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Re: [XTalk] XTalk on Peter: Originating Proclamation

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... [snip] ... Gordon, You are quite right to remind me about Q, and the core rituals of communion that helped to sustain the fellowship of believers. But I
    Message 1 of 9 , May 7 1:07 AM
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      At 12:22 PM 5/6/2009, Gordon Raynal wrote:
      >Hi Bob,
      >
      >In similar fashion to your post on the first question, below you'll
      >find my proposal which goes at this in another way. For this email
      >I'll simply list the proposal below yours:
      >

      [snip]

      >Question One: What was the original proclamation (messaging) of the
      >community? What was it about?
      >
      >Phase I text? The Q1 Mission Program found in extant Luke 10:3-11.
      >Message: "say to them, The Kingdom of God has come near to you."
      >And so this program was at core about (per the directives of the
      >aforementioned), peace (shalom) declaration, shared table fellowship
      >(which, of course is
      >inclusive of the conversations), and "healing" in homes. Where "the
      >peace" was received and shared, then there would be another home on
      >the map to make
      >up a network of peace/ reconciliation places/ families & friends.

      Gordon,
      You are quite right to remind me about Q, and the core rituals of communion
      that helped to sustain the fellowship of believers. But I have trouble
      seeing in that the "originating proclamation." I thought you were asking
      about evangelism, but it sounds like all you have in mind is a quiet
      network of friends. What you describe sounds like a bunch of Quakers :-)

      Social praxis is important, but I think it follows rather than leads. Acts,
      of course, is not silent on social praxis: we have the famous passages in
      Acts 2,
      42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the
      breaking of bread and the prayers.
      43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done
      by the apostles.
      44 All who believed were together and had all things in common;
      45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the
      proceeds to all, as any had need.
      46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke
      bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts,
      47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day
      the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

      And Acts 4,
      32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul,
      and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything
      they owned was held in common.
      33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection
      of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
      34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or
      houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.
      35 They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as
      any had need.
      36 There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles
      gave the name Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement").
      37 He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid
      it at the apostles' feet.



      >The obvious difference between our proposals is you look to
      >"preaching" about the significance of Jesus after he died as central
      >to the originating messaging, whereas I propose the social praxis of
      >"Kingdom of God" sharing while Jesus was quite alive as "the
      >original" and "originating" proclamation.

      You are changing my question, because rather than starting from the
      crucifixion, you want to start with Jesus. Furthermore, you change the
      nature of "proclamation" from an act of speech to a set of behaviors.

      I thought that when you were asking about the "originating proclamation"
      that you were asking, What was the "good news" that propelled the followers
      of Jesus and gave them an increasingly distinctive character from the time
      of the Crucifixion to the establishment of Paul's churches? But now it
      appears that you had something quite different in mind.

      Acts tells us more. The surviving fellowship of followers became charismatic--
      The act of Pentecost was billed as the watershed at the beginning of the
      first chapter:
      4 While staying with them, [Jesus] ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but
      to wait there for the promise of the Father. "This," he said, "is what you
      have heard from me;
      5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy
      Spirit not many days from now."

      And after pentecost, the fellowship became characterized by baptism in the
      Holy Spirit
      Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
      and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to
      the ends of the earth."

      Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one
      place.
      2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent
      wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
      3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested
      on each of them.
      4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in
      other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

      Peter appeals to the prophet Joel about the Holy Spirit in 2:16-18 in
      another one of his reported orations, concluding
      with another appeal to the HS in 2:33.
      -- and now this might be important:
      37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter
      and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?"
      38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the
      name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will
      receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
      39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far
      away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him."

      So Peter may have preached the Resurrection, but when people asked him what
      to do, he had a simple formula:
      * Repent
      * Be baptized
      * Receive the gift of the HS
      This is interesting because Jesus himself never seems to have placed much
      emphasis on anyone getting baptized other than himself, and the "gift of
      the HS" in Acts has little precedent in the Gospels. But it does seem to
      play a big role in the fellowship of the followers of Jesus after
      Pentecost. It played such a big role that Paul had to figure out how to
      deal with it, years later. It had become so established that he couldn't
      just ban it.

