Library Resource Needed

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Posts 8
Jay Fulton | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Oct 8 2019 2:04 PM

I’m looking for a library resource that provides information on how the early church implemented church membership. For example, today we might write out member covenants, etc., but did the early church have its version of similar practices for the day and age they lived in?

I appreciate the feedback!

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 8 2019 7:06 PM

Jay Fulton:
how the early church implemented church membership

I'm sure DAL will be here post-haste to invite you to consult Acts 2:47 and the 'add-er'.

Don't know your library, but Didache in volumes on the Apostolic Fathers is the first hint of a formal teaching, prior to a baptism, prior to 'membership'. The next discussion is with Justin.


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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 9 2019 2:49 AM

You are correct Denise! Acts 2:41 about 3,000 souls were added...How? The Lord added them because when they received the Word [obeyed], they were saved (Acts 2:47).  That means before you start giving out memberships as if it was some kind of club; you need to make sure people are saved; i.e. They have obeyed the Gospel of Christ.  If they haven’t done so, then they can only be counted as visitors.  

DAL

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 9 2019 9:45 AM

DAL:
they can only be counted as visitors.  

Not sure where Jay's going; most resources on membership are tradition-specific (eg Everitt Fergusen).

But the concept is curious. I earlier mentioned un-membering myself, since the check-off was basically guys' doctrines ... not the text. But the pastor was happy to invite me as  'visitor' (later eliminating non-text check-offs).

But 'visitor' is curious. No communion tray duties. Nor polish the pews requests. But still bring a dish for potluck lunches. Can't vote for church stuff (always a major discussion). Actually, I feel 'visitor' is closer to the text ... volunteer as needed. No doubt 'member' is to avoid eternal arguing.


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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 9 2019 10:16 AM

Denise:

Not sure where Jay's going; most resources on membership are tradition-specific (eg Everitt Fergusen).

But the concept is curious. I earlier mentioned un-membering myself, since the check-off was basically guys' doctrines ... not the text.

I once asked at a church I visited on Holiday what it took to become a member. I was told be regular and often at Sunday Worship, attend and contribute to house group Bible study, be involved in one of the outreach projects. That makes you member they said.

Once we notice that you are not involved in any one of the three activities we will be reaching out to encourage and pastor.

I quite liked the idea.

To keep this on topic I have no idea where to find information like this in Logos resources. :-)

Posts 1219
Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 9 2019 10:53 AM

Jay Fulton:

I’m looking for a library resource that provides information on how the early church implemented church membership. For example, today we might write out member covenants, etc., but did the early church have its version of similar practices for the day and age they lived in?

I appreciate the feedback!

Jay I recommend books put out by 9 Marks. Here is a bundle on sale right now. The one entitled "Membership" in it is excellent. I have used it for years.

Posts 1219
Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 9 2019 10:55 AM

Didn't realize it was un-bundled...here it is on it's own

https://www.logos.com/product/53550/church-membership-how-the-world-knows-who-represents-jesus 

Posts 563
Scott E. Mahle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 9 2019 10:59 AM

A library resource for you to consider is The Didache: A Window on the Earliest Christians

Logos Series X Pastor’s Library | Logos 3 Leader’s Library | Logos 4 Portfolio | Logos 5 Platinum | Logos 6 Feature Crossgrade | Logos 7 Essential Upgrade - Large | Logos 8 Methodist & Wesleyan Platinum and Academic Professional

Posts 232
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 9 2019 11:11 PM

DAL:
 Acts 2:41 about 3,000 souls were added...How? The Lord added them because when they received the Word [obeyed], they were saved (Acts 2:47).  That means before you start giving out memberships as if it was some kind of club; you need to make sure people are saved; i.e. They have obeyed the Gospel of Christ.  If they haven’t done so, then they can only be counted as visitors.  

DAL

Exactly!  

Not to veer off into theology, but, briefly, they were ”saved” according to Peter’s plain instructions as per Acts 2.38.  

This is biblical salvation.

Posts 232
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 9 2019 11:19 PM

Incidentally, there is much debate over the date of the Didache.  

I have noticed a recent trend of folks affirming a very early date as if factual—when that is FAR from certain.  

Personally, based on what I have read from upper echelon academia, the Didache is probably in reality dated to ca. AD 250-350 at the earliest.  Cf. J.N.D. Kelly’s works, et al.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 10 2019 1:45 AM

Puddin’:
This is biblical salvation.

Or is this theology based on cherry picking scripture? Which is why we don't engage in theology on the forums.

Puddin’:

Incidentally, there is much debate over the date of the Didache.  

I have noticed a recent trend of folks affirming a very early date as if factual—when that is FAR from certain.  

