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RT France on Community in Matthew 18

Posted by on May 22, 2009 in blog links, community | 2 comments

Our church is continuing to study the Gospel of Matthew. Currently, we’re studying chapter 18. For the last two weeks, my friend, Maël, has read the following quote from RT France (see his post “Community of believers – R.T. France“):

The portrait of the church which thus emerges is an attractive one. Status-consciousness and formally constituted authority have no place. The focus is on the relationship and mutual responsibility of all members of the community, each of whom matters, and yet all of whom must regard themselves only as ‘little ones.’ The resultant pastoral concern and action is not the preserve of a select few, but is the responsibility of each individual disciple, and, where necessary, of the whole group together. The structure is informal, but the sense of community is intense. And overarching it all is the consciousness of the presence of Jesus and of the forgiveness and pastoral concern of ‘your Father in heaven.’

What do you think? Is France correct? Is this the “portrait of the church” in Matthew 18? Is it the “portrait of the church” in the New Testament? Is it the “portrait of the church” among those believers you know?


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  1. 5-22-2009


    I think France is correct here. I think it an accurate portrayal of the church in Matthew 18 as well as what we see in the New Testament in general.

    I don’t think this is the mindset of the majority of believers I know. I think pastoral care is viewed as a function of a select few. I do know a few believers that aspire to go in this direction, but this is the exception rather than the rule.


  2. 5-22-2009


    I agree with your assessment. However, I’ve been excited to see more and more “exceptions” lately. 🙂