House Churches?

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Here’s something I stumbled across today that I thought was pretty interesting in relation to so called “house churches.” It’s short. Check it out here 🙂

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14 Responses to “House Churches?”

  1. Διονυσιος Says:

    Ha! Nice.

  2. Moses Says:

    Yeah… a little different from our conventional houses!

  3. flourence n. Says:

    http://calvinlashway.com/housechurches.html
    http://www.christianquest.org/cq-files/church.html

    what of the writings of clement of alexandria who wrote of worshipping in a private, one room baptistry in dura-europe?

    I guess that’s the cool thing about the internet, one can find anything. I am indifferent to the subject matter here, but just thought I should point it out.

    (i wonder if ken collins if familiar with archaeological discoveries because I found some other interesting articles in archaeology journals that somewhat contradict what he was saying?????)

    in christ,
    flourence n.

  4. Διονυσιος Says:

    Dear Pseudonymous Poster,

    You wrote:
    “(i wonder if ken collins if familiar with archaeological discoveries because I found some other interesting articles in archaeology journals that somewhat contradict what he was saying?????)”

    Could you point us in the direction of some of these journals? I’d be interested in reading them, particularly because the kind of thing being said by Collins has been verified first-hand by a family member of mine who has visited the sites of ancient cities in Jordan and Egypt.

    Thanks!

  5. flourence n. Says:

    I must request where collins is getting his info as it seemed to be tongue and cheek.

    did you read my links? what of clement?

    I am not familiar as to what degree your family member holds in archaeology or nationality they are, but I am interested because middle eastern archaeology is extremely difficult to be allowed permission — in short, they must be world class if they are not jewish or arab. can you shed light on this?

    look at the leading biblical archaeology journals and 1st/2nd journals focusing on it, there really is a plethora of material if you do a journal search on your college website for academic journals.. I love those 😛

    I assumed when I posted that when claiming the house church as ”so called” the poster has done academic research on the topic in anthropological and archaeology writing of church in the 1st and 2nd century. along with taking into consideration national persecution of christians…that’s why I am curious as to where collins is claiming that all legitimate home churches were so extravagant….catacombs (sp?)? hiding? upper rooms? I just find universalizing some archaeology to reflect everything to be heresy in anthropological theory.

    one last point, if I may make assuming the authors are knowledgeable in anthropological theory — archaeological evidence of some occurrences does not generate normative or universality in practice, customs, etc (boas, malonowski, durkheim, tylor, etc). I have always thought of priscilla and aquilas home church as the type clement of alexandria descibes in dura-europe. I very well may be wrong, though!

    if collins is right, then the early and for the most part largely persecuted church, as well as those ”home churcherers” had a pretty decent gig

    —–I bow out of further discussion on this topic as it, relying on anthropological theory, is subjecitve. not because of the authors but because of the paradigm starting from morgan and spencer to malonowski, levi-strauss, and observations from johnson lol

    ~ flourence n.

  6. flourence n. Says:

    I may have misunderstood what you meant by your family member. did you mean academic or mere tourist observer? I assumed you meant academic because tourist observer, or visitor, observations are not and do not contribute to the epistemological foundation of anthropological claims in general, and of collins claims; but this is obvious lol so apologize if I misunderstood

  7. Διονυσιος Says:

    . . . how ivory tower of you. I’m unimpressed, and doubt that anything you have to say will change that.

    You write a lot like someone else who used to post here . . .

  8. Krause Says:

    Flourence,
    Umm…I was just posting a little tidbit that I thought was interesting from another thinker. I’ve never claimed to be an archaeologist or an anthropologist. I’m a philosopher. I thought Rev. Collins’ post was interesting. Maybe it’s totally wrongheaded. I don’t know. If you want to argue, I’ll have to ask you to actually post arguments rather than just name dropping.

    Obviously not much hinges on whether Collins’ is totally right not. I don’t really care. It doesn’t have much of anything to do with why I’m Orthodox. Most of all, you need to chill a bit.
    One love,
    Krause

  9. MG Says:

    Florence–

    Even if house Churches are what you say Clement considered them to be, this in no way conflicts with Orthodoxy. In my experience, Orthodox Christians often have Church gatherings in houses. I’ve done Compline in houses with priests or just laity several times. Granted they don’t often celebrate the Liturgy there; but it has been done, I believe. There’s nothing about house Churches understood in your proposed way that is incompatible with Orthodoxy per se.

    So if you’re right about Clement, and if that’s the only way they did it back then, this doesn’t cause any problems for Orthodoxy. But if they ever did Church in a way that included a more formal liturgical style, and a more formal location, this would make problems for the idea that Christianity *should* be informal and non-liturgical.

    I didn’t understand the argumentative significance of the first article you posted. Could you explain how it fits in?

