“Any modern scholar who attempts to let the New Testament writers discuss what they believe about the Church faces a double difficulty. The literature on the subject is enormous and the linguistic problems acute. Not only does the Greek term ekklesia have a complex semantic history of its own; the English word ‘church’, and its equivalents in other modern languages, come to us loaded with centuries of debate which have rendered them blunt tools for accurate theological exchange.” G.B. Caird, New Testament Theology, pg. 213
If we take Caird seriously, and I think we should, the task of developing a biblical-theology of the church is doubly challenging. On the one hand is the need to hear the New Testament writers in their own contexts and on the other hand is the need to unpack all the falsely loaded notions of what the church is and what the task and mission of the church are in light of 2000+ years of debate. These challenges are like wrestling with a puzzle on top of another puzzle without all the pieces.
Thoughts, reflections, criticisms…
(Photographic art by malignite, piece entitled “Found as it is“)