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«_ A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the School of Theology Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Fort Worth, Texas _ In Partial ...»

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oujc u{yisto~ ejn ceiropohvtoi~ katoikei` (Acts 7:48).52 De Silva suggests that the first six chapters of Acts describes “the Thomas C. Oden, Life in the Spirit: Systematic Theology, Volume Three (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1998), 296.

Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2d ed.

(Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 1049.

Stanley Grenz, Created for Community: Connecting Christian Belief with Christian Living, 2d ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), 209.

“But the Most High does not live in a building made by human hands.” See similarly, Acts 17:24.

presence and activity of God’s Holy Spirit in the midst of the community.”53 The church as the “temple of the Spirit” portrays “the place of presence for the risen Lord.”54 This image presents “relationality” as distinctive from postmodern pluralsim. Paul uses this image as a warning “against compromise with heathen society” (2 Cor Paul writes, mh; givnesqe eJterozugou`nte~ ajpivstoi~ (v.

6:14-18).55 14)... hJmei`~ ga;r nao;~ qeou` ejsmen zw`nto~ (v. 16).56 The pistw`/ (v. 15) refers to the community of faith,57 and ajpivstoi~ D. A. deSilva, Honor, Patronage, Kinship, and Purity, 292-93.

Carey Newman, “Images of the Church in Paul,” in The People of God: Essays on the Believers’ Church, eds.

Paul A. Basden and David S. Dockery (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1991; reprint, 1999), 153.

P. T. O’Brien, “The Church as a Heavenly and Eschatological Entity,” in The Church in the Bible and the World: An International Study, ed. D. A. Carson (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987), 100.

“Do not become mismated with unbelievers” (v. 14)... “for we are the temple of the living God” (v. 16).

The hJmei`~ in verse 16 refers to individual believers and to the community. See Joseph A. Fitzmeyer, Essays on the Semitic Background of the New Testament (London: Chapman, 1971), 214.

See Ralph P. Martin, 2 Corinthians, Word Biblical Commentary (Waco: Word, 1986), 201. He suggests that pistov~ is a technical “designation of the follower of Jesus.” See also, R. Bultmann, s. v. “pistov~,” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 10 vols., ed. G. Kittel, trans. and ed. G. W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967; reprint, 1978), 6:215. Hereafter cited, TDNT.

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postmodern quest for pluralism calls for “agreement” between the “temple of the Spirit” and other religious narratives.

Lakeland, who writes for a postmodern theology, declares that such a theology will “reflect the open-ended, pluralistic, pragmatic, and tentative nature of the postmodern world.”61 Lakeland suggests that the church in the postmodern setting must “embrace the spirit of the age.”62 To accomplish this task, Lakeland relegates the

Margaret Thrall, “The Problem of 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1

in Some Recent Discussion,” New Testament Studies 24 (1977Agreement by the temple of God with idols.” Ben Witherington III, Conflict and Community in Corinth: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 405.

See, Paul Lakeland, Postmodernity: Christian Identity in a Fragmented Age (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 1997), 86.


mission of the church to “pluralistic discourse” which seeks “consensus.”63 The necessity of consensus leads Lakeland to conclude that “Christ will not be in the foreground of Christian mission in the postmodern world,” but He “will be the distinctive element ‘behind’” the mission.64 Is this not the fulfillment of Paul’s warning in 2 Corinthians 6?

According to Fung, the trinitarian images of the apostolic community point to the “relationality” between the church and God in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.65 This writer suggests a modification of Fung’s conclusion.

The self-conception of the apostolic community includes the relation to the world as well; therefore, the conclusion would be that the images reflect the “relationality” between the church and God in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit to the world.

The application of this self-conception to the contemporary scene compels the Christian community to conceive this single reality in a postmodern world. The church lives in connection with God’s redemptive actions in Christ as the mission of the church among postmodern people.

Ibid., 102.

Ibid., 108.

Ronald Y. K. Fung, “Some Pauline Pictures of the Church,” Evangelical Quarterly 53 (1981): 107.

