New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


NT Church Proliferation Digest Monday, October 14 2002 Volume 02 : Number 180
[NTCP] "House churches won't work in Western culture"
[NTCP] How do you define community?
Re: [NTCP] How do you define community?
[NTCP] synagogue
[NTCP] synagogue
Re: [NTCP] How do you define community?
RE: [NTCP] How do you define community?

Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 10:02:07 -0400
From: forwarded <forwarded * homechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] "House churches won't work in Western culture"

From: <RobertJoni * aol> via an unrecognized edress

Dear Church,

Jeremy is a young man who is in training to go as a missionary to
Malaysia. His target group there is Chinese who are very Western in their
thinking. Jeremy suggested to his supervisor that he would like to "work
towards a house church network approach".

His supervisor responded that that strategy wouldn't work with that
people group and he challenged Jeremy to identify a house church movement
that is going well in a Western culture. (That's the kind of response
I've heard from lots of church leaders in America.)

Jeremy asked Neil Cole (cmaresources) for help. "Could you write up a
simple testimony about what God is doing through house churches in the
U.S. that you're familiar with?"

Neil's "simple testimony" is below. When I asked him for permission to
pass this on to this elist he said, "I don't mind. I actually just wrote
a quick email and knew I was forgetting lots of important people and
websites..." (i.e., there is a lot more going on than even what Neil
lists in his email to Jeremy.)

I'm looking forward to hearing about the supervisor's response. :-)

John White
House Church Coach
Denver, CO.

Every believer a church planter.
Every home a church.
Every church building a training center.
Neil's "simple testimony":

Jeremy,

Well, the first thing I want to say is that your friend is misinformed.
Yes, it is true that house churches have not proliferated across the
western world like in China, South America or Africa. It is also true
that they have been shortsighted and inwardly focused in the past and not
only incapable of reproducing...but not necessarily something you would
want to reproduce. They often were seen as stock piling weapons and full
of fanatical teachings.

But the Lord is now starting a new work...and I dare say you don't want
to miss the wave! It began two years ago and is gaining momentum every
month. There is not a single event or person at the core beginning of
this...only Jesus. But it suddenly started happening.

In the last two years the Lord has simultaneously and even spontaneously
risen up a variety of expanding house church networks all across the
country. I will mention a few examples, site some websites, and tell you
our story and hope that helps.

1. House2House magazine started and in about a year has gone from
0-30,000 in circulation. Tony, Felicity and Jonathan Dale publish it out
of Austin Texas. They also have a growing network of house churches.

2. John White is in Denver and he also leads a growing network of house
churches. He is also is a house church coach and sends a regular email
out to many people all over the country.

3. Jonathan Campbell is in the Seattle area and has been at this for some
years now. He has a house church network that is in several different
states. He received his Ph.D. from Fuller on some of these subjects.

4. Vineyard Central in Cincinnati has transitioned from a traditional
Vineyard church into an expanding network of house churches. In the last
year they went from 10 to 20 churches. Kevin Raines and Dave Nixon (among
others) are the key leaders in this movement.

5. Apex is a network of house churches in Las Vegas (and three other
states as well). They have about 25 churches. Joe Boyd and Greg Hubbard
are leading this network.

6. Summit is a network of about 12 house churches in the Portland area
under the leadership of Dan and Jodi Mayhew.

7. The Friends Church in the Northwest has been doing this for a couple
years now and have 20-25 organic churches all over the pacific Northwest.
Harold Behr is the one facilitating that movement.

8. Robert Fitts is called by God to go around casting vision for an
expanding house church movement and has many who are following his simple
four step strategy. He is from Hawaii (but most of the time he is in
someone's living room humbly sharing his story and vision with a new
friend somewhere else in the US).

9. Mike Steele with DAWN Ministries is networking the networks and could
tell you of even more people including some in Canada.

10. A new emerging network of So Baptist churches in the Dallas and
Houston area. Joe Cartwright is starting one. Jim Mellon, Dave Underwood,
and others are behind these new churches.