      Now, I did not stress these matters in my proposal because I understood
      "originating proclamation" to have been about *words,* and Peter seems to
      have been the prime purveyor of words until Paul got going. But social
      praxis must have been in the mix, too, in Phase I even, because of the
      communalism described at the end of Acts 2 & 4 (but seldom thereafter), and
      the emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit-- manifested especially in
      healing.

      Where do you see the words emphasizing the Kingdom of God, other than in
      the passage from Luke?



      >The texts that show the continuation of this proclamation reach from
      >Jesus time all the way up to the production of the extant Didache.

      You lose me on the referent for "this," and yes, I do think the Didache is
      important.

      >Paul ranks "the apostoloi" as first in his ranking of "offices." In
      >I Cor. 9 he speaks about this mission praxis in relationship to
      >defending his apostleship.

      Paul's apostleship, as described in the letters and Acts, belongs to my
      Phase III. What was the "originating proclamation" in the intervening decades?

      I have rattled on enough, I think, to flesh out our differences somewhat.
      Enough for tonight.

      Thanks,
      Bob

      >Once we get to Mark (my proposed date of
      >about 80 to 85 C.E., but however earlier you want to place it) this
      >originating mission is framed as the organized mission for 6 original
      >apostle pairs. Matthew will follow suit. Luke will later double the
      >mission espousal to the mission of the 12 and then the 70/72. And in
      >the full Didache we find the talk about how to deal with these
      >apostoloi (how long they can stay, what they can ask for, if they
      >need to get a job!).
      >
      >Regarding Acts for this short note, I would point you to the way Acts
      >closes in 28:30-31: "He (Paul) lived there two whole years at his
      >own expense (note... he did get a job!) and welcomed all who came to
      >him, proclaiming ***the kingdom of God*** and teaching about the Lord
      >Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance." Back to Paul,
      >in II Cor. 5 he uses the summary language of "a ministry of
      >reconciliation" to describe what all of this was about.
      >
      >So, my counter proposal to you and all is that it is best to start
      >with the proclamation in word and deed about "the Kingdom of God" as
      >the way to figure out the originating proclamation and not the so
      >called sermons about how Jesus fit into all of this from after his
      >death. I think it is a separate question about the development of of
      >the development of all the symbolic communication that was raised up
      >about Jesus. I would suggest we can track that a bit in the earliest
      >days, but not by working backwards from Acts, but rather by working
      >from Paul's letters in relationship to the saying of Jesus about the
      >Kingdom of God. For that task I think the key texts to start with
      >are the salutation texts in Paul's authentic letters and then his
      >brief formula that he cites in I Cor. 15:3-4.
      >
      >Working from this base, you will understand that my approach to the
      >rest of the questions on the list will follow through on looking at
      >the continuity and the change as the movement spread and was more
      >inclusive. So, I invite you and all to consider this approach.
      >
      >Gordon Raynal
      >Inman, SC
      >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Gordon Raynal
      Hi Bob, to shorten, I ll cut out my note and work from yours: ... I am talking about the euangelion! And precisely what I m suggesting is that this is best
      Message 2 of 9 , May 7 6:50 AM
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        Hi Bob,

        to shorten, I'll cut out my note and work from yours:
        On May 7, 2009, at 4:07 AM, Bob Schacht wrote:

        >
        >
        > Gordon,
        > You are quite right to remind me about Q, and the core rituals of
        > communion
        > that helped to sustain the fellowship of believers. But I have trouble
        > seeing in that the "originating proclamation." I thought you were
        > asking
        > about evangelism, but it sounds like all you have in mind is a quiet
        > network of friends. What you describe sounds like a bunch of
        > Quakers :-)

        I am talking about the euangelion! And precisely what I'm suggesting
        is that this is best understood not as a set of ideas about Jesus
        (and the NT, of course will talk about Jesus in relationship to all
        sorts of ideas/ provide all kinds of titles and descriptions based in
        various OT models), but the euangelion is about the presence of God's
        rule which evokes acts, practices and beliefs. The place to see the
        collection of ethos markers, what I like to refer to as mottos, is in
        such texts as Galatians 5:22-26, James 3:17-18, and the opening of
        the Didache, "The way of life." (noting the positive ethos markers.
        Paul, James and the Didache also list their opposites).

