Modern Christians and “Two Ways” Theology


David F. Watson

Justus Hunter and I just read through the Apostolic Fathers with our Doctor of Ministry students. While reading, I was struck with the prevalence of “two ways” theology in these writings. It is most plainly stated in the opening line of the Diadache: “There are two ways: one of life and one of death. And there is a great difference between the two ways.”

What a marked difference between our context and theirs. Large swaths of the North American church continue their ongoing struggle to be relevant, seeker-sensitive, accommodating, and powerful–undertakings the early church would have recognized as utterly futile. Martyrdom was a real possibility for these first Christians. Two writers we include in the Apostolic Fathers, Ignatius and Polycarp, were publicly executed because they would not renounce their faith in Christ. To many of their day, it must have seemed such a small thing… “Make sacrifice to the…

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