How relevant is the Old Testament for Christian ethics and how should it be used? The purpose of this first part of a two-part article is to survey some approaches to the question, both ancient and modern, examining assumptions and methods. Special notice is given to the early church, the time of the Reformation, and the modern period.
Wright surveys the way the early church viewed war. He demonstrates how complex the views were during the period of the early martyrs, i.e. the first three centuries. The prominence of idolatry in the Roman army complicated the attitudes of Christians. The church did not function with a worked-out public ethics.
This article addresses the relationship between the church and Israel as it is reflected in the different views on Jesus as Messiah. The history of the early church reflects a vigorous debate between Jewish scholars and the church about the true identity of the Messiah. Probably the most well-known interaction from the patristic period is Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho, who was the Jew from the second century.
What was the place and understanding of the Lord's Supper in the early church? How can a recovery of the early church's practice of the Eucharist help us to live in Christ in a more profound way? How is the grace of God mediated to us through the celebration of the Lord's Supper? These questions are reflected upon in relation to the developments in the Eucharist during the Middle Ages and the Reformation.
What did the early church believe about the second coming or return of Christ? This paper explores the views of the ante-Nicene fathers on this topic and touches upon the conditions of his return, the result of his return, personal preparation for his return, relationship to the first resurrection, tribulation, etc.
Is the kingdom of God the central message of Jesus Christ’s teaching? There are numerous interpretations of the kingdom.
Catechism teaching is under threat in many churches. This article shows that the church's instruction of the youth has always been the practice of God's people. Tracing this practice through the Old and New Testament, the early church, and the Reformation, the author encourages the church to continue in this practice.
This series of articles continues the discussion of the office of deacons. Looking at 1 Timothy 5:9-10 and 1 Timothy 3:11, this series focuses on how women in the church can support the work of the diaconate. This article gives a historical survey of how these texts were implemented in the early church and the middle ages in regard to the role of women in the church.