“Many writers…have seen the religious experience of the early Christians…as the normative element within Christianity. This has the apparent advantage that it enables one to conduct the ‘scientific’, supposedly ‘objective’ study of early Christian religion and theology, with the knowledge that when one has found them one is in touch with the real model of what Christianity is supposed to be like. On might then, it would be hoped, reactivate this model by preaching and prayer.”
– N.T. Wright. The New Testament and the People of God, 16
He goes on to talk about the authority of scripture and whether or not scripture is authoritative because it is closer to the actual events. He also talks about what is in scripture and whether or not what was selected is normative of all early Christian belief and practice and what was ommitted and how that bears on the discussion of re-establishing early Christianity when we do not know the whole of what early Christianity was really like.
For those who read this blog who come from a background in the Church of Christ these words are very challenging. Any thoughts?