New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


NT Church Proliferation Digest Monday, November 4 2002 Volume 02 : Number 197
Re: [NTCP] His walk, our walk and special buildings
RE: [NTCP] FYI - free bible software
Re: [NTCP] Preaching, where and how? (formerly: "His walk, our walk")
RE: [NTCP] FYI - free bible software
[NTCP] Luke 10 and planting house churches
Re: [NTCP] Preaching, where and how? (formerly: "His walk, our walk")
Re: [NTCP] Preaching, where and how? (formerly: "His walk, our walk")

Date: Sun, 3 Nov 2002 10:10:45 -0800 (PST)
From: John Henneberger <jchenn1213 * yahoo>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] His walk, our walk and special buildings

Stephanie,

It may surprise you, but I agree with nearly
everything you said. It's not always easy to convey
everything you are thinking, or everything you
believe, in a short email. It takes time to get to
know people, to find out what they really think and
believe.

As far as my being guilty of "the same thing", I'm not
certain to what you are referring, but I assume that
you mean "the respectful interchange of thoughts". In
examining what I've written, I could certainly see
some grounds for improvement on my part. There is no
good excuse for sarcasm, even when being provoked. If
that is what you were referring to, your point is
noted.

With respect to the remainder of what you had to say,
I really do agree with most of it. I'm not blind and
I certainly see where the formality in certain
churches, and the obsession with construction, has
gotten in the way.

But I really do think I'm being misinterpreted by many
on this forum, and much of it unfairly. It seems the
moment I said that I endorse BOTH home churches and
church buildings, I became like a lightning rod for
those who seem adamantly opposed to church buildings.
I've tried on several occasions to make clear that
I've participated in home churches for years, and had
a very positive experience. I also made reference to
some bad experiences with home church where the
environement just wasn't conducive to teaching. My
point wasn't that home churches were bad, or even
ineffective, simply that one particular house (in
which I lived) just wasn't suited to the task.

Now to another point: I never really said (or made the
point) that big churches were somehow better. What I
said about church size was more a reflection of
reality; that is, there will be some occasions where
there will be more people interested in gathering than
can be fit into a single home. As I recall, this was
a problem in Jesus time as well. You had people
literally tearing a hole through the ceiling just to
get to him. On another occasion, a house was so
overcrowded that someone fell out of a window.

In such circumstances, it seems a larger building
would be useful. There were twelve apostles, and many
other disciples that followed Jesus. At times, the
apostles would find a meeting room somewhere for
certain occasions. It just seems like a matter of
practiciality to me. And so I ask, am I promoting
anything here at all that is unseemly? Why such
strong reactions to the mere suggestion that people
should be able to meet wherever it's convenient?

I think it's time for everyone to just put down the
guns and start focusing on the positive aspects rather
that disagreements (let there be no divisions among
you). And someone such as myself should be able to
say that I accept gatherings both in church buildings
and within home churches without getting pummeled by
those who are in home churches. Can't I just be
someone who accepts church gatherings in many
different forms? Can't I be allowed to say that where
the church meets is VERY LOW on my list of concerns?

At this point, I think I'm about done with the whole
home church vs church building debate. To be honest,
I just don't care where people meet and this whole
topic seems to be divisive. I'm not pointing fingers
at anyone at all here. And I do appreciate your
comments. I just want to move on to other topics
since it just doesn't matter to me where church is
held.

John


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



info page: http://world-missions.org/planting <><><>


Date: Sun, 3 Nov 2002 22:12:03 -0700
From: "JC Elder" <jcelder1 * earthlink>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] FYI - free bible software

Scott,
I have posted the e-sword link before. I love it. I have had it for
years. I even beta tested some of it. I have not found any other software
any better.

- -----Original Message-----
From: owner-ntcp * homechurch [mailto:owner-ntcp * homechurch]On
Behalf Of Scott Dowlen
Sent: Sunday, November 03, 2002 8:23 AM
To: ntcp * homechurch
Subject: [NTCP] FYI - free bible software

I had meant to post this earlier, but I keep forgetting. There is a really
amazing and FREE Bible software on the 'net ---

www.e-sword

I'm not trying to advertise, just thought you should know. You can get many
Bible translations, plus commentaries, dictionaries, and other resources all
for free. I used to use a commercial package (but hadn't had the $$ to
upgrade it in the last few years).