        It makes me smile that you describe these folks like Quakers! Not a
        bad analogy actually. These folks overall were quite known as
        pacifists for the first 300 years or so. Only when Christianity
        became a state religion did that start to change!
        >
        > Social praxis is important, but I think it follows rather than leads.

        I told you I was offering an alternate proposal and this sentence
        nicely sums the difference in approach. It is very interesting that
        Christian proclamation has become focused as being idea driven
        (gnostic?). I would simply ask you to note such sentences as the one
        Mark will place on the lips of Jesus to inaugurate his proclamation,
        Jesus' very first words in Mark: 1:15 "The time is fulfilled, and
        the kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe in the good
        news." Note the word "repent" comes first! Methinks the great
        tradition of confessing one's sins rather has to do with behavioral
        and ideational change:)!

        > Acts,
        > of course, is not silent on social praxis: we have the famous
        > passages in
        > Acts 2,
        > 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and
        > fellowship, to the
        > breaking of bread and the prayers.
        > 43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were
        > being done
        > by the apostles.
        > 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common;
        > 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the
        > proceeds to all, as any had need.
        > 46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple,
        > they broke
        > bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts,
        > 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And
        > day by day
        > the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
        >
        > And Acts 4,
        > 32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and
        > soul,
        > and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but
        > everything
        > they owned was held in common.
        > 33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the
        > resurrection
        > of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
        > 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned
        > lands or
        > houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.
        > 35 They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to
        > each as
        > any had need.
        > 36 There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the
        > apostles
        > gave the name Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement").
        > 37 He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money,
        > and laid
        > it at the apostles' feet.

        And note the name of the work! "The ***Acts*** of the Apostles:)!

        And I would remind you that in Luke's appearance stories of the
        question: When does the risen Lord become known to them? In the
        Emmaus story this fellow walks with them all day long, opens up all
        Scriptures... so talks, talks, talks from morning to night... and
        they are clueless, until when? (It is an activity:)!)
        >
        >
        >
        >> The obvious difference between our proposals is you look to
        >> "preaching" about the significance of Jesus after he died as central
        >> to the originating messaging, whereas I propose the social praxis of
        >> "Kingdom of God" sharing while Jesus was quite alive as "the
        >> original" and "originating" proclamation.
        >
        > You are changing my question, because rather than starting from the
        > crucifixion, you want to start with Jesus. Furthermore, you change the
        > nature of "proclamation" from an act of speech to a set of behaviors.

        Exactly! Again, I stated that I would approach this very
        differently. I simply am asking for you and others interested to
        think of your question from a different vantage point. And ***yes***
        I am starting with Jesus quite alive! And I am starting with his
        words about "the Kingdom of God come near." I precisely think that
        is the heart of the good news and precisely why Jesus was framed in
        so many patterns of later confessional language that come from all
        over TANAK. Here I would note that even in Acts there is no notion
        that these people became known as "Christians" until the time of
        Claudius and outside of the old homeland, but rather up there in
        Antioch. Formerly they were know as "the Way" (not the exegesis
        club, not the Jesus people, not the idea club). This titling by
        "Luke" fits perfectly with Paul's "way of the Spirit," James "way of
        wisdom" and the Didache's "way of Life."
        >
        > I thought that when you were asking about the "originating
        > proclamation"
        > that you were asking, What was the "good news" that propelled the
        > followers
        > of Jesus and gave them an increasingly distinctive character from
        > the time
        > of the Crucifixion to the establishment of Paul's churches?

