Some years ago a group fashioned itself as a renewal group. Intent to stem the perceived tide of progress they labeled themselves a group to return a local church to “a New Testament Church.” After some years of college and seminary I reflected on that moment in my Christian experience and wondered, “Which New Testament Church are you choosing?”
Romanticism dies hard. Idealism even harder. Would we romantically wish to fashion ourselves after the New Testament Church in Corinth? Rife with division and struggling to live in new ways, the letters of Paul to Corinth should dispel any romantic misgivings. Even if we selected the New Testament Church at Philipi, arguably the least dysfunctional of them all, our idealism would crumble under the weight of either self-serving preachers or female leaders in conflict.
These things came to mind as I finished Tony Jones‘ latest book.