The church of Christ has always had leaders and a teaching ministry (cf. Eph. 4.11, Titus 1:5, Heb. 13:17, etc.). It's not wrong to think of the church as an institution; the church does have a structure. But the church also is the body of Christ, a living community that is called to love and… Continue reading The Church: Organism and Institution (Bavinck)
One big part of being Reformed is being Reformed in the area of church polity and practice. In other words, Reformed churches have a Presbyterian structure which is “re-formed” according to the New Testament model. Charles Hodge talked about this in his 1855 address called “What is Presbyterianism?” Here’s a nice summary paragraph from his… Continue reading Three Great Negations of Presbyterianism
As I mentioned in my last post (something I'm sure many of you know), there is a huge movement in the broader American/Western church which rejects all church authority. The Jesus-figure in The Shack clearly hints that office and authority structure in the church get in the way of one's relationship with himself. Evangelical church-goers… Continue reading The Early Church: A Dynamic, Progressive, Organic Community?
Before he was martyred between 98 and 117 AD, Ignatius (a bishop in Syrian Antioch) wrote seven letters to various churches in Asia Minor. In these letters, among several other things, we learn that Ignatius was writing to warn the churches of false teachers. He was also writing to encourage unity in the churches. How… Continue reading Ignatius On Church