textbook. Everything else is just speculation and conjecture; any other label would be POV. --Kevin 01:18, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Because MSC is so large in comparison to more marginal groups (marginal in terms of size, not correctness), it is the dominant "version". One may disagree with MSC or its definition of "Apostolic", but any article dealing with the term (in an NPOV encyclopedia) will be dominated by MSC. That's not POV...just reality, for good or ill. I think that the Christianity article tries to define a "basic" or "primary" understanding of the Faith (with the additional understanding that specific denominations will have their own additional takes). My question regarding a school of thought was for your benefit; an article entitled Primitive Apostolic Christianity (Methodist), for example, could elucidate the Methodist view of the term more freely. Is there a school of thought, marginal grouping, or denominational heritage which claims the PAC label as you apparently want to use it? KHM03 01:37, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Thank you, KHM03. We are coming to an understanding! Size or correctness is what many differences of opinion are about. You are correct in saying any article will generally discuss the majority POV, and it may be the first paragraph. I would just appreciate hearing that this is POV! I would welcome you to write a paragraph or more discussing the MSC POV. Just acknowledge that it is POV! That is what the article acknowledges by using the terms some and sects. There are plenty of articles referring to MSC POV, and I would welcome you to refer to those, but please realize that TMI (too much information), will be referred as well.--Kevin 01:55, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I think you can cover these issues with the following lead statement: Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity consider themselves to be Apostolic, and this and more is discussed on their respective pages. But these faiths are also part of Nicene Christianity. This article is limited to Primitive Apostolic Christianity, as contained primarily in the Christian Bible and secondarily in the Ante-Nicene Fathers collection. (from 209.78.18.73)

This is an agreeable introduction, and I have added it to the article.--Kevin 15:43, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Another option would be to rename this article "Pre-Nicene Christianity" since there already is a Nicene Christianity. (from 209.78.18.73)

This would be another era limited description, which is not really descriptive of modern PAC. --Kevin 15:43, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Protestants also consider themselves "Apostolic", as do Mormons, etc. The term is already in use by many other groups...this is my point. To call an article PAC means you're talking about these groups. This is why I suggest we pin down the school of thought that is making these claims (Adventist? Catholic? Calvinist? What?), in order to have a more precise article title that enables Kevhorn (et al) to develop it more appropriately. KHM03 12:38, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I thought Protestants were specifically not Apostolic, i.e. sola scriptura. Mormons believe in latter day saints.

I have not read of any group that uses primitive apostolic to describe their doctrine. If you have references, we can include them.--Kevin 15:43, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Which "Church of God" are we talking about? Certainly not one down the street from me, which is pretty mainstream, and to whom most of this stuff is pretty foreign. Lots of denominations with that name. KHM03 12:55, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

There are a number of groups that call themselves Church of God; What we are discussing are the groups that are Nomian or Sabbatarian.--Kevin 15:43, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I suggest moving this article to Primitive Apostolic Christianity (Sabbatarian), if you want to focus on this particular CoG school of thought. For instance, I created a while back an article on the Methodist Articles of Religion...but the Anglican Articles of Religion are more prominent and more important historically. So, I titled the article Articles of Religion (Methodist), which means the article can focus more precisely, without inherent POV concerns. I did the same for Atonement (Governmental view). I think you'd get a bit more room to maneuver, and avoid the obvious POV issues, and conflicts with MSC. KHM03 16:09, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

There are several articles of religion, or liturgy writings, among various denominations and distinguishing them from each other is very necessary. If there is something written elsewhere concerning current religious observance of PAC, lets discuss a necessary distinguishing term. Sabbatarian is only one difference from Nicene Christianity. Many of these groups are non-trinitarian, apolitical, not participants in war....--Kevin 16:36, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, then, here's a "heads up": PAC is the same as Early Christianity, Christianity, or MSC (pick one). Anything else is POV and will be edited as such. The term is not unique to any particular Sabbatarian school of thought or any other marginal group. I strongly suggest a more precise article title. KHM03 17:02, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Please reread my rewrite above; it was not clear enough. As stated earlier, the article and title of Early Christianity is limited to a time reference and does not denote current observance of PAC--Kevin 17:05, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

But PAC is practiced today by MSC...at least that's the claim made by MSC. The two are equated. Early Christianity = PAC, according to the mainstream view. That's the issue. If you wish to write about another view, then specify with an appropriate title. Otherwise, editors will have to edit this page with the knowledge that MSC is the dominant view, and your views may be lost. KHM03 18:48, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
How about Primitive Apostolic Christianity of the Bible or Primitive Apostolic Christianity of the Bible and Ante-Nicene Fathers? Other options are Pre-Nicene Christianity or Non-Nicene Christianity.

