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By the sixth century, the church was wealthy and full of wealthy people. How did the rich get their loads through the eye of the needle into the kingdom of heaven? How, in other words, did an institution pledged to recognize the blessedness of the poor ...

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Jim Ricker

December 26, 2012  6:17pm

Hi Vic, Great question! What (or better yet who) is the Church is a large and flexible question. From a New testament perspective, all who follow Jesus comprise the Church but the form in visible (or human) terms is a bit more complicated since the Scriptures do not tell us what the organizational structure should look like in totality (elders, deacons and the flock is really all we have for structure). Brown is a scholar of late antiquity and the Roman period (writing mainly on the Roman period). The book is centered on the Roman period so his use of 'church' is probably the wider usage of the term (the institutional and universal church).

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Vic Christian

December 26, 2012  3:57pm

My only question for this author - who is the church? This woiuld be a good question for both then and now. If the church consists of those who are members of or attend a church organization - that is not now nor ever has been the church.

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