Western Christianity has been deeply affected by this concern for roots.

In differing ways, both the 16th Century Reformation and the 19th Century Oxford Movement represented a systematic attempt to return to the vision of the NT or apostolic church… the church of today needs to be constantly challenged and nourished by returning to its roots in the apostolic era. This is no historical romanticism, based on the belief that things were better in the past then they are now.

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He came to live among us!

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.  (John 1:14)

Everyday, for three years, Jesus ate, slept, played and prayed with His disciples. The Word of God became flesh and bone so that He could dwell among us. The word “dwelt among” from John 1:14 is really better translated “pitched his tent”. Jesus, therefore, is our Supreme Example to “pitch our tents” among people in the same way.

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Edifying the Church Through Tongues & Interpretation

by Nick Sharp, Grace Church, Nottingham, UK

I will never forget the first time I heard it!

We had been enjoying a lively time of worship when all of a sudden someone spoke in a language I had never heard before. It sent shivers down my spine. The atmosphere was electric; it was as if the whole congregation was on tiptoes waiting, hearts open wide to heaven. Then, from the other side of the room, someone else spoke out a prayer, this time in English, but following the same tone and rhythm of the utterance in tongues.

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Repentance Needed

Some of us need to repent of our fear and prejudice against a "faith emphasis." While we need to be broken, authentic vessels, there is no substitute for bold faith. I invite you to join me in repenting of our "fear of faith" because of what we think it might look like, what others have made it look like, and our fear of what it really does look like! Faith is almost always spelled R-I-S-K!
James W. Goll

A Christian look “Inside Islam”

Image_1914592The recent bombings in Jordan killing at least 59 people have compelled me to put on paper what has been in my heart for years regarding the Muslim world and its out-workings around the world. Two brothers, raised as Sunni Muslims, who are now Christians, bring up a very thought provoking suggestion: “What Americans don’t know about Western history is minuscule compared to what they don’t know about Eastern history, especially the history of  the Islamic world. So Westerners do not recognize that tragedies today grow out of 1400 years of struggle between two religious and political giants –  Islam and Christianity” (Caner, Unveiling Islam 2002)

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The American church world breaks down into 3 main groups.

1. Traditional church.

2. Emerging church.

3. House church.

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First Apostles, Second Prophets…

Today the church of Jesus Christ is going through a great transformation. My wife, Maria, and I have the privilege of first-hand awareness of these transformations on three continents! Many around the world are hearing the same call. Pastor Sung Hee Lee, a prominent Christian figure in Korea, has listed some of these transformations that we will see in the 21st century church:

from Sunday church to everyday church
from a great congregation ministry into small group ministry
from a gathering church into a sending church
from clergy centered to laity centered
from authority of the pastor into leadership of the pastor
from discipleship training into apostolic training

What I want to make special note of in this article is the last transformation listed: from discipleship training into apostolic training. In my words, recovering apostles and prophets who lay the foundation of the church, above all, where there is no church!

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Uncovering The Spirit of the Swiss Brethren

Four hundred and eighty years ago in the small town of Grossmuenster, Switzerland, a dozen or so men trudged through knee deep snow to the home of Felix Manz. What transpired that wintry night is called by some church historians "The most revolutionary act of the Reformation." Sadly their story lies hidden under piles and piles of eccisiological baggage. Let's give it another look, however, for therein we might find clues from the Spirit of Jesus for the church in the new millennium.

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How things started to unravel in the Early Church…

It may seem very presumptuous of me to write about such a theme, but I believe this is the hour when the global church of Jesus Christ is being called back to her “roots” (i.e. her "Apostolic Foundations"). To support this impression, I offer the following statistic from David Barrett, of the World Christian Encyclopedia. Barrett estimates that there are around 112 million “churchless Christians” worldwide – about 5 percent of all adherents. He projects that this number will double by 2025. (The “Out-of-Church” Christians by A. Strom 2004)

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Discerning the Seasons and Times

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up
that which is planted…
Ecc 3: 1-2

In this text from the wisest man on earth– King Solomon– the Hebrew word for season is translated more precisely as an “appointed time”. There is an appointed time (or fixed time!) for everything: every purpose and longing under heaven. I believe, with all my heart, we are in a season, a “fixed time” for the church of Jesus Christ on the earth to uproot what has been improperly planted in her over the last 1900 years and plant anew. This has been my singular passion for the past five years: seeing the church return to its apostolic pattern.

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