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Historical Approach to Discipleship


Historical Approach to Discipleship A brief history Relational: first century. Experiential: third century through middle ages Academic: Enlightenment, Reformation ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Historical Approach to Discipleship

Historical Approach to Discipleship
(No Transcript)
A brief history
  • Relational first century.
  • Experiential third century through middle ages
  • Academic Enlightenment, Reformation
  • Individual and Personal (19th and 20th)
  • Incarnational (20th and 21st)

Robert E. Webber
  • Although the NT does not set forth a systematic
    and linear sequence of stages in Christian
    formation in any great detail we do however catch
    snapshots here and there we see hints of early
    practices. Acts 2 contains several of these.
    Most obvious is the conversion process in Repent
    and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of
    Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
    And you shall receive the gift of the Holy
    Spirit (Acts 238).

The Following Elements of a Process Emerge from
  • Hearing the Gospel
  • Instruction to flee the corrupt world
  • Reception of the Gospel
  • Repentance Baptism (a passage rite)
  • Reception of the Holy Spirit

Phillip Carrington, bishop of Quebec
  • Found a pattern in Ephesians, Colossians, James,
    1 Peter that stressed four points for all new
    Christians to observe
  • Wherefore putting off evil
  • Submit yourselves
  • Watch and pray
  • Resist the Devil

Another example of sequential and holistic
  • 16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to
    the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
    17When they saw him, they worshiped him but some
    doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All
    authority in heaven and on earth has been given
    to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all
    nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
    and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and
    teaching them to obey everything I have commanded
    you. And surely I am with you always, to the very
    end of the age."
  • --Matthew 28

A picture of what discipleship looks like
  • 42These remained faithful to the teaching of the
    apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of
    bread and to the prayers. 43And everyone was
    filled with awe the apostles worked many signs
    and miracles. 44And all who shared the faith
    owned everything in common 45they sold their
    goods and possessions and distributed the
    proceeds among themselves according to what each
    one needed. 46Each day, with one heart, they
    regularly went to the Temple but met in their
    houses for the breaking of bread they shared
    their food gladly and generously 47they praised
    God and were looked up to by everyone. Day by day
    the Lord added to their community those destined
    to be saved. Acts 2 (New Jerusalem Bible)

Believe . . . Behave . . . Belong
  • As I see it, in Christianitys early centuries
    conversion involved changes in belief, belonging,
    and behavior in the context of the experience of
    God. --Alan Kreider
  • See Justin (AD 130)
  • Justins Writings reveal a cycle of believing,
    belonging and behaving that exhibits the making
    of disciples in the second century

Hyppolytus (3rd Century)
  • The Process
  • Stage 1the seeker
  • The rite of welcome
  • Stage 2the hearer
  • The rite of enrollment
  • Stage 3the kneeler
  • The rite of baptism
  • Stage 4the faithful
  • The Result
  • Christian Inquiry
  • Conversion
  • Discipleship
  • Commitment to baptism
  • Spiritual formation
  • Full membership
  • Active participation

The Making of a Disciple
  • Theme
  • Biblical understanding of Disciple
  • Ancient Process
  • Comments
  • All converts to Jesus are disciples, discipleship
    not optional
  • Inquiry
  • Catechumenate
  • Purification
  • Mystagogue

The Dissolution . . .
  • Conversion of Constantine was more a statement on
    how to conquer others than on how to be conquered
    by Christ . . .
  • By legitimizing the church, there was a shift
    from the countercultural model of the previous
    centuries to one that had a new place in society.

The Dissolution . . .
  • Infant Baptism. Because Society was
    Christianized baptism shifted from adult to
    infant, and the process of Christian formation
    shifted now had to occur after baptism.
  • See Agustine who was received into the church as
    an infant but later had to experience conversion
    and discipleship

The Dissolution . . .
  • Medieval Christendom. Baptismal Regeneration.
    Discipleship in the Medieval era became
    sacramental and institutional
  • Infants baptizedwhich forgave original sin and
    gave the infant the Holy Spirit
  • At seven a first confession was made for the
    childs first communion
  • First communion
  • The child was confirmedit was thought that
    confirmation provided an increase in the Holy
    Spirit . . .
  • When the child/adult sinned the sacrament of
    penance was now available to restore . . .
  • Eucharist provided right relationship with God.
  • Sacrament of unction, provided at the deathbed
    was the final sacrament for salvation

The Reformation Era
  • Catechetical Innovation.
  • Luther introduced the catechism instruct
    because of the invention of print. Its purpose,
    It is necessary to make the pupils and the
    people to learn by heart the formulas chosen to
    be included in the catechism, without changing a
    single syllable. As for those who refuse to
    learn tell them they are denying Christ.

The Reformation Era
  • Catechetical Innovation.
  • Its positive features taught the Christian
    Faith. And its negative aspect children became
    subject to intellectual faith.
  • The negative impact of the catechism has
    reverberated down through the history in the
    Protestant tradition. The spirituality of the
    medieval mystics was now supplanted by
    intellectual knowledge.

Discipleship Among Reformers
  • The Result
  • Evangelism
  • Teaching the faith
  • Affirmation of commitment
  • Rite of nourishment
  • The Sacraments
  • Stage 1Infant baptism
  • Stage 2Catechism
  • Stage 3Confirmation
  • Stage 4Eucharist

The Anabaptists Era
  • Sought to recover the first three centuries
  • And in turn cut a path into the free church
    tradition (as opposed to state church).
  • Step 1adult baptism Evangelism out of
  • Step 2Discipleship Life in the Christian
    Community under the discipline of the church.

The Enlightenment shift to reason and experience
  • Enlightenment supremacy of reason and
    separation of all aspects of life into distinct
  • Enlightenment revolution against mind-oriented
    Christianity initiated by heart-oriented pietisms
    of the 17th century (John Wesley, Evangelical
    Awakenings in England and America)

Discipleship Compared in Protestantism
  • Reformation Gods grace
  • Imputation
  • God gives salvation as gift
  • Justification
  • Man embraces this gift through faith expressed
    in baptism
  • Sanctification
  • The Christian thankfully lives out salvation in
    a life of holiness and works of mercy
  • Evangelical human faith
  • Regeneration
  • A person experienced the new birth
  • Justification
  • the feeling of forgiveness, assurance of
    salvation in the heart
  • Sanctification
  • The Christian consciously dies to sin and
    chooses to be resurrected to the new life

Wesleys Model bears close resemblance to the 3rd
century model
  • Evangelism, repentance and faith
  • Embodying the way of salvation
  • Pursuit of Christian perfection
  • Step 1 Preachingentire congregation
  • Step 2 Societiespastoral care classes
  • Step 3 Society bandssmaller groups for

  • The rise of a secular and pagan society, the
    emergence of the New Age Movement of
    spirituality, postmodern pluralism and relativism
    have created a new cultural situation in which
    the church speaks the faith.

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  • The international Consultation on Discipleship
    current models of evangelism do not make

Dissolution of the Ancient Process
  • Event
  • Constantine
  • (AD 311)
  • Medieval Christendom
  • (600-1500)
  • Luther and Calvin
  • (1500-Present)
  • The Anabaptists
  • (1500-Present)
  • The Enlightenment
  • (1750-1950)
  • Wesleyan Evangelism (1750-1900)
  • 20th Century Evangelicalism
  • 21st Century Evangelism

  • Translating the ancient process for today
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