Tag Archive | Church History

Food For Thought: Summer’s Ending Edition

Every week here at Pursuing Glory I try to bring together the best posts I’ve found that will equip the end-times church to operate in her God-ordained destiny.  These are the best blogs, articles, books and other resources related to our purpose here at this site.  Feel free to visit, comment, and make use of the resources found at each site.

It’s painfully obvious that summer is almost over.  Now we await the cold of Fall and Winter.  The plus side is my office will become more usable and that may mean more time for blogging. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and let you know if that ever materializes.

Time for America to Turn Back to God

I was encouraged by this call to repentance from Bob Roberts Jr. It lacked the typical “time to take back America from the Godless” rhetoric, but still called America back to God in practical, essential ways.

Monuments: Destiny

God calls us to set up monuments to His work in our lives. In this post, Josh recounts the moments God has directed him in supernatural ways to work  and live among the poor of the Earth.

Teams That Build Movements

One of the things that I’ve been hearing from the Lord is that our inability to work as a team is a hindrance to creating disciple making movements.  Guy’s post is an excellent primer on what makes teams work.

It’s Not About Church Planting

I’m encouraged by the fact that more and more people are gaining this perspective.  Church planting is fruitless unless it is the result of new converts coming to Jesus.

BONUS MEDIA LINK:

The Salvation Army – Lessons for Us

Lex Loizides, uber Christian historian from the New Frontiers tribe, made his conference session on the history of the Salvation Army available for download.  The Salvation Army has an amazing history that should provoke us all to live a missional lifestyle and Lex’s retelling of their story is a great way to “touch the bones” of this movement.

Photo Credit: Design Probes – Food for Thought by centralasian.

Food For Thought: Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness

Every week here at Pursuing Glory I try to bring together the best posts I’ve found that will equip the end-times church to operate in her God-ordained destiny.  These are the best blogs, articles, books and other resources related to our purpose here at this site.  Feel free to visit, comment, and make use of the resources found at each site.

I just finished my first week of my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness challenge.  I’m really excited about the results so far, but blogging every day has definitely taken a lot out of me, especially when I was already in the middle of other series. I’m also going to include a link at the bottom of every “Food For Thought” throughout this month that will direct you to a post that contains the Thirty Day Fruitfulness posts from the previous week.

An Analysis of Jim Belcher’s “Deep Church” This is a guest post by John Zens on Frank Viola’s blog Reimagining Church.  John looks at the issues found in the book Deep Church that I hear repeated throughout the body of Christ but seem to be missing the point.  John argues that we need to stay true to our biblical foundations in search of a “deep church.”

Discipleship within simple/organic/house churches Felicity at Simply Church blogs about a common spiritual discipline that allows mutliplying house churches to disciple new converts quickly and effectively.  We’ve been using this process for a year now with some significant fruit.

Organic Discipleship @ The Jesus Virus Ross Rhodes has written a phenomenal guide to discipleship within organic communities that contains too many posts to list here individually.  If you’re part of an organic church, check out “What Is Organic Discipleship,” “Organic Discipleship #1 The Place of the Bible,” “Organic Discipleship #2 The Place of Prayer,” “Organic Discipleship #3 The Bible In Community,” “Organic Discipleship #4 Prayer in Community,” and “Organic Discipleship #5 Pray for the Lost.”

Lessons Eusebius Taught Me Maurice Smith at Parousia Network Cyber Cafe reflects on his journey through Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius, the 3rd Century Christian historian.  He shares eight lessons that the house church movement and the larger body of Christ can definitely benefit from.

Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness: Week One Check out what we’ve been doing here at this blog through out the Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.

Photo Credit: Design Probes – Food for Thought by centralasian.

No, I Don’t Want To!

Alan, over at his blog, The Assembling of the Church writes about a recent school project his kids have been working on.  In his post he writes:

“They started by reading The Church History by Eusebius. His primary goal is to prove succession from the apostles to the bishops of his day.

However, he has another goal: listing many of the people who died because they professed Christ.

Interestingly, many of these martyrs did not die because they believed that Jesus Christ was divine or that he was raised from the dead. Instead, some were charged with crimes against the state and humanity.

What kinds of crimes? Well, crimes like cannibalism, incest, and atheism. Now, obviously, those early Christians were not cannibals. But, the people around them thought they were cannibals. Similarly, they were not practicing incest nor were they atheists. But, their neighbors thought they were. Why?

This week, my children have to pick one of the three crimes listed above and indicate how they would defend themselves against the charge.”

Then Alan asked a question of his readers.  He writes:

“What about you? Could you defend yourself from a charge of cannibalism, incest, or atheism in a manner that your friends, neighbors, and co-workers would understand? Wanna try it?”

Now, normally I’m not very stirred up by bloggers asking questions like this.  But this time I was. I had this deep response in my gut that could only be satisfied by shifting from lurker status and posting my response on his blog.  I’ll quote my response below.  Tell me what you think:

“My immediate first reaction to your post is absolutely not (to the question, “Wanna try?”). Here’s why: Knowing only a little context for why the first believers were called cannibals and incestuous, basically what I would have to defend is our meetings, and winning against a charge might mean I’ve missed something very important in my spiritual life.

They were called incestuous because of their “love feasts” which, if I’m not mistaken had everything to do with the Lord’s supper. The close relationships and celebration between people otherwise unrelated lead outsiders to believe these “love feasts” had more than just an “agape” kind of love going on. I could very easily defend why our love feasts are not incestuous to an outsider, and to some degree that is to my shame.  I would win on the charge, but it would mean there is no true love going on in our feasts being mistaken for something else.

The same could be said for the charge of cannibalism. (If I’m thinking correctly) Outsiders would frequently hear of believers eating the body and blood of Jesus. That phrase was both real to believers of the early church (meaning they took it seriously, we treat it as only a metaphor) and it was atrociously real to outsiders. I could defend why we are not cannibals to an outsider, but again, it may be to my shame. Winning against that charge would mean I’ve not taken the command to eat His body and drink His blood seriously.

On the other hand, I think most of us could easily defend ourselves against the charge of atheism. But in our culture you just have to have a mental ascent to a higher power in order to stand against this charge. No big victory there.”

How about you?  What do you think about these charges?  How would you respond?  You can leave your responses here or you can head over to Alan’s blog and join the conversation.

Photo Credit: Martyr’s Death by FaceMePLS.