I am continuing to read this book The Change of Conversion and the Origin of Christendom and am really intrigued by the fact that in the early Apostilic tradition, the leadership approved and didn’t approve people who wanted to be part of the church. It’s funny, it seems they weren’t too caught up with “how do we fget them saved” as they were caught up with “how do we figure out if they are really sincere!” One of the things that they would do was ask them to begin changing their way of life before they were accepted into the community. Kreider writes,
“the catecheists’ concern was to determine whether the candidates were ‘capable of hearing the word.’ Were they living in a way that would enable them to understand the church’s teaching? What was the marital status of the candidates? If the candidates were slaves, what did their masters think? Were the candidates involved in some profession that involved behavior that the church repudiated…If so, ‘Let them be rejected!”
How can they do this you ask? This sounds so legalistic!
“But the early Christian catehists were attempting not so much to impart concepts as to nurture communities whose values would be different form those of conventional soceity.”
In light of this, what do you think of this quote:
“Christian leaders assumed that people did not think their way into a new life; they lived their way into a new kind of thinking.”