Dialogue Ireland proposes a dialogue between Irvine Grey and THE Two by Twos

Picture of Irvine

Irvine Grey is putting it up to the movement

THE Two by Twos

https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/category/christian/two-by-twos/

I have been reading the Irvine Grey’s book and finally have concluded he has done them a great service, though they likely see it differently.

a5irvine

I believe he has demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that they are an unorthodox, heretical movement and that they do not conform to an Evangelical examination to be named as part of that movement.

He concludes that they are a dangerous cult. I disagree.

https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/about/cultism/

However, on coming down on the side of the Two by Twos I do not believe his definition of it being a cult of Christianity is accurate. However, that is because I reject his definition of a cult and prefer the term cultism, but more importantly, the critique he makes of them could be applied to any group. So a theological definition is not adequate to address this issue.

So in light of the fact I am open to the Two by Twos and as they are now entering into their Meeting and Convention period I would suggest they take the book as it gives them a marvelous insight into their movement and they either continue down their current path of isolation or they enter into a period of renewal and examining their history and doctrine.

I have been in touch with one of the Workers in NZ John Watt and would ask that they might invite me to one of their meetings this summer to discuss this. You may remember Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s. It had views which were regarded as highly unorthodox by Evangelical Christians, yet that Church was able to reform and become accepted as an Evangelical Church.

In other words I am offering to mediate between the Two by Twos and Irvine Grey. Because I believe his book will in the future be a great resource for them. Currently they reject him for calling them a cult. However, their response to this open dialogue will in my mind define how they face the future. I should point out that it is not whether they reject me, but any overture to look into their beliefs and to discuss them with others which is the issue.

I offer the hand of friendship and await people like John Watt I have been in touch with to get back to me and to have their Irish leadership respond

 

48 Responses

  1. I grew up in this faith … I am now 75 years old … My Uncle Luke was a worker …… not too good on the computer but would like Mr Irvine Grey to contact me if he so wishes to … I agree with Mrs Ostling and most of the comments …. I live in Cape Town, South Africa

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  2. As I read these posts I can only conclude that there is a serious lack of understanding of the characteristics of classical evangelicalism Of course there are many who lay claim to the epithet of evangelicalism but sadly few of these reflect the characteristics of classical evangelicalism.

    In my research for Two by Two the Shape of a Shapeless Movement I used David Bebbington’s four characteristics of classical evangelicalism – The Bible; The Cross; Conversion and Activism as the benchmark.

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  3. I agree with you on the Freemason comments DI. The fact that W Irvine was freemason before beginning his 2×2 ministry keeps getting thrown up to associate 2×2’s with freemasons, which is both an ugly and false association. The truth is actually the opposite, freemasonry is commonly avoided within 2x2ism.

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  4. Dialogue between Irvine Grey and the 2×2’s is most likely futile but for reasons other than expressed by Mr. Tucker.

    First of all, Mr.Grey published a book that was based on outdated information, inaccurate information, narrow geographical sources, refused inside informative sources and glaringly missed out other important sources of information. Right there is a rather poor basis for dialogue.

    Overseers don’t “blank” those who threaten them, they turn the other cheek to abusers who wish to change them at will. And yes, they do feel that they should protect the meetings and ministry, that’s a big part of their life’s work. It would be irresponsible for them to allow it to be destroyed by those who do not agree with it.

    They are not freemasons and quite the opposite. They gave up any freemason association when they joined the 2×2’s. My own grandfather did so around 1920 and I have known others who have. None join the freemasons after joining 2x2ism. Freemasonry is too, well, cult-like for 2×2’s.

    Conventions are considered private affairs and as such, should be treated that way. It is one thing to post convention buildings on the internet, but it is another to post images of people who do not wish to have their image out there.

    As far as a “Statement of Faith” goes. the primitive Christian church did not do so and that is what 2x2ism is attempting to emulate……not the post-Nicene church. 2×2’s have always stated that their doctrine is the bible and in it contains their faith. They encourage all to read it and arrive at their faith based on that.

    As far as finances go, 2x2ism solicits no funds and feels no obligation to account for that which was not solicited. Perhaps you should advise DI to include their finances in their Annual Report. They do solicit funds yet do not publicly account for the expenditures. A cult perhaps?

