Saturday, August 15, 2015

Book Review: Raised with Christ by Adrian Warnock

Here are some more points (that were too much to share in Tweets along the way) that stood out to me from Adrian Warnock's book, Raised with Christ.

I appreciate how Warnock establishes that while Christianity requires faith to believe in the miraculous act of the resurrection, it is still a reasonable faith that also requires a softened heart and an alert mind at the same time. (ch. 2)
We use both to review the Biblical account of the resurrection and subsequent events.

In chapter 3, Warnock makes it clear how the examination of the evidence surrounding the resurrection naturally leads to certain conclusions. It is evident that the belief in resurrection was a part of true Christianity from the earliest moments, not a later addition. Since it was immediately proclaimed among the disciples and within the Gospels, it could have been just as quickly disproved if it had been false.

A great summary of the third chapter is Spurgeon's quote that demolishes the idea of lying disciples: "The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is one of the best attested facts on record." 

Warnock succinctly deals with the objections that the disciples or authorities may have stolen the body of Jesus, the disciples made up the resurrection story, the body was stolen, the disciples went to the wrong tomb, Jesus never actually died on the cross, the eyewitnesses were all hallucinating, etc. It also lists some of the extra-biblical references that support claims of a bodily resurrection, and makes me more intrigued by N.T. Wright's work on this subject.

After establishing an historical basis for the event of the resurrection, Warnock moves into the spiritual and practical implications of the resurrection throughout the rest of the book. One of his first tasks is to put emphasis on the idea that there needs to be attention given to both the Cross and the Resurrection, not one without the other. Warnock poses the question, Could it be that the resurrection has been neglected since its meaning is not nearly as controversial as other doctrines, like the meaning and effects of the death on the cross? From Warnock's writing, I learned that the term synecdoche refers to how the Bible may be talking about death and resurrection together sometimes when only seeming to refer to one or the other.

Overall, while I may not be 100% on board with every argument made in the book, I believe it achieved its primary purpose of re-focusing me on the power and effects of the resurrection. If this event really took place in miraculous fashion as proclaimed by followers of Jesus, then it truly does changes EVERYTHING!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cool Quotes - Felicity Dale

Here is another cool quote:

No longer is starting churches reserved for those who have gone through years of seminary training. No longer is it only the task of those with the title of pastor. No longer is it only the privilege of those with a special anointing. The Holy Spirit is not limited by our lack of natural ability or experience. All God is looking for is a willing, servant heart and someone who will listen to Him and follow as He leads.

                                                                                                -Felicity Dale

Cool Quotes - Nate Krupp & Roland Allen (Defining Church - 4)

As part of my study of Felicity Dale's book, Getting Started (A Practical Guide to House Church Planting), the "Cool Quotes" that I am sharing this week all have to do with how we identify or define the church.

Here are the quotes for today:

God has given us a plan for His church. It is found in the New Testament. It is a plan that is very simple, very natural, and very reproducible.
God’s plan is so simple, that we often don’t see it. I wonder if the devil has not blinded us from seeing it. It is a plan that will work under any circumstance: it will work inany culture; it will work in any geographical area; it will work in any political climate; it will work both in urban and rural areas; it will work under any economic condition; it will work anywhere!

                       ~ Nate Krupp, God’s Simple Plan for His Church

Thus, St. Paul seems to have left his newly-founded churches with a simple system of Gospel teaching, two sacraments, a tradition of the main facts of the death and resurrection, and the Old Testament. There was apparently no form of service, except, of course, the form of the sacraments. Nor was there any form of prayer, unless indeed he taught the Lord’s Prayer. To us, this seems remarkably little. We can hardly believe that a church could be founded on so slight a basis. And yet, it is possible that it was precisely the simplicity and brevity of the teaching which constituted its strength . . . By teaching the simplest elements in the simplest form to the many, and by giving them the means by which they could for themselves gain further knowledge, by leaving them to meditate upon these few fundamental truths, and to teach one another what they could discover, St. Paul ensured that his converts should really master the most important things.

                       ~ Roland Allen, Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cool Quotes - Jonathan Stuart Campbell (Defining Church - 3)

As part of my study of Felicity Dale's book, Getting Started (A Practical Guide to House Church Planting), the "Cool Quotes" that I am sharing this week all have to do with how we identify or define the church.

Here is the quote for today:

However, a church was not a congregation of 5000, 2000 or even 200. Rather, the New Testament church was a fellowship of smaller churches. This didn’t mean that if there were twenty or thirty churches in a city that the church was fractured. The Apostle Paul often referred to the church in a city or region as one church—such as the church in Corinth. It was one church even though it met in many different places. Although Paul knew of various local churches in a city, he wrote one letter with the assumption that it would suffice for all the churches in the area. This dual pattern of church, or inter-church dependence, would continue for three more centuries until Constantine centralized Christianity through the institutionalization of the church.
These two expressions of church—local and city—facilitated the extensive growth and reproduction of the early church throughout the Roman world (cf. Acts 2:42ff; 5:42; 20:20). In the most basic sense, the church is an assembly of believers who are united together around the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

         ~ Jonathan Campbell, The Translatability of ChristianCommunity

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cool Quotes - Robert Fitts (Defining Church - 2)

As part of my study of Felicity Dale's book, Getting Started (A Practical Guide to House Church Planting), the "Cool Quotes" that I am sharing this week all have to do with how we identify or define the church.

Here is the quote for today (actually, two separate quotes):

The Greek word for church, ekklesia, is composed of two words: “ek” meaning “out of,” and “kalleo,” meaning “I call.” The full and simple meaning of “church” according to the original word is, “I call out from.” When Jesus said, “I will build my church,” He was saying, “I will call My people out of the world, and they will assemble in My name, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against them.” This implies that His called-out people will rally as an army to take the world for Him, and the enemy will not be able to stop the advance. This invincible army will be motivated by the love of God within their hearts and a message of God’s love and forgiveness on their lips.
Actually, ekklesia carries two concepts: being called out and being assembled
together. We cannot experience church until we come together.

When two or three true, born-again believers come together in His name, Jesus is in the midst. Jesus in the midst is church! It is a different experience than Jesus within. We cannot experience Jesus in the midst when we are alone. We can only experience Jesus in the midst when we are in company with others—at least one or two others.
But is it a church in the fullest sense of the word? Yes, it is a church in the fullest sense of the word. It is the basic church. You can have more than two or three and it is still a church, but it does not become “more church” because there are more than two or three. It only becomes a bigger church.

                                                   ~ Robert Fitts, Saturation Church Planting