"PAC of the Bible" is considered by MSC to be MSC. Pre-Nicene Christianity is also EC, but could also include sects like the Gnostics. I don't think that's what you're going for. That's why I wondered if the PAC was associated with a school of thought like Arminian, Calvinist, Roman Catholic, etc., so we could make it "PAC Sabb." or whatever and be done. KHM03 19:32, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I have read through several Christian History articles, and I have not found any MSC group that claims to observe PAC. There are some groups labeled as Christian Primitivism by MSC that are sometimes also called Restorationists that do attempt to observe PAC (although not all restorationists view the restoration of PAC as part of their agenda). As I have said before, please bring some evidence to support your claim that MSC=PAC. Extremely early Christianity is PAC, but this early Apostolic Christianity bears little resemblance to MSC. History has changed MSC to the point that the Apostles would not be able to recognize many of the teachings that bear little resemblance to PAC. How about adding Restorationism to the title even though primitive is already in place ?--Kevin 19:36, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

You seriously believe that MSC doesn't consider itself PAC? Wow. Speak with any Roman Catholic or Orthodox Christian. What I believe is of no consequence here; the point is that MSC considers itself PAC, though it usually just uses the term "Christianity". You say, "Extremely early Christianity is PAC, but this early Apostolic Christianity bears little resemblance to MSC. History has changed MSC to the point that the Apostles would not be able to recognize many of the teachings that bear little resemblance to PAC." That's a very POV statement which I also dispute. The early Christians would recognize MSC as the Church. So, no luck there. If we add "Restorationism", which is OK with me, you'll also have Mormonism & Jehovah's Witnesses involved, which is part of that movement. Again...fine by me...if that's what you're aiming for. I tend to think "PAC Sabb." is your best bet. KHM03 19:45, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Well that is your POV. Sabbatarian is alright, although incomplete.
Roman Catholicism holds to a form of progressive revelation, and therefore current Papal doctrine supersedes PAC, and most Protestantism has descended from that type of supersessionism. You may ask someone on the street if they think they observe PAC and they may think that is a legitimate label, but most theologians would agree that much has changed since Primitive Apostolic Christianity was the only Christianity.--Kevin 20:09, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Again, I would disagree that MSC isn't PAC...but the point is moot. With the move, you are free to explain PAC in any way you want (within WP rules) and you don't have to worry about giving proper time (which would be most, probably) to MSC. Good luck! Make a great article! KHM03 21:58, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


First, Mormonism definitely claims to be "PAC" as you describe. They claim that "MSC" lost apostolic/priesthood authority sometime between the first and fourth century (I've never been able to pin them down any closer than that), but that this was restored when Joseph Smith and friends were visited by Jesus, Peter, John, and others, and given this authority and teachings again. Second, Orthodoxy also claims to follow the teachings of the Bible and of the anti-Nicene fathers. For instance, when our parish was preparing for a visit from our bishop, our priest had us read what Ignatius of Antioch had to say about how one should treat a bishop, not just as a historical reference but as a practical guide to be put in practice. We deliberately follow first and second century practices regarding baptism, Eucharist, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and so on. Some outward forms have evolved, but we at least think we're building squarely on the same foundation. I say this not to try to convince you that we're right, but to make you aware of the historical claim, and to let you know that the PAC (Sabbatarian) is not as unique in this respect as it might suppose. Wesley 05:07, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

"ante-Nicene" (before Nicaea), not "anti-Nicene" (against Nicaea) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.78.17.54 (talkcontribs)
Oops! My mistake. Thanks for the catch. My overall point remains though. Wesley 13:11, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Mormonism[edit]

Looks good Wesley. I could say much more, but I don't want to dominate the article. :-D The intent of this article seems to be in line with the dominant theme of early Mormonism. A key meme of early Mormonism was that "angels had visited the earth again" "to restore the ancient faith", and that all "the gifts and powers" of "the primitive church" had been "restored to the earth". The articles of faith say "we believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church." So your additions are certainly appropriate. Thanks for being familiar with the issues. You're a good soul. Tom Haws 15:28, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Something Missing[edit]

Quoting the article: "This movement is called Primitive since its followers believe their movement to reconstruct the earliest forms of Christianity. "

There must be a word or two missing from this. Wanderer57 (talk) 21:39, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Pardon?[edit]

There are several points in this article where the wording seems odd. This may be due to my lack of background, though I don't think it is entirely due to that.

This sentence, from the end of the article, is especially puzzling. Can someone please reword it for clarity?

"The primitive observances are relegated to secondary status in observance of progressive revelation, much as mainstream Christianity is said-to-have changed the appointed times such as fourth commandment obedience."

Thanks. Wanderer57 (talk) 21:47, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

March 2010 POV Discussion[edit]

The Best way to understand ANY point of view is for it to be stated by an advocate of that point of view. There is pleny of space for debate or contrary opinion but someone who has a prejudice Against a point of view will, typically, present it in a skewed fashion, as has been done here in revision undos... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Educator717 (talkcontribs) 23:53, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