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  6. You certainly have a fertile mind and like a lot of people see the Masons in and under the bed.
    BGM sees me as being deceptive and you suggest I am naive.
    I believe we must try to debate these issues. I suggested in the post you are commenting on the idea. I then moved to a direct approach to TG. The rest is history.

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  7. DI – You have proposed a dialogue between Irvine Grey and the 2x2s.

    That is a naive and futile quest.

    The overseers’ sole interest is to preserve their own positions of power and privately they regard even their members with contempt let alone people like you. They will blank anybody who threatens them. They are not interested in truth of any sort and behave like freemasons. This is hardly surprising because their founder was a freemason and as we all know, freemasonry is the worship of Lucifer.

    There were apparently signs up at the new convention in Gloucestershire instructing people not to post pictures of it on the internet. When you’re dealing with secrecy levels rivalling MI5 being applied to something so utterly trivial, it goes without saying that any outside attempts at enforcing meaningful change will be ruthlessly vetoed.

    Until the overseers publish a statement of faith and become transparent about their finances, they will remain a cult and a particularly dangerous one.

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  8. How is Christianity a cult? Simple: because it exhibits one or more of the commonly accepted characteristics of a cult. It would definitely be a cult from the POV most Muslims.

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  9. My claim of Christianity as a cult is a bit tongue in cheek…..a response to Mr. Tucker’s claim that Islam is a cult. If Islam is a cult, then surely it follows that Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism are all cults as well. I have actually heard a sound argument that “society” is a cult, based on a broad enough definition.

    Personally, I like DI’s concept of cult/cultism/cultist. My primary concern in this regard aligns the same as DI’s: ie groups which cause damage to people due to undue or excessive power and influence. Whenever I see power damaging people, I’m interested in helping neutralize it. Because of my affiliation with 2x2ism, I am even more interested in neutralizing any cultic tendencies which arise from their hierarchical system.

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  10. Yes there is social science and the sociogical use of it. I am a theologian and looked at Cultism from three perspectives. 1. Theological 2. Sociological and 3. Psychological.
    In my view any group can become cult like. North Korea as a country, major corporations. So unlike Irvine who defines the 2×2 as a dangerous cult I would not view that they are heretical from his perspective makes them a cult.
    I would agree with Langone.

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  11. Where does science come into this? Surely you aren’t claiming to be a scientist?

    Langone is advising caution about liberal use of the term cult.

    In answer to the other guy – What is Christianity a cult of?

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  12. Because science is not about dictionary definitions. Could you tell me what you made of Michael Langone’s view as it is pretty comprehensive. In my you under analyse and consrquently come to premature conclusions. You had no answer for the guy who claimed Christianity is a cult.

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  13. I read the whole article. I think you are over analysing something which is fundamentally straightforward. Why bother going beyond a dictionary definition? A total waste of everybody’s time I would have thought – these terms mean what the dictionary says they mean. It brings to mind the British Government redefining marriage to suit their effeminate agenda.

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  14. Not at all, I think I just suggested we held different views. May I ask you did you read the full article or just the intro? Have a look at Michael Langone’s section.
    Also Chapter 2 of my thesis tries to go beyond a dictionary definition.

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  15. DI – If you consider yourself to be the final authority on cults, cultism or whatever word you wish to use, why not get in touch with all the major dictionaries and challenge their definitions? Maybe the word cult should even be removed from the English language because it doesn’t suit your outlook on life.

    Please explain to me how you think I understand the term cult.

    If one looks up the term cultism it is invariably described as secondary to the term cult. I just cannot see the point of your rather off-the-wall position.

    Do I detect a politically correct agenda behind all of this?

    I would copy and paste some definitions but you will quite likely start harping on about copyright infringements.

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  16. It is clear how you understand what cultism is. We clearly define and give our theoretical basis for doing so.
    You clearly only looked at the word cult. When you did not understand our position you resorted to personal abuse. All you had to say was you disagreed.

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  17. I’ve heard of “cults of Christianity” but never before heard anybody refer to Christianity as a cult. BGM – we hear something new everyday.

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  18. Andrew Tucker, you forgot to mention that Christianity is a cult……

    I think the reason why this goes undetected is because for most people, the definition of a cult is this: “any group with whom I disagree sufficiently”. I have yet to see a current JW or Mormon acknowledge they are in a cult…. and Evangelicals, Catholics, etc are no different.

