David Yount on letting one's life speak

I've been reading David Yount's book, How the Quakers Invented America, which I blogged once already. It's much more about Quakers and less about their impact on the United States of America than I expected from the title. There's some of the cultural history, but a lot of it is explaining in more detail about who the Friends are. It is a pretty good summary of contemporary Quakerism, though I just wasn't expecting it. Here's a passage that struck me as important:

In modern times many sincere men and women have lost the ability to tune in to God’s promptings, yet they sense a void in their lives that can be filled only by something or someone greater than themselves. ... For those still seeking, Friends have a friendly door on which to knock.

Get a group of Quakers to start talking about God, and God himself may have trouble recognizing himself in the discussion. Whereas Jesus promised that “wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20), Friends patiently acknowledge that whenever two or three Quakers get together, there must be five different opinions.

On one thing all Friends agree. In the words of George Fox, “Let your lives speak,” a reiteration of Jesus’ wisdom about people that “by their fruits you shall know them.” The Quaker faith is one of experience and effort rather than speculation. Friends are tested by action.

-- From David Yount, How the Quakers Invented America, page 110

Given Yount's self-professed Christian viewpoint, it's a healthy, inclusive view, if perhaps overly glib, and it also acknowledges the Christian roots of sayings such as, "Let your lives speak."

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