Moraine Valley Community College St Paul Ecclesial Focus Discussion

Moraine Valley Community College St Paul Ecclesial Focus Discussion Moraine Valley Community College St Paul Ecclesial Focus Discussion ORDER NOW FOR CUSTOMIZED AND ORIGINAL NURSING PAPERS Home > Humanities > Moraine Valley Community College St Paul Ecclesial Focus Discussion Question Description I’m trying to study for my Philosophy course and I need some help to understand this question. Please complete half a page answering this question, “explain the fact that Paul describes the mission of the church in terms of a character of life that it is to exhibit.” Using the provided powerpoint. Unformatted Attachment Preview St Paul Ecclesiology Paul’s ecclesial focus • the central concern in Paul’s letters is the stability and integrity of his churches • he was the founder of communities (1 Cor. 4:15; Gal. 4:13; 1 Thess. 1:5), and expended his energies on their behalf • he lists his ‘daily care for the churches’ in climactic position in his list of tribulations (2 Cor. 11:28) • when absent from his churches, Paul sought to visit them (e.g. 1 Cor. 4:18; 1 Thess. 2:17–18) • when he was not able to visit, he stayed in contact through the sending of his delegates (e.g. Phil. 2:19; 1 Thess. 3:2) and the writing of letters • it is significant that all but one of Paul’s letters are to be read in churches • the only truly private letter is 2 Timothy • • the Pauline church resembled other ekklesiai such as the many clubs and philosophical schools of the Hellenistic world in its basic structure, • its location in the household rather than the cult shrine, and • its patterns of mutual assistance Paul is also capable of presenting himself in terms used by Graeco-Roman philosophers (1 Thess. 2:4–12; Gal. 4:14) • the inherently fragile nature of the ekklesia as an intentional community helps account for Paul’s constant concern for ‘building up’ the church by mutual exhortation and example (1 Thess. 5:11; 1 Cor. 8:1; 14; Eph. 4:12, 16) • Paul shows himself willing to exclude or even dismiss those in the church whose behaviour threatens the stability or integrity of the church (e.g. 1 Cor. 5:1–5; 2 Thess. 3:14–15; Gal. 4:30) • Paul’s understanding of his own work and that of the church owes more, however, to the symbolic world of Torah and the heritage of Judaism • he speaks of his own role as an apostle in terms reminiscent of the call and work of God’s prophets (Gal. 1:15), who were sent out to speak God’s word • he refers to the church in terms of God’s ‘call’ (kalein, klesis; Rom. 11:29; 1 Cor. 1:26; 1 Thess. 2:12), giving the noun ekklesia some of the resonance of God’s qahal (assembly) in scripture (Deut. 23:1–2; Josh. 9:2; Ps. 21:22) • thus, members of the community have not simply chosen to belong to the church as another club • rather, God has called them out of the world • even with his Gentile communities, Paul can employ the narratives of Torah concerning the people of Israel as exemplary for the church (1 Cor. 10:1–13; 2 Cor. 3:7–18; Gal. 4:21–31) • similarly, the church is to be characterized, as was ancient Israel, by holiness: ‘this is the will of God, your sanctification’ (1 Thess. 4:3) • the boundary between those in the church and outside it is marked by a ritual act (baptism), but is defined by moral behaviour rather than ritual observance (Rom. 6:1–11) • formerly, members lived in the vice typical of those who are ‘without God in the world’ and given to idolatry (1 Thess. 1:9; Rom. 1:18–32) • but by the ritual washing of baptism (Eph. 5:26), they have been cleansed morally, and now are called to holiness of life Israel and the church • in some real sense, therefore, Paul sees his churches as continuous with Israel, considered not simply as an ethnic group but as God’s elect peopleMoraine Valley Community College St Paul Ecclesial Focus Discussion • but three elements in Paul’s experience introduced an element of discontinuity with the Jewish heritage as well • the first was his own life-experience as one who had persecuted the church precisely out of zeal for Torah (Gal. 1:13–14; Phil. 3:6) • • the appeal to Deut. 21:23 (‘Cursed be every one who hangs upon a tree’), as a rebuttal to those who would claim Jesus as the righteous one, may well have been Paul’s own before his encounter with the risen Jesus (Gal. 3:13) the second element follows the first: Paul perceives the resurrection of Jesus as something more than the validation of a Jewish Messiah in the traditional sense of a restorer of the people • the resurrection of Jesus is more than a historical event like the exodus • it is an eschatological event that begins a new age of humanity • indeed, the resurrection is best understood as new creation: ‘If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation • the old things have passed away. Behold, everything is new’ (2 Cor. 5:17) • the third element is Paul’s sense of his own mission and its consequences • if Paul was sent to the Gentiles with the good news of what God had done in Jesus (Gal. 1:16), and • if Gentiles were to be included in the church without the requirement of circumcision (Gal. 5:1– 6), then • the perception that the resurrection is a new creation and Jesus is a new Adam is confirmed (1 Cor. 15:45; Rom. 5:12–21) • if, as he had done, Paul’s fellow Jews reject that proclamation despite their zeal for Torah (Rom. 9:30–10:3), and • if, as he had done, Paul’s fellow Jews even resist and persecute the proclaimers of the good news (2 Thess. 