Author Topic: What is the New Testament Church?  (Read 2706 times)

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Offline ignatius

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What is the New Testament Church?
« on: December 20, 2008, 05:09:33 PM »
What is it?
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline SolEX01

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2008, 05:14:52 PM »
What is it?

Hint, there's a forum named after it.   ::)

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2008, 05:17:13 PM »
What is it?

I hope this is not a rhetorical question.

The answer depends on what the hearer understands from the phrase "New Testament Church". For the members of the traditionalist Churches, it simply is the equivalent of Jesus' Church based on His apostles. For the members of the Reformist Churches, it means the Church based on the principle of the "sola scriptura". 
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 05:37:52 PM by Theophilos78 »
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2008, 05:36:35 PM »
What is it?

The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church.

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Offline VirSpeluncaeOrthodoxae

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2008, 06:23:03 PM »
That's easy. It's us. We are the Church of the NT, we even wrote it.
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Offline ignatius

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2008, 10:16:44 PM »
What is it?

I hope this is not a rhetorical question.

The answer depends on what the hearer understands from the phrase "New Testament Church". For the members of the traditionalist Churches, it simply is the equivalent of Jesus' Church based on His apostles. For the members of the Reformist Churches, it means the Church based on the principle of the "sola scriptura". 

No, I wasn't trying to be rhetorical. I was asking because I hear Protestants talking about this often and I was wondering what they mean by this...
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline prodromas

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2008, 10:46:56 PM »
What is it?

I hope this is not a rhetorical question.

The answer depends on what the hearer understands from the phrase "New Testament Church". For the members of the traditionalist Churches, it simply is the equivalent of Jesus' Church based on His apostles. For the members of the Reformist Churches, it means the Church based on the principle of the "sola scriptura". 

No, I wasn't trying to be rhetorical. I was asking because I hear Protestants talking about this often and I was wondering what they mean by this...

Brother what they mean is an almost platonic understanding of "Church". By platonic I mean holding to the concept of Forms. The NT church is the ultimate way a church should exist and they are always striving to be like this church. Little do they know that the NT was not written as a manual and just like our constitution (Australia) is not meant to be interpreted on its on terms and we have the High Court and convention to understand it.
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Offline ironsiderodger

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2008, 12:52:46 AM »
Prodromas is quite right; and admittedly, many of my fellow protestants have this very naive concept of what the New Testament Church was like- in fact the very way we refer to it gives witness to the belief that it ended somehow and needs to be rediscovered. To boil it down we've mistakenly envisioned it just as mentioned earlier, people used the Holy Scriptures alone, there was no church heirarchy, and definitely none of that liturgical stuff. So in my experience at least, when I hear a prot say "I just want to get back to the New Testament Church" basically all they want is strangely what many of them already have: A program where the only sacrament (oops I meant "ordinance") is the homily, and that Communion was purely and utterly symbolic. Imagine my own shock when only briefly studying the Didache and Ignatius, and Justin Martyr... 

And then there's the whole platonic bit, and that is simply the mistaken belief that the intellect is somehow less prone to error than the other senses God gave us to use and worship with; thus everything meaningful is degraded to concept alone.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 12:55:57 AM by ironsiderodger »

Offline ignatius

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2008, 01:32:51 AM »
Prodromas is quite right; and admittedly, many of my fellow protestants have this very naive concept of what the New Testament Church was like- in fact the very way we refer to it gives witness to the belief that it ended somehow and needs to be rediscovered. To boil it down we've mistakenly envisioned it just as mentioned earlier, people used the Holy Scriptures alone, there was no church heirarchy, and definitely none of that liturgical stuff. So in my experience at least, when I hear a prot say "I just want to get back to the New Testament Church" basically all they want is strangely what many of them already have: A program where the only sacrament (oops I meant "ordinance") is the homily, and that Communion was purely and utterly symbolic. Imagine my own shock when only briefly studying the Didache and Ignatius, and Justin Martyr... 

And then there's the whole platonic bit, and that is simply the mistaken belief that the intellect is somehow less prone to error than the other senses God gave us to use and worship with; thus everything meaningful is degraded to concept alone.



Thanks for your comments ironsiderodger,

Could you explain to me what scriptures are used to define what the new testament church is?
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline John of the North

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2008, 02:01:38 AM »
Prodromas is quite right; and admittedly, many of my fellow protestants have this very naive concept of what the New Testament Church was like- in fact the very way we refer to it gives witness to the belief that it ended somehow and needs to be rediscovered. To boil it down we've mistakenly envisioned it just as mentioned earlier, people used the Holy Scriptures alone, there was no church heirarchy, and definitely none of that liturgical stuff. So in my experience at least, when I hear a prot say "I just want to get back to the New Testament Church" basically all they want is strangely what many of them already have: A program where the only sacrament (oops I meant "ordinance") is the homily, and that Communion was purely and utterly symbolic. Imagine my own shock when only briefly studying the Didache and Ignatius, and Justin Martyr... 

And then there's the whole platonic bit, and that is simply the mistaken belief that the intellect is somehow less prone to error than the other senses God gave us to use and worship with; thus everything meaningful is degraded to concept alone.



Thanks for your comments ironsiderodger,

Could you explain to me what scriptures are used to define what the new testament church is?

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon every soul, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common… Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)
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Offline ironsiderodger

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2008, 02:30:26 AM »
Thanks for your comments ironsiderodger,

Could you explain to me what scriptures are used to define what the new testament church is?


Your welcome, hopefully I'm not too flighty,
I think Ukiemeister hit it right with the mention of those verses, its just that I think much of Protestantism has very very narrowly defined what that meant. I think there's some verses that mention singing from the psalter as well, but um... most of us don't know what that means so we sing pop-choruses to get ourselves "pumped up".

