Leithart on the Remnant

This post is worth reading. It provides an important corrective to some popular uses of the ‘remnant’ concept.

Ecclesiologically, this means that the renewal movements within the mainline churches should not see themselves as a “true church” within a “false church,” or as a “remnant.” Rather, they are aiming at the renewal of the whole church. That renewal may not, and probably will not, happen. But these renewal movements preserve faith within the mainline churches, so that when the Lord purges His church there will be “survivors” who will join with those preserved in other denominations to form a reunited “remnant.” Perhaps the grass-roots ecumenism evident in so many places around the country is a sign that this is already happening. God has preserved faith within the Methodist, mainline Presbytery, Episcopalian, Catholic, and other churches, and as we emerge from the Babylonian exile of modernity these faithful are forming a remnant.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
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2 Responses to Leithart on the Remnant

  1. Celal says:

    Scripture always applies the “remnant” to the theocratic people of God — Israel — in the OT as well as in the NT (Romans 9-11). If you want to make a theological application to “church” fine but my standards are a bit more rigorous. Only after it is exegetically established and demonstrated can we perhaps make “flying” applications like the ones above. Otherwise, why should (i or any Christian) buy into it ?

  2. Krista says:

    Hi-
    this is an interesting idea- the idea of a remnant. You may be interested in a different take on this idea. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believes that this remnant is already here- The Lord has already purged the church, as you put it, and restored the gospel to its original form. This restoration was brought about in the 1800’s by a prophet named Joseph Smith. He was confused about which christian church to join because they all seemed to contradict one another and do nothing but argue. He was only a boy, but he decided, after reading James in the Bible, to go and pray and see if Heavenly Father would give him the wisdom he needed. God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him to not join any of the churches because they were all corrupt . He then directed Joseph on how to restore the truth to the earth. We believe that this movement for restoration is coming about now because it is the end times, people want to know the truth but do not know where to find it and are unhappy with mainline churches. We offer what is missing. I would be happy to answer any questions you have about this, or Mormon.org is a good place to find out more. I know I sound like a chirpy infomercial, but you don’t have to settle for uncertainty. The truth has been restored. There is a remnant of Israel- The authority of the priesthood is in the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I invite you to check it out and form your own opinion.

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