Friday, June 21, 2019

What Is Church?--Part 1 of Missional Ecclesiology Notes from David Fitch





A summary of my Day 1 notes:

see also church practices handout

Intro from a Facebook post on April 26:

"When a church gets old, often in three or four generations, as it carries on the traditions of its founding, it finds itself doing things in certain ways - “the way things always have been done.” Meanwhile the culture around has changed – sometimes significantly (like the country has turned post Christian in 50 years). The language of the culture has changed. The cultural assumptions about church, the sociological orbits upon which these traditions depended, have all changed, and so we need to ask the basic questions over again. What are we doing here? What is church? And why is it so important? And if the what and the why can be re-established all over again… we need to ask the how question all over again, how do we do this thing called church in a way that makes sense in our times?"

Key Statement:
"The church is defined by practices that embody beliefs"

Analysis of the Bible names for church and how they communicate the "key statement" above

  • The Way--speaks to a set of practices
  • The People of God--speaks to a way of life, a royal priesthood
  • Body of Christ--speaks of an organism driven by participation
  • Ekklesia--gathering of civic importance
New Testament Church was a practicing community under a different rule, a community where there is a "stunning lack of hierarchy"



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