Through this work of God in the apostolic community, the church seeks to continue Christ’s priority and mission of “self-giving liberation of men for their true future.”66 Moltmann further declares, “Then, as the community of the cross it consists of the fellowship of the kingdom... it spreads the feast without end.”67

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“not a casual collection of some individuals with more or less common religious convictions,”68 but it is the “mediated presence of God in the world.”69 As Webber puts it, “The goal of the church is to be a divine standard, a sign of God’s incarnational presence and activity in history. In a postmodern world the most effective witness to a world of disconnected people is the church that forms community and embodies the reality of the new society.”70 Moltmann, Church in the Power of the Spirit, 75.


Markus Barth, The Broken Wall: A Study of the Epistle to the Ephesians (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1959), 131.

Richard Lints, “The Vinyl Narratives: The Metanarrative of Postmodernity and the Recovery of a Churchly Theology,” in A Confessing Theology for Postmodern Times, ed. Michael Horton (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2000), 102.

Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Faith: Rethinking Evangelicalism for a Postmodern World (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999), 79.

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An apostolic approach focuses on the transformation of worldviews from postmodern to Christian through the apostolic community. A worldview, according to Charles Kraft, presents “ the central systematization of conceptions of reality... from which stems their value system.”71 Wright further suggests that worldviews are “the lens through which the world is seen, the blueprint for how one should live in it, and above all the sense of identity and place which enables human beings to be what they are.”72 Middleton and Walsh propose that worldviews “give faith answers to a set of ultimate and grounding questions.” Postmodern people seek the nature of reality, the purpose for life, the reason and cause for evil in the world, and the path to wholeness.73 At the conclusion of Peter’s sermon at Pentecost, he calls to the hearers: swvqhte ajpo; th`~ genea`~ th`~ skolia`~ tauvth~ Charles Kraft, Christianity and Culture (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1979), 53.

N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, vol. 1, Christian Origins and the Question of God (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 124.

J. Richard Middleton and Brian J. Walsh, Truth Is Stranger Than It Used to Be: Biblical Faith in a Postmodern Age (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1995), 11.

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calls his hearers a conversion of worldviews.75 Peter promotes salvation from the worldview embraced and embedded in the culture of their world (th`~ genea`~ th`~ skolia`~ tauvth~).

In this way, conversion creates a “paradigm shift” in which an individual emerges into a “new mode of life occasioned by a self-involving participation in the shared life, language, and paradigm of the believing community.”76 Such a transformation is welcome in the postmodern milieu. Brian Walsh writes that the worldview of modernity is currently at a stage of incredulity.77 Such incredulity promotes “the gravest sort of anxiety” for the postmodern person.78 The postmodern person, in general terms, searches for an option better than the modern worldview or the “Be delivered from this crooked race.” Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, eds. W. F.

Arndt and F. W. Gingrich, 2d ed., eds. F. W. Gingrich and F.

W. Danker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957;

reprint, 1979), s. v. “ajpov,” 86. Hereafter cited, BAGD. It denotes a separation from a sphere of origin.

Brad J. Kallenberg, “Conversion Converted: A Postmodern Formulation of the Doctrine of Conversion,” Evangelical Quarterly (1995): 358.

Brian Walsh, “Reimaging Biblical Authority,” Christian Scholar’s Review 26 (1996): 207.

Clifford Geertz, Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 99.

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transformation of worldviews by which an apostolic community provides the interpretation of life through the lens of the apostles’ doctrine and through the koinwniva of the community.

Luke records the work of the church when he writes, h\san de;

proskarterou`nte~ th`/ didach`/ tw`n ajpostovlwn kai; th`/ koinwniva/, th`/ klavsei tou` a[rtou kai; tai`~ proseucai`~.80

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definition of the “true life” inscribed by the Spirit of truth.81 Postmodern people reject such a “totalizing” statement as an oppressive metanarrative, yet the intent of B. Walsh, “Reimaging Biblical Authority,” 207.

“But they were attending constantly to the teaching of the apostles and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers” (Acts 2:42).

