Monday, May 26, 2008

Envision: Location, The Historical District.

Princeton is perfect. The perfect location. Well... not perfect... but good.
Envision '08 (EV08) is being held at Princeton University. I've done a minimal to fair amount of historical research on Princeton both in a post-protestant-reformation course and independently. The study of religious development in the British colonization period has always fascinated me most particularly due to my interest in the protestant reformation and its movement from the halls in Germany throughout Switzerland and England and then ultimately to the land we now call the United States. I've also been astounded at the misunderstanding and appalling stances and language centering around the concept of "separation of church and state." My undergraduate Senior Colloquium project was entitled "'Separation of church and state' cannot exist."
Formerly The College of New Jersey, Princeton was the fourth college established in British North America preceded by Harvard, William and Mary, and Yale.
As stated in the online document, Princeton University in the American Revolution, "The charter was issued to a self-perpetuating board of trustees who were acting in behalf of the evangelical or New Light wing of the Presbyterian Church, but the College had no legal or constitutional identification with that denomination. Its doors were to be open to all students, 'any different sentiments in religion notwithstanding.' The announced purpose of the founders was to train men who would become 'ornaments of the State as well as the Church.'" I may deal in greater detail with the subject of "church and state" soon (as it is quite fitting for the EV08 theme of "the gospel, politics, and the future").
The University is extremely rich in history yet the conference focuses on envisioning the future. I have to wonder if there was some ingenious creativity from the planning board in selecting the location. Aside from the implications given by Princeton's existence as a premiere research university from which emerges great scholarship, leadership, and innovation, does the location suggest the necessity for the church to return to its ancient roots? What parts of church history need revisited and recovered? As the church progresses from the past should it/we also progress toward the past?

5 comments:

Farmer said...

is that Digressing or Regressing

I'll look it up

Farmer said...

re·gress (v.) Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[v. ri-gres; n. ree-gres] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used without object) 1. to move backward; go back.
2. to revert to an earlier or less advanced state or form.
–noun 3. the act of going back; return.
4. the right to go back.
5. backward movement or course; retrogression.


I LIKE Retrogression

:::: Travis Keller :::: said...

couldn't "moving backward" be moving toward a more advanced state? what determines that we are more advanced as we've moved throughout time?

chad carter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel Coutz said...

I think we most need to revisit the first couple of centuries of Christianity. I think we have lost or at least put less emphasis on what were key values of Christianity.

Matthew 5:38-48, NASB

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone want to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only you brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."