Monday, December 31, 2012

The Christian Handbook, Conclusion

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This is Part 7 of 7 in a series about the Didache, a very early Christian book written to serve as a handbook introducing the faith to new Christians. It serves as a great overview or orientation manual on Christianity.

Click here to read the entire series.


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I hope you have enjoyed exploring this beautiful ancient text as much as I have. I have pointed out many times that this is not canon Scripture; however its importance should not be too far downplayed. This was a manual written based upon the teachings of Scripture, the apostles, and the bishops installed by the apostles. It was copied and sent to all of the churches and was followed very, very closely—so much so that some churches did consider in canon.

Most churches saw this as a sort of “companion” text to the Bible—perhaps like the Anglicans have their Book of Common Prayer to help them in daily devotional and prayer life. Yet we have largely ignored this text in designing our modern churches, preferring instead a method of worship based upon American business principles and leadership conferences. We have traded a simple Gospel-centered worship for a complex organizational structure with million-dollar charities and thousand-seat auditoriums. We have corrupted our church.

I pray that we might return to the original.


Regardless of what happens with the church, however, about half of this book is a manual for personal living. This study just reminded and reinforced to me that the Christ’s yoke of holiness is much lighter, His burden easier, than we usually make it. We come into His fold based upon our faith alone, and that does not change here. However, the “Way of Life” depicted here serves as a manageable manual for teaching us how to fill our lives with joy, peace, happiness, and a close relationship with Him. It isn’t about the religious rituals we perform, but our faith and our growth toward the Way of Life that brings us to Him.

I have summarized this seven week series into an actual small booklet that you can print out here and take home and keep. It is free for download, and you can use it or distribute it as you see fit! (Please leave the bottom crediting my website in place!)


I hope you have enjoyed the series, and that it has helped you see in a practical way how to grow closer to God, and how He plans to sanctify you in this new year.

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