1 Corinthians 11:27-34 (“If Anyone Is Hungry”)

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(1Co 11:27-28 ESV) 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

(lyrics below)

This is one of the several most horribly misused verses in all of scripture. Which says a lot. Context! Context! Context!

When I was a kid and for long afterwards, some very foolish preachers taught that this means you damn yourself if you take the Lord’s supper when someone is holding a grudge against you. Meaning, of course, that Jesus damned himself when he took the Last Supper because nearly the entire Sanhedrin wanted him dead! Continue reading

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Post Up at Wineskins

theLordsSupperMy post Reflecting on “The Future of Churches of Christ: Table & Baptism” is up at Wineskins.

It fits well with the 1 Corinthians 11 materials on communion. You might want to take a look.

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1 Corinthians 11:22-26 (the Supper of the Lord)

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(1Co 11:22 ESV) 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

One possible interpretation is that Paul considers it wrong for the church to eat a common meal together. He can’t be saying that it’s wrong to eat in the building or to have a kitchen in the building since the church met in private homes — where people ate and had kitchens.

After all, since the church was not licensed by the Roman government, it could not own property or build its own buildings. In some communities, a friendly synagogue or Grecian official might allow the church to occasionally borrow a facility to gather as a whole, but routine, weekly meetings had to be in a house.

Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 11:17-21 (The Love Feast and the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb)

250px-Agape_feast_03Abusing the Lord’s Supper

(1Co 11:17-19 ESV) 17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse.  18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part,  19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.

These are sad accusations. The assembly of the saints does more harm than good! How tragic. After all, it’s in assembly, when we are physically together, when we should best be able to demonstrate the unity and the love that comes from God. But in Corinth, they evidenced selfishness, which led to division.

Continue reading

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Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy: Discipleship

KingdomConspiracy2We’re discussing Scot McKnight’s latest book Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church.

Discipleship

Scot next urges us to an ever-deepening discipleship (which he doesn’t quite define). He urges three practices:

* First, preach from the entire Bible, not just a few pet passages. He recommends the use of a lectionary — a word unfamiliar to us in the Churches of Christ, but the practice is quite ancient — going back to at least the Third Century AD among Christians. And we have thousands of manuscripts of ancient lectionaries. Continue reading

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Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy: Conversion

KingdomConspiracy2We’re discussing Scot McKnight’s latest book Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church.

Conversion

Now, the A-B-A’ way of telling the scriptures’ story has certain implications. For example, if the plan is for God to be king, ruling through Jesus, then for anyone else to claim kingship is usurpation — sin.

In the Garden of Eden, we see this in the nature of Satan’s temptation of Eve: Continue reading

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Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy: The Bible in Two Stories

KingdomConspiracy2We’re discussing Scot McKnight’s latest book Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church.

Scot points out that both the local church and academia have learned — finally — to read the Bible as story. One such story might be summarized as C-F-R-C: the story of salvation in the Bible.

(And this is very much the story as related by Scot in his excellent The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, which we covered in this series.) The story goes like this. Continue reading

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Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy: Social Justice

KingdomConspiracy2We’re discussing Scot McKnight’s latest book Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church.

Changing culture

Scot challenges the Pleaded Pants and Skinny Jeans assumption that Christians should be about changing the culture of the world as Kingdom work.

[James Davison] Hunter’s study [To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World (required reading to be a serious student of such things)] reminds us all of fundamental issues at work in any attempt to change culture.

He argues that culture changes from top down and not from bottom up; that evangelicals on the Left and Right do not have enough social and cultural capital to change culture; that culture is resistant to any intentional change; that most Christian groups today are too politically activist in grasping for power; and that the gospel does not valorize power but loving service. Continue reading

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Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy: Pleated Pants

KingdomConspiracy2We’re discussing Scot McKnight’s latest book Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church.

In contrast to the Skinny Jeans kingdom approach, Scot speaks of the Pleated Pants theorizing of academia.

A little more completely, [the Pleated Pants academics'] questions are:

Is the kingdom already here, or is it still in the future?

And is the kingdom a dynamic rule of God or the realm over which God rules— that is, a nation or a people or a territory, such as the kingdom of Denmark?

Continue reading

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Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy: Skinny Jeans

KingdomConspiracy2We’re discussing Scot McKnight’s latest book Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church.

In the last post, we considered the various Millennial theories. In contemporary evangelical discussions, however, the idea of “kingdom” has been discussed in very different terms. Continue reading

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