11. Here are several other emerging networks that we have heard of or are
a part of my own ministry (Church Multiplication Associates): Awakening
Chapels (19-25 churches in So CA); Awakening Student Initiatives (6-8
churches in So. CA), Big Fish (6-8 churches in Mesa, AZ), The Fountain
(10-12 churches in So. CA), Eternal Grace (6-8 churches in So. CA),
CrossRoads (11-13 churches (So. CA), ValleyLife Church (10-12 churches in
Phoenix, AZ), Faith Communities (4-6 churches in San Francisco, CA),
Icthus (4-5 churches in So CA), Mathew's House (4-6 churches in San Diego
area), Houses of Refuge (in Salt Lake City, UT), TheQuest (5-6 churches
in Urban Columbus), The Landing Place (Urban Columbus)...and there are
MANY more!!

This is all new and NOW. This is one of the only segments of Christianity
that is seeing a rapid increase in the Western world...and its a dramatic
increase.

Here's our last couple of years...

1999 we started 10 house churches. 2000 we started 18 2001 we started 52
(average of a church a week) 2002 we have already passed 100 and are on
course for 140-160 (this year alone)

If you chart that growth you'll see what I mean by a new wave that is
coming!

We have been or are scheduled to conduct Organic Church Planters'
Greenhouses in the following cities from Jan 2002 until Jan 2003:

Oakland, CA
San Francisco, CA
Weed, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Long Beach, CA
Orange County, CA
Spokane, WA
Seattle, WA
San Diego, CA
Cincinnati, OH
Las Vegas, CA
Phoenix, AZ (This October)
Dallas, TX (This November)
Cal State University Long Beach (November--with Campus Crusade and
several
other campus ministries)
Denver, CO (Probably Jan or Feb)
Atlanta, GA (Probably Feb or March)
Frankfurt, Germany (Last Spring)
Rome, Italy (Last Spring)
Tokyo, Japan (Next Week)
Osaka, Japan (Next Week)

Here are a few websites to visit as you begin your search. You will be
able
to find links to several others from these.

house2house
simplechurch
vineyardcentral
organicchurchplanting

I hope that helps. I will copy this to some of the people who also are in
touch with this new movement. Perhaps they will correct me or add more to
the
growing list.

Neil


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Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 23:29:43 -0600
From: "JC Elder" <jcelder1 * earthlink>
Subject: [NTCP] How do you define community?

Hello All,
I don't' post alot, but I do enjoy reading the discussions on the list. I
have a question that may be a repeat. Please forgive me if I missed this.
I was told recently that I really don't know what "community" is. I was
wondering if some of you could define for me what you think community (or
living in community) means. Also, how do you teach/show community to people
who have never know it?
J.C.


------- <><><> -------


Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2002 02:42:11 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] How do you define community?

JC Elder wrote:

>Hello All,
>I don't' post alot, but I do enjoy reading the discussions on the list. I
>have a question that may be a repeat. Please forgive me if I missed this.
>I was told recently that I really don't know what "community" is. I was
>wondering if some of you could define for me what you think community (or
>living in community) means. Also, how do you teach/show community to people
>who have never know it?
>
Dear JC,

"And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one
soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he
possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great
power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus:
and great grace was upon them
all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were
possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the
things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and
distribution was made unto every man according as he had need." Acts 4:32

This would be my vote. The "one heart and one soul" was the fruit of the
"great grace that was upon them all". This to say, it was grace that put
them together, not a program, a good idea or a common theology.

This to say, Jesus was Lord of relationship, and the result was oneness
in a place, rather than division in a place.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2002 09:23:21 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: [NTCP] synagogue

David A. wrote:

> First and foremost, our
> disagreement here doesn't
> affect our friendship
> in any way, dear brother.

That's a given, brother. Thanks for the affirmation.

> Brother, things start to blur
> as I try to make my way back
> to century 1.

That's the risk we all take in attempting NT exegesis. It appears
that a good deal of our faith nevertheless has historical roots in that time
period. No?

> And to beat that, the word
> "synagogue" has multiple
> meanings.

Care to elaborate, please? I've personally gone through each
reference in the NT. 56 of them. I don't see any substantive differences
there in the usage of the term ... unless you want to hold out for the
single exception in Jam. 2:2. Generic "congregation" vs. "synagogue".
Could theological bias be coming into play with that common
(mis-)translation? I ask that as a trained Bible translator. Again, the
burden of proof is on you (or anybody) to make the case for an exception in
Jam. 2:2.

> "There is no archaeological or
> epigraphic evidence that points
> unequivocally to the existence
> of synagogue buildings in first-
> century Palestine . . . First-
> century 'synagogues' are-on the
> whole-groups of male Jews. Any
> architectural remains of synagogue
> buildings in Palestine belong to
> a time later than the first
> century CE" (Sabbath and
> Synagogue, 250).

