Monday, December 14, 2015

What Can We Learn From Early Church Evangelism?

There has been no perfect period in church history. The First Century church must not be over-idealized. According to theologian Walter Elwell, in the New Testament epistles alone, the church had to be corrected some 150 times. We must always be careful to avoid projections and over-idealizations of any time or place.

Nevertheless, the early church still has much to say to us today, and it is wise to be attentive to its lessons. There are two mistakes that can be made about traditions of the past: (1) to reject the past altogether as archaic and irrelevant and move on to questions of the present; and (2) to be dominated by the past, letting the calcifying conventions of days gone by tyrannize healthy communal development.

G.K. Chesterton says a proper understanding of the past is to make some accommodation so its voice might still be heard. Every time a given age sits at the table to consider an event or challenge, it should always give a seat to the voice of the past. It is, according to Chesterton, democracy extended through time. Read more

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