        I'm asking you and all to precisely think about "the propelling."
        Paul frames that propelling power as Spirit driven. James frames it
        as wisdom from above. The Didache frames it as Life power.
        > But now it
        > appears that you had something quite different in mind.

        You are right, I have something quite different in mind.
        >
        > Acts tells us more. The surviving fellowship of followers became
        > charismatic--
        > The act of Pentecost was billed as the watershed at the beginning
        > of the
        > first chapter:
        > 4 While staying with them, [Jesus] ordered them not to leave
        > Jerusalem, but
        > to wait there for the promise of the Father. "This," he said, "is
        > what you
        > have heard from me;
        > 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the
        > Holy
        > Spirit not many days from now."
        >
        > And after pentecost, the fellowship became characterized by baptism
        > in the
        > Holy Spirit
        > Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come
        > upon you;
        > and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and
        > Samaria, and to
        > the ends of the earth."
        >
        > Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together
        > in one
        > place.
        > 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a
        > violent
        > wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
        > 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue
        > rested
        > on each of them.
        > 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in
        > other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

        I think Acts represents "Luke's" particular framing of the founding
        of the movement nearly a century later. He first writes the gospel,
        of course! All the gospels are pretty clear that this all starts
        with Jesus, n'est pas? And, Peter, whom you are interested in, was
        called by Jesus and sent by Jesus and taught by Jesus. That he had
        some lapses along the way and chickened out, is not to say his
        membership in this group only began after the cross and
        resurrection! And what that gets him (and all) back to is to what
        they were doing before the cross and resurrection. And all the
        gospels do say this this mission program indeed had positive
        results. Here I'll just note the way Mark puts it: (6:12-13) "So
        they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out
        many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured
        them." This didn't start working after the cross. It started
        working before it. In Luke we get this doubled... 12 and 70/2. That
        this was working is really emphasized in Luke!
        >
        > Peter appeals to the prophet Joel about the Holy Spirit in 2:16-18 in
        > another one of his reported orations, concluding
        > with another appeal to the HS in 2:33.
        > -- and now this might be important:
        > 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to
        > Peter
        > and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?"
        > 38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you
        > in the
        > name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will
        > receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
        > 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who
        > are far
        > away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him."

        Consider this. While Jesus was alive there was all sorts of
        searching out of the Scriptures as a part of the table talk and way
        side conversations. The rather obvious idea that Jewish folks would
        turn to their "source book" to understand and expand and expound on
        reconciliation work isn't hard to figure. That, after his death they
        would also think about their former sender in the frames and
        registers of that Scripture is no surprise. Lots of good juicy
        texts to hail such a sender. And in the NT we find Jesus called by a
        whole bunch of names and characterized by a broad swath of
        comparisons (like Elijah, like David, like Moses, like Melchizidek,
        but for these folks always fulfilling and "great than.") The move
        from funding the movement with Scriptural justifications to funding
        the leader is not a strange move. Indeed it is the most natural
        thing imaginable.
        >
        > So Peter may have preached the Resurrection, but when people asked
        > him what
        > to do, he had a simple formula:
        > * Repent
        > * Be baptized
        > * Receive the gift of the HS

        And note the first word! And the second is an action. And the third
        is a nod to the empowerment source. Yep! And in good "evangelical
        speak" what does one become? A ***follower*** of Jesus! (following
        on the Way).

        For smiles I would note that Jesus' great prayer that he teaches to
        his disciples is not, "Dear me in heaven, hallowed is me:)!" It is,
        "Our Father...."

        > This is interesting because Jesus himself never seems to have
        > placed much
        > emphasis on anyone getting baptized other than himself, and the
        > "gift of
        > the HS" in Acts has little precedent in the Gospels. But it does
        > seem to
        > play a big role in the fellowship of the followers of Jesus after
        > Pentecost. It played such a big role that Paul had to figure out
        > how to
        > deal with it, years later. It had become so established that he
        > couldn't
        > just ban it.

