Protestants, just what did the early Church look like?


#1

Dear Protestants,

I have been on this site for awhile and have tried to engage many of you on the issues regarding the early Church and history.

It has been my attempt to try and gain an understanding of the early Church from informed Protestants on this forum.

So, just what does the early Church look like to you?

What are your opinions about what was believed by the early Christians?

Peace


#2

Dennis,

Are you familiar with J.N.D. Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrines? I think that summarizes early Christian belief quite well. What specifically do you want to talk about? (Granted, I’m not your typical Protestant–but I am a Protestant.)

In Christ,

Edwin


#3

[quote=Contarini]Dennis,

Are you familiar with J.N.D. Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrines? I think that summarizes early Christian belief quite well. What specifically do you want to talk about? (Granted, I’m not your typical Protestant–but I am a Protestant.)

In Christ,

Edwin
[/quote]

I just want to know what you think early Christianity looked like in regards to belief and practice. I have not read Kelly’s book, but I will look into it.

What type of Protestant are you?

Peace


#4

It look just like a Southern Baptist church, with the choir singing gospel in matching robes, the preacher in a suit with a bible in one hand and his fist pounding on the podium with the other.

[quote=dennisknapp]Dear Protestants,

I have been on this site for awhile and have tried to engage many of you on the issues regarding the early Church and history.

It has been my attempt to try and gain an understanding of the early Church from informed Protestants on this forum.

So, just what does the early Church look like to you?

What are your opinions about what was believed by the early Christians?

Peace
[/quote]


#5

Dennis:

There are many aspects we could address, church government, worship, doctrine, etc. Since you did not ask for anything in particular, I will address worship. I would point to Justin Martyr’s Apology, written about 150 AD. The description is very similar to a typical Protestant service. Absent from it is the ornate liturgy that we see in Catholic Churches (which, granted, took a long time to develop). We also see the primary emphasis on reading and teaching of the word. While catholic liturgy is saturated with scripture, actual homiletic teaching is often minimized in many Catholic Churches (thought it does not have to be). Further scripture in liturgy has a different emphasis than scripture reading described by Justin.

And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need.


#6

[quote=T. More]Dennis:

There are many aspects we could address, church government, worship, doctrine, etc. Since you did not ask for anything in particular, I will address worship. I would point to Justin Martyr’s Apology, written about 150 AD. The description is very similar to a typical Protestant service. Absent from it is the ornate liturgy that we see in Catholic Churches (which, granted, took a long time to develop). We also see the primary emphasis on reading and teaching of the word. While catholic liturgy is saturated with scripture, actual homiletic teaching is often minimized in many Catholic Churches (thought it does not have to be). Further scripture in liturgy has a different emphasis than scripture reading described by Justin.
[/quote]

I would say, with certainty, that what Justin states fits perfectly with what Catholics do everyday.

When I was a protestant (and I know this in not the same for all Protestants) we would have communion once every four months.

Peace


#7

[quote=T. More]Dennis:

There are many aspects we could address, church government, worship, doctrine, etc. Since you did not ask for anything in particular, I will address worship. I would point to Justin Martyr’s Apology, written about 150 AD. The description is very similar to a typical Protestant service. Absent from it is the ornate liturgy that we see in Catholic Churches (which, granted, took a long time to develop). We also see the primary emphasis on reading and teaching of the word. While catholic liturgy is saturated with scripture, actual homiletic teaching is often minimized in many Catholic Churches (thought it does not have to be). Further scripture in liturgy has a different emphasis than scripture reading described by Justin.
[/quote]

And what about what Justin writes about the nature of the Eucharist and Baptism?

Peace


#8

Dennis: Many Protestant churches have weekly communion. Yours was an unfortunate (and admitedly common) situation. However, virtually all Anglican, Lutheran, and many other churches have weekly communion.

“And what about what Justin writes about the nature of the Eucharist and Baptism?”