Sorry Ms. McKay, you're wrong. The leading expert in the world on
ancient synagogues is Lee I. Levine (see ANCIENT SYNAGOGUES REVEALED.
Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1981. See also THE ANCIENT
SYNAGOGUE-- THE FIRST THOUSAND YEARS. New Haven: Yale University Press,
2000). Not only he, but most authorities in the field (Amos Kloner, Eric
Meyers, Dennis Groh, Michael White, A.T. Kraabel, G. Foerster, Yigael Yadin,
Doron Chen, Zvi Uri Moaz, S. Gutman, Moshe Dothan, D. Barag, James F.
Strange, E.W. Saunders, and ... yes, Donald D. Binder) recognise that there
have been at least four pre-70 A.D. synagogues discovered thus far in
Israel/Palestine.

1) One in Herodium, Herod's sumptuous palace/fortress built just 7 miles
south of where I live in Jerusalem, 3 miles southeast of nearby Bethlehem,
and 27 or so miles southwest of Jericho. Of course, Herod ("the Great")
lived before A.D. 70. Right? Even if the synagogue-- a renovated dining
hall-- was built/modified by later Zealot nationalists fighting the Romans
(a minority theory, but still viable), it was nevertheless constructed
pre-A.D. 70.

2) One in Masada, another of Herod's palace/fortresses. Also renovated from
a pre-existent structure, this synagogue was just a small part of a
multi-tiered complex constructed on top of a massive "mesa" in the Judean
wilderness, right near the southern 1/3 of the Dead Sea, not far from the
oasis of En-gedi.

3) One in Gamla, maybe 7 miles NE of the Sea of Galilee's northern tip, in
what is currently called the Golan Heights. It was destroyed during the
Roman suppression of the A.D. 66-67 Jewish revolt (remember, Josephus was
the Galilean commander of the Jews), so obviously the synagogue had to have
been built prior to that.

4) One just discovered last year in Modiin-- a small town a little over 20
miles NE of Jerusalem, with the synagogue ruins-- dated (by coins and
pottery) to the rulership of the Maccabees (c. 174-40 B.C.). I'd say that
would be pre-A.D. 70!

5) In addition can be mentioned a few probable contenders:
A) A synagogue building uncovered on the island of Delos in the Aegean
Sea. Though dated by most to pre-A.D. 70, it nevertheless was not built in
the Israel/Palestine regions, so I only make passing reference to it.
B) Magdala, on the western side of the Sea of Galilee, from where Mary
Magdalene hailed. Since its foundations are under an A.D. 4th cent.
synagogue structure, it is difficult to substantiate what time it was built.
But current opinion is that it was likely a pre-A.D. 70 ediface.
C) The same can be said for foundation stones discovered, off-kilter
to the current structure, under the famed Capernaum synagogue-- once thought
to be the one referred to in the NT account of the Roman centurion who asked
Jesus to heal his servant. Now we know that the top structure dates from
the 4th century A.D., but the one under it-- inaccessible without damaging
the later synagogue-- could possibly be the one mentioned in the biblical
narrative. Perhaps one day we'll better be able to know.
Either way David, and whether the above archaeological evidence fails
to impress you or not (just one [group of] fallible scholar[s] against
another, after all), the story in Luke's gospel *alone* should *K*O* Ms.
McKay's outrageous claim that no epigraphic evidence exists for any
synagogue buildings before 70 A.D.

"And when they [the Jewish elders in Capernaum] came to Jesus, they begged
Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving,
"for he loves our nation, and has *built* us a synagogue" (Luk. 7:4, 5).

On top of that, we see the Jewish historian Josephus himself writing
about synagogue buildings during the period leading up to the A.D. 70
destruction of Jerusalem. One example; they could be multiplied:

"For the Jews that dwelt at Cesarea had a synagogue near the place, whose
owner was a certain Cesarean Greek: the Jews had endeavored frequently to
have purchased the possession of the place, and had offered many times its
value for its price; but as the owner overlooked their offers, so did he
raise *other buildings* upon the place, in way of affront to them, and made
working-shops of them, and left them but a narrow passage, and such as was
very troublesome for them to go along to their synagogue" (Wars of the Jews.
vol II, 14.4 -- the contrastive "other" cues us in, along with the hint
words "owner," "purchased," "troublesome ... to go along to" that Josephus
is not here simply referring to "groups of male Jews," but an actual
*building*) .

