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Restoring Apostolic Christianity

Posted by lavendergem on 2009.06.27 at 16:29
As posted here, a new Yahoo group has been created for study and discussion, with the goal of achieving a common mind on Christ's commands and those of His Apostles. You may join the group, just ell 'em Dawn sent you!

Of course, I would like to utilize this forum for discussion and study as well, so feel free to continue any topics here or hash out thoughts, concerns or Scriptural relevance!



Posted by lavendergem on 2009.06.08 at 03:49
A very dear friend of mine, who has mentored me in the faith for over the past decade, is proposing an online group for prayer and discussion in hopes of seeking that common mind and unity of purpose we see described in Scripture, and in fact lived out historically in the first couple of centuries after Christ. I am sure the intention is not to simply remain in the realm of ideas and emails, but to get down to face-to-face discussion and Bible study.

If the following speaks to the yearning of your heart, or sounds like something you would like to participate in, please reply here, or email me, and we will be sure to include you in the group, plus any local meetings/studies that may arise from this.

God bless,


The ProposalCollapse )

x-posted to lavendergem


Church Fathers Lenten reading plan

Posted by sovevuni on 2008.02.06 at 17:29
Current Mood: accomplished
For those who might be interested:


I am planning to do it this year, although in a modified form, as I want to read the Church Fathers in my native language and not in English.


It's the most wonderful time...

Posted by lavendergem on 2007.08.17 at 12:56
Current Location: My cube
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Water Under the Bridge-- Jars of Clay
On one of my yahoo groups, someone posted a video about the "True Origins of Christmas" (DUN dun duuuuun) It sparked much debate on the forum. There is so much debate over when Jesus was born, and whether Christmas is even appropriate. So here’s my two cents, even though it's several months away yet.

Timing should be easy, right? After all, there are *hints* in Scripture. But still folks quibble. According to Alfred Edersheim's book The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (1883), the timing Zacharias’ service in the temple can be calculated through Josephus’ commentaries, giving us a rough estimation of the timing of John the Baptist’s birth and thereby, Jesus’. Book II Chap 3 and Appendix 7 goes in-depth into the historical record to try and place the date.

A more thorough treatment, Phillip Schaff’s History of the Christian Church, Vol.II: Ante-Nicene Christianity AD 100-325 says, “Of the Christmas festival there is no clear trace before the fourth century; partly because the feast of the Epiphany in a measure held the place of it; partly because of birth of Christ, the date of which, at any rate, was uncertain, was less prominent in the Christian mind than his death and resurrection. It was of Western (Roman) origin, and found its way to the East after the middle of the fourth century for Chrysostom, in a Homily, which was probably preached Dec. 25, 386, speaks of the celebration of the separate day of the Nativity as having been recently introduced in Antioch.”

In HotCC Vol III: Nicene and Post-Nicene Christianity AD 311-600, he elaborates on the celebration for the post-Nicene Churches (East and West) and its growth. He gives an “up-to-date” chronology of Jesus birth and life here in an attempt to narrow down the date.

Of course, contemporary historians have uncovered new technologies to bring more light on the issue, and according to some astronomical predictive computer models, by working backwards, an anomalous combination of stars/planets apparently occurred in the heavens some 2000 years ago that gives a much more definitive date for the Magi sighting/birth. A model and explanation can be viewed here.

Also, the timing might be roughly estimated based on the biblical account. According to Luke, Gabriel visited Mary in the sixth month of the year, and told her that Elizabeth was in her sixth month. Counting back, that would be to the month of Tishri, the New Year—Rosh Hashanah, which takes place in September-October, making the Annunciation in Nissan; roughly March-April. Counting forward nine months brings us to Tevet; December-January. Sounds about right, right? BUT!! There are TWO months that are considered the “first month” on Jewish Calendars. Nissan, which is our “sixth month” of the “Rosh Hashanah is the time of the Zacharias visitation,” is also known as “The First Month of Kings” on the Hebrew calendar. Interesting title, no? Anyway, Tishri (Sept.-Oct) is six months from Nissan; nine months later we have Tamuz, which is June-July. According to the computer model above, the month the Star would have rested over Bethlehem would probably have been in Tamuz.

Having said all of that, the early Christians didn’t have much to say about Jesus’ birth. The important days to them were the ones that had an Old Covenant counterpart/fulfillment, and His birth just had no such thing. So they recognized Pascha/Easter and Pentecost. The Jewish believers continued to keep the feasts, but with the knowledge and understanding that they were looking back on the fulfillment and celebrating new life through His death and resurrection. Behold, He had made all things new!

As stated above, there was no word on Christmas till the fourth century, and while its origins and eventual symbols and traditions can be debated and the timing of Jesus’ birth is somewhat of a question as well, the idea isn’t a bad one, in my opinion. Sure, excess, and greed, and extravagance are evil, but to acknowledge the advent of our Savior with generous and grateful hearts should not be condemned.

If we are to keep ANY feast, it should be by the same example of our early brethren: in simplicity and good cheer, taking care not to make anyone stumble.


Meditations from the Desert Fathers

Posted by sovevuni on 2007.08.11 at 14:31
Current Mood: accomplished
Just thought I'd share a link - maybe someone will find it helpful and interesting: desert_words



Posted by lavendergem on 2007.07.25 at 13:56
Current Music: Be My Escape (acoustic)-- Relient K
My friend, Reed Merino, has written a nice article addressing some objections to Christian non-resistance. He quotes Hippolytus, but more early Christian quotes can be found if needed.

Reed's thoughtsCollapse )


What shall we discuss?

Posted by lavendergem on 2007.07.17 at 13:46
Well folks, thanks for joining up, and please, please, tell your friends!! I have a couple of ideas for topics we could begin with, but wanted to give everyone an opportunity to have a say.

I thought we could start by talking about the Kingdom. What is it, where is it, etc. But is there something y'all would rather begin with? What did the early Christians believe about salvation? Baptism? Anything?

I would like to see topical studies with plenty of participation-- the sites listed on the profile page are great places to start for resources, and of course, Biblegateway.com is a great place for Scripture references in your favorite translation. Also, does anyone have a fave site for Greek and Hebrew? The only ones I have found have the actual Greek-- not the transliterations. I need transliterations, ignorant and un-educated as I am.

Anyway, Kingdom? Yes no? Suggestions?



Posted by lavendergem on 2007.07.16 at 13:08
Hello everyone, and welcome. My first post here by way of introduction of topic, is to give examples of the kinds of things we might talk about here. For instance, we might discuss what the early Christians believed about baptism, or the Eucharist, or war. There are many many topics at hand.

My main concern is that in much of Christendom today, the baby has been thrown out with the bathwater in almost every denomination on some topic or other. Each denominational movement was developed almost as a reaction to some other movement, and often the pendulum has swung too far. And so what we have today are extremes all over that go beyond Scripture; either to add or take away. What is left is filled with man-made traditions and misunderstood doctrine.

I do not intend to uphold or vilify any one denomination over another. Rather, I would like to see what folks are doing right and prune back what is wrong. One way of doing this is by comparing what the first Christians understood the Apostles to be teaching them to what we think we understand today. In studying the early writings, one overwhelmingly finds that their understanding of Scripture is quite literal-- far more literal than I think most Protestants would be comfortable with today-- even those who think of themselves as Fundamentalists. They took whatever the natural grammatical understanding of the language was at face value, and allowed that to shape their world-view-- not the other way around.

Come, let us reason together, and allow Christ to draw us into one mind and heart!

God's Peace,