I’ve tried to highlight certain assumptions: (1) the church is made up of people; (2)that the church could only come about after certain historical requirements were in place; and (3) that the church’s leadership is divine (in other words: God is the church’s leader). Following those assumptions (and an unmentioned fourth) I progressed to highlighting the Goal of the church summed up in glorifying God by glorifying Christ. Such a broad definition leaves the most vague of us floating helplessly through a foamy sky of ambiguous vapor. Therefore, I want to spend some time looking at how that purpose is evidenced by the overarching work of the church.
Congregational and Bible Churches have long raised a banner that lays claim to New Testament Principles. Disagreeing vehemently with their banners, hierarchal churches within the single pastor systems have taken to questioning Congregational reasoning and shaken sympathetic pastoral heads. Over all this the Roman Catholic Church has pointed to the shaky claims of the entire Protestant movement, stuck its thumbs in its theological breeches and scoffed. But I have to ask: who is right? What does a church established on New Testament principles actually look like?
A good introduction is like a good pair of shoes: when it fits it’ll go a long way. On the big screen, right after the title credits you see that line and automatically you start expecting historical fiction. Oh you’ll easily acknowledge what parts are fact (like the Revolution, or the signing of documents) and which parts are fiction (the messy love triangle maybe) but in the end you come out thinking you’ve actually seen a bit of history, Hollywood style. Well, maybe we’re not all that naÃƒÂ¯ve-but do we ever go back and research the facts from the false?