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  19. I fail to understand how in this supposed age of enlightenment, anybody can sum up the enthusiasm to defend a minority group who can’t even be bothered to publish a statement of faith, let alone have the decent sense to be transparent with their finances. It never ceases to amaze me how human beings have such capacity for stupidity. Islam is a cult. Mormonism is a cult. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult. The Plymouth Brethren are a cult and the 2x2s are a cult. Simples, smcch.

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  20. I have looked at your mission statement and it is quite clear that if you had authorship of the Oxford Dictionary you would delete the word cult. You are in cloud cuckoo land and away with the fairies. “We do not talk about cults but cultism” – What an utterly futile, pompous position to take when the word cult is in all the major dictionaries. If any group falls under one of these globally recognized definitions then it is a cult. Some of them are even dangerous as Irvine Grey has kindly proven with his excellent thesis. I think you are slightly mad.

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  21. We have. Click on Mission Statement and put mouse over it and you will find statement of our position.
    We do not talk about cults but cultism.
    Will add links likely Monday, not at my computer.

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  22. Dialogue Ireland – Please publish your own definition of a cult.

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  23. Irvine Grey, on June 7, 2014 at 7:44 am said:
    The reviewer was anonymous and I offered to correspond with this was not accepted.
    ————-
    That is not correct as shown by the following PMs on TMB, following which Irvine Grey did not take up the offer to email the reviewer:
    ————————————————————————-
    irvinegrey
    Royal Member
    *****

    Posts: 690

    Aug 11, 2013 at 8:20pm
    Thanks for your detailed review of my book and I have only quickly scanned your comments on the quotes on your history website. perhaps we could engage in direct dialogue and address some of these. My email is irvinegrey@yahoo.co.uk. For example a New Zealand man that I am in correspondence with points out that Alan Richardson takes a very different stance than Tommie Gamble, the Irish overseer.

    As to the death place of Cooney and the number of workers in 1905, I have already acknowledged that these were incorrect and due to typographical errors that we not corrected. Please be assured that I will keep our correspondence totally private and confidential.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes

    Irvine
    Irvine Grey B.Th.(QUB), M.A.(Manc.), M.Phil.(QUB). http://www.irvinegrey.com
    ———————————————————————–
    2x2history
    New Member
    *

    Posts: 10
    Member is Online

    Aug 11, 2013 at 10:43pm
    You can contact me at 2x2history@gmail.com

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  24. The response you’ve received is consistent with an ‘open door’ policy to journalists and others. Attendance at convention meetings will give you a real flavour of what this movement is about, so I hope you take the opportunity to do so.

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  25. Hopefully this post clarifies the situation and thanks for your clear reply. Bed beckons as I am already extending the limits of sleeplessness!
    https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/proposed-meeting-with-2x2s-and-their-overseer-tommy-gamble/

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  26. I’m mostly okay with the theological comparison. It is a difficult exercise since the group has no published doctrine. But the leap to say that the group is a ‘cult’ as a direct consequence of ‘your theology is not our theology’ is a bit much. Grey claims to have done a sociological analysis if I remember. To tell you the truth, I don’t think the friends and workers are very interested in Grey or his book, although there has been widespread interest from former members. I’m skeptical that you could get a dialogue going especially as some of the sources used by Grey are considered to be vexatious and outspoken against the movement. It’s been a few years since I left the group and I have moved on, so have much less interest in the topic, other than the history which remains a source of fascination. I responded here because a notice from you appeared in my email yesterday.

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  27. Here is the problem which version are you referring to? There is none only a blank!

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  28. My next post will remove the need for this discussion. I have repeated that this is not a theological or apologetic site but rather about cultism. Irvine believes it to be a dangerous cult I do not. That is the area I would be trying to mediate on. However, if when meeting members how can I engage if there is no actual position being presented other than of each individual worker. Our friend BGM seems to be a Universalist, and I am sure you have your own particular spin on the the teaching. The point I was making is that groups can change and that though you might disagree with Irvine’s conclusions he has actually given a lot of sourced material and comparative theology from an Evangelical perspective.