2:13–16), • then there is some real rupture within God’s people that must be reconciled • for Paul, then, the relationship between the church and Israel is not simply a matter of continuity or of discontinuity • it must rather be seen in terms of a dialectic within history • in Paul’s undisputed letters, the various sides of this dialectic are expressed in several ways • an obvious example is the way Paul appeals to the principle that ‘in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free’ (Gal. 3:28), thereby rendering the three great status markers dividing people (ethnicity, gender, class) nugatory for those in the church (‘in Christ’) • on the other side of the dialectic, Paul confirms the truth of Torah’s narratives (Rom. 4:1–25) and the words of the prophets (11:8–27; 15:4), recognizing moreover that, unlike Gentile idolaters, the Jews had not only the ‘words of God’ (3:2) but also the knowledge of God’s will (2:18) • thus, although he insists that Jew and Gentile stand in fundamentally the same relationship before God both in their sin and in their capacity for faith (3:9, 22), • he also acknowledges that the Jew has a considerable advantage because of the knowledge of God’s revelation (3:1–4) • the full dialectic is worked out in Romans 9–11, the climax of Paul’s most extended reflection on his mission to the Gentiles • beginning with three unshakable convictions – his solidarity with his fellow Jews (9:1–3), God’s election and blessing of the Jews (9:4–5), and the infallibility of God’s word (9:6) – • Paul engages in a midrashic reflection on scripture impelled by the implications and consequences of the Gentile mission • he interprets the present situation (9:30–10:4) in terms of a longer history of election and rejection (9:6–29), and understands himself with other believing Jews as a faithful remnant (11:1–6)Moraine Valley Community College St Paul Ecclesial Focus Discussion • Jews who now stumble over the crucified Messiah will perhaps, out of jealousy for the favour God is now showing to those who formerly were ‘no people’, also in the end be rejoined to the increasingly Gentile church, and ‘thus all Israel will be saved’ (11:13–32) • while passionately committed to the cause of the mission to the Gentiles, • Paul remains as unswervingly devoted to his own people and to the fidelity of the God who had elected them mission of the church • Paul never describes the church’s mission in terms of a specific task that it is to perform, but in terms of a character of life that it is to exhibit • it is to ‘walk worthily of its call’ (Eph. 4:1) • at the most obvious level, this involves a life of righteousness before God (Rom. 6:13, 18) • just as it is not physical circumcision but the circumcision of the heart expressed in obedience to the commandments that identifies the genuine Jew (Rom. 2:25–9), • so within the church, it is not a matter of circumcision or not but of ‘keeping the commandments of God’ (1 Cor. 7:19) • like Jesus and James, Paul identifies the love of neighbour as the perfect summation of God’s commandments, because ‘love does no harm to the neighbour’ (Rom. 13:8–10) • Paul thus emphasizes a communal understanding of righteousness • it is not only a matter of being right with God but also a matter of being in right relationship with others (1 Cor. 8:1–3; Rom. 14:17) • in 1 Cor. 1:18–2:5 Paul challenges the arrogance and rivalry of his Corinthian readers by appealing to the message of the cross, which demonstrates how God’s power works through weakness and God’s wisdom through foolishness • the cross that reverses human valuations is the paradigm for those in the church who ‘have the mind of Christ’ (2:16): • they are to live together, • not in competition but in cooperation, • not in rivalry but in mutual edification • Paul shows little or no concern for the perfection (teleiosis) of individuals, but is constantly concerned that his churches mature as communities of reciprocal gift-giving and fellowship • and the norm is the human Jesus: ‘Little children, how I am in labour until Christ be formed among you’ (Gal. 4:19) • Paul understands Jesus as the one ‘who loved us and gave himself for our sins’ (Gal. 1:4) • Jesus’ kenotic (self-emptying) and faithful obedience towards God, • which implied the rejection of any competitive claim towards God (Phil. 2:5–11), and • which established the possibility for all to be righteous through sharing his faithful obedience (Rom. 5:18–21), • is also the perfect expression of Jesus’ love for humans, and • therefore the model for relations within the church • those who ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ’ (Rom. 13:14) are able to ‘welcome one another as Christ has welcomed [them]’ (Rom. 15:7) • those who ‘bear one another’s burdens’ also ‘fulfil the law of Christ’ (Gal. 6:2) • those who are guided by love are willing to give up their rights for the sake of ‘the brother for whom Christ died’ (Rom. 14:15; 1 Cor. 8:11) • Paul considers attitudes of envy and rivalry to threaten such relationships (Gal. 5:16–21); envy and rivalry foster a spirit of competition that seeks the good of the individual at the expense of the community (Gal. 5:13) • Paul therefore advocates another spirit, that of fellowship or reconciliation (Gal. 5:22–4; Phil. 2:1–4) • in his view, the paradigm of God’s saving action as revealed