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2008, 10:05:58 AM »
Thanks for your comments ironsiderodger,

Could you explain to me what scriptures are used to define what the new testament church is?


Your welcome, hopefully I'm not too flighty,
I think Ukiemeister hit it right with the mention of those verses, its just that I think much of Protestantism has very very narrowly defined what that meant. I think there's some verses that mention singing from the psalter as well, but um... most of us don't know what that means so we sing pop-choruses to get ourselves "pumped up".

One thing that struck me when I went to the "Church of Christ" service was how little of scripture, outside from the verse number dropping (the Early Church didn't have that either) in the sermon, was used.  I have  a book  of the Divine Liturgy where the verses that serve as the text of the Divine Liturgy are in the margins.  It convers quite a bit of text.
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2008, 10:45:13 PM »
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Offline ignatius

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2008, 03:46:06 PM »
Thanks for your comments ironsiderodger,

Could you explain to me what scriptures are used to define what the new testament church is?


Your welcome, hopefully I'm not too flighty,
I think Ukiemeister hit it right with the mention of those verses, its just that I think much of Protestantism has very very narrowly defined what that meant. I think there's some verses that mention singing from the psalter as well, but um... most of us don't know what that means so we sing pop-choruses to get ourselves "pumped up".

One thing that struck me when I went to the "Church of Christ" service was how little of scripture, outside from the verse number dropping (the Early Church didn't have that either) in the sermon, was used.  I have  a book  of the Divine Liturgy where the verses that serve as the text of the Divine Liturgy are in the margins.  It convers quite a bit of text.

What is the title of that book?
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2008, 05:33:43 PM »
Thanks for your comments ironsiderodger,

Could you explain to me what scriptures are used to define what the new testament church is?


Your welcome, hopefully I'm not too flighty,
I think Ukiemeister hit it right with the mention of those verses, its just that I think much of Protestantism has very very narrowly defined what that meant. I think there's some verses that mention singing from the psalter as well, but um... most of us don't know what that means so we sing pop-choruses to get ourselves "pumped up".

One thing that struck me when I went to the "Church of Christ" service was how little of scripture, outside from the verse number dropping (the Early Church didn't have that either) in the sermon, was used.  I have  a book  of the Divine Liturgy where the verses that serve as the text of the Divine Liturgy are in the margins.  It convers quite a bit of text.

What is the title of that book?

The Bible in the Divine Liturgy.  FR. Constantine Nasr.
There's a site based on it:
http://www.orthodoxcentral.com/articles/bibleinliturgy.htm
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Fr. George

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2008, 05:37:56 PM »
One thing that struck me when I went to the "Church of Christ" service was how little of scripture, outside from the verse number dropping (the Early Church didn't have that either) in the sermon, was used.  I have  a book  of the Divine Liturgy where the verses that serve as the text of the Divine Liturgy are in the margins.  It convers quite a bit of text.

What is the title of that book?

The Bible in the Divine Liturgy.  FR. Constantine Nasr.
There's a site based on it:
http://www.orthodoxcentral.com/articles/bibleinliturgy.htm

That very book is also included in the Articles at the beginning of the Eastern Orthodox Bible (EOB) Old Testament, which I think can still be found online as well.
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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2009, 04:17:31 AM »
Essentially, Orthodox dilaiect not withstanding, I think ironsiderodgers has explainied by and large the core esscence of what the NT church means to an Evangelical.

Also, it is used as point of reference -- the NT church deals with the existence of the church from the time of Christ through the time of the Apostles themselves, which is essentially conveyed in the the books of the NT canon, both in content and in time span. It deals with the primitive age of the church, it's beginnings.

As alluded to already, for us, that refers then to it's most pure state of existence yet. hence we seek to understand, immitate, and conform ourselves with it both in belief, polity, and practice.
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2009, 09:51:19 PM »
As alluded to already, for us, that refers then to it's most pure state of existence yet. hence we seek to understand, immitate, and conform ourselves with it both in belief, polity, and practice.
And yet you call the NT Church idolaters, and argue with her that you have superior belief, polity, and practice to hers.
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Offline truthstalker

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Re: What is the New Testament Church?
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2009, 01:47:13 AM »
Essentially, Orthodox dilaiect not withstanding, I think ironsiderodgers has explainied by and large the core esscence of what the NT church means to an Evangelical.

Also, it is used as point of reference -- the NT church deals with the existence of the church from the time of Christ through the time of the Apostles themselves, which is essentially conveyed in the the books of the NT canon, both in content and in time span. It deals with the primitive age of the church, it's beginnings.

As alluded to already, for us, that refers then to it's most pure state of existence yet. hence we seek to understand, immitate, and conform ourselves with it both in belief, polity, and practice.

Well, no, I disagree.  You are in danger of giving a false impression, and that is that evangelicals have a highly developed sense of what the church is, and if you ask one, he will tell you it is some sort of striving toward a platonic ideal.  I think most would return something like, it is the body of Christ. But fundamentally there is only a weak ecclesiology amond evangelicals.  I suspect few would be able to give a coherent and defensible explanation more than five minutes in length.  I think I could, but I also know I have certain unresolved problems in the way I look at what church is and what it does and what it should be.  I have not yet articulated all those concerns.  To blast my fellow believers is unwise, but one could say that evangelicals are strong on the message that Jesus saves and the Bible is the Word of God, and weak on any depth to what those things mean.

Evangelical clergy tend to have more thought-out positions on these things, of course, but some also admit their ecclesiology is weak.