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  29. My thesis shows that even if they did claim to be evangelical, they fail to demonstrate any of the essential characteristics of evangelicalism.

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  30. I don’t believe that the 2x2s claim to be ‘evangelical’; they quite explicitly distance themselves from any other denomination today.

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  31. My thesis carefully defined the characteristics of evangelicalism that I used as the benchmark to critique the 2×2 movement. In the words of leading theologian, Alister McGrath, ‘evangelicalism is historical Christianity.’ The characteristics of evangelicalism used in my research are firmly rooted in Scripture and sadly many who claim to be evangelical fail to demonstrate any of these essential characteristics.

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  32. Perhaps, dialogue ireland I was misled by your comment “It [the Armstrongs] had views which were regarded as highly unorthodox by Evangelical Christians, yet that Church was able to reform and become accepted as an Evangelical Church.” The subtext I took from that is that you think an evangelical church is a step up from where the 2×2 church is today. I wasn’t trying to provide a balanced commentary on Evangelicals but indicate some misgivings that evangelicalism would be a step up at all. It sounds like you’re framing this as orthodoxy being a step up, which boils down to a value/ cultural context driven issue, and that is really all I was trying to show. No doubt evangelicalism was a step up for a crackpot like Garner Ted Armstrong, crackpot because of their extreme eschatological bent. If it was not your intention to frame this as a question of 2x2s versus evangelicalism, as Grey does, then please say so.

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  33. BGM You write: Efforts to bridge gaps are commendable, but based on a couple of reviews of the book, that may be a bit of a challenge. Here’s one opening statement:

    “In 2013 a new publication was issued. This book, “Two by Two”, The Shape of a Shapeless Movement, by Irvine Grey, was based on Mr Grey’s thesis for a MPhil degree from Queen’s University, Belfast. The Analysis below was prepared to review the extent to which Irvine Grey has followed accepted standards of academic rigour, such as neutrality and lack of bias, accuracy, fairness etc in writing his Queen’s University Belfast MPhil degree thesis [1] (which formed the basis for this book) and whether the additional material in the book [2] meets the same standards.

    On the basis of the 165 items tabulated on the pages below, the only reasonable conclusion is that Mr Grey has been blinded by his personal beliefs and has failed to provide an academically sound analysis.”

    https://sites.google.com/site/2x2history/the-shape-of-a-shapeless-movement

    The reviewer was anonymous and I offered to correspond with this was not accepted. The reviewer listed what ‘he’ considered were 165 errors in tabular format and I took a sample of these and clearly demonstrated he was wrong but got no response so I would hardly call the review impartial or objective: For Example:

    He quotes: the movement was referred to as Reidites. Then comments: This ‘name’ was exclusive to Ireland and illustrates Mr Grey’s narrow focus on the movement in Ireland, rather than a broader view of the global movement.
    36
    John Long was Irvine’s co-worker in the new movement. Incorrect. In 1897, while working as a Methodist Colporteur, Long arranged for Irvine to hold a meeting in a Methodist church. In 1898 Long resigned as a Colporteur and in 1899 commenced on ‘Faith Lines’ until he was excommunicated by Irvine in 1907.
    40
    Cooney’s meteoric rise to co-leadership Meteoric is an overstatement if the circumstances are considered with a more balanced view.

    I am providing a few examples of what the review refers to as errors in Two by Two the Shape of a Shapeless Movement.
    Page 35: Cooney’s meteoric rise to co-leadership
    Reviewer writes: Meteoric is an overstatement if the circumstances are considered with a more balanced view.
    If the reviewer took a little time to consult the newspapers of that era he would see that indeed Cooney’s rise to co-leadership was indeed meteoric given that he only joined the movement in 1901.
    Page 36: ‘the movement was referred to as Reidites.’
    Reviewer writes: This ‘name’ was exclusive to Ireland and illustrates Mr Grey’s narrow focus on the movement in Ireland, rather than a broader view of the global movement.
    There is ample evidence that the Reidite name was used in other places apart from Ireland after Wilson Reid, one time Irish overseer and worker in Africa.

    Page 40: John Long was Irvine’s co-worker in the new movement.
    Reviewer writes: Incorrect. In 1897, while working as a Methodist Colporteur, Long arranged for Irvine to hold a meeting in a Methodist church. In 1898 Long resigned as a Colporteur and in 1899 commenced on ‘Faith Lines’ until he was excommunicated by Irvine in 1907.

