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Apostolic Period

Heretical and orthodox discourse and interpretation of the doctrines in later centuries (or indeed in the apostolic generation), difficult and divisive as they were, did not detract from their apostolic provenance. How the apostolic generation could have arrived at and then fostered a doctrine of spirituality that became so cohesive that Augustine could so forcefully celebrate it several hundred years later is the theme of this research. To this end, four subject areas will be significant.

1. The centering of apostolic spirituality on the figure of Jesus Christ and to the mission of the Christ figure as oneness to the service of others, in the shape of the mission of love.

2. The connection between apostolic spirituality and dedicated privileging of the eternal in earthly life, as realized in a continual dialogue with God that is meant both to explicate and to parallel the intimate dialogue between God the Father and God the Son. Paul articulates the necessity of this fundamental relationship to God in several ways: "By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain" (Cor. 15:10); "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our sufficiency is from God" (2 Cor. 3:5).

3. The Christ-event and the Christology that it implies. For Paul the apostle, Christ is the core experience of spirituality, community of faith, and mission of faith. The Pauline text weaves together spirituality, institutional tendency, and missional dedication with an intensity that reflects the urgency of Paul's own conversion. The core paradox, or mystery, of Christian spirituality is that it takes note of God's action in and through the example and presence of Christ as Spirit and reaches meaning in the lived experience of Christian worshipful practice, missional behavior, and content of faith. On this view, to be Christian is to be in Christ, to be one not only with him but also with those he calls. Eq...

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Apostolic Period. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 06:19, November 28, 2015, from
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