I don’t understand the question. What did he write that is contrary to Protestant practice (with the possible exception of taking communion elements to the sick and invalid - does your parish do this?)? It is noteworthy that he was responding to claims of canibalism and he does call the elements of communion “bread, wine, and water.” He does not claim to be eating the physical flesh of Jesus.

You will note one other practice inconsistent with Catholicism. The bread and wine are distributed to the laity. The early church did not withhold the cup, unlike the modern RC church.

T. More


#9

[quote=T. More]Dennis: Many Protestant churches have weekly communion. Yours was an unfortunate (and admitedly common) situation. However, virtually all Anglican, Lutheran, and many other churches have weekly communion.

“And what about what Justin writes about the nature of the Eucharist and Baptism?”

I don’t understand the question. What did he write that is contrary to Protestant practice (with the possible exception of taking communion elements to the sick and invalid - does your parish do this?)? It is noteworthy that he was responding to claims of canibalism and he does call the elements of communion “bread, wine, and water.” He does not claim to be eating the physical flesh of Jesus.

You will note one other practice inconsistent with Catholicism. The bread and wine are distributed to the laity. The early church did not withhold the cup, unlike the modern RC church.

T. More
[/quote]

I have never had the cup withheld from me. I drink the precious blood every week.

Here is a quote from Justin,

Justin Martyr

“We call this food Eucharist, and **no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration *** and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. **For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” **(*First Apology *66 [A.D. 151]).

And other references are here:

catholic.com/library/Real_Presence.asp

Peace*


#10

[quote=T. More]Dennis:

There are many aspects we could address, church government, worship, doctrine, etc. Since you did not ask for anything in particular, I will address worship. I would point to Justin Martyr’s Apology, written about 150 AD. The description is very similar to a typical Protestant service. Absent from it is the ornate liturgy that we see in Catholic Churches (which, granted, took a long time to develop). We also see the primary emphasis on reading and teaching of the word. While catholic liturgy is saturated with scripture, actual homiletic teaching is often minimized in many Catholic Churches (thought it does not have to be). Further scripture in liturgy has a different emphasis than scripture reading described by Justin.
[/quote]

Dear T. More,

You are showing a lack of knowledge with regard to Justin Martyr’s beliefs and the Catholic Mass.It does sound very much like he is describing the Catholic Mass. Furthermore, you will note that he refers to the gifts as bread and wine and water because they have not yet been consecrated. And yes, I partake of the Sacred Blood at every liturgy. Hope that clears some things up.

:thumbsup:


#11

Does the laity drink of the cup in your parish?


#12

[quote=T. More]Does the laity drink of the cup in your parish?
[/quote]

yep!


#13

Do you physically drink?


#14

[quote=Genesis315]yep!
[/quote]

They do at mine too.


#15

BTW, here is anothere excerpt frok Justin’s Apology. The calls the elements bread and wine as they are distributed.

There is then brought to the president of the brethren[1] bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to γένοιτο [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.

Anyway, my point is not so much to get into a discussion of the nature of communion. I am not a memorialist like Zwingli or Baptists.


#16

[quote=T. More]Do you physically drink?
[/quote]

everyone who wants to does!:slight_smile:


#17

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]It look just like a Southern Baptist church, with the choir singing gospel in matching robes, the preacher in a suit with a bible in one hand and his fist pounding on the podium with the other.
[/quote]

:rotfl:


#18

[quote=T. More]Do you physically drink?
[/quote]

As opposed to spiritually drinking? Or emotionally drinking?


#19

Thanks. I know this may be a strange question but I just want to be clear. Your mouth touches the cup?

I know some Catholics who argue they partake of both the bread and wine by the simple eating of the bread (flesh) due to an understood unity. I want to confirm that this is not what you are talking about.


#20

[quote=T. More]Thanks. I know this may be a strange question but I just want to be clear. Your mouth touches the cup?

I know some Catholics who argue they partake of both the bread and wine by the simple eating of the bread (flesh) due to an understood unity. I want to confirm that this is not what you are talking about.
[/quote]

Yes, I take the cup from the EMHE and put it to my lips and drink.


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