    John Long’s diary records:
    March 1898: It was a great privilege for me to get the benefit of those meetings; and to be a fellowhelper in pointing anxious souls to Christ
    April 1898: About that time the special services spread into three districts. The two sisters went to Shinrone; Evangelists Gilbert and Hughes went to a district four miles beyond Portumna; and Irvine and I went to Templederry
    June 1989: After that William Irvine and I went to Limerick City, where we had a mission in the Young Men’s Christian Association Room, given to us by a Brethren man named Fredrick Wright. It was a stiff mission with some success

    Page 75
    2x2s strongly oppose owning or viewing television …
    Reviewer writes: Mr Grey’s statement may have been correct many years ago but is not correct now. Many people own a television or access programmes through their computer. The potentially damaging impact on family life and personal morality of some programmes is still seen as a danger to a pure Christian life.
    Overseer Paul Sharp writes in 2006: It was at one of our Western Elders Mtgs that we made the decision about TV. Even though far worse material is available on computers, and computers are a must for many people, we felt that our stand regarding TV would not change because TV is not essential to anybody’s livelihood, and we hated to think of TV in the living room (or any other room) in many of our friends homes. Computers must be left pretty much to self-policing as to what is watched.

    My book writes:
    The two by two is a religious movement that asserts it has an unbroken link with the New Testament Church as established by the Lord Jesus Christ on the shores of Galilee.
    The reviewer writes:
    Only partially true so academically untrue.
    Some workers have taught that; some deny the role of William Irvine in establishing the movement; but this is not universally taught or believed.

    An overseer writes after the publication of my book:
    Your statement that our movement was started by W. Irvine & E. Cooney is not correct & very far from the truth, we believe & always will that it is something that was from the beginning, there is a verse that is very real to me & helps me to understand that we are in GOD’S true & only way, some are wondering as to what happened from the beginning until the18 & 19th century, the verse I mention says “ As He (GOD) spake by the mouth of His Holy Prophets that have been since the world began” that makes it very clear to me & give me strong confidence that I am in something that has been from the beginning, nothing can shake that nor can the gates of hell prevail against it.

    I stand by what I wrote!

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  34. Yes I was in touch with John but my discussion with him other than private issues was about cultism.
    I am of course open to dialoguing with you but my focus in that post is in Ireland with your leadership here. My focus is not theology or beliefs but cultism as I showed earlier.
    https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/about/cultism/
    This about the undue influence over people. I had disagreed with Irvine on that, but agreed with his analysis of your theology. We can agree to differ on that, but I would like to know where you reference your history and theology if Irvine’s view is so incorrect?

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  35. No need for hostility.

    I would have thought disagreement, please do not try to stifle debate by calling someone who disagrees with you hostile. I will continue…

    There is no tangent. Evangelicalism (or your limited view of it) is central to your OP. I was responding to your OP paragraph about dialoguing with John Watt from NZ, your reference to the WWCG, then your comment about Evangelicalism.

    My dialogue with John Watt never referenced the WWCG as a gold standard. It was about the nature of cultism. This site is not about beliefs but about undue influence. you saw that reference did you not?

    You stated about the WWCG “yet that Church was able to reform and become accepted as an Evangelical.
    Church.”. So readers are to understand this: WWCG bad, Evangelical Church good. 2×2′s bad, Evangelical Church good.”

    Again you you are putting words into my mouth the people who reformed the WWCG believed it needed to be reformed. It was their decision. I have no idea what the 2×2 position is as you seem to be a universalist and I assume that is the position of the 2×2’s in your area. I have never heard that view articulated in any conversation I have had over here?

    It is pretty clear that your limited view of Evangelicalism is implied as the Gold Standard to which 2x2ism should shift toward, like the WWCG did.

    With due respect I have indicated to you a broad range of Evangelical thought, but you have a local reference to this which was not in my mind when writing. You seem to want to close down discussion rather than open it up. Finding ways to say keep away from DI?

    I am saying simply this: if your intention for dialogue is to help 2×2′s become what the Evangelicals are understood to be in the US, then good luck with that……it would be a pretty ugly movement in my own view.

