Note: This is the conclusion to a four part series addressing the practice of Church Discipline over the course of the life of the Church. The previous posts may be accessed in order here, here, and here.
Perhaps one of the most significant changes in the landscape of the Protestant Reformation by the time of the 19th century was the various expressions of the faith which had come into their own. For example, the Baptists had grown from the Anabaptists and English Separatists of the Continental as well as English Reformations.1 These early Baptists held that church discipline was a practice necessary within a redeemed community and applied the practice rigorously in the New World which makes them a good starting place for examining the practice of church discipline and restoration in the contemporary church.… Continue reading
Note: This installment of our mini-series on Church Discipline in Church History will be a bit longer than normal in order to address the next time period which influences our current understanding of this practice. For review you may find the first two installments here and here.
Although there are some twelve centuries of history between the third century fathers, Tertullian and Cyprian and the Reformers, I will focus on the latter group. These men heavily influence our modern practice of church discipline. Therefore, it would seem wise to address at least two of the most well-known individual Reformers as well as one group within them.… Continue reading
The issue or topic of Church Discipline is one which seems to be becoming one of more focus as the twenty-first century church seeks to either maintain or recapture ground lost to the post-modern era from which it is emerging. For some this may be a topic of which little or nothing is known while for others it may be a bit of a ‘hobby-horse’ issue. Therefore, it will not be the goal of this series to try to convince anyone of the requirement of this practice one way or another. Rather, the focus will be to provide background information from the foundation of the church at Pentecost to the present regarding the practice of church discipline and it its goal of restoration within the context of the church.… Continue reading
I have to confess: sometimes I write posts on this blog that does not move me. Everything I have written I believe and has changed my life in one way or another. But somethings don’t move me to action.
Yet, some have.
One year ago (today), I began a 3-part series on “How to Overcome Sin.” This was an intense study of my own and it moved me to action. The fruit of that study which I shared on PS23 has been helpful again and again to me as well as to others who I have shared it with. So, I decided to share it with you again.… Continue reading
It is never easy or fun to deal with personal sin. Being honest about one’s true condition at heart is scary, because the depth and pervasiveness of sin runs so deep. Instead of turning to God and His remedy, we are prone to seek solutions via superficial means.
We often view stimulants as the jolt to shake us out of our spiritual doldrums. Some look for a new hobby. Stamps used to be the annoying thing they licked and stuck on an envelope. Now they are the most valuable resource on the planet, and they can’t spend enough time tracing them down.… Continue reading