Showing posts from May, 2015

What happened after Acts?

Yes. We finished Acts. We even finished a flying trip through the Epistles. But what happened next? Since we had one week left of our regularly scheduled meetings, we decided to look beyond the end of the Bible and look how the church changed in the following years. (28) What Happened Next? Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire – West to Spain, East to India, and South to Africa. Christians adopted the name “catholic” meaning their faith was universal and couldn’t be put down by pagan scorn, Roman persecution, or evil perversion of Christ’s teachings. Do we believe the church is still catholic in this sense? If not, why not? (Matt 16:18) As the church grew, doctrines and structures were needed so Christians could know the difference between true and false teachers. It became important to know who learned from whom (e.g. John taught Polycarp – martyred around AD160 – who taught Irenaeus, etc.) How important is it today to know where a preacher gets his authority? (Acts

Did apostles still write letters after the end of Acts?

Time deprives us of our favorite leaders, and apostles inevitably grew old and died (or were killed). I enjoyed extending our study of Acts into reading the rest of the epistles in something approaching the order they were written. It certainly gave me a feel for how the world and church were changing, as they still are today. I hope you might enjoy following along. And next week we'll take a quick look at the post-Biblical church as well. (27) When Apostles Die Most commentators believe Peter and Paul died around 67AD. The church had spread throughout the “known world” by then. The good news, that Christ has died and risen and will return, has evolved into a recognition that he may not return tomorrow. But the two preachers most famous for teaching that good news have now died too, and not risen, and are not expected to return. How does the church move on from here? Who else wrote epistles to the Christians? Jude 1.        Remember how Peter and Paul wrote about the need

Paul's Fourth Missionary Journey

This was last week's study, which I forgot to post. My apologies to all. It was certainly interesting, looking at how the world and the church were changing between Paul's release and his death. I found some references that suggested Paul really did make it to Spain eventually too, and even to England. Wouldn't that be cool? I suspect I should amend the study to include Spain, given how sure the early church was. But England? That's quite a trek, and England has lots of other rumors to build on anyway. (26) Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey When Paul first planned to go to Rome, he hoped to continue to Spain as well ( Read Romans 15:23-24 ). His plans may have changed when the trip to Rome became a prisoner’s journey rather than a traveler’s itinerary. Clement claims Paul did make it to “the extreme West,” but we have no letters written to Spain by Paul. We do have letters covering all the region between Judea and Rome. We've looked at Philippians, written while