    This is a site about cultism , not about theology unless it is part of a discussion. So my aim is not as you suggest and please stop pushing your US context onto me. I am in Ireland and please leave your Evangelical hang ups in your wardrobe.

    Evangelicals were once considered synonymous with fundamentalists in the US, but today are generally viewed as extreme social conservatives, and largely fundamentalist Republicans. Sarah Palin would be considered one of the more recognizable Evangelicals today.

    You clearly have issues with them and are projecting your hostility to them onto me. Have you heard of Jim Wallis or Ron Sider?
    The only Republican over here believes in getting rid of monarchy!

    “Could you source your reference and show its relevance to a book about your movement published in Ireland.”
    The book purports to write about 2×2 movement on a world wide basis but by referencing Ireland, you hit the nail on the head: it is extremely limited in its sources of information. It is limited primarily to Ireland and nearby, plus unhappy members outside Ireland. Similar to the book, if you are going to tout Evangelicalism as a Gold Standard, you should be aware of what your words mean worldwide. My immediate reaction to your reference to Evangelical Church was identical to artsfol’s. This is just something you should be aware of if something like this moves forward.

    Obviously a movement which was founded in Ireland and with whose leadership I am trying contact is my focus. It is clear once you mentioned your views of Evangelicals as did artsfol’s I sought to clarify this. But instead of accepting my clarification you persist in pushing this issue.

    ” I have to assume you have not read the book, which is a very weak position to engage in polemics from. ”

    Wrong assumption. I have the book, and I have read it.

    My assumption is based on the fact that you did not seem to be able to articulate your own response to the book but merely copied and pasted others views?

    “Also what are the characteristics of the 2×2′s in your area?”

    That is a substantial subject, and probably tangential to the OP. Perhaps a new thread would be in order for a discussion like that. Let’s stick with the book and the potential dialogue with Mr.Grey.

    “Are you integrated with the wider culture?”

    Yes I am, and probably much more so than the typical American Evangelical where the emphasis is on separation. And from the religious aspect, I am universalist which allows for much more integration than any evangelical, by any definition, could consider with their exclusive beliefs.

    Could you describe how your universalist views are consistent with the 2×2 views?
    Are you an á la carte member? Note you are like a dog with a bone with the Evangelicals. By the way for what it is worth I am a Mennonite!

    “You obviously don’t emphasise missionary work as you believe the workers embody the gospel.”

    Good dialogue is not furthered by wild assumptions. I I haven’t made any statements about missionary work or what I think the workers embody.

    I believe the evidence Irvine produces is quite convincing. Do you involve yourself with mission beyond your workers? I was not suggesting what you believed I was asking you to clarify what you over there on the other side of the pond believe is 2×2 theology? I have this vision of you being a Unitarian Universalist which seems far out for a 2×2?

    “But then how would we know what you believe as you seem to believe it is better felt than telt?”

    Where in the world have I indicated anything slightl like that whatsoever? I have never used such phrases here or anywhere else.

    I was not suggesting you personally believed that but my impression is that you do not have a theology which is available to be read and reviwed. That you* are more of an oral tradition without any written texts? * Don’t take it personally i am referring to the 2×2’s.
    If you reply to this I will likely not get to it before Monday as it is getting close to dawn here.
    Good night and best to you

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  36. “I am not trying to bridge the gap with the book, but entering into dialogue with your movement in the place of its birth.”

    Your offer of a hand in friendship to John Watt and others to enter dialogue is confusing as he is from NZ, not Ireland. Obviously I have misunderstood your intentions that you are not particularly interested in dialoguing with 2×2 members from anywhere except Ireland? If I missed that, I will move on.

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  37. I have referenced Wyatt’s review, but my conclusion is that it is not a cult but from an Evangelical perspective a sect or heretical, so my attempting to reach out to your leadership is based on not trying to show them they are a cult but trying to understand what they believe and mediate with Irving.
    I note Wyatt’s interesting concept of a review is to only look at part of the book, because it is all a load of crap so not bother. Weak shout loud.
    So I am waiting for the sun to come up in Ireland you guys on the wet coast might be more open and agree to take a bet with me in Vagas but will the old time religion of Ireland open to dialogue… spend your time working on that rather than firing missiles at targets that are not warranted.

