For Christians struggling to understand the development of the New Testament canon, one of the most confusing (and perhaps concerning) facts is that early Christian writers often cited from and used non-canonical writings.
Unfortunately, many young pastors head into ministry with the perception that if they just give themselves to their congregations, then they will succeed in ministry. But they soon realize that they are not enough to satisfy the church.
This series is designed to introduce lay Christians to the basic facts of how the New Testament canon developed. One of the key data points in any discussion of canon is something called the Muratorian fragment.
As I think about my son’s future, and even about life in the modern day, I have to ask the simple question: What effect does “social media” technology have on the way we view church? What effect does it have on the way we conceive of life in the body of Christ?
One of the most stunning scenes in the Gospel of John is when Jesus debates the Jewish leadership at the end of chapter eight and declares, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (8:58).
If Christians thought the world would end in their own lifetime, then, it is argued, they would not have been interested in composing new scriptural books. Thus, the idea of a canon must be a later ecclesiastical development.
So, how do we break into the lives of people who are immersed in this postmodern reality? How do we reach them for the gospel? Do we offer therapeutic entertainment to draw them in? Nope. Instead, we do the unthinkable in our modern age. We preach.
Although Tolkien was always quick to declare that The Lord of the Rings was not an allegory, it is still evident that the figure of Christ is prevalent throughout the books. But this raises the question, which figure is the Christ-figure? Frodo? Gandalf? Aragorn?