Yeshua with the Twelve
 Helpful Tidbits for the Disciple's Life                                                                               January 4, 2010
Reading the Bible Jesus Read
My Reflections
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hebrew bible squareI've been wanting to make a shift for some time now and a new year seems the perfect time to do it. Notice the change from "organic church life" to "the disciple's life" above. While organic is certainly representative of my ecclesiological views, there's a much broader spectrum on which I'd like to write in the coming year.

QUESTION/TOPIC IN FOCUS: The importance of grounding practice in biblical theology
Reading the Bible Jesus Read
Excerpted from The Final Restoration of Israel: The Twelve Tribes by Russ Miller
OT Yancey
Many Christian writers, pastors and theologians are starting to re-think some of the false teaching, initiated by the early "church fathers," that led Christianity to separate from its Hebrew [origins]. A book by Philip Yancey is an illustration of this:
"When we read the Old Testament, we read the Bible Jesus read and used. These are the prayers Jesus prayed, the poems he memorized, the songs he sang, the bedtime stories he heard as a child, the prophets he pondered. He revered every 'jot and tittle' of the Hebrew Scriptures. The more we comprehend the Old Testament, the more we comprehend Jesus."
Yes, Yeshua [Jesus] "revered every jot and tittle"! This phrase is from Matthew 5:18, and means that He came to obey every spiritual detail in the Hebrew Scriptures. Verses 17-20 are His firm admonition that He wants all believers to do likewise - to obey and follow Him (2004:8).
My Reflections 
Although I'm not much into labels, some would probably peg me as part of the emerging church crowd. For those unfamiliar with the vernacular, "emergent" is generally associated with liberal theology while "emerging" is generally associated with any form of church (and associated theology) that departs from what most of us would classify as Evangelicalism (Protestant or Catholic). In this regard, I am certainly "emerging."
What's interesting about me, I think, is that I am "emerging" not only because of what the New Testament says, but because of what the Old Testament proclaims as well. For example, while many of today's emerging churches are the result of believers wanting to be more in line with pre-Constantinian expressions of the church (e.g., Acts and Corinthians), I'm finding that the theology undergirding my organic ecclesiology is rooted in Torah (Interestingly, although inadvertent, this is the argument Gene Edwards makes in his book The Organic vs. the "New Testament" Church).
A little over a year ago, I asked my friend Neil Cole if he knew of a good book that covers a theology of the organic (i.e., a book that covers the topic exhaustively). To date, neither he nor I know of such a book. Roger Gehring's watershed book House Church and Mission dances around the topic, but it doesn't hit it head on.
BibleAgain, all this is to give you a heads up. While some will have to bear with theological claims that will, for some, prove uncomfortable over the coming year, let me assure you it will prove good reading (and, for me, thoughtful writing) nonetheless. After all, it's those uncomfortable thoughts that often stretch us the most. So, with you, I'll look forward to what lies ahead.
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table