Didache Blog Tour – Day Six, Chapter Seven

Didache Blog Tour – Day Six, Chapter Seven December 7, 2009
The Four Riders of the Apocalypse by Albrect Durer

A couple more bloggers have written up the final chapter (“The End Is Nigh”) in The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing and Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community.  They both point to modern apocalyptic media to elucidate the brief apocalypse at the end of the Didache.

Mike Stavlund writes of a professor assigning the Lord of the Flies in an effort to introduce undergrads to the metaphorical power of apocalypses.  He then writes,

Taking a mere 20 minutes to read aloud, the Didache is refreshingly simple.  It is less about studying, and more about living.  Less about preaching, and more about practicalities.  And it leans away from Paul’s seeming perfectionism toward an ethical system that is much more manageable– ‘do the best you can‘ is a dictum that is mentioned more than once.

So when the Didache community considered the end of the story, and all of the apocalyptic prognostication that existed then (just as now), they were refreshingly truncated in their advice.  Stay faithful.  Be true.  And (as Tony summarizes), God wins.

Greg Arthur concurs,

The real gem of beauty in this part of the Didache is the simple instruction to be ready. It is important for these young Christians to understand that indeed Christ will come again and at his coming there will be the resurrection of the dead and the judgment of all people and the praise of Jesus as Lord by all people. So make sure you are ready.

It would serve us well as the church to try and practice these simple words of eschatology more often in our instructions to our churches: be ready. Watch your lives, gird your loins, keep the lamps burning and be ready. There are no words of panic or predictions about how soon this will happen, there is just simple advice of what to watch for as these young Christians go about living out their faith.

Online Resources:

Previously: Adam, Thomas, and me on chapter one. Amy, Ted, and me on chapter three.  Holly, Tripp, and me on chapter four.  Mike and me on chapter five.  Brother Maynard and me on chapter six.

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