Saturday, May 26, 2012

Clement of Rome

Life (approximate): AD 30 - 100
Bishop of Rome (approximate): AD 90 / 91 - 100
Writings: Letter to the Corinthians

Early Sources Concerning Clement of Rome: (not a comprehensive list)
Paul - Philippians 4:3 (Eusebius claims that Paul is speaking about Clement here)
Irenaeus - Against Heresies: Book 3, Chapter 3
Eusebius - Church History: Book 3
Tertullian - Prescription Against Heretics

Timeline with Roman Emperors:


Clement of Rome, who according to the Roman Church is the fourth pope, is grouped among what are called the Apostolic Fathers.  Apostolic church fathers are early church fathers who had dealings with the apostles.  In the case of Clement, he is said to have been ordained by the Apostle Peter.  There isn't a single book that tells about his life and thought, rather we have glimpses of the man through various sources.  The only legitimate letter we have from him is his letter to the Corinthians which was read in many churches along with Scripture for several centuries.
"There is extant an epistle of this Clement which is acknowledged to be genuine and is of considerable length and of remarkable merit. He wrote it in the name of the church of Rome to the church of Corinth, when a sedition had arisen in the latter church. We know that this epistle also has been publicly used in a great many churches both in former times and in our own. And of the fact that a sedition did take place in the church of Corinth at the time referred to Hegesippus is a trustworthy witness." -Eusebius: Church History

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Elevating Experience

I began my search for the church that best exemplifies the life and teaching of Jesus Christ at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC.  Elevation is one of the largest churches in the Charlotte area and is supposedly one of the fastest growing churches in the country.  When I arrived this morning, I was asked "How did you hear about Elevation?"  My answer: "You can't live in Charlotte without knowing about Elevation".  I can be in any part of the city or surrounding area and I will see an Elevation bumper sticker.  If I do a Google search that includes the word "church", Elevation is the first site that pops up.

So I decided to check out this mega-church to see what it was like.  To be completely honest, I am not a big fan of mega-churches.  I tend to lump them all together into the category of "seeker-sensitive churches that have lots of people but very little depth".  Be that as it may, I did my best to set aside my prejudices so that I could learn what this church was about.  In my search, I want to do my best to see the good in each church that I attend.  To be sure, I will be noting things that I disagree with or that I find problematic, but these things will not constitute the substance of my blog posts.  At this point, I am more concerned about what it is that draws people to one church or another.