Showing posts from February, 2008

History of the History-Less

Despite the fact that there is zero historical evidence of its existence before the Cane Ridge, Kentucky, revival of 1801, the church of Christ teaches that it is the one true church, founded by Jesus in 33 AD. Usually, the narrative goes something like this: "The true church was founded by Jesus and then hopelessly corrupted and apostasized by the Council of Nicea in the fourth century, when the Roman Catholic church was founded. The true church went underground until 1801 when it was restored to its pure form by Alexander Campbell." Of course, this is all rubbish.

The truth is that the COC is just one of many American churches, including the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormon church, founded during the Second Great Awakening at the beginning of the 19th century. Its true history can be found in this marvelous book by Richard T. Hughes, Reviving the Ancient Faith: The Story of Churches of Christ in America. Hughes draws on the writings of Campbell himself, as well as th…