Preaching the Didache (50-70 C.E.): A Sermon Series Retrospective

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During the season of Epiphany, I preached a six-part sermon series on the Didache (usually pronounced DID-ah-KAY").As part of my preparation, I reread Tony Jones’ book The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing & Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community and watched the supplemental DVD from Paraclete Press. Jones has written that: If you don’t know what the Didache is, it is an early Christian document, only rediscovered in 1873 in a dusty library in Nicomedia. A … [Read more...]

“Your Daughters Shall Prophecy”: Abolishing the Laity and Ordaining Women

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Note: This post is the final installment in our six-part study of the ancient Christian document the Didache (50-70 C.E., pronounced “DID-ah-KAY). For previous installments in this series, see the links at the end. Appoint bishops for yourselves, as well as deacons, worthy of the Lord, of meek disposition, unattached to money, truthful and proven; for they also render to you the service of prophets and teachers. Didache 15:1Whom should we ordain? And why?To begin to respond to these … [Read more...]

Christ-peddlers: If God is still speaking, how do you know if someone is authentically speaking for God?

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Note: This post is the fifth in a six-part series on the ancient Christian document called the Didache (50-70 C.E., pronounced "DID-ah-KAY). Links to previous entries in this series are at the bottom of this post. 11:1 Welcome the teacher when he comes to instruct you in all that has been said.... 11:2 If he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. 11:5 But he must not remain more than one day, or two, if there's a need. If he stays … [Read more...]

The Pragmatism of the Didache: Eucharist Like You’ve Never Heard It Before

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9:1 Concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. 2 First, concerning the cup: We thank you, God, for the holy vine of David your servant, which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever. Next, concerning the broken bread: We thank you, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever. 9:4 Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, … [Read more...]

Is Baptism Overrated?

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Preview: Baptism is not overrated when it is viewed as a powerful sacrament and a transformative means of experiencing grace. And I recognize that many of my Baptist and Anabaptist forebears were persecuted, suffered, or died for the right to baptize adult believers as they saw fit according to their local congregation.Nevertheless, baptism is overrated anytime it is used as a barrier to Communion or even as a barrier to church membership. Open Communion to all without exception is both what … [Read more...]

The Pragmatism of the Didache: At Least Do What You Can

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3:1 My child, flee evil of all kinds, and everything like it. 2 Don't be prone to anger, for anger leads to murder. Don't be jealous or quarrelsome or hot-tempered, for all these things lead to murder. 3 My child, don't be lustful, for lust leads to illicit sex. Don't be a filthy talker or allow your eyes a free reign, for these lead to adultery.... 5 My child, don't be a liar, since a lie leads to theft. Don't love money or seek glory, for these things lead to thievery. 6 My child, don't … [Read more...]


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