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  38. No need for hostility.

    There is no tangent. Evangelicalism (or your limited view of it) is central to your OP. I was responding to your OP paragraph about dialoguing with John Watt from NZ, your reference to the WWCG, then your comment about Evangelicalism. It is pretty clear that your limited view of Evangelicalism is implied as the Gold Standard to which 2x2ism should shift toward, like the WWCG did.

    You stated about the WWCG “yet that Church was able to reform and become accepted as an Evangelical Church.”. So readers are to understand this: WWCG bad, Evangelical Church good. 2×2’s bad, Evangelical Church good.” I am saying simply this: if your intention for dialogue is to help 2×2’s become what the Evangelicals are understood to be in the US, then good luck with that……it would be a pretty ugly movement in my own view. Evangelicals were once considered synonymous with fundamentalists in the US, but today are generally viewed as extreme social conservatives, and largely fundamentalist Republicans. Sarah Palin would be considered one of the more recognizable Evangelicals today.

    “Could you source your reference and show its relevance to a book about your movement published in Ireland.”
    The book purports to write about 2×2 movement on a world wide basis but by referencing Ireland, you hit the nail on the head: it is extremely limited in its sources of information. It is limited primarily to Ireland and nearby, plus unhappy members outside Ireland. Similar to the book, if you are going to tout Evangelicalism as a Gold Standard, you should be aware of what your words mean worldwide. My immediate reaction to your reference to Evangelical Church was identical to artsfol’s. This is just something you should be aware of if something like this moves forward.

    ” I have to assume you have not read the book, which is a very weak position to engage in polemics from. ”

    Wrong assumption. I have the book, and I have read it.

    “Also what are the characteristics of the 2×2′s in your area?”

    That is a substantial subject, and probably tangential to the OP. Perhaps a new thread would be in order for a discussion like that. Let’s stick with the book and the potential dialogue with Mr.Grey.

    “Are you integrated with the wider culture?”

    Yes I am, and probably much more so than the typical American Evangelical where the emphasis is on separation. And from the religious aspect, I am universalist which allows for much more integration than any evangelical, by any definition, could consider with their exclusive beliefs.

    “You obviously don’t emphasise missionary work as you believe the workers embody the gospel.”

    Good dialogue is not furthered by wild assumptions. I I haven’t made any statements about missionary work or what I think the workers embody.

    “But then how would we know what you believe as you seem to believe it is better felt than telt?”

    Where in the world have I indicated anything slightl like that whatsoever? I have never used such phrases here or anywhere else.
    If this is your idea of fostering dialogue, I doubt that your objectives in the OP are going anywhere soon.

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  39. I am not trying to bridge the gap with the book, but entering into dialogue with your movement in the place of its birth. I would say openness and transparency will indicate if your movement can come out of the shadow and into the public space. The unnamed review you link to has limited relevance in that is suggesting that the peer reviewed granted by a recognised university is not an objective standard. Obviously you guys think it is not and just give this conclusion with no evidence adduced:
    You have tabulated a series of refutations of his book which is very comprehensive but purely anecdotal. There is not one single reference produced in this critique.
    Also you have referenced an ex member Wyatt Hat who uses a pseudonym for a 30 year former member of
    the f&wm living in Ontario, Canada who has written a critique which we will publish plus your unnamed review.

    Mr Grey has been blinded by his personal beliefs and has failed to provide an academically sound analysis.

    You challenge his academic qualifications and do not produce any academic material in your refutation?
    Also Wyatt Hat or whoever he is a strange manner of ex member. For someone who has left he seems to have lost the will to live. He is up to it up to his eyes.

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  40. Perhaps I am missing something? I have already stated my desire to have a dialogue with your Irish branch, have had a series of communication with a NZ worker and you go off on a tangent about evanglelicism?
    Artfols has already been asked to give a background to the movement he views as Evangelicals. None of this has any relevance to our culture and I can only assume you are trying to divert us from this dialogue.
    Also your quotation about Evangelicals by Steensland is taken out of which context? Could you source your reference and show its relevance to a book about your movement published in Ireland. after all the founders came out of Evangelical movements and have developed a particular theology which Irvine addresses with great rigour. I have to assume you have not read the book, which is a very weak position to engage in polemics from. Also what are the characteristics of the 2×2’s in your area?
    Are you integrated with the wider culture?
    You obviously don’t emphasise missionary work as you believe the workers embody the gospel. But then how would we know what you believe as you seem to believe it is better felt than telt?

