The no-adjective church

Chuck Warnock’s written a great post pleading for a ‘no-adjective church’ – or really, for church to mean what it should mean again:

But, in the Book of Acts, they didn’t need adjectives.  Church was a community, a refuge, a place of healing, a gathering of God’s people, open to others, driven by fellowship and mission, obedient to God, gathered for worship, inclusive of slave and free, innovative, sharing, caring, loving, powerful, prayerful, worshiping, gifted — an expression of the kingdom coming in the world now.

3 thoughts on “The no-adjective church

  1. Hey Nathan, Do you think this might be over romanticising the early church a little too much. Certainly we do have heaps to learn from the early church but it did have it’s problems. Primarily, whether it was a just a Jewish sect or wether gentile could be a part of it. So imagine there would have been Peter found churches or Paul founded churches or some churches saying I follow Paul or I follow Apollos (1Cor 1:12). So does that mean that you’re going to change the name of your blog to “a church going person in Perth”? 😉

  2. Chuck – thanks for stopping by.

    Chris – good points. The early church had it’s problems, but I think that in many important ways we should try to emulate it. We’ve certainly got to engage our culture with the gospel in the same way they did to theirs, but I actually think a lot of the practices of the early church should be normative for us.

    There were divisions back then, as you rightly point out. And we should learn from the answers Paul gives them. It’s not that the early church was perfect, but that it had its structures right and its practices right – even when it got them wrong. The church at Corinth wasn’t eating together in the right way, but at least they were eating together and Paul could urge them to do it in a way which glorifies God.

    Today, church doesn’t mean all these things Chuck mentions, and that’s why other labels are still important.

    What I like about Chuck’s post is him pointing out that church used to be a radical thing. Alas language always marches on.

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