Saturday, 25 August 2012

Against Christianity (Notes 2)

Part 1 - Against Christianity 
Peter Leithart's first section has 23 points to it rather than chapter divisions. This summary will work through it in in chunks [Notes 1]. 

4. Christianity is biblical religion disembowelled and emasculated by (voluntary) intellectualisation and/or privatization. 
5.  The Church is strange: she is the creation of the Father through Word and Spirit, the community of those who have been united by the SPirit with the Son, and therefore brought into the eternal community of the trinity. She is a city whose town square is in heaven. She is a city without walls or boundary lines, a polity without sword or shield. 
But she is ordinary: the Church is made up of human beings, with features that identify her as a culture among the cultures of the world. 
God created a world of stories, symbols, rituals, and community rules. Into this world of stories, GOd came with His own library; in a world of symbols and rituals and sacrificial meals, the Church was organised by a ritual bath and a feast of bread and wine; in the midst of cultures with their own ethos and moral atmosphere, God gathered a community to produce the aroma of Christ in their life together. 
6. The Church can cut across the grain of existing human societies and cultural life only if she bears some likeness to existing societies. 
If the Church is God's society among human societies, a heavenly city invading the earthly city, then a territorial conflict is inevitable. 
7. Paul, Peter and John visit Georgus Barnus, a religious marketing consultant in the mid-first century. A very very illuminating sketch! 
8. Anti-supercessionism [the view that contemporary Jews are still in covenant with God] seems more a result of post-Holocaust guilt than of exegisis. 
9. Every church is an urban reality; every Christian lives in the suburbs. What is meant by this is that Churches on earth are outposts of heavenly Jerusalem that will be revealed at the last day (Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 12:1-27; Revelation 21). 
10. Aristotle's Politics begins with the claim that 'every state is an association (koinonia)'. The political koinonia (the city being it's highest form) is aimed at establishing things that are 'common' (koinos) to the citizens. 
The apostles tell us that the Church also forms a koinonia arising from the common sharing in Christ and His Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). 
In short, the Church is not an addition to the Greco-Roman polis but an alternative to, the koinonia of the polis

(Against Christianity p16-27)

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