This is from a friend (David Scott) of my friend (Damian Williams) and I'm glad to pass it along to more friends:February 20, 2008 by innovatechurch
I collect words. New words are hard to come by—especially ones that carry significant new ideas. Even rarer are words that already have history. One of my favorite discoveries is the word “instauration.”
def.: Instauration (in-ˌstȯ-ˈrā-shən), n. [L. instauratio] renewal or restoration from within.
If to “restore” means to renew something, to “instaur”—taken from Latin—means to renew from within. If a “restaurant” is a place of gastronomic replenishment, then an “instaurant” (notice the same root spelling) is an agent of change from the inside out.
The word orginally comes from the history of the church, specifically from the Second Reformation. The “instauration” or renewal of the church has always been the key to the church being the “instaurant” or renewer of culture, God’s calling for it to be as salt and light in society.
In fact the word “instauration” was at one time used as a byword or catch phrase of the church’s mission. The “Great Instauration” was a largely-forgotten Great Commission movement of spiritual renewal and societal transformation in the early 1600s. The phrase “Great Instauration” was taken from the title of Francis Bacon’s Instauratio Magna and looked toward the Daniel 12:4 end-time spiritual and cultural renewal of society. The “Great Instauration” was a international lay movement of the Second Reformation that developed among early seventeenth century Christians pushing for “further reform” of the church and society. Banding together their resources they helped start the modern missions movement, mobilized money and people committed to the Godly planting of churches and colonies in America, and the founding of higher education to teach the life view of a God-saturated life. Their vision was to grow God’s reign in North America by renewing his church. The reformulation of the church was seen as the key to better helping people reformulate their lives.
Now America is again a spiritual wildernesss—a de-Christianized continent overgrown with a post-Christian culture. Again it needs renewal from within. Just like 300 years ago the answer is the same. The key to instauring America is instauring the church. Re-forming culture requires a re-formed church.* And one of the keys for renewing the church is it recapturing the heritage of its mission to instaur culture. Thus, the imperative behind this blog: Innovate church!
*While many use the word “reformed” with a cpaital “R” to mean their lipthmus test of Calvinist orthodoxy, I use it here to refer to the New Testament imperative of the church to missionally innovate (1 Cor. 9:22, Eph. 4:12, 5:26).