Acts The Church and Ministerial Training

Kaitiaki's picture

Basically this is just a "what do we learn about the Church from Acts?" thread. As we watch Paul and Barnabas and then Paul and Silas building the Church in Acts, what can we learn about their concept of the Church as a whole? Robert suggested my original plan was too cumbersome so asked me to create new threads.

Thread Moderator: Kaitiaki

There are two aspects to this thread: the training of the local congregation (for the work of ministry - as in Ephesians) and the theological training of ministers (or pastors).

Acts shows us local congregations that trained young men (and women) for every appropriate aspect of Church work. That included the work of ministry and missions. Discuss this statement. Do you think it is valid? What implications (if any) are there for the present system in almost every denomination of sending young men to a seminary to be trained? How does your Church seek to apply those implications in the way they train ministers and missionaries?


Can of worms EDITED


    I too believe Paul wrote under inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Looking at Paul's declaration, I return to my earlier point, which was that scripture, in Paul's argument, is not declared inerrant in fact, but profitable in ministry (because they are inspired by God's Spirit/"God-Breathed"). Those are two different things. If we extend Paul's argument about Old Testament scripture to the New Testament, and assume that we can also say that the New Testament, while perhaps not inerrant, in fact is nonetheless profitable in ministry--to "make one wise unto salvation"--then we must then say that II Peter 3.16, which identifies Paul's epistles as sacred writings on par with scripture, extends Paul's definition of and understanding of the value of sacred writing to all of scripture, Old and New. Accordingly, II Peter 3.16 is not, systematically, an argument regarding the inerrancy of Paul's epistles, but about their ability to "make one wise unto salvation" as "profitable" works of ministry (as opposed to the documents of damnation others are turning them into).


    The basic and fundamental problem with this position on the New Testament should be obvious. If the passge in 2 Tim is authentic but not inerrant, then how can we claim it to be divinely authoritative? If it isnt then how do we have a basis to accept the Old Testament as authoritative? We cant on the basis of 2 Tim if it is not the authoritative Word of God. If Peter's statement about Paul's writings is not both inerrantly God inspired and authentic, then it is just the writing of man and doesnt deserve to be part of the Bible. Have you really thought through the slope this creates and where it leads? Christ is God. All He said in the Gospels are directly from God Himself; but if we reject the inerrancy of that witneess how can we accept their authority?

    Further, then we also open the door to spurious books that were rejected in the Old and New Testaments. Now we have to open the door to the Gospel of Judas, which some suspect may very well be authentic !!!! However, if it is an authentic letter from the Traitor before his suicide it would not be authoritative because it is not God-breathed as the rest of scripture is.

    The authentic articles written by the apostles are as authoritative as what Jesus said in the 4-fold witness known as the Gospel, or the prophets of the old testament. If one rejects the new testament as scripture then one must reject the Gospels and the passage to Timothy that says the Old Testament is scripture. IN that case the world is not left with a written revelation but only the mystical Jesus living in each person's imagination. No ! The corpus of what these NT Apostles taught was eternally empowered to be authoritative and God-breathed. The 12 are unique foundational ministries and offices on whose testimony the Church is built.When Peter says Paul's writings are like other scripture, Christ empowered these 12 to uniquely represent Him after His departure. They recorded their revelation forever in teh New Testament so if it is authentic it is authoritative. When Peter acts wrongly in Galatians he is acting as a mere man, but he is God's instrument when he pens 1-2 Peter. I dont mean mechanical inspiration but certainly that the truths these Apostles taught are eternal truths written as people under such influence from God they could not err in eternal truths.

    Ok I will give you that the Old and New Testament may not be as scientifically accurate in some areas as some scientific fact today (like quantum mechanics) but it was for the understanding of these people. If the people of the Bible believed the earth was flat then obviously that is not scientifically correct by today's knowledge. That is irrelvant to the inerrancy of scripture as pertains to faith and practice.

    Respectfully is it possible that not having a complete Bible which is trusted as inerrant and authoritative, on which to base one's theology and practice, could lead teh professing Christian to tremendous identity issues? IN the end, which Christ is teh real one? In the past I have lumped those with this view as liberals and that isnt fair without background. In the late 19th century a group of men began questioning the supernatural nature of Christianity. They first continued the practice of textual criticim which sought to determine a books author, date and purpose from internal evidence. Since the people who practiced this saw the Bible as a Divine/human book, no problem. But once the plenary verbal inspiration of scripture came under fire, Wescott and Hort successfully introduced a version of the Bible under the premise that older mss are more accurate. Then it became fashionable to cease viewing the Bible we hold as God's inspired Word. Then it became fashionable to concoct theories of higher criticism like teh Pentateuch was written by JEPD, and the original Gospel was document X and there were two Isaiahs. Bultmann's demythologizing of scripture was followed by liberal and neo-evangelicals who simply did not accept the Bible as God's Word, or the supernatural part of scripture at all. The Bible became just another religious book. I see that same pattern in some of what you say Justin, and that is why I ask whether you have thought through your position on the Bible? What can you hide in your heart if you dont have anything you can call scripture? The living Christ? Yet without scripture you cant know whether it is the Christ of God or a false Christ.

In Christ,

Dan Fugett