ekklesia by Steve Atkerson
To the roots of Biblical House Church life.
The author or authors, eight to be exact, state pg 205 “Scripture reveals only one prescribed way in which believers were taught to come together as the churches and do things.” This statement seems to sum up and clearly state the purpose of this book. Scriptures are a blueprint for the church. The point is stressed again and again that we need to “obey Scripture” as they say “are we going to obey the traditions of men or the traditions of the Divine”? They seem to view the New Testament as the new law of Christ that we need to follow. The idea of living by a new life appears to be a foreign concept to the writers. Instead of scripture being used as a witness to the Spirit, it needs to be used to guide the Spirit. Instead of the New Testament being a story about the living out of this new life in Christ it is an instruction book on how to do church (this is in bold letters on the back of the book). If 1 Corinthians 14 were never written half of this book would be gone since it is the most quoted passage in this book.
Chapter 13 was my favorite and it talked about healthy churches. The writer of this chapter makes some good points from his experience in body life. I also believe that the writers all want Jesus to be central and are for unity in the body. Throughout the book are some good observations and testimonies but the foundation thought I do not find to be true.
On pg166 they quote 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is God breathed and is usefull for teaching….. and they seem to think that Paul was talking about his own writings as scripture. Paul here is refering to the Old Testament writing not his own letters.
To me one of the most disturbing statements was on pg.65 “The Bible is our final authority, but not our only authority. The Holy Spirit has guided…..The church as a whole is also an authority (albeit a secondary one)”.
The voice of the church is second to the Bible? Jesus left all authority to the Bible I guess, Hmmm? If our thought of church is following the Bible, they got it – But if the thought of the church is a foundation built upon the living Jesus Christ that dwells within His members – if it is directed by His Spirit and if the call is to fellowship with Him and be led by His will then I think there is a higher way. Let the Bible bear witness and not lead – let it stand as a testimony to a people who were being led by the Spirit. This Spirit is what we desire to be led by. The Bible was never meant to take the place of the voice of the Lord it was meant to point you to and confirm that voice. Lets be like good Berreans and go to the scriptures and see if they bear witness to what we are told or taught. We no longer live in the time of shadows and laws because of Christ’s work on the cross we can live by His very life – never let anyone distract the church from living by that life. It is His life that has made us one – made us holy – made us new and it is by living in and by this life that Christ will be made visible on this earth. This is what I read and believe is demonstrated when I read the New Testament letters.