        You are right. That is a fascinating question. When did it
        start???? The originating mission agenda says nothing about it. The
        Synoptics make clear that baptism was a "John thing." The Gospel of
        John (the disciple) it says once that Jesus baptised, but then
        quickly corrects that with the note that only the disciples
        baptized. Matthew has the Great Commission. Paul and Acts will talk
        about it. I don't think we have a historical clue about when or how
        it began. It is the meal, not baptism that is "more original," if
        you will. But then as an act of "following Jesus," then having done
        to you what was done to him makes obvious sense. An act of "going
        through the waters and coming out on the other side," so to speak, is
        pretty much the most Scriptural of activities.
        >
        > Now, I did not stress these matters in my proposal because I
        > understood
        > "originating proclamation" to have been about *words,* and Peter
        > seems to
        > have been the prime purveyor of words until Paul got going. But social
        > praxis must have been in the mix, too, in Phase I even, because of the
        > communalism described at the end of Acts 2 & 4 (but seldom
        > thereafter), and
        > the emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit-- manifested
        > especially in
        > healing.

        Well, Acts is about the spread of the Kingdom of God... propelled by
        Spirit power from Jerusalem to Rome. For a model for understanding
        "Luke's" plotting I would point to it as being a reverse conquest
        story. Octavian and Markus Agrippa had marched and sailed east to
        conquer the forces of Antony and Cleopatra and thus was the founding
        of the Empire of the Divine Augustus (so voted by the Senate), "the
        father of the fatherland," the son of god (Jupiter, of course), the
        Pontifex Maximus, and the one who was heralded as savior and the
        maker of the god's peace (the Pax Romani). (we've got this noted on
        tablets, coins, statues, temples, and writings). Peter and Paul
        replace these Roman twins. "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus
        Christ" replaces Jupiter. And Peter and Paul are but generals and
        admirals and Jesus is "the son of the Father, the Son of God, the
        Savior, and High Priest (after the order of Melchizedek, not Julius
        Caesar). The Romans came with war, the Way folks came with "say,
        Peace to this house...." Acts ending shows who won, from Luke's
        perspective.
        >
        > Where do you see the words emphasizing the Kingdom of God, other
        > than in
        > the passage from Luke?

        All of it! The summary phrase which was the summary proclamation in
        the mission program is now the summary last word for the whole
        shooting match. The Pax Christi made it to Rome just fine:)!
        >
        >
        >
        >> The texts that show the continuation of this proclamation reach from
        >> Jesus time all the way up to the production of the extant Didache.
        >
        > You lose me on the referent for "this," and yes, I do think the
        > Didache is
        > important.

        Again, the proclamation of the Kingdom of God come near. Tell me the
        words you priest uses in the liturgy after you have received the
        Lord's Supper? I say, "the grace, mercy and peace of God be with
        you." Those summary words etch out the experience of what I trust is
        experienced "good news."
        >
        >> Paul ranks "the apostoloi" as first in his ranking of "offices." In
        >> I Cor. 9 he speaks about this mission praxis in relationship to
        >> defending his apostleship.
        >
        > Paul's apostleship, as described in the letters and Acts, belongs
        > to my
        > Phase III. What was the "originating proclamation" in the
        > intervening decades?

        Again, in terms of the exegetical work to talk up Jesus, the sender
        of the sent ones, I'd point you to start not with very late Acts, but
        rather with Paul's Greeting words and then esp. that little formula
        in I Cor. 15. That among the many titles "Christ" becomes the first
        rank one (so much so that many think Christ is Jesus' last name) is
        obvious in a "Kingdom of God" movement. In the opening of Romans,
        for example, Paul directly says that Jesus was "descended from David
        according to the flesh." Psalm 2 and the host of scriptures on the
        Covenant with David are obviously key passages for understanding the
        earliest kerymatic declarations and conversations. Not surprising
        that someone who talked up "the Kingdom" became talked about as the
        heir to and leader of that "Kingdom rule" and that this became the
        prime identifying language. As for cross and resurrection, note
        clearly that Paul talks about what he "received" and is passing on.
        Christ is both talked about as dying and rising "according to the
        Scriptures." (not according to the facts or according to memories,
        but according to Scriptures!). I think this is the place to begin to
        think about the named and nameless who did this exegetical work for
        preaching and teaching. But again note Paul's own language about the
        order of the ministries... first "apostles, then...." ***First***
        the sent ones. That sending did not start after Jesus' death. It
        started before it and continued after it. Exegesis and the talk that
        goes with it comes after one gets into the house and could take place
        only if those there "shared the peace." Shaking dust off one's shoes
        was the recommended action for those homes that weren't interested.
        >
        > I have rattled on enough, I think, to flesh out our differences
        > somewhat.
        > Enough for tonight.

