Christianity Didn’t Die
In AD 70, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the population. The centre of the young Christian church was caught in the crossfire; the leadership scattered and the mother church was no more…
So, within a few decades of its birth, the Christian church no longer has its centre of authority. You might have expected that this would be it; without its centre of leadership, the new movement would quietly die. But it didn’t. The principles that were developed during the book of Acts now come to the salvation of the Christian community. This is a multilingual, multi-ethnic community that can become at home in any language and culture. The miracle of Pentecost showed that there is no single sacred language for Christianity. God dramatically demonstrated that the message is for all people, not just the Jews, and then Paul and others showed how the Gospel could be expressed and lived in different contexts. Christianity was already ready to live on and grow in a very different cultural situation to the one that had given it birth. The church effectively died out in its heartland but it grew and spread at the periphery. This is something that happens time and again through The Story. Christianity wanes at the centre and springs to life at the edges – we seem to be living through a period like that today.
This is an extract from my ‘book in progress’, The Unfinished, Finished Story.