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But the overarching feature of the agenda was the word. But it also provided mutual encouragement among the people: they shared their experiences of living as Christians in often hostile surrounds; they were ready with thanksgiving and praise to God; and intercession for believers elsewhere also was part of the pattern. Whether there was a developed routine—a liturgy—for their meetings is unknown to us, but the existence of leaders who were to be followed There is no integrated picture available, but we put together this partial picture from the scattered bits of live evidence in the letter; in that picture we perceive first the absolute centrality of the person of Jesus, their great high priest, and then their own presence with their high priest in the world beyond the veil.

It should fill our gaze and dazzle our imagination. The booklet ends with three Appendices, exploring the role of baptism and Communion in Hebrews, the use of the letter in Anglican liturgy, and suggestions for new liturgy based on the text of the letter. It is a great read, and classic Buchanan in its combination of clarity, robustness and freshness of insight—both into Hebrews as a letter and into the task of corporate worship.

You will find yourself thinking again and asking yourself questions about long-held assumptions and practices. My only quibble with this is when he suggests that 1 Peter means the lack of priesthood in the NT.


Logically, then, there can be a sense of all the people being a priesthood with a distinct role of a priest that is separate from that — the two two not mutually exclusive. I felt that his point re: 1 Pet was simply that the people of God are now seen as a priesthood in a way that the OT priests never were cf Rev Thanks for bringing this to attention Ian. What does the average person understand when they hear the word Eucharist?

I managed to get into my twenties with an English degree without knowing what it meant. Our language needs to be at least potentially accessible. However, as Buchanan is fully aware, like the vestments controversy, which was settled through the Elizabethan Act of Uniformity, the designation of priest was part of a fragile compromise between High Church and Low Church beliefs.

While I understand that elders should ensure order at church gatherings, if evangelical Anglicans were serious about the return of presbyters, they would challenge the normative restrictions that prevent laity from administering the following rites: 1. Baptism despite laity being able to administer in emergency ; 2.

Consecration of the Eucharist 3. Reconciliation of a penitent; 4. Anointing of the sick. Additionally, I would expect decency and order without quenching the Spirit with the level of stagecraft and choreography that typifies most Anglican services even the happy-clappy ones and prevents the laity from the kind of spontaneity in prayer, reflection and testimony which characterized the early Church.

For instance, Irenaeus wrote in Book 4, Chapter 4. From all such persons, therefore, it behooves us to keep aloof, but to adhere to those who, as I have already observed, do hold the doctrine of the apostles, and who, together with the order of priesthood presbyterii ordine He maintains the understanding of church leaders as an order of elders. Burton Scott Eaton wrote in his exposition of The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus This appearance of sacerdotal titles for Christian ministers—something that is foreign to the New Testament— was a consequence of the adoption of sacrificial terms for Christian worship:1 sacrifice are offered by priests.

So Didache This development does not square with scripture.

House Churches in the New Testament - Franciscan Media

While a presiding role is required for due order, Paul explains in 1 Cor. At the risk of sounding like a Protestant heretic, the development of sacerdotal imagery for Christian worship and ministry seems to have been quite a natural one relatively early on as you say, the Didache uses it and that is 1st century from scriptural ideas and met little resistance. Is it really such a crucial issue that we must take a stand on it? Sacerdotal privilege conveys the notion, which is widespread among lay Anglicans, that their relationship with God is mediated instead of just being facilitated by ordained ministry, form and ritual; that they are not assigned to a different kind of service to God, but to a different order of relationship with God.

While observing due order requires authority, the absolute sacerdotal restrictions on who can baptise, anoint the sick, and consecrate the Eucharist simply exacerbates this issue.

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He was here lecturing in Canterbury last year and it was a great pleasure to hear him after so many years…the 3 vols are a real tour de force. Perry Butler. Lots to think about and respond to there, Ian! As I am married to a Christian, it is easier for me to do this, by reading the bible with my wife each day and applying it to each other. Do we actually do this?

Translated by Percy Scott. Philadelphia: Westminster, Hurtado, Larry W. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, Sets earliest Christian worship in its historical context, discusses key features, and particularly notes the inclusion of Jesus as corecipient of worship with God. Originally published in Carlisle, UK: Paternoster.

Edited by Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, — Nashville: Abingdon, An introduction to phenomena and key scholarly issues in current scholarly study of earliest Christian worship. Martin, Ralph P. Worship in the Early Church. A good student-level survey of the New Testament data focusing on the basics.

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Originally published in Moule, Charles F. Bramcote, UK: Grove, Peterson, David.

How did the first Christians ‘worship’?

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What did the Early Christians Actually Believe About Jesus?

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House Churches in the New Testament

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