Here’s an idea. Let’s go back through historical church eras and glean from such time periods those issues deemed to be of value in the development of the Christian faith. Let’s review the first-century church, the church between A.D. 100 and 600, then consider the medieval era (A.D. 700 to 1500), followed by the Reformation period (A.D. 1500 and later), and so on. To be effective in this endeavor, it’s important to have a good understanding of the cultural context in which the Christians of each era practiced their faith – T. A. McMahon
It started with such promise, a suggestion to study history and glean what is of value.Â Â McMahon even proposes making sure we understand the cultural context so the gleaning can be more accurate.Â Here’s an idea… and it’s a good one: Learn from the past.
But then, after a brief history of the recent upsurge in interest in the ancient church,Â the article takes an unfortunate but certainly predestinedÂ twist.Â Apparently learning from the past is not a good idea.
First to be assaulted is Richard Foster who “wrote Celebration of Discipline. His book, which introduced Catholic and occult meditative techniques to evangelicals” – problem #1… gba assertions without foundation or support.Â Just what did/does Foster promote that isÂ of the occult?Â And techniques must be bad if they were used by Catholics?
Problem #2 follows shortly thereafter… false dichotomies.
Let’s both reason from the Scriptures, and simply be reasonable (Isaiah 1:18). The Ancient-Future search to discover gems from “Classic Christianity” comes up short by a century — the century in which the New Testament was written. The critical difference should be obvious. The writers of the New Testament were inspired by the Holy Spirit as they penned God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21, 22). What writings from A.D. 100 and later can claim such inspiration? None
McMahon is right, there is a critical difference between the inspired writings of the Apostles and those who followed.Â Problem is, no one is saying that the Church Fathers are on par with the Apostles.Â I pondered this a bit trying to decide if it is a straw-man, or a false dichotomy.Â I chose the latter since McMahon argues against a point no one is making.
The bulk of the rest of the article is a series of mostlyÂ ad hominem attacks against ancient church celebrities.Â How did the Gospel ever survive until Luther?
Â The summation lies in his final question: “Will this soon pass? No. It’s all part of related agendas that are building the end-times apostate church (Revelation 13:8).” I guess it only goes to show that you will indeed see what you are looking for.
P.S. – I found the McMahon article through Ingrid’s link hereÂ - though she fails to give any substantial reasoning, she does a much better job at listing the heretics