The Pendulum Swing of Church History
Since 30 AD the church has passed through times of biblical faith before swinging to extremes of either:
1) Emotions & personal
2) Intellect & de-spiritualized faith.
The second century church formalized what the apostles had taught. People desired to experience God for themselves.
Around 150 AD Montanism broke out with prophecy, emotional services, tongues and unscriptural eschatology.
This was followed by 150 years of Gnosticism which denied experience between flesh and spirit. They offered a complex intellectual system to occupy/distract people.
The Monastic movement came next with people practicing asceticism and living in isolation so that they might experience God.
This was countered
in 1050-1300 AD by Scholasticism which brought the pendulum back into the
abyss of academic speculation.
Volumes were written but it took the Mystics of the 1400’s to speak of the “new birth.” Soon, they also swung beyond the apostolic revelation.
The 1500’s brought the Reformation. This teaching soon became dry and formalized.
Pietism (1700’s) applied these doctrines for a life of holiness which deviated into legalism.
Higher education pulled the Truth into the doubt and skepticism of Liberalism in the 1800’s.
The Pentecostal (1900) and Charismatic (1960) movements brought personal worship back, but neglect of orthodox doctrine has swung them off-center.
History shows the pendulum is ready to move through the middle again.