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PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

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1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANS IN THE 21ST CENTURY


1
PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
  • 1 Peter 315 But sanctify the Lord God in your
    hearts and be ready always to give an answer to
    every man that asketh you a reason of the hope
    that is in you with meekness and fear

2
David Edwin Harrell, Jr., Christian Primitivism
and Modernization in the Stone-Campbell
Movement, in Richard T. Hughes, ed. (Urbana
University of Illinois Press, 1995), 109-120.
3
David Edwin Harrell, Jr., Epilogue, in Richard
T. Hughes, ed. (Urbana University of Illinois
Press, 1988), 239-246.
4
David Edwin Harrell, Jr., Epilogue, in Richard
T. Hughes, ed. (Urbana University of Illinois
Press, 1988), 239-246.
  • One indelible impression I take away from this
    conference is that the restoration ideal has been
    a powerful motif. In fact, it may be the most
    vital single assumption underlying the
    development of American Protestantism. Equally
    important, the restoration ideal continues as one
    of the most compelling ideas in modern
    Christianity. 239.

5
The Restoration Spirit
  • I Peter 411If any man speak, let him speak as
    the oracles of God if any man minister, let him
    do it as of the ability which God giveth that
    God in all things may be glorified through Jesus
    Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever
    and ever. Amen.

6
A New Testament Church Pattern Thinking
  • 1. An organizationPhil. 11 Acts 1423 I Tim.
    3 1ff Titus 15ff.
  • 2. An AssemblyHeb. 1025 I Cor. 1115
  • 3. TaughtActs 207 I Cor. 1415
  • 4. PrayedActs 125 I Cor. 1419
  • 5. SangEph. 519 Col. 316
  • 6. Lords Supper on 1st DayActs 207 I Cor.
    1120
  • Gave on 1st DayI Cor. 161,2 Acts 244-45
  • TreasuryActs 51-4
  • Relieved Needy SaintsActs 434-35 1129-30 I
    Cor. 161
  • Supported PreachingII Cor. 118 Phil. 415-16
  • Discipline Unruly MembersI Cor. 51-5
  • Conducted Congregational BusinessActs 61-4

7
Three Assumptions in Primitivist Thinking
  • 1. Apostolic Authority
  • 2. Common Sense Hermeneutics
  • 3. Creating New Testament Congregations

8
WHY? FIVE REASONS IN DEFENSE OF PRIMITIVISM
  • 1. Because earnest Christians throughout history
    have sought to follow the pattern of the New
    Testament church

9
Reformation Antecedents
  • Ulrich Zwingli
  • Away with human ceremonies and regulations, we
    want only the Word of God. (1523)
  • This church imposes no laws on the conscience
    of people without the sanction of the Word of
    God, and the laws of the Church are binding only
    in so far as they agree with the Word. (1528)

10
English Dissenters (Puritans)
  • Richard Baxter (1615-1691) Kidderminster, England
  • What man dare go in a way which has neither
    precept nor example to warrant it....? For my
    part, I will not fear that God will be angry with
    me for doing no more than He has commanded me,
    and for sticking close to the rule of His word in
    matters of worship but I should tremble to add
    or diminish.

11
WHY?
  • 1. Because earnest Christians throughout history
    have sought to follow the pattern of the New
    Testament church
  • 2. Because following the N.T. pattern is the
    only path to unity

12
WHY?2. FOLLOWING GODS DIRECTIONS IS THE ONLY
BASIS OF UNITY
  • 1 Cor. 110Now I beseech you, brethren, by the
    name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak
    the same thing, and that there be no divisions
    among you but that ye be perfectly joined
    together in the same mind and in the same
    judgment.

RESTORATION (PRIMITIVISM) ASSUMES A UNIFIED
COMMITMENT OR MINDSET
13
PROTESTANTS FIND A UNITED CHRISTIAN MESSAGE
  • Jane Lampman, A Return to Primitive Christianity
    in a Modern Age, Christian Science Monitor,
    March 6, 2003.
  • As many seekers have set off in recent years to
    pursue spirituality outside the bounds of
    organized religion, another trend has quietly
    emerged within and across Christian
    denominations a return to orthodoxy. . . . It
    is perhaps most visible in the least expected
    placethe liberal mainline churcheswhere many
    renewal groups are taking an assertive stance,
    seeking to replace what they consider secularized
    theology and political activism with biblical
    authority and evangelical fervor.

14
SEEKING CLASSIC CHRISTIANITY
  • Thomas Oden Drew University, The Rebirth of
    Orthodoxy Signs of New Life in Christianity (San
    Francisco Harper Row, 2003).
  • Thomas Oden notes a return to classic
    Christianity based on a willingness to think
    with the early church about the sacred text and
    a return to Christian tradition as defined by
    the sacred texts of scripture, the ecumenical
    councils of the first five centuries, and the
    teachings of the fathers of the first
    millennium.