See previous chapter on “The Holy Spirit: The Bridge for the Objective Truth of the Gospel.” the apostolic approach is to deconstruct postmodern incredulity of the gospel and to re-construct a worldview in concert with the doctrine of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

An examination of th`/ didach`/ tw`n ajpostovlwn demonstrates its connection with the doctrine of Christ. William Neil proposes that th`/ didach`/ tw`n ajpostovlwn refers to the “words and works of Jesus as later incorporated in the Gospels.”82 Rengstorf concludes that th`/ didach`/ tw`n ajpostovlwn refers to the proclamation of Christ’s didachv by those whom He has sent into the world.83 The premise of this section is that the doctrine of Christ is the apostles’ doctrine. James Sawyer suggests that the apostles’ teaching serves as the mediation between Christ and the church.84 Therefore, “the church is only faithful to its calling as it perseveres in the teaching and tradition of the apostles, who constitute the human link with Jesus.”85 William Neil, The Acts of the Apostles, New Century Bible Commentary (London: Marshall, Morgan, and Scott, 1973; reprint, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 80-81.

K. Rengstorf, s.v. “didachv,” TDNT, 2:164-65.

M. James Sawyer, “Evangelicals and the Canon of the New Testament,” Grace Theological Journal 11 (Spring 1990): 40.

Richard N. Longenecker, “Taking Up the Cross Daily: Discipleship in Luke-Acts,” in Patterns of Discipleship in the New Testament, ed. Richard N.

Longenecker (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 59.

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bridges the historical distance, and the Spirit works through Scripture to resolve the issues of truth and authority. Bruce concludes that “New Testament scriptures form the written deposit of the apostolic teaching.”86 Certainly, the earliest documents of the NT are letters from

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comprise the “written transcripts of the Gospel” so that th`/ didach`/ tw`n ajpostovlwn “might be preserved.”87 Thus, th`/ didach`/ tw`n ajpostovlwn inextricably coincides with evangelism. Jesus commissions His followers in Matthew 28:19-20: poreuqevnte~ ou\n maqhteuvsate pavnta ta; e[qnh, baptivzonte~ aujtou;~ eij~ to; o[noma tou` patro;~ kai; tou` uiJou` kai; tou` aJgivou pneuvmato~, didavskonte~ aujtou;~ threi`n pavnta o{sa ejneteilavmhn uJmi`n.88 The activity of didavskonte~ aujtou;~ threi`n pavnta o{sa ejneteilavmhn uJmi`n corresponds to the transformation of a life, so that what an individual F. F. Bruce, The Book of Acts, rev. ed., New

International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids:

Eerdmans, 1988), 73.

F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments, rev.

ed. (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1984), 97-98.

“As you go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to fulfill as much as I have commanded to you” (Matt 28:19-20a).

does conforms to what Christ commands. As Blomberg writes, “Teaching obedience to all of Jesus’ commands forms the

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In order for postmodern people to follow Christ, they must be transformed so that their worldview matches Scripture.90 An apostolic approach promotes this transformation.

Paul describes this transformation in Rom 12:2.

Paul joins mh; to the present imperative, suschmativzesqe, to

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touvtw/, reveals the worldview of “this age” or “the thought patterns extant outside Christianity.”92 Paul, therefore, encourages the believers to stop conforming themselves to the worldview of tw`/ aijw`ni touvtw/.93 Craig L. Blomberg, Matthew, New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1992), 433.

Thomas C. Oden, Life in the Spirit, 300.

James A. Brooks and Carlton L. Winberry, Syntax of New Testament Greek (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1979), 127; Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, 755. Moo suggests that the voice of the verb could be passive, middle-reflexive, or “most likely... a simple (‘intransitive’) active significance -- ‘do not conform.’” Adolf Schlatter, Romans: The Righteousness of God, trans. Siegfried Schatzmann (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995), 229. The intent of this phrase, according to Schlatter, is that the world “assumes and specifically demands” that individuals “conduct themselves just as it does.” Bo Reicke, “Positive and Negative Aspects of the World in the New Testament,” Westminster Theological Journal The passive imperative, metamorfou`sqe, indicates the responsibility for action.94 The instrument of transformation is th`/ ajnakainwvsei tou` noo;~,95 by which ajnakainwvsei indicates “a continuing renewal” (see 2 Cor 4:16; Col 3:10).

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