From my quick review of the literature to night, it appears to me that the pendulum has swung back towards an earlier date with some scholars sticking to a late 2nd century date. However, it is true that there were other similar works floating around that may be independent may be shared parent ... so I'd be very cautious using "probably in reality dated" to any of the speculation. From my library - post-J.N.D. Kelly. Warning one needs to be wary of scholars speaking on topics where significant new information has been gleaned in the last century e.g. DSS and Nag Hammadi.

If we admit an early date of composition, all the evidence is in favor of it; if we insist on a late date, we have to face a mass of conjectures and hypotheses. Supposing, then, with many scholars, that the Didache came into existence “before the end of the first century,” we need do no more than bring its statements into harmony with the New Testament.

Johannes Quasten and Joseph C. Plumpe, eds., The Didache, The Epistle of Barnabas, The Epistles and the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, The Fragments of Papias and The Epistle to Diognetus, trans. James A. Kleist, 6th ed., Ancient Christian Writers (New York; Mahwah, NJ: The Newman Press, 1948), 10–11.

When the Didache first came upon the stage of scholarly attention two dates were proposed. Those who looked at the very early structures and the close relationship to Judaism proposed a first-century date; while those who compared sentences in the Didache with similar (but not identical) statements in the Gospel of Matthew argued that it must therefore be later than Matthew, so, if Matthew is late first century, the Didache could be early second century. Later, often worried by the doctrinal problems of an early date, some scholars proposed a much later date for the work—third or even fourth century—and that it had ‘disguised’ itself to make itself look primitive. The problem with such conspiracy theories is that once uttered they are hard to disprove: and so that late date still sometimes crops up. However, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1948 was the complete answer to the conspiracy theorists. This discovery changed for ever our views of Judaism at the time of Jesus (many argue that it is better to speak of the ‘Judaisms’ of that time) and our views of the Didache.


New scholarship from the 1950s could point positively to a first-century date, indeed one before 70 (> Audet, 1996). Moreover, our understanding of how the Gospels emerged (> Bauckham, 1998)—earlier views tended to imagine the Gospel writers sitting in the equivalent of a study surrounded by the books they were using and writing for a distinct church—meant that it is just as likely that Matthew was using phrases that were in the Didache or were in common use (> Garrow, 2004; Draper, 2006a; summary of arguments in Milavec, 2003, pp. 693–739). So the broad consensus today is for a first-century date.


Thomas O’Loughlin, The Didache: A Window on the Earliest Christians (London; Grand Rapids, MI: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; Baker Academic, 2010), 25–26.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 6402
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 10 2019 2:20 AM

Mike Tourangeau:

I bought this bundle with the PAM October Coupon.  The discipline one is a great read so far.

DAL

Posts 232
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 10 2019 4:31 AM

Thank you for the response MJ.  However, I could just as easily post quotes from contemporary academics who still argue for the later date of Didache.  (I would post them, but I am on my iPad & heading to bed now.)

I do agree that the pendulum has swung back toward the earlier date in many circles—hence my reference to the same above.  My point is that this is not as certain as many claim.  In fact, I read excerpts from a university Ph.D. dissertation recently w. current quotes from bonafide scholars that speak to this same conclusion regarding the Didache.

But, as you know, I do respect your linguistic/text critical abilities—and so I’ll just say that I will look into this further (been wanting to do that anyway).  

Posts 10177
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 10 2019 7:01 AM

DAL:

Mike Tourangeau:

I bought this bundle with the PAM October Coupon.  The discipline one is a great read so far.

DAL

Obviously, you didn't watch this season's Bachelorette. Millions, neh, billions learned about 'Christian' ...  how you go to Bible class and sincerely express your witness (church in Georgia). Then, you decide you're God's saved, while wearing a cross, behaving as obnoxiously as absolutely possible, and everyone's jaw almost falling off.

Millions learned all about 'Christian', without buying a book too! Worked great.


Posts 10177
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 10 2019 7:11 AM

Puddin’:

But, as you know, I do respect your [MJ's] linguistic/text critical abilities—and so I’ll just say that I will look into this further (been wanting to do that anyway).  

It's always best to discuss evidence, versus letters of the alphabet. Phd's are good 5 minutes after they're awarded, after that, results only (my general opinion). The primary drivers are the absence of a bishop structure, and associated theology, especially formal instruction. Now, that could indicate early, and it could be a later group 'up in the hills' (away from bishopric control). The latter struggles due to many examples of bishops wildly stomping outliers, beginning with Ignatus.


