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I haven't heard of this book, but it sounds like what i have been exploring for a while. I view the church as a living organism... or literally the Body of Christ.
I will have to look into it.

In that what I have come to see is that there is still the administrational aspect or institutional side of the church... though it is to serve and enrich the church and is in itself not and never was nor should be the church... though it is often confused with it.

This is also the confusion of what some call worship... which the bible calls "giving ourselves as a living sacrifice" yet we reduce it to singing some songs and shouting some hallelujahs. In essence it is our lives we live that is our worship. Or rather His life lived through us.

In that we corporately become one Body, which is Christ Jesus and we are placed into or immersed in, (the true baptism) in which we then receive our identity as believers.

I believe it was about the time of Constantine that the Nicolatians caused the division of Priest and laity; it was their belief that we needed a division between priests and laity which was anathema to what scripture teaches… my guess is that it was a through back to the Pharisee style or Rabbinical style of having an authoritative leadership and centralized gov’t style to control the masses (no pun intended) and interestingly spoke of something God “hates” in the book of Revelation.


Phil Hoover

The Church is the Body of Christ...but it is not "Christ."

Read the Seven Letters to the Churches in the opening Chapters of Revelation, and you will see there is a distinct difference between the two.

Otherwise, a great post.


I disagree with Phil...

Ephesians 1:22 is clear on this...
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
23. which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

It says right there the church is Jesus' Body... and that is the problem I have found is that people have missed this and even argue against this...(not saying you are Phil, others have with me even when I point out this scripture).

Also see Ephesains 5:23 and Colossians 1:24.

That is why the "Church" is not an institution. Yet, as I said, there is the adminsitrational side that is institutional and is part of allowing us to minister effectivly. It is a tool of the Church, but never was meant to replace or be the Church.



Phil: The institutional reality never changes lives or hearts. It is only the power and presence of God / Christ manifested in the world that can accomplish this. I tend to agree with iggy’s statement and would have continued this response similarly.

Phil Hoover

But the church isn't Christ...

Address the issues of Christ addressing the Churches in the first three chapters of Revelation.

Christ is sinless perfection. As we all well know, we (the Church) isn't.

At least not any that I've been around.

Now should the "church" practice and manifest the presence of Christ....absolutely.


Phil: I agree with your point that the so-called-church does not manifest Christ often in its actions.

There is a wonderful paradox between having Christ in us and letting Him live through our actions.

I think you may be confusing the organization or “Institution” with the Body of Christ which is also referred to as the church. (The Church IS People.) Language is imprecise on these metaphors.

Our language is deceptive as it creates a mental picture in our minds of what the Church is. See the Viola Quote above. How can the Church be the Body of Christ and the Bride? This is a duality imposed by metaphoric language and our cultural understanding of what being the Church is.

Does Christ live in your heart? What does that mean? Is He mute? Does our sin mute Him and thwart the manifestation of Christ in our lives?

Chris Bassett

"This mystery is great. But I am speaking with reference to Christ and the Church." Paul to the Ephesians. D is right to bring in both metaphors of us being the members of His Body, while also being referenced as the Bride of Christ. Paul rightly calls it a mystery. We try to define it all down because we are inherently uncomfortable with mystery. We all still suffer from the modernist hangover that makes us look to scientific definitions, even of our God.


So true - MYSTERY is the heartbeat of the sacred...

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