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  41. Furthermore you wrote:

    What about their pro-gun, anti-gay, pro-Imperialistic politics and their misogynistic inclinations?

    You have made a sweeping generalisation. Which Evangelical movement are you referring to?
    You have Evangelicals in all the major Protestant Denominations. You have them in the Catholic Church.
    I think you are confusing them with Fundamentalists. Jim Wallis or Ron Sider are Evangelicals on the left and you have Evangelicals from different perspectives. What would the Two-by-Twos views be on the issues you raised. In Ireland Evangelicals abhor guns and are not misogynistic but do not believe women should be in ministry. Certainly imperialism would not be on our menu!

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  42. And here is a statement from another extensive and thoughtful review of the book:

    “Grey notably misses the mark in giving ‘shape’ to the ‘shapeless movement’. Key historical sources have been ignored; much of the research is anecdotal and not balanced, and Grey often jumps to conclusions that do not follow from the evidence he does provide. In short, this work is a highly prejudicial account that also displays a great deal of ignorance about the movement, its historical roots and its closely held values.”

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_-U6V16edsjZjBRcmlvMS1OZzg/edit?usp=sharing

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  43. Efforts to bridge gaps are commendable, but based on a couple of reviews of the book, that may be a bit of a challenge. Here’s one opening statement:

    “In 2013 a new publication was issued. This book, “Two by Two”, The Shape of a Shapeless Movement, by Irvine Grey, was based on Mr Grey’s thesis for a MPhil degree from Queen’s University, Belfast. The Analysis below was prepared to review the extent to which Irvine Grey has followed accepted standards of academic rigour, such as neutrality and lack of bias, accuracy, fairness etc in writing his Queen’s University Belfast MPhil degree thesis [1] (which formed the basis for this book) and whether the additional material in the book [2] meets the same standards.
    On the basis of the 165 items tabulated on the pages below, the only reasonable conclusion is that Mr Grey has been blinded by his personal beliefs and has failed to provide an academically sound analysis.”

    https://sites.google.com/site/2x2history/the-shape-of-a-shapeless-movement

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  44. As a current member, one of the last things I would want is for a shift from 2x2ism to Evangelicalism……at least as defined in North America. I would suggest that American Evangelicals are noticeably more cult-like than 2x2ism,no matter the definition of cult. The characteristics mentioned by artsfol are an accurate representation and they comprise a large segment of Protestantism.

    “Sociologist Brian Steensland and colleagues point to these characteristics: ‘Evangelical denominations have typically sought more separation from the broader culture, emphasized missionary activity and individual conversion, and taught strict adherence to particular religious doctrines.’ “

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  45. I do not disagree with your conclusion taking into account your presuppostions. It is your presuppositions I disagree with. Will keep you informed if I receive any response. Really enjoyed reading your book and you put great effort into writing it.

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  46. You state that I have ‘demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that they are an unorthodox, heretical movement and that they do not conform to an Evangelical examination to be named as part of that movement.’ Given the definitions of a cult of Christianity that I have used in my thesis then I would posit that conclude that they are other than a cult of Christianity would have trivialised the evidence amassed.

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  47. I thank you for your support concerning the dialogue. I was merely giving an example of how a group can move from a heretical position to an orthodox position.
    I am not advocating any position other than offering mediation. Also you seemed to miss my point that cultist tendencies can be found in any group. Also your categorisation of Evangelicism bears no resemblance to any group I know in this country, the UK or your country. I would suggest it has no connection to Irvine who is a genuine well educated, Evangelical Baptist Christian.
    I hope you can use your good offices towards this mediation process.

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  48. I wish you the best of success with your plans, in the sense that dialogue is never a bad thing. However, you seem to be implying that the Two-by-Twos (so-called) would be better off as an Evangelical Christian church. Are you? And if so, what do you think is good about Evangelical churches? What about their pro-gun, anti-gay, pro-Imperialistic politics and their misogynistic inclinations? The two-by-twos are apolitical, so would this not be a step down?

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