This isn't in line with any current discussion, but I think as souls are won
to Christ, we should equip them with the Word, and this affordable for
anyone with a Windows-based PC. When I get some time, I plan on talking
with the developer to see if I can work with him to create a version for
Palm and PocketPC machines. That may be a long way off in the future,
though.
Scott D

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


info page: http://world-missions.org/planting <><><>


Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 09:27:38 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Preaching, where and how? (formerly: "His walk, our walk")

Bruce W. wrote:

> Paul's "preaching" in Acts
> 20:7 was a dialogue!

First of all I want to say that you have won my respect off the bat
for being a person who-- I can see!-- strives to have good exegetical
reasons for the positions he holds. I'm glad that we share the same
standard in the Bible as God's inspired authoritative word. It makes
communication SO much easier-- out of the realm of the "touchy feely" and
into some semblance of objective truth.
Having said that as an observation, and not simply to butter you up, I
still see the need to ask you to substantiate your above statement, please?
Here are some areas of reservation I hold about it. Please note what I
highlight in ALL CAPS:

"Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break
bread, PAUL ... SPOKE TO THEM and continued HIS MESSAGE until midnight ....
and as PAUL CONTINUED SPEAKING .... Now when HE HAD ... TALKED a long
while, even till daybreak, he departed" (Act. 20:7-11).

Furthermore, the Greek word in 20:7 DIELEGETO which, true enough, is related
in form and meaning to our English word "dialogue" nevertheless *can* also
carry the meaning of "discourse" or "formal speech"-- what we might term
"monologue" (Friberg Greek Lexicon; Louw-Nida Lexicon; United Bible Sociey
Greek Dictionary-- each from the BibleWorks Program, 98 edition). Context
determines how the Greek word should be understood in each setting ... not
simply etymological meaning. Likewise, it is a fallacy to notice how a
cognate word ("dialogue") is used in modern times then impose that meaning
back onto the ancient word (DIELEGETO).
Paul prolonged his LOGON (also from vs. 7, "word(?)," "speech(?),"
"message(?)," etc-- again a wide variey of choices confront us) until
midnight before Eutychus fell out of the window. From the story as given,
it does not seem like much group interaction was transpiring. A *dialogue*
scenario has to be read into the account.
Please believe that I am not fundamentally opposed to dialogue or
group discussion as one of the *primary* ways to teach fellow believers.
Neither am I against monologue when proclaiming Jesus and his message to
those who do not share our Christian faith. However, I strive to be
biblical in my beliefs as much as I am aware (as do you, I have observed)...
and I do not see this "dialogue with believers/monologue with those who are
not yet born again" paradigm, you advocate. There appear to be exceptions
on both fronts. Therefore I remain unconvinced ... although I keep an open
heart/mind to any new info you can provide.

> "I don't get the impression that
> anyone has ever maintained in this
> discussion that Jews or Jewish
> believers in the first or second
> century did not gather in special
> buildings (synagogues) as Jews, to
> fulfill certain Jewish functions.
> Rather, it is my impression that
> some are maintaining (as I myself
> do) that (except for gatherings of
> the whole church in a particular
> city i.e. Acts 2:46a; 6:2; 15:22,
> 25 and I Cor.14:23) Christians
> (Jews and Gentiles) had no "special"
> buildings/temples/synagogues in
> which they met together for teaching,
> fellowship, breaking of bread and
> prayers.

Two lines of rebuttal:

1) James writes to Jewish believers in the Diaspora who are meeting in
"synagogues" (1:1, cp. 2:2). Then in chapter 3 they get instructions about
teachers. Are these simply teachers at "Jewish functions" or are they folks
who are teaching doctrine related to Christ and his body? You decide, but
it seems more natural to me to assign this epistle *one* context-- followers
of Jesus, being instructed, not in non-Christian "Jewish functions," but in
things related directly to their experiences as Jesus' followers. In
Jewish-Christian synagogues. Then, the clincher comes in:

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him
sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the
CHURCH (Gk. EKKLESIA), and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in
the name of the Lord ..." (Jam. 5:13, 14).

