Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Some thoughts on church...

For whatever reason, I've been suckered into Ecclesiology. I enjoy figuring out what exactly the "Church" is. There are a great many blogs out there dedicated to this topic. However, something I'm noticing is that they stay only within the New Testament for their views on the Church. Is this proper? Is the New Testament the handbook on ekklesia? My answer: It's not *the* handbook. We have to look not only at the New Testament, but also at the history of the Church and how the Apostolic Fathers viewed Church, etc. How did the earliest Christians do it after the New Testament period?

I'll be posting more on this later, but I wanted to generate some discussion and ideas.


T Michael W Halcomb said...

As I continue to study the NT and those who followed them (of which I do not have a "TON" of interest in - I noted this in your previous comment board) I tend to think that we read these writers like there was only 1 or 2 ways to do Church or ecclesiology. I think they did Church much more fluidly than we allow. I'm not sure there is a handbook and in fact, I kind of tend to hope that there isn't. The Church must hold to its teachings and mission but outside that, let's do Church the way that allows us to be "lights" the best way we can in the context we find ourselves in.


Anonymous said...

Josh...I'm sorry this wasn't in a comment, but your little paragraph spurred quite a few thoughts in my head:


Alan Knox said...


You've asked some great questions! I do not consider the NT to be a handbook on ekklesia, but I am one of those who try to "stay only within the New Testament for their views on the Church". This does not mean that my studies do not includes extra-canonical resources; they do. Hopefully, I will be able to respond to you more fully in a blog post in a couple of days. Thank you for bringing up this subject!


Anonymous said...

Hey, what about Old Testament foreshadowing and 1st Century Jewish expectation as sources of Ecclesiology? It seems, for example, the OT is indispensable to explain why Jesus chose twelve apostles, what is the meaning of "the keys" and what is the significance of the phrase "fishers of men". Likewise, what were the intertestamental expectations in terms of the liturgy and organization of the Messianic Kingdom?

I have to admit I'm a bit influenced by messers Barber and Pitre and their http://www.singinginthereign.blogspot.com/.