The Church of the Apostles and the Modern Church

The Church of the Apostles and the Modern Church

JPI 743
3 Credits

The problems that the modern Church faces can be seen as problems of identity. The struggle after the Vatican II was the reception of the “updating” (aggiorniomento) or teaching that the universal college of bishops provided. Today we are faced with proposed novelties in the development of doctrine in the Church. The question is whether or not these recent proposals are in communion with the apostolic Body of Christ.

The thesis of this course is that the Book of Acts can serve as the key to answering this question. It records the emergence of the Church and its intrinsic structures at the time of the Apostles. To be able to evaluate the current situation, we will exam the key themes that are being challenged: regeneration of man, the abiding presence the Holy Spirit, the nature and exercise of apostolic authority, and the pneumatic gifts and institutional structures that guide and protect the Church’s life and mission. This will enable us to examine concretely the question of the development of doctrine (see Newman) and assess what is changeable and what is not.

Selected Texts


Joseph Atkinson portrait

Joseph C. Atkinson

Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture
S.T.L. and S.T.D. Program Advisor

Dr. Atkinson’s work has included foundational research in developing the biblical and theological foundation of the family. He is a primary authority on the concept of the Domestic Church, which explores the ecclesial structure and meaning of the family. He teaches on the biblical structure and meaning of marriage and the family, on the Jewish background of the family, and on the nature and role of covenant.

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