15
A New Testament Church Pattern Thinking
  • 1. An organizationPhil. 11 Acts 1423 I Tim.
    3 1ff Titus 15ff.
  • 2. An AssemblyHeb. 1025 I Cor. 1115
  • 3. TaughtActs 207 I Cor. 1415
  • 4. PrayedActs 125 I Cor. 1419
  • 5. SangEph. 519 Col. 316
  • 6. Lords Supper on 1st DayActs 207 I Cor.
    1120
  • Gave on 1st DayI Cor. 161,2 Acts 244-45
  • TreasuryActs 51-4
  • Relieved Needy SaintsActs 434-35 1129-30 I
    Cor. 161
  • Supported PreachingII Cor. 118 Phil. 415-16
  • Discipline Unruly MembersI Cor. 51-5
  • Conducted Congregational BusinessActs 61-4

16
WHY?
  • 1. Because earnest Christians throughout history
    have sought to follow the pattern of the New
    Testament church
  • 2. Because the N.T. pattern is the only path to
    unity
  • 3. Because God has always expected obedience

17
WHY?3. GODS EXPECTATIONS
GOD ALWAYS PUNISHED DISOBEDIENCE
  • 1 Sam. 1522And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as
    great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to
    obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken
    than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is as the
    sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as
    iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected
    the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee
    from being king.

18
WHY?
  • 1. Because earnest Christians throughout history
    have sought to follow the pattern of the New
    Testament church
  • 2. Because the N.T. pattern is the only path to
    unity
  • 3. Because God has always expected obedience
  • 4. Because the Apostles intended to leave a
    pattern (tradition) to be followed

19
APOSTOLIC TRADITION
  • 2 Thessalonians 215 Therefore, brethren, stand
    fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been
    taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

20
TRADITION
  • Main Entry tradition 1 a an inherited,
    established, or customary pattern of thought,
    action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a
    social custom) b a belief or story or a body of
    beliefs or stories relating to the past that are
    commonly accepted as historical though not
    verifiable.2 the handing down of information,
    beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by
    example from one generation to another without
    written instruction3 cultural continuity in
    social attitudes, customs, and institutions4
    characteristic manner, method, or style -

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online
21
BIBLICAL TRADITION
  • pa?ad?s??
  • paradosis
  • Thayer Definition
  • 1) giving up, giving over
  • 1a) the act of giving up
  • 1b) the surrender of cities
  • 2) a giving over which is done by word of mouth
    or in writing, i.e. tradition by instruction,
    narrative, precept, etc.
  • 2a) objectively, that which is delivered, the
    substance of a teaching
  • 2b) of the body of precepts, especially ritual,
    which in the opinion of the later Jews were
    orally delivered by Moses and orally transmitted
    in unbroken succession to subsequent generations,
    which precepts, both illustrating and expanding
    the written law, as they did were to be obeyed
    with equal reverence

22
WHY?
  • 1. Because earnest Christians throughout history
    have sought to follow the pattern of the New
    Testament church
  • 2. Because the N.T. pattern is the only path to
    unity
  • 3. Because God has always expected obedience
  • 4. Because the Apostles intended to leave a
    pattern (tradition) to be followed
  • 5. Because it gives glory to God

23
WHY?5. THAT GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED
  • I Peter 411If any man speak, let him speak as
    the oracles of God if any man minister, let him
    do it as of the ability which God giveth that
    God in all things may be glorified through Jesus
    Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever
    and ever. Amen.

24
WHY?5. THAT GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED
  • Rom. 1133O the depth of the riches both of the
    wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are
    his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
    34For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who
    hath been his counsellor? 35Or who hath first
    given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto
    him again? 36For of him, and through him, and to
    him, are all things to whom be glory for ever.
    Amen.

25
WHY?5. THAT GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED
  • Eph. 310To the intent that now unto the
    principalities and powers in heavenly places
    might be known by the church the manifold wisdom
    of God, 11According to the eternal purpose which
    he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord 12In whom
    we have boldness and access with confidence by
    the faith of him. . . .14For this cause I bow my
    knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is
    named, 16That he would grant you, according to
    the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with
    might by his Spirit in the inner man 17That
    Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith that
    ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be
    able to comprehend with all saints what is the
    breadth, and length, and depth, and height 19And
    to know the love of Christ, which passeth
    knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the
    fulness of God. 20Now unto him that is able to do
    exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or
    think, according to the power that worketh in us,
    21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus
    throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

26
PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
  • 1. Because earnest Christians throughout history
    have sought to follow the pattern of the New
    Testament church
  • 2. Because the N.T. pattern is the only path to
    unity
  • 3. Because God has always expected obedience
  • 4. Because the Apostles intended to leave a
    pattern (tradition) to be followed
  • 5. Because it gives glory to God
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