Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Eucharistic Liturgy in Ancient House Churches

The Eucharistic Liturgy in Ancient House Churches by Vincent Martini:

Many evangelical groups today are proposing that we abandon “traditional” models of “being the Church,” and instead replace that stodginess with what is presumably a more “New Testament” model: that of the “house church” or “cell church.” Essentially, they are promoting that the local Church be a de-centralized assembly, meeting in the homes of various individuals, proportionally scattered throughout a city. The presumption is that this is the “Biblical” model for both fellowship and discipleship, being derived from the New Testament itself.

While we certainly read of “house Churches” in the New Testament (e.g. 1 Cor. 1:11,16; Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15), typically being the homes of wealthy individuals with enough room for a large assembly of people, the house/cell churches of today do not actually resemble the worship or piety associated with these New Testament prototypes. Beyond this, the house Churches of the New Testament eventually developed into the basilicas of the post-Constantine Roman empire, when the faith was no longer forced “underground” as the result of periods of sporadic, imperial persecution. The same elements present in the earlier house Churches found their way into the more established basilicas and temples of the 4th century and beyond; they were just given a newer and freer context.
Two distinct features of the most ancient house churches — and in fact, of the most ancient churches that archaeology has unveiled, period — are that of the baptistry and the place of the Eucharistic sacrifice.
When discussing the Eucharistic controversy at ... continued

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!