James is not here providing advice to his Jewish Christian comrades on
how to meet in synagogues in some context not particularly "Christian". His
letter is for Jesus-following Jews who should dispense justice to poor and
rich alike ... in their synagogues, AND who should call upon the elders of
their *church* (EKKLESIA) when certain other needs arise. Presumably (can
you think of a good reason why not?) in the same synagogue(s) as mentioned
in 2:2.

2) Directly after Pentecost, a unified, Spirit-filled, and indwelt Church
was continuing "steadfast in ... *THE* PRAYERS" (Act. 2:42-- Gk. *TAIS*
PROSEUKHAIS-- with the definite article and in the plural) which refers to
particular prayers, not the general practice of "prayer" as it is so often
mistranslated. In which particular prayers were the post-Pentecost
disciples so "steadfast"? The answer lies in the beginning of the next
chapter ...

"Now Peter and John went up together to THE TEMPLE at the hour of prayer,
the ninth hour" (Act. 3:1, emphasis mine).

..., one of the two set times of prayer for the Jewish people. Context
provides the answer. Now, this didn't preclude continuous prayer (1 Thes.
5:17), or special seasons devoted to specific prayer (Act. 4:23), but the
set times gave some "skeleton" to the early Church's devotional life. And
their devotion was evidenced-- Luke specifically says-- by their prayers *in
the temple*.

Look forward to hearing your comments in the future, bro Bruce. And I
eagerly await your response to the above minor areas of disagreement. :-)
Shalom,

Michael
Jerusalem

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


Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 06:56:06 -0500
From: "Richard Wright" <wright47 * sc.rr>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] FYI - free bible software

I had been using Theophilos for a couple of years, but this one is
definitely superior. Thanks for the tip.

Dick
Phil.3:12-14

- -----Original Message-----
From: owner-ntcp * homechurch [mailto:owner-ntcp * homechurch]On Behalf
Of Scott Dowlen
Sent: Sunday, November 03, 2002 10:23 AM
To: ntcp * homechurch
Subject: [NTCP] FYI - free bible software
I had meant to post this earlier, but I keep forgetting. There is a really
amazing and FREE Bible software on the 'net ---

www.e-sword

I'm not trying to advertise, just thought you should know. You can get many
Bible translations, plus commentaries, dictionaries, and other resources all
for free. I used to use a commercial package (but hadn't had the $$ to
upgrade it in the last few years).

This isn't in line with any current discussion, but I think as souls are won
to Christ, we should equip them with the Word, and this affordable for
anyone with a Windows-based PC. When I get some time, I plan on talking
with the developer to see if I can work with him to create a version for
Palm and PocketPC machines. That may be a long way off in the future,
though.
Scott D


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


Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 10:26:45 EST
From: DenverWH * aol
Subject: [NTCP] Luke 10 and planting house churches
(To the "Discussion Master": if this is too long, feel free to break it up
as you see fit.)

Over Labor Day weekend, I attended a house church conference sponsored by
House2House magazine (http://www.house2house/) in Waco, TX. There were
three primary speakers:

Guy Muse, a Southern Baptist missionary who has seen 130 house churches
planted in his city of Guayaquil, Ecuador in the last two years.

Neil Cole (http://www.organicchurchplanting/greenhouse.asp) who has seen
160 house churches planted in the U.S. in the last 2-3 years.

A brother who asked that his name not be used on the Internet who has worked
closely with the house church networks in China (tens of thousands of house
churches).

With no prior coordination between them, each man was led to teach from Luke
10:1-12 and suggested that the principles from that passage were vital to
what the Lord was doing to plant churches in their area of ministry. (by
the way, tapes are available from the Conference.)

I would like to pose a series of questions/observations about this passage to
our discussion group (since this group is the NTCP - New Testament Church
Planters). I'm interested in your responses based on both your understanding
of Scripture and your personal experiences in church planting. (I am
particularly interested in Michael's perspective because of his extensive
knowledge of the Hebrew language and culture of the First Century.)

1. In this passage, the word "church" is not used. Nonetheless, is it
reasonable to assume that Jesus ultimately had church planting in mind? Can
we also assume that the disciples understood these to be directions for
church planting and followed them in the decades to come?

2. Verse 1. "the Lord sent them". The word for "sent" is APESTEILEN.
The noun form of this verb is APOSTOLOS which we translate " sent one or
apostle". Is it reasonable to assume that both Jesus and the seventy-two
understood that they (the ones being sent) were "apostles"?