        Good conversation. Again, my point was to invite you and all to
        consider approaching your question in a very different way. Start
        with Jesus and then work towards the very late Acts (whenever you
        want to date it) is my way of working at this. As for Peter? How
        much do we actually know about this fellow? And I think a more
        interesting question is who the heck took "the Way" to Rome in the
        first place. I wonder if it is one of those Paul mentions in his
        greetings at the end? There's a Mary mentioned. A Rufus is
        mentioned and note Paul's language. Is this the son of Simon of
        Cyrene? These names are common enough, but then persons with these
        names are mentioned in the later written gospels. Lots of Mary's to
        consider. But there is one Rufus who is mentioned. The really
        interesting question here, to me is who the heck first took the Way
        to Rome? I know what tradition will say, but Peter just disappears
        in Acts. Would be nice if some evidence buried in the Vatican would
        actually shed some light on this!
        >
        > Thanks,

        You're welcome. And thanks for an interesting opening question and
        consideration of my alternate way to frame answering your question.
        If you're interested I can go on and write out the way of summing the
        answers to those other questions I posed from this alternative approach.

        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC
        > Bob
        >
      • Matson, Mark (Academic)
        ... A couple of notes on the exchange above: 1. At root, a basic issue is what was the major impetus for the rise of the early church? According to Acts, it
        Message 3 of 9 , May 7 1:16 PM
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          Gordon Raynal argued on the "originating proclamation":

          > >Question One: What was the original proclamation (messaging) of the
          > >community? What was it about?
          > >
          > >Phase I text? The Q1 Mission Program found in extant Luke 10:3-11.
          > >Message: "say to them, The Kingdom of God has come near to you."
          > >And so this program was at core about (per the directives of the
          > >aforementioned), peace (shalom) declaration, shared table fellowship
          > >(which, of course is
          > >inclusive of the conversations), and "healing" in homes. Where "the
          > >peace" was received and shared, then there would be another home on
          > >the map to make
          > >up a network of peace/ reconciliation places/ families & friends.

          To which Bob Schacht responded:

          > Gordon,
          > You are quite right to remind me about Q, and the core rituals of
          > communion
          > that helped to sustain the fellowship of believers. But I have trouble
          > seeing in that the "originating proclamation." I thought you were
          > asking
          > about evangelism, but it sounds like all you have in mind is a quiet
          > network of friends. What you describe sounds like a bunch of Quakers
          :-
          > )

          And Gordon again:

          > >The obvious difference between our proposals is you look to
          > >"preaching" about the significance of Jesus after he died as central
          > >to the originating messaging, whereas I propose the social praxis of
          > >"Kingdom of God" sharing while Jesus was quite alive as "the
          > >original" and "originating" proclamation.

          And Bob again:

          > You are changing my question, because rather than starting from the
          > crucifixion, you want to start with Jesus. Furthermore, you change the
          > nature of "proclamation" from an act of speech to a set of behaviors.
          >
          > I thought that when you were asking about the "originating
          > proclamation"
          > that you were asking, What was the "good news" that propelled the
          > followers
          > of Jesus and gave them an increasingly distinctive character from the
          > time
          > of the Crucifixion to the establishment of Paul's churches? But now it
          > appears that you had something quite different in mind.


