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On Authority, A New Apologia

For 350 years, Friends have struggled more than most religious denominations with the issue of authority. Without a rule-giving priesthood and with unregimented degrees of allegiance to Scripture as well as testimonies that are offered rather than mandated, Friends don’t have a unified worldview. Friends have found some enduring definitional authority in Robert Barclay’s Apology for the True Christian Divinity, first published in 1676. He wonderfully explained many of the practices of Quakerism: refusal to take oaths, rejection of baptism, ministry of all Friends, and avoidance of “vain customs and habits.” He also honored Scripture, but in his Theses Theologicae, he wrote of🔒

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Jacob Stone is a member of Doylestown (Pa.) Meeting.  He and his wife, Gretta, have been Friends in residence at Chena Ridge Meeting in Fairbanks, Alas., and were directors of the Ben Lomond Quaker Center in California. They are longtime Friends General Conference Couple Enrichment leaders, and are about to be Friends in residence at Pendle Hill in Wallingford, Pa.


Posted in: Features, June/July 2013: Quaker Testimonies
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