Francis Chan and Churches of Christ/Restoration Movement Influence?

Many of you have probably heard that Francis Chan is going to keynote at the Tulsa Workshop in 2013. When Terry Rush broke the news back in April he mentioned Chan’s connection with Wes Woodell helped work out the speaking arrangement. I am really excited that all this is working out and I think that will be a big plus for Tulsa next year. I don’t know Francis Chan but I have heard and read a lot of what he has to say. What I really like about Francis Chan is that he says so many biblical things and so many challenging things…the best part is he is usually doing both at the same time. He doesn’t challenge you just to challenge you and isn’t biblical for the sake of just being biblical. He is trying to move people’s hearts closer to God. I admire that.

If you have listened to his preaching you have probably noticed that Francis Chan says things that of us who have grown up in Churches of Christ find really familiar. He is very plain about wanting scripture to shape and guide our faith, worship/ecclesiology, theology, and mission. He often makes the point that if we just read our Bibles from the most non-biased perspective possible is all of this (church world) what we would come up with? That is a question we all need to ask ourselves. When I hear him say things like that it all it reminds me of our own traditional hermeneutics in the Churches of Christ.

About a week ago I noticed Wes had tweeted something about having lunch with Francis Chan before moving from California so I asked Wes how familiar Chan was with the Restoration Movement. Wes said that Chan actually did attend a church with Restoration roots while in seminary in Los Angeles for 6 months. My first thought was that my intuition was correct…he surely has some Restoration Movement influence in some of the things I have heard him say. Honestly, as interesting as I find that connection is, who knows if that is the case. Maybe he was attracted to that based on some of his own prior theological leanings and interpretations. What is most important is not who inspired who but that Francis Chan is in love with Jesus Christ and is helping others gain a more biblical worldview through his preaching and teaching. That is a God thing that transcends the labels we often like to put on things. Praise God for that!


About mattdabbs
I am a minister, husband, and father. My wife and I live and minister in Saint Petersburg, Florida. My primary ministry responsibilities include: small groups, 20s and 30s, involvement, and adult education.

10 Responses to Francis Chan and Churches of Christ/Restoration Movement Influence?

  1. tonycook says:

    from what i read in a book of his a while ago, something about Love, FC and i have different views on where the “punishment” for sin comes from. He seemed to be saying it was God’s justice that meant He had to punish us. i believe it’s built into the sin and so we punish ourselves. probably more accurately it’s built into our natures because we’re made by a perfectly just God, so that’s part of the reaction we have to sin. So in a way FC and i are not too different in our views. but when there’s so much out there to read and listen to i’m afraid i tend to narrow it down to commentators with the same basic views – the views i’m past studying, at least until i’m done with more engaging issues. it’s not as simple as it sounds because there are commentators, Bill Craig e.g., whom i don’t see eye to eye with on some basic points, but these are more in the nature of “models” we use to understand eternal realm things – such as the trinity. that’s a different matter from believing that God needed someone’s death to compensate Him for the sins of man because He is perfectly just. that sort of perfection He could do without. it’s we who need/ed Jesus’ death, to free us from what sin does to us. to generate the love in us that it takes to come back from something like that.
    no offence, maybe i misread him or i’m confused (or both).

  2. tonycook says:

    what i started to say, and lost my way a little, in my previous post was that there are commentators like Bill Craig (William Lane Craig) whom I don’t agree with on everything but whose writing and speaking i still find very informative, not to mention entertaining, and I avidly read and listen to his stuff.

  3. Bethany says:

    I’ve read 2 of his books (Crazy Love and Forgotten God), and I also liked that he tried to approach the scriptures with an open mind and heart. I’ve also been impressed with his understanding of baptism and that the “sinners prayer” is superstitious and eternally dangerous. He did, however, seem to have some Calvinistic beliefs, such as original sin. Although I don’t agree with 100% of the ideas he expressed, overall I think his work is a blessing to those who want to follow Christ.

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  5. natemup says:

    He is biblical, after all. Given his theological associations, it would be almost criminal for him not to believe people are born into sin, and rightfully so.

  6. Pingback: A Tremendously Blown Opportunity to Work with Francis Chan

  7. Pingback: A Tremendously Blown Opportunity to Work with Francis Chan | The Overflow

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