3. Verse 1. "He sent them two by two". Is it reasonable to assume that if
we are called to church planting and do not have a partner, that we should
ask the Lord for one?

4. Verse 2. "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few". The word
for "worker" here is ERGATAI which simply means "one who does the work". Is
it reasonable to assume that by "worker", Jesus is referring to the 72 that
he is sending out? If this is the case, then we can conclude that Jesus
feels that 72 workers/apostles is a small number ("few") and that His desire
is that there would be a much larger number. My understanding is that there
might have been one million inhabitants in Palestine at that time (Michael?).
If this is true, is it then reasonable to assume that it would be the Lord's
expectation that there be hundreds of these "sent ones" for a city the size
of Denver (2.5 million)? Perhaps this would guide how we pray.

5. Verse 2. KUPEOU TOU THERISMOU. "Lord (or Master) of the Harvest". What
do we know about this title historically? Who did Jesus understand this to
be? Was he referring to His Father?

6. Verse 2. "Ask (beseech) the Lord of the Harvest to send out (thrust
forth) workers (apostles?) into His harvest field." Isn't praying this
prayer the single most important activity for anyone concerned about reaching
(harvesting) a particular region? Isn't it true that if the Lord of the
Harvest sends some of these workers to your region, the rest (training, etc.)
is relatively easy? (What I mean is that our "asking" and His "sending" are
the critical activities. Of all the things we can do to reach our region,
praying this prayer may be the most important.) I would like to hear what
you all have learned about praying this prayer? (We are beginning to link
this prayer to the relentless asking of the widow in Lk. 18:1-8).

7. Verse 5. What is the historical/cultural meaning of "a man of peace"?
How do you know if you have found one? Could there be a "woman of peace"?
Some have suggested that this person is characterized by two things - they
are a person of some influence and reputation (positive or negative) and they
have been prepared by the Lord to be responsive to the message. Possible
examples from Scripture: the woman at the well (Jn 4), Cornelius (Acts 10),
Lydia (Acts 16), Philippian jailer (Acts 16). Do these qualify as men/women
of peace? Are there other examples from Scripture? Can a person who is
already a Christian be a "man of peace" because the Lord has prepared them to
start a church in their home? What have you learned experientially about
starting churches in the homes of these people?

8. Verse 5. "Peace to this house". What is the historical/cultural meaning
of this phrase? What is the modern equivalent? What does it mean for "your
peace to rest on a man of peace"? What does it mean for "your peace to
return to you"?

9. Verse 7. "Stay in that house". The implication seems to be that we are
not to invite this "man of peace" to our house church but rather that we are
to start a church in his house. This is was a common theme in the church
planting movements described at the Waco Conference.

10. Verse 8. "Heal the sick". The worker is instructed to do this first
and then tell them "the kingdom of God is near you". (No mention of starting
with a Bible study.) Divine healing or some demonstration of supernatural
power (see the passages listed in #7 above) seems to be normative in Jesus's
plan for church planting. What has been your experience with this?

11. What are the other important questions that should be asked of this
passage that would help us in bringing in the harvest in our area?

12. What is the relationship between the instructions in this passage and
the expansion of the church in Acts?

Looking forward to learning from you all.

John White
Denver, CO.


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


Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 11:59:04 -0500
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Preaching, where and how? (formerly: "His walk, our walk")

> Paul prolonged his LOGON (also from vs. 7, "word(?)," "speech(?),"
>"message(?)," etc-- again a wide variey of choices confront us) until
>midnight before Eutychus fell out of the window. From the story as given,
>it does not seem like much group interaction was transpiring. A *dialogue*
>scenario has to be read into the account.

Michael,

Before you attempt to justify another unnatural rendering, you might want
to compare how the SAME inspired writer used the SAME word in the SAME
book. It is also translated as "disputed" by Mark and Jude in the KJV.

It's used 8 other times in Acts for "disputing" and "reasoning" - hardly
a monologue.

Again, preaching pertains to the original proclamation of the gospel, not
the regular teaching that occurred on an ongoing basis. Of course, a
teaching meeting might and should include evangelistic overtures.
Nevertheless, the differences between preaching and teaching is clearly
observable.