          A couple of notes on the exchange above:

          1. At root, a basic issue is what was the major impetus for the rise of
          the early church? According to Acts, it was primarily the death and
          resurrection of Jesus, and that this singular event interpreted all of
          Jesus' previous teaching, and also interpreted the entire Old Testament.
          This event "energized" the church to proclaim "boldly" (as noted
          previously). I would argue this is the well spring of the kerygma of
          the church. It was preaching first about Jesus, and secondly contained
          the content of Jesus' own preaching.

          2. If so, then Jesus' own preaching of the Kingdom of God becomes part
          of the understanding of who Jesus was/is. So it is not surprising of
          Acts ends with Paul's speaking openly about the Kingdom of God... but it
          is a kingdom now understood in light of the resurrection.

          3. Assuming Q (as most economist jokes start "assume a free market", we
          can also begin many hypothetical discussions with "assume Q), Jesus
          appears to focus on the coming kingdom. Of course Mark does too at the
          beginning of his gospel, the first preaching of Jesus. But that is not
          the necessarily the preaching of the church in its earliest evangelical
          form. The sending of the 12 or 70 was not evangelistic so much as
          exploring the power of God in his kingdom -- though it could be
          anticipatory (progymnasmata training exercises) for a coming evangelism
          of the church.

          4. What I would want to know from Gordon, is whether he sees the death
          and resurrection of Jesus as the primary formative event for the church.
          Or does he see a church formed based on Jesus' preaching, and which only
          later added on the importance of the resurrection of Jesus. In other
          words, was it Jesus as subject of the preaching content or Jesus as
          object of preaching content that drove the earliest church to form as an
          ongoing replicative social unit?


          Mark A. Matson
          Academic Dean
          Milligan College
          http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
        • Gordon Raynal
          Hi Mark, I m cutting down to get to a comments and response to your question: ... Mark I note here you opt for the definite article (***the*** early church
          Message 4 of 9 , May 8 7:12 AM
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            Hi Mark,

            I'm cutting down to get to a comments and response to your question:
            On May 7, 2009, at 4:16 PM, Matson, Mark (Academic) wrote:

            > Gordon Raynal argued on the "originating proclamation":
            >
            >>> Question One: What was the original proclamation (messaging) of the
            >>> community? What was it about?
            >>>
            >>> Phase I text? The Q1 Mission Program found in extant Luke 10:3-11.
            >>> Message: "say to them, The Kingdom of God has come near to you."
            >>> And so this program was at core about (per the directives of the
            >>> aforementioned), peace (shalom) declaration, shared table fellowship
            >>> (which, of course is
            >>> inclusive of the conversations), and "healing" in homes. Where "the
            >>> peace" was received and shared, then there would be another home on
            >>> the map to make
            >>> up a network of peace/ reconciliation places/ families & friends.
            >
            > A couple of notes on the exchange above:
            >
            > 1. At root, a basic issue is what was the major impetus for the
            > rise of
            > the early church?
            Mark I note here you opt for the definite article (***the*** early
            church (singular)). This sounds so organized and so, well,
            singular:)! Seriously, when I read such as Paul's Corinthian
            correspondence I'm not very moved to start with such singularity or
            sense of clear organization! When I look to the earliest evidences I
            can find, I find a none too surprising diversity in various locales.
            And for historical purposes I think the term "movement" is a more
            helpful term... so we're talking a movement with a lot of diverse
            voices in it. This makes entire sense to me in a reconciliation
            movement, as opposed to a sharply ideological movement. Rush
            Limbaugh's pushing Republican Purity (his definition) is doing a fine
            job of driving folks away;)!

            >
            > 3. Assuming Q (as most economist jokes start "assume a free
            > market", we
            > can also begin many hypothetical discussions with "assume Q), Jesus
            > appears to focus on the coming kingdom. Of course Mark does too at the
            > beginning of his gospel, the first preaching of Jesus. But that is
            > not
            > the necessarily the preaching of the church in its earliest
            > evangelical
            > form.

            What literature doesn't focus on the Kingdom of God? Even if you
            want to approach the question(s) as you do, the proclamation of the
            cross/ resurrection kerygma is all about the Kingdom of God, right?

