Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Church Planting?

One interest that I have is in the spread of the Gospel and the multiplication of churches (bodies of believers). I have read many books on church planting from modern authors. There seems to be a common thread among the books. It seems as if church planting is being defined as the replication of an institution.

Many of the books teach you how to find a building to meet in, how to secure finances, and how to market the new church. These things are presented as essential to the proper functioning of a church. The problem I am having is that the Scripture does not indicate that these types of concerns are essential to a church. There seems to be a difference between the Scriptural portrayal of the Church and modern day methods of starting a church. So I have some questions for you.

Is church planting a biblical concept? If so, how should it be defined? What are believers called to reproduce (more believers, an institution, or something else)? How do churches maintain relationships with other churches the way it is modeled in Scripture (for example, the churches in Macedonia and Achaia were involved with the church in Jerusalem despite the geographic distance)? I am still working through these questions and would like to hear from and dialogue with others about them.

Friday, May 12, 2006


The past couple of weeks have been extremely busy. I was finishing my paper on the textual variant in Acts 2:42. While this work consumed almost all of my time, it was very productive since I learned a great deal from the research.

My conclusion was that the "and" should be included in the verse for a couple of reasons. First this reading has the most geographically widespread attestation. It was found in all the text types while the omission was found in two text types. Also, the inclusion of "and" seemed to match Luke's theology given his expanded definition of koinonia in the verses that follow.

Luke portrays the early Christians as sharing their lives with each other in a wide variety of ways. They shared meals together, prayed together, and even sold their posessions to help those in need. I finished my paper with the question of whether these activities that the early believers devoted themselves to are normative for Christians today. I argue that they are not only normative but also essential to the proper functioning of the body of Christ.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Progress on Acts 2:42

I am currently making slow but steady progress on my paper to resolve the variant in Acts 2:42. One interesting thing I have found is that in modern English translations of the verse, the only translations that include the "and" were produced between 1534 and 1899. Any translation produced after 1899 does not include the "and." This means the the KJV and NKJV are split in the way they deal with this variant even though they are both based off the Textus Receptus (which includes the "and"). I wonder what could cause such a drastic change in the way the verse was translated. I propose some things in my paper...but I will leave you in suspense for now.

Last Weekend

This past weekend my wife and I spent some time at the farm of Dr. David Alan Black for his and Mrs. Blacks student day. We had a wonderful time sharing each others lives. We took a tour of the farm, shared a meal together, and even tried some Ethiopian food. I love to try food from other cultures so this was quite a treat. Thank you Dr. and Mrs. Black for your hospitality. We truly felt at home while we were at your home.