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When the Church Was a Family: Recapturing Jesus' Vision for Authentic Christian Communityby Joseph H Hellerman
Synopses & Reviews
Spiritual formation occurs primarily in the context of community. But as the modern cultural norm of what social scientists call “radical American individualism” extends itself, many Christians grow lax in their relational accountability to the church. Faith threatens to become an “I” not “us,” a “my God” not “our God” concern.
When the Church Was a Family calls believers back to the wisdom of the first century, examining the early Christian church from a sociohistorical perspective and applying the findings to the evangelical church in America today. With confidence, author Joseph Hellerman writes intentionally to traditional church leaders and emerging church visionaries alike, believing what is detailed here about Jesus original vision for authentic Christian community will deeply satisfy the relational longings of both audiences.
A study of the early Christian church in the Mediterranean region and its emphasis on collective good over individual desire clarifies much about what is wrong with the American church today.
About the Author
Joseph H. Hellerman is professor of New Testament at Biola University in La Mirada, California, and helps pastor Oceanside Christian Fellowship in nearby El Segundo. He holds degrees from Biola (Master of Divinity and Master of Theology, Old Testament) and the University of California (Bachelor of Arts in English and Masters of Arts in English and History of Christianity).
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