Didache Blog Tour – Day Five, Chapter Six

Over at Subversive Influence, Brother Maynard has written a thorough and wonderful reflection on The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing and Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community, the sixth chapter of which is, “Living Together in Community.”

The Didache has a lot to say about how a Christian community should get along.  In fact, it can be argued that the entire document is really a manual for church harmony.  Bro Maynard does a great job of walking us through the chapter, finding notes of agreement and even some of slight disagreement.

But what I found most interesting is his conclusion, in which he revisits his conversation with Frank Viola over the controversial book, Pagan Christianity,

Tony Jones calls the Didache “the most important book you’ve never heard of.” While I’m familiar with it myself, I concur with his assessment that most Christians today are not, and that it is an important work with which we should be grappling. In fact, the omission of any mention of the Didache was one of my major criticisms with Frank Viola’s Pagan Christianity, and my discussion of it actually centers on the very passages discussed in this chapter of Tony’s book. I gave Frank the opportunity to respond in an interview, and he did. You may note there the implied ascription of a second-century date for the Didache, but an early date makes it that much more important for Frank to have dealt with in his work, and this is in my mind what makes Pagan Christianity more of a popular than a scholarly work. (Note that Ben Witherington also goes to the Didache in his critique of Pagan Christianity.)

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