There’s a tendency to hold that the early church must have been the most accurate in its doctrines.
That tendency is often matched by the desire to force a pet contemporary theology into the early church framework. I see a couple of problems here, but I’ll ask these question first:
Is the church’s understanding of the truth drifting farther and farther over time, or is it honing in ever closer?
Wasn’t the ‘early church’ in its infancy in the first century? Aren’t infants to mature?
God gave gifts to men so that we could ‘ALL reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’ (Ephesians 4:13) It seems to me that there is a God-ordained progression unto maturity for both individuals in Christ during their life-spans and for the Church of Christ as a whole over its life-span.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” said that his short story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain’s to the effect that it was a pity that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst part at the end.”
Can the church afford to commit the Benjamin Button Fallacy by imposing our ‘old’ established doctrines on the infant church? And before you accuse me of some heresy, I don’t believe the truth of the scripture ever changes, but I do believe that maturity in Christ supplements it.
What say you?
Just for conversation sake consider this question:
Can we know God more intimately than the Apostles did?