So, we can see from irrefutable biblical data, corroborated by
epigraphic and archaeological evidence, that there indeed existed synagogue
*buildings* before A.D. 70, ... contra Heather McKay and company. Thus, I
would say (correct me if I'm wrong), one line of your evidence meant to
blunt the impact of my previous post (Oct. 11, "Some gems for our
nugget-loving readership" thread), that the early Jewish followers of Jesus
*sometimes* met in synagogue buildings, has been effectively neutralized.

MICHAEL
Jerusalem

P.S. I have posted on Donald Binder's discussion list on this very topic of
Christian synagogues. He thankfully does not share Ms. McKay's skepticism.


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Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2002 09:24:31 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: [NTCP] synagogue

David A. wrote:

> Your message fails to mention
> the massive NT paradigm shift
> in which the omnipresent Deity
> indwells people rather than places.
> "Know you not that You are the
> temple?" "Living stones!" Such
> statements as these cannot but
> have implications about our real
> estate usage. The New Covenant
> message seems to suggest to me
> that it is no longer "business
> as usual" with respect to location.

Indwelt people, not buildings, are the focus of the new covenant,
you're right (preeminently native descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--
Jer. 31:31), but tell me true: how can the "Deity" actually be *omni*present
unless He indwells *both* "people and "places"? A bit of a contradiction in
concept if you now limit Him to one location only (your words: "people
*rather than* places"-- emphasis mine).
So David, about this suggested *replacement schema* of yours that
substitutes one temple for another: when would such a "massive NT paradigm
shift" have kicked in? When? Can you tell me? When?
Such a "paradigm shift" didn't happen directly after the
death/resurrection of Christ since the post-Pentecost Judean Church, apart
from meeting in homes (Act. 2:46), still participated in the Jerusalem
temple prayers, ...

"And they continued steadfastly in [the] prayers [Gk. TAIS PROSEUKHAIS] ....
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at *the hour of prayer*,
the ninth hour" (Act. 2:42-3:1).

... temple sacrifices (decades after Pentecost), ...

"We [the Jerusalem Christians] have four men who have taken a vow .... at
which time *an offering* [Gk. PROSPHORA, see Heb. 10:14, 18 for this exact
word] should be made for each one of them" (Act. 21:23-26).

... and synagogue worship:

"So I [Paul] said, 'Lord, they know that in *every synagogue* I imprisoned
and beat those who believe on You' " (Act. 22:19-- [Paul was arresting and
punishing Judean Christians ... and he was finding them in the *local
synagogues* some 3-5 years after Jesus' ascension]).

"And I punished them often in *every synagogue* and compelled them to
blaspheme ..." (Act. 26:11-- ditto).

So we can safely conclude that your absolute "paradigm shift" had not
occurred within the first ten years of the post-Pentecost Judean Church.
Okay, ... Paul then. Perhaps the "paradigm shift" which replaces the
Jerusalem temple exclusively with the true "temple" made up of Jesus'
followers took place primarily within the Apostle's life and ministry. That
seems most likely, right? Paul, after all, wrote the words you quoted--
minus, of course, "living stones" (1 Pet. 2:5). But let's focus on Paul for
the moment.

Upon close examination-- trying to mesh your theory with the
biblical/historical evidence-- some insurmountable problems start to arise,
brother. Think with me. Leaving aside your culturally naive assumption
that Paul et al went to synagogue services *only* for evangelistic purposes,
let's focus on some other factors. For instance, Paul's *praying* in the
Jerusalem temple some three years after his baptism:

"Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was *praying in the
temple*, that I was in a trance ..." (Act. 22:17; cp. Gal. 1:17, 18).

Why didn't Paul go to someone's house to pray? Or just some quiet
cubby? Did he perhaps see some special significance to that particular
building complex? Perhaps? Right or wrong on his part, Jesus met him there
and gave him special revelation (Act. 22:17-21).
Okay, you might be saying, "That was early in Paul's Christian life.
He, however, matured and came to see things my ... er... I mean, he came to
see that the temple was completely defunct (along with all religious
buildings?), and that the focus should now exclusively be on the Church and
individual believers as God's true 'temple(s)' -- hence what he later wrote
to the Corinthians." ;-)
But then even more evidence steps up to the dock to contradict your
slowly unraveling fabric of unsupported theological assumptions.

