A Once-and-Coming Spirit at Pentecost: Essays on the Liturgical Readings Between Easter and Pentecost: Essays on the Liturgical Readings Between ... the Apostles and the Gospel According to John Paperback – 1 Jan 1994
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Father Brown points out that as Christians, we should know the OT. Partially, because in the OT, the Jews follow God even though he is not physically present. While Moses and a few others had the luxury of talking to God, the majority of Jews only heard God through the prophets. And that is essentially the same pattern for us after Jesus ascends into heaven.
Most of us probably remember that Peter had some issues with anger in the Gospels. And most of us probably know he denied Jesus 3 times. But how many of us recall that after Jesus ascended into heaven, Peter continued the work of Jesus? In the Book of "Acts," Peter heals the ill and crippled. He also casts demons out of people.
Father Brown shows us that the changes from Judaism to Christianity were not overnight. For some time, the early Christians still observed Jewish customs. Why not? Jesus observed Jewish customs such as the Passover even though he was in the process of changing it.
The clashes between Jews and Christians most probably came when the Gentiles came into the picture. The Jews did tolerate Christianity for a while, but then tolerance usually has its limits. Eventually, the Gentiles became the better candidates for conversion, and many of the Jewish rituals and ways such as circumcision, observation of the Sabbath, and the Kosher laws had to go if the Gentiles were going to become Christians.
To be sure, the church leaders Peter, Paul, and James did not always agree on these things. But it was clear that if they tried to retain the Jewish laws and customs, that Christianity would not survive. (Even in religion, we have to some extent know where the market is.)
Overall, this is a wonderful book that focuses on material we often neglect. If you like this book by Father Brown, be sure to check out his "A Crucified Christ In Holy Week."
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