David Anderson


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


Date: Mon, 04 Nov 2002 18:37:24 +0000
From: "Bruce Woodford" <bwood4d * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Preaching, where and how? (formerly: "His walk, our walk")

Deborah/MICHAEL,
Since beginning to read your posts and communicating with you, I have been
unsettled in my mind how to address you! You have referred to me a number of
times as "brother", but I honestly don't know whether to address you as
"brother" or "sister"! "Deborah" appears with your e-mail address in upper
and lower case as people normally sign their names, but MICHAEL at the end
of your posts is always in all caps. So I have wondered if it may be
another "handle" that you use (as CB or ham radio operators often do).

I'm also very glad to find that you hold the usage of words in inspired
scripture as the most important means by which we understand what the Holy
Spirit is saying in His Word!

But now to your questions- I make no "bones" in stating that I believe that
communication in normal gatherings of the saints is to be participatory,
interactive and mutually beneficial for speaker and listeners, for teachers
and students. But when "the whole church be come together" (a gathering for
all the saints in a particular city) there are about a dozen specific
regulations, which I call "The Holy Spirit's Rules of Order for a Whole
Church Gathering". These are found in I Cor.14:23-40 and I Tim.2 In such
gatherings there is no indication of "one-anothering" as in Heb.10:24,25,
nor the exercise of every believer's gift (women are to be silent) nor of
conversation or dialogue. If one prophet is speaking and something is
revealed to another that sitteth by, the first is to "hold his peace"! (That
expression is identical to that of the woman's silence!!) But that is a
whole discussion on it's own!!!

You have asked me to justify my thought that Paul's "preaching" in Acts
20:7&9 is indeed participatory, two way communication, rather than a
monologue lecture (as is commonly assumed). I am happy to do so. (Please
pardon the length of this post as I'm purposefully copying the text of
appropriate scriptures for ease of verification.)

I base my case on the following:
(1)I believe that the divine usage of words in scripture is the only
reliable standard for determining their meaning. To go outside the scripture
to "contemporary secular" usage of words is to place the scriptures under
another standard which is changeable and easily corruptible! So I believe it
is important to find out how the Holy Spirit uses a particular word
consistently throughout the scriptures. Certainly there are often a wide
variety of connotations which are determined by the context, but there is
always a consistent and basic meaning that is indicated as one considers
EVERY instance where a word is used. (We look below at every usage of the
word DIALEGOMAI , String's #1256.)

(2)You have mentioned 4 words for Paul's verbal communication in the Acts 20
passage. They are as follows as they appear in the KJV and also accompanied
by the reference numbers from the Strong's Concordance:
v.7 "preached" <1256>, v.7 "his speech" <3056>, v.9 "preaching" <1256> and
v.11 "talked" <3656> .
I intend to show below that scriptural usage will demonstrate the meaning of
#1256 to which "his speech" (#3056) refers, and then "talked" in verse 11 is
clearly the Greek word HOMILEO
which, in scripture is always a conversation involving a number of people!
See Luke 24:14,15; Acts 20:11 and Acts 24:26

(3)Finally, scriptural commands regarding verbal communications in
gatherings (other than whole church gatherings) *demand* mutual,
interactive, participatory "one-anothering" as Christians
minister to one another as members in a Body. See Heb.10:24,25; I Peter
4:10,11; Romans 12:4-8; I Cor.12:14-27; Ephesians 4:16 etc.

Apart from Acts 20:7,9... #1256 is used as follows 11 different times. I
think you would agree that the immediate context of then first 9 I have
listed indicate what I call "participatory intercommunication" or simply
"two way conversation".
Mark 9:34 But they held their peace: for by the way *they had disputed
<1256> among themselves*, who should be the greatest.
Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath
days *reasoned <1256> with them* out of the scriptures,
Acts 17:17 Therefore *disputed he <1256> in the synagogue with the Jews,
and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with
him.*
Acts 18:4 And he*reasoned <1256> in the synagogue every sabbath, and
persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.*
Acts 18:19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself
entered into the synagogue, and *reasoned with <1256> the Jews.*
Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of
three months, *disputing <1256> and persuading* the things concerning the
kingdom of God.
Acts 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil
of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the
disciples, *disputing <1256> daily in the school of one Tyrannus.*
Acts 24:12 And they neither found me in the temple *disputing <1256> with
any man*, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in
the city:
Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, *when contending with the devil he
disputed* <1256about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a
railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

The last two, at first sight, might be understood as "monologues", which, of
course, involves just one way communication. They are as follows:
Acts 24:25 And as he reasoned <1256> of righteousness, temperance, and
judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time;
when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh <1256>
unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the
Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

But let us look at a little wider context of each passage:
Acts 24:24-26 reads as follows:
"And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a
Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And
as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix
trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time;
when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. He hoped also that
money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore
he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him."