    And with reference to the second article you referenced on “First Century Church” it is important to distinguish having a distinct setting from having a formal liturgy. Even if the Church gathered in various humble places (which is surely true in at least some cases) it doesn’t imply there wasn’t a liturgy.

    Also, even though I agree with much of the conclusion drawn in the second article, I don’t see how any of it really follows from the data presented. He says:

    “The church is not a corporate body. It is not a building or a structure. The church is not a multi-national institutional conglomerate. The church is people. That is not to say that people of God should not organize for fellowship. The Scriptures give a basic structure and coherency to the people of God. But the church should never forget that it is comprised of people in union with the Lord, Jesus Christ. It is unfortunate that the history of Christianity demonstrates the people of God have often been overlooked, forgotten and even abused by the corporate institution of the church.”

    The only way he could yield this conclusion from his data seems to be if he said that the things he brings up about the Church are the *only* data we have. What he says about a “corporate body” and “institution” depends entirely on what he means by “corporate”. The very text he cites talks about Christians being a “nation”, which (on some understandings) is somewhat awkward when set alongside his statements about what the Church is not.

    Perhaps there are other biblical passages and places in the early Fathers that, when taken together, imply that the Church is a visible heirarchical institution that perpetuates through apostolic succession, in addition to including the possibility of somewhat unorgaized and small-scale gatherings. The fact that humble gatherings are okay and even should be done does not imply that heirarchical liturgy that meets at the same place each week is bad or less-preferrable, or not essential to the Church as a whole.

    Also, some of the Fathers and other early Christian sources he cites and that you utilize believed in things like the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, heirarchy, the episcopacy, sacramental ordination, and apostolic succession. If testimony of early fathers about Christian practice is valid in the areas that the author drew attention to, and that you pointed out, it seems like we should accept their reliability in preserving other practices such as the ones I have listed. Using Justin and Tertullian is dangerous enough, but Clement is obviously very much pro-heirarchy and has an advanced theology of ministry for such an early Christian.

  10. flourence n. Says:

    I am quite offended and am a little confused why everyone thinks I am being argumentitive. that is not the spirit in which I wrote the post. I am a tad distressed that my comments were taken as an attack instead of inquiry; I thought that is the purpose of this site? is it not dangerous to presuppose the spirit of someone’s commenting since you don’t know the tone in which I wrote or my inner thoughts? since I have seemed to deeply offend the authors with questioning and counter attacks in the name of the academic spirit I will not post. 😦

    I apologize, am confused, and a little offended.

    best of luck, though. may God bless you and this site as well.

  11. flourence n. Says:

    I apologze if I have offended with my comments.

  12. Διονυσιος Says:

    “I am quite offended and am a little confused why everyone thinks I am being argumentitive. that is not the spirit in which I wrote the post. I am a tad distressed that my comments were taken as an attack instead of inquiry; I thought that is the purpose of this site? is it not dangerous to presuppose the spirit of someone’s commenting since you don’t know the tone in which I wrote or my inner thoughts? since I have seemed to deeply offend the authors with questioning and counter attacks in the name of the academic spirit I will not post. :(”

    First of all, do you see the blatant self-contradiction in this paragraph? You weren’t being argumentative – and you are “a tad distressed that [your] comments were taken as an attack” – but you say you made “attacks in the name of the academic spirit.” Seriously?

    Nobody has taken offense. The harshest reaction you got was from me, and I simply wrote you off. But even I gave you the benefit of the doubt, at first, asking to be informed!

    Nobody here is squashing “the academic spirit”. Michael even seems to be interested in dialoguing with you.

    I will be emailing you to discuss this further.

  13. Krause Says:

    Flourence,
    Fair enough. It is hard to judge the tone of someone’s internet commenting sometimes. I thought you came off a little hostile but I’m not really offended. I will reiterate though that name dropping doesn’t really count as an argument. Considering it’s kinda obvious that we don’t specialize in archaeology or anthropology here, you’re gonna have to capitulate to our ignorance a little bit and make the arguments explicitly.

    Plus, as was mentioned, Mike did respond pretty substantially to what you said in a non-angry/non-threatening way.

    In any case, I don’t think we have any kind of spirit of anti-academic spirit here. You just came off a little hostile to us. Not a big deal though.

    Krause

  14. flourence n. Says:

    glad to clear that up. high points in anthroplogy is an amazing anthology that sums up all the writings of the authors I mentioned — appealing to the names of authors in anthropology that I appealed to is like appealing to the fathers of the church for theology and I took it for granted I needed to specifically state their ideas. this was my own ignorance! I will give a brief synopsis later next week as I do not have internet access till monday or tuesday and am writing on my blackberry….not conducive for my thumbs ha

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