            > The sending of the 12 or 70 was not evangelistic so much as
            > exploring the power of God in his kingdom -- though it could be
            > anticipatory (progymnasmata training exercises) for a coming
            > evangelism
            > of the church.

            And here is where we disagree.

            >
            > 4. What I would want to know from Gordon, is whether he sees the
            > death
            > and resurrection of Jesus as the primary formative event for the
            > church.
            > Or does he see a church formed based on Jesus' preaching, and which
            > only
            > later added on the importance of the resurrection of Jesus. In other
            > words, was it Jesus as subject of the preaching content or Jesus as
            > object of preaching content that drove the earliest church to form
            > as an
            > ongoing replicative social unit?

            You give me an either/or question and I'm going to answer,
            "neither:)!" Again you use the definite article, "the" ("the
            primary formative event") of "the church." As noted, I really want
            to frame approaching my suggested questions in a different way. To
            your questions and my "neither" answer, I want to suggest that what
            we see emerge out of late Second Temple Judaism is a reconciliation
            movement (to work off of Paul's summary phrasing). I see this as a
            social development, not as a movement inaugurated by one person or
            response to one person. For the sake of a modern analogy I would
            suggest something like the organization of the Southern Christian
            Leadership Conference. We're talking the coming together among
            friends and associates over some years to form a distinctive
            movement. The dynamism of this comes from response to a real need
            (here... reconciliation work/ with the SCLC the need for civil rights
            for African Americans). That dynamism is spurred by key voices and
            the broader conversations that are evoke. The dynamism of a
            reconciliation movement, as opposed to an core ideological movement,
            is very vital as diverse voices join in and only grows as that
            diversity grows. Hence, they are messy. And these reconciliation
            folks were an arguing lot! The eventual canon (a much later work, of
            course) shows us what were considered to be the tolerable limits of
            that diversity, but then those decisions began to be worked out over
            a hundred years after Jesus. So, I have to answer, "neither."

            Now to Jesus, I think he became "the lead voice" in this circle of
            friends and associates. I actually think "teacher" is the wrong term
            to use to describe him. The authentic language we have from him, in
            my view, is found in the aphorisms and parables... in other words
            "wisdom speech." Wisdom words as wisdom words, don't "teach," they
            alert and orient and stir conversations and stir imaginations. They
            are evocative "wonder" and "wondering words." The word "sage" is
            closer to a descriptive titling, but I think the better way to talk
            of Jesus is that he was "a man of aphorisms and parables." The
            "dynamic juicing" so such language sharing is powerful. I think with
            imaginations stirred, then sharing "the peace" led to the organizing
            of a movement to share this experience. The mission agenda we find
            described in and/ or assumed/ talked about in Q, Thomas, the
            Synoptics, John, Paul's letters, Acts, etc. was a key inaugural
            moment in that it intentionally spread the reconciliation experience
            beyond the confines of the original family, friends and associates.
            Per that mission agenda, this was "a two by two to homes" movement,
            hence it was a social operation. And per all the gospels and the
            fact that we're still talking about it, it "worked." (or it "can"
            work). That the lead "imaginator," who was mercilessly killed by the
            "Pax" they were responding to, became the iconic embodiment of the
            whole thing is no surprise. To be sure, there were fears and
            fallings away in the midst of that horror, but that didn't kill this
            movement, it spurred it on! And that cross could not kill the
            imaginative power of Jesus' potent language. Those words still
            "worked" and still do "for those with ears to hear:)!"

            To end on some shameless self promotion:)! "The 4th R" has just
            published the first of two articles by me on wisdom speech (this
            article) and Jesus as a wisdom communicator (the next edition). I
            hope some might be interested in reading it. Also I want to give a
            shout out to Hal Taussig's new book, "In the Beginning Was the
            Meal." It is fresh off the presses and I just got my copy. I urge
            all to read it.



            Good to chat.

            Gordon Raynal
            Inman, SC
            >
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