Saturday, August 25, 2018

Evangelism in the Early Church: Part 3

This is the third and final installment of my review of Evangelism in the Early Church. 

The Christians and the Jews

When it comes to the relationship between Judaism and Christianity in the early church, Green believes that the mission of the early Christians to the Jews was a failure. In human terms, you could say that it was, since very few Jews, comparatively speaking, were converted. However, if you understand Paul’s insight when you read Romans 11, not only was that the design of God, but it was also intended for very specific purposes. The change in focus of the early church to the Gentiles, would have been much more "strained" had the Jews not rejected the good news the way they did. Paul makes the point that because of the Jewish rejection, the Gentiles were "grafted in." Thus, it is not that the early church “failed” to reach the Jews, but that the Jews, in their rejection of their Messiah, in turn fulfilled the purposes of God for the Gentiles.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Evangelism in the Early Church: Part 2

This is part two in a series on "Evangelism in the Early Church."

Adapting Without Compromising

 "Their sanctuary was empty; their mysteries meaningless" Tacitus speaking about Pompey entering the temple and not finding "anything" (no images, especially).

As so often happens, we humans have a very difficult time understanding the concept of adapting without compromising. To our ears, adapting has an odor of accommodation and that is a word that brings all kinds of negative thoughts to our minds. But one of the issues that Green discusses is the fact that the early disciples sought to find where their audience was and then went about speaking to them with terms they understood. It is of little value to tell someone what the theory of relativity is if they’re not going to understand the basic physics that underlie it. At the same time, however, when we speak of being uncompromising we mean just that. In the end, we must present a choice, not another way to tolerate. People should know that they are lost and need to come to Christ; the gospel should not be presented as just another "god" to be added to the pantheon of gods, as Green points outs using the example of the Romans and their even increasing lineup of deities.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Review of Evangelism in the Early Church

Over the next several weeks, I will be posting my review of Evangelism in the Early Church. Hope you find it useful.

“Evangelism was everyone's task, not just the ‘professional’ preachers; they understood the importance of their mission—there was no universalism in the early church (when Origen flirted with the idea and began to propound it, he was labeled a heretic—MT). Today as the church increasingly finds itself amidst a hostile society, we have the tendency to retract into our communes and be the ‘respectable people’ who nevertheless accomplish little; the end times was of paramount importance—the end would come and then everyone was to be judged, thus, it was very important to preach the message, a message that was Christo-centric. The early church did not distinguish between the Christ of the gospel and the ‘Christ of history’ as the ‘erudite’ of today do, they are one and the same and they preached Him accordingly. Christianity is enshrined in the life, but it is proclaimed by the lips. If there is a failure in either respect the gospel cannot be communicated." Michael Green 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Responsibilities of the Head

"For the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church and He is the Savior of the body" (Ephesians 5:23).

We live in an age where egalitarianism is the religion of the masses. No one should dare suggest that men and women are not equal in certain areas at the risk of incurring the ire of the hoi poloi. Think back on the many people who have been ostracized or marginalized in various businesses and enterprises because they dared to declare their belief in the roles that God has assigned to his creation. Even in churches and "Christian" colleges, to even hint at the fact that the Bible speaks to the differences between the sexes is to speak heresy (and that's even if they admit there is such a thing as different sexes in the first place!)