The Church of God movement (Anderson) came into being in 1880 through the ministries of many people, particularly Daniel S. Warner (1842-1895). A keynote of this reform movement was a concern about the status of the church in a troubled world. The pioneers of the church believed that divisiveness among denominations had compromised the holy and united character of the church that God intends. There have been many movements on behalf of church reform over the centuries. This particular one arose in the late nineteenth century in the midst of a larger American holiness movement.
Holiness, Christian unity, and the apostolic church were keynote themes of the reforming dream of the early Church of God movement. All non-biblical additions were to be shed from the church’s life. Sanctified believers, “the saints,” were to “come out” of divisive denominationalism and stand together, purified, empowered, gifted, governed, and sent by God’s Spirit.
This volume is a collection of essays whose authors attempt to revisit, refine, and renew the heart of the reforming heritage of the Church of God movement. The focus is on a risking God who calls into being a daring people who accept the Spirit’s several invitations. These include being filled with the Spirit, breaking with racial and gender discriminations in church life, championing the perspectives, power, and gifting of the Spirit that together enable a holiness of and unity among believers which can result in a presentation to the world of the church that God intends.