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Showing posts from July, 2019

Early Church Dynamics: Disappointed Enthusiasm or Missional Vigour?

Was there a crisis over a supposed ‘delay’ of Christ’s reappearing—His Second Coming—in the early Church?Did the early Church set itself up one way only to have to reorient itself later in the 1st century when believers’ initial enthusiasm about an imminent return of Christ was thwarted?The purpose of this essay is to challenge the thesis that (1) there was a ‘delay’ in the Church’s thinking about Christ’s return; (2) that this was the catalyst for the development of the Church from a non-eschatological/apocalyptic version of Christianity into a different version, ‘early Catholicism’; and (3) that the early Church maintained views, such as its understanding of Christian teaching (theology and ethics) or its ecclesial structure, that were not compatible with a focus on the question of Jesus’ imminent return.This discussion is of particular concern for missions, as will be shown.It offers a developmental view of the Church in the 1st century that finds disappointed enthusiasm at the cen…