That's one approach, but it's not consistent with the guidelines for Wikipedia, which require a neutral point of view. The article should describe Sabbatarianism, but it cannot advocate Sabbatarianism. It should also be written in an impartial and WP:TONE tone. The text you're proposing does not meet those criteria. There are also additional guidelines for what should be included in the lead section of an article. I would suggest that you spend some time reading these guidelines, and studying the approach taken in Wikipedia articles about other religious groups. If you take some time to understand Wikipedia's guidelines and try to work within them, I think you'll find that your edits are much less likely to be reverted.
As an aside, new comments are - by convention - added to the bottom of talk pages. It makes it easier to follow the discussion.EastTN (talk) 21:31, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out that I should have done this on the bottom of the page. In the future I'll do that. As for this subject. It is clear that you either do not understand the issue as well as you think you do...or...you are a detractor using 'neutrality' as a pretense. I have not advocated anything. I merely stated what Primitive Apostilic Christians believe in their own terms. That's the same philosophical approach taken by Huston Smith when he wrote his book on comparative religions. He entered into each faith and wrote about them honestly without injecting his own values. A dectractor, devoid of intellectual honesty, simply cannot fairly and neutrally state a point of view that he or she disagrees with. You don't understand that the Decalogue isn't 'Jewish' for example...that's a common mistake made by many evangelicals. To use it incorrectly is a subtle slant against Sabbatarians. Neither do you understand what a 'Judiaser' advocates. The term isn't correctly applied to one who advocates keeping the commandments...it is correctly applied to one who advocates those ceremonial practices, like circumcision, found in Judiasm only. Had you taken the time to actually read my piece and thought about it instead of reacting to it from the point of view of a protestant dectractor, you would have realized that it was completely fair and balanced and not an advocacy piece. That IS in the spirit of Wikipedia. Educator717 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Educator717 (talkcontribs) 03:16, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Educator, you might also want to look at the guidelines on assuming good faith and avoiding personal attacks on other editors. It's not generally helpful to try and guess at other editor's personal motives - and it's never helpful to tell them that they're either ignorant or dishonest (even if it's true).
There are a couple of issues here. The first is that it doesn't make sense - and is inconsistent with Wikipedia's guidelines - to turn the introductory lead for an article into a stand-alone essay that's disproportionately long compared to the rest of the article. The details should go into the body of the article.
The second is the tone. A Wikipedia article should describe what a group believes, but it should never assume that they are correct in those beliefs. In other words, it should describe what they believe and do, but never assume that they are correct in those beliefs and practices. Ultimately, we need to document it with good, solid published sources - that's the only way to settle these debates in the end. (Another guideline is that we can't use Wikipedia to publish our own research on a topic).EastTN (talk) 15:34, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Article needs[edit]

Sorry, Kevin and all, this article does not work for me. (1) It appears to be a content fork of Restorationism (Christian primitivism), a much more detailed article on the various things that might be called "Primitive Apostolic Christianity (Sabbatarian)". (2) There is no such thing as "Primitive Apostolic Christianity (Sabbatarian)" in caps. Of course there is primitive Christianity, apostolic Christianity, the intersection of the two, and Sabbatarianism, but the caps would require a legal entity of some kind, not just a movement. (3) As it appears hinted above, apostolic Christianity has a few more meanings than expressed here, and Sabbatarianism has quite a few more. I could see an article on a "primitive Christianity movement", but there might be nothing left after merge to restorationism. (4) There is no V (one WP:PRIMARY source). There is much potential OR. There is much potential POV ("invent say detractors"). I apologize for breaking up the party, but this is not how WP is done in 2012. I'll work with you but you'll need to work with me. JJB 00:11, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Alright, all the useful content I could see has been merged to restorationism, Sabbath in Christianity, and Noahide laws. The synthesis of these strands (and others) into an allegedly nameable movement was not sustainable. I recognize that there is sufficient material for an article on "primitive, apostolic Christianity" (not capitalized PAC as described above), but that article exists at restorationism. Accordingly, I will redirect to that article at a later time, and cold-merge and redirect this talk page. Objections may be dealt with first by sourcing the need for a separate article under any name. JJB 18:14, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Article doesn't work for me either. I suspect the article should be split along the definitions given in section Uses of the term. It occurs to me that "Restorationism" doesn't mean "Christian primitivism", since "Christian primitivism" isn't what neither the Adventists nor the Mormons do. Instead they theorize that the Church very soon after the foundation of Jesus morally collapsed in a Great Apostasy, and that the movement "restore" the "true church" by adding revelations from a certain prophet, whose revelation tend to "restore" the church to a pre-Jesus stage, making some kind of admixed Christian-Judaism according to their own theories. While non-restorationist Christians use to theorize that God (via Jesus) revealed that the Judaic behavioral rules are superseeded, the Adventists and Mormons theorize otherwise.
This is nothing (AFAIK) what the Stone-Campbell Restorationists do, which is more like a "quakerized" classical Baptism. They may be real "Christian primitivists", according to some notion of how the early Christians might have been. They're not constructing a hybrid Christian-Judaism based on novel revelations. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 14:56, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
A correction; Mormonism, and as far as I understand Adventists, are very much groups that rely exclusively on the reality of Jesus Christ i.e. they are post-Jesus and pre-Council. The acknowledged apostasy posited is after the first apostles, the Church as set up by Jesus, and the work of the Councils. Jesus is seen as the Son of God, the promised Messiah, and the third member of the Godhead. The restoration that Mormonism defines is the restoration of the Church of Jesus as they believe was established by Jesus through the first apostles. It their eyes, without a restoration of this church they have no purpose or raison d'être. --StormRider 08:28, 5 March 2013 (UTC)