As the Pendulum Swings…

Sitting in the waiting room, awaiting my appointment to meet with the the leasing agent for my new office, I was memorized by the slow yet certain swing of the gold pendulum hanging below the time face of an old Grand Father clock.

The side to side motion was intriguing.

The pace of the swing a bit slower than I expected. The swing was graceful and most predictable – producing an intoxicating and soothing  feel.

The Pendulum Effect.


It’s in full swing within the history of our Churches too.

On one side we have an emphasis on Emotions.


The other side is an emphasis on Intellect.

And between both the pendulum swings – like clockwork.

Consider the following:

2nd Century – Emotion – Monatism – emphasis on direct, personal presence of the Holy Spirit – Pentecostalism.  Marked by emotional outbursts which it regarded as the only true form of Christianity.


2nd-3rd centuries – Intellect- Gnosticism – The word ‘Gnosticism’  means ‘knowledge’.  Refers to a very specialized form of knowledge, deriving both from the exact meaning of the original Greek term.


3rd-10th Centuries – Emotion –Monasticism – Think Monks. The religious practice in which one renounces worldly pursuits in order to fully devote one’s life to spiritual work.


11th-14th Centuries – Intellect – Scholasticism – a method and a system which aimed to reconcile the Christian theology of the Church Fathers with the Greek philosophy of Aristotle.


14th-15th Centuries – Emotion – Mysticism – A conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight.


16th-17th Centuries – Intellect – Reformation Orthodoxy – An attempt to reform the indulgences of the Catholic Church.


17th-18th Centuries – Emotion – Pietism and Methodism – emphasis on individual piety, and a vigorous Christian life.


19th-20th Centuries – Intellect – Liberalism – a broad class of political philosophies that consider individual liberty to be the most important goal.


20th Century – Emotion – Pentecostalism and the Charismatic Movement – the arrival of spiritual gifts in the historic mainline denominations.


And with certainty – 21st Century – Intellect- ______________




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