Notice that Felix had called for Paul for a specific reason - to hear him
"concerning the faith in Christ". Felix had no doubt heard something about
this radical "new religion" and undoubtedly had lots of questions. I hardly
think that he invited Paul in to "preach him a sermon" and that Felix simply
"sat still" while Paul "instilled"!! But further, verse 26 indicates that
the initial instance was not the only one but that Felix sent for Paul "the
oftener and communed with him ".

The word "communed" is the Greek HOMILEO, from which our word "homiletics"
comes. But it's scriptural usage is always a conversation in which a number
of people participate! It is never
used in scripture of a monologue lecture!!!

I could be wrong, and you no doubt can correct me, but I have understood
that communication of ideas, doctrine etc in Jewish communities, synagogues
etc was rarely, if ever by monologue
lecturing, but rather by dialogue, discussion, dispute, reasoning etc.
Certainly a teacher or Rabbi would speak to indoctrinate his students or
hearers, but if he failed to draw them out in questions,
challenges, discussion etc, he knew that little actual learning would ever
take place! Is it not true that we all remember far more of the content of a
conversation in which we have been active participants, than we do of
monologue lectures at which we simply sat passively in "the audience"?

The same is true with most "gospel preaching" in the scriptures. There are
few , if any, gospel proclamations which were not interrupted in mid-stream
with questions, objections, challenges etc. The speakers were not at all
surprised or threatened when this happened, but would have felt they had
communicated very poorly if it had not!!

It is also my understanding that the concept of monologue lectures (which
one must never interrupt and in which participation of the hearers would be
considered rude, inappropriate, and very
distracting) came from GREEK RHETORIC. (A "rhetorical question" is one which
a lecturer asks, but which "everybody knows" *he does not want a verbal
response from his hearers*!)

But, is it not true that Paul's education, training and tradition was in
Jewish discussion, not in Greek rhetoric?

Finally Hebrews 12:5-17 is as follows. I have copied the whole section here
for a reason! Some of us (reading just verse 5 may picture how our own
fathers may have dealt with us in anger when we needed correction.
"NOW, SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! AND YOU LISTEN TO ME! DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
But as God deals with us, He deals so differently! He speaks kindly, He
asks questions (expecting and desiring our response vs.7 &9), He reasons
wisely and compassionately with us because he is genuinely interested in
*drawing out a right response from* His children. He wants us to respond,
to speak (dialogue) with Him, He wants to draw us out unto Godly repentance!
(It is for these reasons that I see the word translated here as "speaketh"
is used by the Holy Spirit in a manner that is consistent with *every other
divine usage of the word in scripture.* (i.e. a conversation.)

5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which *speaketh* unto you as unto
children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint
when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he
receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son
is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye
bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we
gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the
Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure;
but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:
nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto
them which are exercised thereby.
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned
out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see
the Lord:
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root
of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one
morsel of meat sold his birthright.
17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the
blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he
sought it carefully with tears.

Whether the above is convincing to you remains to be seen, but these are the
reasons why I believe as I do! I think I have made clear that I do not
believe that Gospel presentations were "always and only" monologues!
Certainly much audience participation is evident throughout the scriptural
records of such proclamations. But so far, I have seen no example,
illustration, or instruction that would indicate "monologue lecturing" in
regular church meetings. But I too, remain open and do not resent being
proven wrong! Someone who does so, has only helped me on to a clearer
understanding of a particular question!

This post is already far too long!!! I'll respond to your comments relative
to the Book of James (synagogues etc) in another post.

Your servant for Jesus' sake,
Bruce

 


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #197 < Previous Digest Next Digest >

house church eldership servanthood lord's day lord's supper world missions