in the faith and love of Jesus demands of the strong in the community not to dominate or assert their will, but in service and humility to place themselves at the disposal of the weak (1 Cor. 8:7– 13) • as he measures the integrity of his own mission by this norm of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:12–21), so does he measure the integrity and maturity of his churches (2 Cor. 13:1–11) the church in metaphor • Paul’s understanding of the church is expressed as much by a series of metaphors as by propositions Moraine Valley Community College St Paul Ecclesial Focus Discussion • metaphors, especially root metaphors, are much more than rhetorical ornaments • they structure a perception of reality • the metaphors that Paul employs for the church combine elements of a living organism and structure • the simplest metaphors of this kind are agricultural and used only once, perhaps because of Paul’s limited ability to handle horticultural terms • the church is a field that Paul has planted and Apollos has watered, but God gives the growth (1 Cor. 3:6–9) • similarly, God’s people is a domestic olive tree (the Jewish people) that, although pruned, is ‘holy in root and branches’ (Rom. 11:16). God has grafted the branch of a wild olive (Gentile believers) onto it, and is capable of grafting the domestic olive on again (Rom. 11:16–24) • a much more complex metaphor drawn from Paul’s Jewish heritage is that the church is a family • Abraham as ‘our father’ (Rom. 4:1) and the affirmation that the Gentiles are the ‘children of Abraham’ through faith and thus part of Israel (Galatians 3–4) • Paul calls the creator God ‘Father’ (Gal. 1:1; Rom. 1:7) • believers become children of God through ‘the spirit of adoption’ that they receive at baptism (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6) • the church is therefore a fictive family in that it is not made up of biologically related people • when Paul addresses his readers as ‘brothers’ (adelphoi) or refers to co-workers as ‘brother’ (adelphos) or ‘sister’ (adelphe ? ) (Rom. 15:14; 16:1; 1 Cor. 1:11), this kinship language works powerfully to strengthen community identity and unity • since in antiquity the relationship between brothers is the supreme paradigm for fellowship (koino ? nia), kinship language also encourages the patterns of equality and reciprocity that are Paul’s moral concern • the church is the body of the Messiah • the metaphor of the body combines the sense of a living organism and an articulate, many-membered structure • Paul’s use emphasizes the legitimacy of many gifts in the community (1 Corinthians 12) and the need for those gifts to be used for the ‘building up’ (oikodome) of the community as a whole (1 Cor. 14:26) • the church as a building (oikodome; 1 Cor. 3:9) • the image combines unity and multiplicity, and has roots in Torah, in Graeco-Roman political philosophy, and in the social situation of early Christians whose ekklesia, in fact, met in the houses of wealthier members • the house is a root metaphor that generates a number of other images: • Paul and his associates are household managers (oikonomoi; 1 Cor. 4:1–2) who dispense the mysteries of God • members of the community whose speech and actions serve to strengthen the community are said to ‘edify’ the church (oikodomein, to build a house; 1 Cor. 8:1; 1 Thess. 5:11) organization in the local church • intentional communities do not survive without mechanisms that enable them to carry out common tasks and make decisions • they need to settle disputes • they need to provide hospitality, organize fellowship, care for the sick, even receive and read letters from the apostle • they can take communal action in such matters as the collection (1 Cor. 16:1–4) or providing supplies requested by Paul’s agent for a future mission (Rom. 15:24; 16:1–2) • Pauline churches had available to them from the start, moreover, the simple and flexible structure of the Graeco-Roman ekklesia and the Jewish synagogue • the diaspora synagogue had a board – often made up of wealthy benefactors of the community – that • administered finances and • settled disputes and • oversaw the study and teaching of Torah, as well as the system of organized charity to the needy within the community • Paul can speak of those in the Thessalonian church who preside over others and exhort them (1 Thess. 5:12) • Paul is angry at the Corinthians for picking inadequate members to settle disputes over ta biotika in that church (1 Cor. 6:18) • in 1 Cor. 12:28 he lists ‘governing’ as one of the gifts of the Spirit (see also Rom. 12:8), and instructs the Corinthian church to ‘be submissive’ to such benefactors (and householders) as Stephanas and Achaicus (1 Cor. 16:15–18) • Galatians recognizes that there are those who instruct others in the word who should receive financial support in return (Gal. 6:6) • the letter to Philemon assumes that the addressee has some authority over the ekklesia that meets in his house (Phlm. 1–3, 21–2) • Paul addresses the episkopoi (supervisors) and diakonoi (helpers) in the Philippian church (Phil. 1:1) • these brief notices support the conclusion that Paul’s churches had local leadership … Purchase answer to see full attachmentMoraine Valley Community College St Paul Ecclesial Focus Discussion Get a 10 % discount on an order above $ 100 Use the following coupon code : NURSING10

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