WHO ARE THE FRIENDS?
Three hundred and fifty years ago the Friends movement brought spiritual awakening to England under the courageous leadership of George Fox, “the man in leather breeches.” As a perceptive youth in time of social turmoil, Fox had come into a vital experience with Christ in his early twenties after a period of earnest seeking. After this life-changing experience, he and his cohorts proclaimed that—
- The essence of Christianity isn’t creedal, sacramental, or liturgical, but experiential (a vital, personal experience with Jesus Christ).
- True worship is inward, “in spirit and in truth.”
- God calls all Christians to be ministers, thus abolishing the gulf between “clergy” and “laity.”
- The finished work of Christ on the cross not only fulfills all Old Testament types and symbols, but also makes such practices as water baptism and the Eucharist unnecessary elements of the new covenant.
- The gift of salvation is freely offered to all, not only through the outward proclamation of the gospel, but also through the inward and universal Light of Christ.
- Radical obedience to Christ involves taking His teachings at face value, requiring love for enemies, simplicity of life, a commitment to humble service, and the proclamation of the good news.
While some Quakers today do not share the evangelical convictions so evident among early Friends, Barclay Press is associated with Evangelical Friends Church, an alliance of Friends churches that seeks faithfully to witness in word and deed to the New Testament Christianity that George Fox sought to proclaim.