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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 10 2019 3:23 PM

Puddin’:
I read excerpts from a university Ph.D. dissertation recently w. current quotes from bonafide scholars that speak to this same conclusion regarding the Didache.

I find that in theological studies (in contrast to linguistics or religious studies that touch on Christian subject), one of the first things to do in evaluating a source is to consider whether or not the "scholar" has a belief to protect. (see belief revision logic) and the theology bent of the school they attended. Why? personal experience. I attended for 1 year a religious college that I refuse to acknowledge that I know anything about. I knew it was a crap school despite its reputation when my biology teacher informed us that a certain chemical could not be made in the lab, a chemical that he considered crucial to evolution. Only problem was that the week before, I'd learned how to synthesize it in honors chemistry and it was more than a decade since it was first done.

Didache is not an area in which I am an expert. But from my quick review of the literature, it is a perfect example of why Logos needs a simple argument mapping tool. The original arguments for a early date that I have seen were quite weak - establishing the possibility but requiring substantial additional research. The original argument for a late date were a combination of quite strong objections to the early date and partisan objections to the inconvenience to their belief system of the earlier date. In what I have read, the additional research both due to studying newly found documents and due to dropping a Euro-centric study for a world-wide church study, have strengthened the early date position and weakened the objections that led to the later date position. Whether or not the shift is sufficient to lead someone to change their position is a judgment call but a simple argument mapping tool would allow one to lay the date out, modify the information as one's knowledge expands, and encourage the holding of beliefs based on the best information available to you rather than by habit (as in the biology prof at the unnamed school).

Have fun exploring the issue.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 6402
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 10 2019 3:31 PM

The Biblical truth without quoting none sense from uninspired humans is that the church is made up of the body of the saved/reconciled not just any unconverted nice people that choose to attend regularly to worship services (That’s the logical conclusion based on the entire Biblical data, not cherry picking Scriptures). Any sinner can host a devo at their home or attend potlucks or church related events, but at the end of the day and in the final biblical analysis, they’ll never become members until they get saved the Bible way.  Period and end of discussion! 👍😁👌

Any more questions? I thought so...NEXT!

😜

DAL

Posts 10177
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 10 2019 4:44 PM

DAL:
Any more questions?

Ok, now, this 'Bible way' thing you mention. As I understand it, there's 431 'Bible ways' to be saved (churches available on Sunday morning in your average size metropolis). Statistically, how can one 'hit the bulls-eye' (or thread the needle, as an early Galilean preacher spoke to)? Is there a Logos tool for this?

Ok, no answer ... just pointing out the obvious.


Posts 6402
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 10 2019 5:24 PM

Denise,

It’s called common sense and it’s not a logos tool it’s a tool God gave you. For example: The Bible says Baptism saves you and is unto/in order to receive remission/forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21; Mark 16:16), but that doesn’t mean baptism alone saves you or that it is the only thing you need to do to be saved.  The Bible also tells you repentance leads to eternal life (Acts 11:18; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Luke 13:5; Acts 2:38) but that doesn’t mean all you need to do is repent.  The Bible tells you confessing is unto/ in order to be saved (Romans 10:9-10), but that doesn’t mean confessing is all you do. The Bible also tells you to believe in order to be saved and please God (Mark 16:16; Hebrews 11:6), but that doesn’t mean believe is all you do because even demons believe (James 2:19).  By the way, faith is a work ( John 6:28-29) a verse ignored by those who  claim works don’t save. And you must remain faithful and overcome always to be saved (Revelation 2:10; 2 Timothy 4:6-8).
I have purposely avoided the traditional order of the steps of the plan of salvation as I teach them on Sundays for an obvious reason: To illustrate the fact that many churches teach one or the other, others go as far as teaching there’s nothing you have to do because it’s all grace; but the truth remains that by cherry picking (being sarcastic here), you can put 2 and 2 together and find out that it’s all those steps (i.e. Faith, repentance, confession, baptism and being faithful) that God commands and you must obey if you want the free gift of salvation.  There’s no such thing as different ways to be saved — some pick faith only, others  pick confession only, others repentance only, etc. but it’s all those steps together found by cherry picking (sacasm again) that you must obey to receive salvation— anything less than that, is not biblical.

Anyway, getting late and I must have some sleep before going to work 😉

DAL

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 10 2019 7:13 PM

DAL:

Any sinner can host a devo at their home or attend potlucks or church related events, but at the end of the day and in the final biblical analysis, they’ll never become members until they get saved the Bible way.  Period and end of discussion! 👍😁👌

Any more questions? I thought so...NEXT!

😜

DAL

Thank you God ... the only person authorized to speak this definitely. In other words, cut the theological stuff - you know better.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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