"Then Paul ... having been purified, entered *the temple* to announce the
expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be
made for each one of [the Jewish Christian lads he was sponsoring, i.e.
purchasing their *sacrificial animals* and other cultic goodies-- MICHAEL]"
(Act. 21:26, see also 21:24, cp. Num. 6:13-21).

So let's see here, ... this particular temple attendance happened
toward the end of Paul's ministry, directly before his imprisonment. And
*after* he had written 1 Cor. 3:16 and 6:19!
I know, ... the standard rationalization maintains that Paul was
pressured into acting counter-conscience by the "James gang". Nonsense!
Nothing in the narrative hints at anything of the sort. Paul acted with
James et al to counter false rumors; that's what Act. 21 says. Read also
Galatians chapter 2 and tell me if Paul was the kind of person to cow-tow to
*any* of the Jerusalem Apostles. Particularly James (Gal. 2:6-9).
Thus Paul wanted to set the record straight: the rumors were false, he
still observed the Torah (Law-- Act. 21:24; 23:6; 25:8 ... including those
parts related to temple worship), and therefore he willingly participated in
the temple cultus, and we even see Paul paying for animal sacrifices ... all
years after he had written to the Corinthians that Christians are the
"temple(s) of God/the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19). "Put that in yer
pipe 'n smoke it," bro. :-) Looks like Paul missed your so-called
"paradigm shift" too.
Think long and hard on that before you respond, please.
Some more things to consider: Paul wrote that to the Corinthians about
Christians being the "temple of God" and "of the Holy Spirit"-- corporately
and individually (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19)-- in the *present* tense:

"you *are* [Gk. ESTE] the temple ..."

... your body *is* [Gk. ESTIN] the temple ..."

Now, he likely wrote 1 Corinthians *before* he wrote Romans. Right? Either
way, while the Roman and some other Diaspora churches certainly gathered in
each others' homes (Rom. 16:11), it appears to have been supplimentary to
many of them *still* worshipping in non-Christian synagogues-- during the
time period in which Paul wrote his letter to the Romans. And after then
... for at least another century. That's what the historical evidence
suggests (Rutgers, Leonard V. "Archaeological Evidence for the Interaction
of Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity," AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY
1992, 96:101-18.; Charlesworth, James H. "Exploring Opportunities for
Rethinking Relations among Jews and Christians," JEWS AND CHRISTIANS:
EXPLORING THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. New York: Crossroads, 1990. 35-59).
You can reject such non-canonical evidence outright, David. Without a
weighty rebuttal in which you, an intelligent, well-read, and informed
Christian servant-leader, evaluate arguments. That is anybody's right-- to
reject a supported position wholesale because the implications are too
disturbing to consider. That's anybody's right, I say ... until the
judgment. You can also fall back on words such as "blur" and "isn't easy"
to side-step where the evidence seems to be taking you, but I can't see
where that releases teachers (like you!) from the need to honestly wrestle
with any *substantial*, and available data that might just produce in you
some sort of personal "paradigm shift". Or produce one in me.

Okay, ... enough exhortation. Back to Paul, his times, and your
preposed "NT paradigm shift" from earthly temple to *only* human temple(s).
Like I said, 1 Corinthians was most likely written before Paul's letter to
the Romans. But I'm confident that you would agree-- one way or the other--
that the Roman Christians were also "temple[s] of God" and that "the Holy
Spirit dwe[lt] in [them]" ... at the time Paul wrote his letter (Romans) to
them? Right? Well, here's the deal reiterated: both Jew and gentile
Christians in Rome continued, even after the death of Paul, to meet in
synagogues. Often special buildings, either built new or modified from
existing structures for worship gatherings (Leon, Harry J. THE JEWS OF
ANCIENT ROME. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, pp.
135-66-- Eleven synagogue *buildings*, complete with epitaphs plus other
identifying characteristics, and dated to around A.D. 55-58, have been
identified in Rome).

