Preface

Were you guys waiting for me to post something?  Please, just kindly let me know next time.  I had no idea…

Preface

I believe the authors lay out the foundation for their work beginning in the preface and introduction.  On the very first page of the preface, a straw man is built on the lives of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Despite the extreme oversimplification of his argument surrounding Jesus’ chief opponents, his tie to contemporary Christianity is the greater issue.  He lumps everything into one neat little package (his contemporary Christianity) so that he can propose the enlightened answer.  He takes the complex church world and lumps everyone together proclaiming biblical superiority over his concept of contemporary Christianity.

He goes on to make a statement on the second page proclaiming that, “I believe the first-century church was the church in its purest form, before it was tainted or corrupted.  Wow, this is intriguing.  Isn’t half of the New Testament written to combat problems, both doctrinally and practically, in the church?  Most of Paul’s writings are in response to the corruption and sin involved in the church.  How long does it take in the book of acts before we start to see issues rising in this non-tainted, non-corrupt church – the beginning of Acts 5.  So, it took 2 chapters following Pentecost for issues to begin to arise.  Then, Chapter 6 brings on deacons (a response to another major issue of partiality) and so on and so on…

The author makes a profound leap to state that polity and normative practices are prescribed in Scripture to fit his desired practice.  Yet, no place in Scripture prescribes the setup of the church and it rarely comments on its early practice.  Could the Text also remain silent on purpose?  He goes on to describe the great answer to the degradation of Christianity – the organic church.  “An organic church is simply a church that is born out of spiritual life instead of constructed by human institutions and held together by religious programs.”  Two things I would simply comment on this simple church.  Something becomes a program when it is repeated for a specific purpose.  It becomes a human instituted program when something is repeated for a specific purpose by humans.  Humans make up the church.  We are the body of Christ.  So, I guess an organic church doesn’t tell people where they are meeting or when, because they don’t know.  It would then become a program.  I guess it just happens as someone has a spiritual moment.  I know what the author means but the problem is not that it is a program or that it is religious.  Deconstructionism to its core leads to spiritual chaos.  Even the choosing of deacons was a religious institution.  I will touch later or his non-hierarchical structure.  Frankly, it is not found anywhere in Scripture, Old or New Testament.

I don’t want to appear sarcastic or argumentative because I really want to look at honest eyes at this book.  I think I will learn from it and I will try to pick out positive aspects to highlight as well.  But his preface, the foundation of the book, is shaky at best.  I think everyone would agree that churches all across America have problems.  I like that he wants the church to return to Scripture but his solutions are largely based on his opinions and assertions he has drawn from the text.

So, let it begin, again…

PC

Alright, here we go.  I am excited to jump into the conversation that many of you who will read this have already begun, the evaluation of the book, PC.  I want to set a couple of ground rules I think will be appropraite to keep our discussion within good bounds.  Let’s not refer to the title of the book but only PC.  Those who want to add to the discussion are more than welcome but I don’t want to disparage any author.  I will create another category called PC on the blog and categorize each entry in that Category.  Let’s create a separate entry for each Chapter and see where we go.

The other guideline I think we should employ encourages us to critically think about the book from a biblical standpoint.  The authors, as well as you and I, come to varying conclusions regarding varying issues.  All of us walk into the discussion with our own prolegomena, or pressuppositions.  Our experience, upbringing, and decisions have shaped the way we view things.  So, insted of getting caught in the trap of what works for me – let’s evaluate the book on what Scripture states and what it doesn’t state.  Our opinions are certainly appropraite if we come under the same umbrella – submitting oursleves to the truth of Scripture.

Well, I hope that makes sense.  I will soon post some thoughts on Pre-chapter 1.  Thanks guys, I look forward to a lively and constructive dialogue.