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RE: [XTalk] XTalk on Peter: Originating Proclamation

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  • 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 1 of 9 , May 7, 2009
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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 2 of 9 , May 8, 2009
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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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