Were the Roman Christians likewise unaware of your "paradigm shift"?
Do you perhaps envision the new paradigm of a "people-temple"
*replacing* the Jerusalem temple-- and by implication (for whatever reason!)
*all* religious buildings ... do you perhaps imagine it commencing after the
70 A.D. destruction of the temple, accomplished under the Roman general
Titus? Then why does the historical/archaeological evidence point to the
Jerusalem believers returning from Pella to build a Christian synagogue on
the spot of the Last Supper/coming of the Holy Spirit (BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY
REVIEW, 16, May-June 1990: 16-35)? And why, according to at least one early
historical account did the still largely Jewish Christian community in
Jerusalem continue to have a "church/synagogue" building on Mt. Zion in 130
A.D. (Epiphanius, ON WEIGHTS AND MEASURES, Dinddorf ed. vol. 4, pp. 17, 18)?
Apparently the Church, from Pentecost till the second Jewish war with
Rome (132 A.D.) was not aware of such a "paradigm shift" as you propose,
which casts all Christian use of special buildings in a negative light. Can
you guess why not ... ?

So I ask you again: when did such an absolute "paradigm shift" kick
in, David?
LET'S RE-HASH:

1) The Judean believers shortly after Jesus' ascension were not aware that
the Jerusalem temple (and synagogue buildings) had been absolutely replaced
by the Church.

2) Paul, at no time in his ministry showed any awareness that the Jerusalem
temple (and synagogue buildings) had been absolutely replaced by the Church.

3) The Roman Christians, during and after Paul's lifetime, were not aware
that synagogue buildings had been absolutely replaced by the Church.

4) The post-A.D. 70 Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were not aware that
synagogue buildings had been absolutely replaced by the Church.

The "massive paradigm shift" you propose, which purports to *replace*
the Jerusalem temple (and all specially made buildings?) with indwelt human
beings, simply did *not* exist. Does not exist. Not only could the Judean
believers, Paul, the Roman Christians, and the post-A.D. 70 Jewish followers
of Jesus conceive of human "temple(s)" *co-existing* with the temple on Mt.
Zion and other religious buildings (synagogues) built or modified for the
purpose of housing the Church when gathered together either with
not-yet-Messianic Jews or for distinctly Christian activities, ... not only
could they hold both the morally neutral pragmatic buildings in balance with
the knowledge that redeemed human beings are the primary focus of God's
favor, ... not only that, but they were not alone in Israel in identifying
their own community as "God's temple" while recognising the legitimacy, the
ultimate need even, for a physical temple in Jerusalem.

The Qumran group (Dead Sea Scrolls) likewise conceived of themselves
as being the "new covenant" community and "God's temple" ... yet they held
out for the time when they would reclaim and re-cleanse defiled Jerusalem--
and especially the temple-- as their own. To God's glory. In other words,
there were others within Paul's thought world and culture who defined
themselves in similar terms as he, with similar allowances for *both* a
physical temple building AND a community referred to as "God's temple"
(Vermes, Geza. THE COMPLETE DEAD SEA SCROLLS IN ENGLISH. "Temple Scroll,"
190-219, New York: Penguin Press, 1997). Let's be clear, I am *not*
endorsing the Qumran group as legitimate. I'm only using them as evidence
that Paul the Jew could write what he wrote to the Corinthian church and not
have in mind a *replacement* of one kind of temple for another.
Therefore, my brother David, in light of all the above (plus more!)
biblical and historical evidence, why O why would I read 1 Cor. 3:16 and
6:19 and think Paul was advocating a "massive NT paradigm shift" that
*replaces* the Jerusalem temple (plus other buildings?) with "human
temples"? Why would you? ... when it is possible to conceive of something
that *better* accounts for *all* the data. And allows for the prudent use
of buildings within the Christian community.

Michael
Jerusalem

P.S. I recognise that much of the current "machinery" and "machinations"
surrounding buildings and their maintainance is *NOT* appropriate for the
Church. That's for another discussion. My concern in these last couple of
posts, however, is to counter *absolute* claims against the Christian usage
of special buildings. After all, "Thou shalt not build ..." exists nowhere
in my Bible-- either explicitly or implicitly.


------- <><><> -------


Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2002 09:43:58 +0200
From: <castillofuerte * airtel>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] How do you define community?

Hi JC,

I will give you a one word answer: FAMILY.

How do you teach it? You don't, you be it.

I realize that some folk from disfunctional families would be horrified

at my answer, but I feel that the Bible shows enough real family life

for us to have an understanding of community.

Blessings,

Keith

End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #180

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