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When the Church Was a Family: Recapturing JesusÃÂ Vision for Authentic Christian Community
B & H Publishing Group / 2009 / Paperback
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* The early church viewed itself as a family. How can today's Christians apply this model to their own communities? Offering insight into the meaning of the metaphor "brothers and sisters," Hellerman shows how the community's relationship with Jesus took precedence over the individual, that a healthy church family is a powerful vehicle for evangelism, and more. 240 pages, softcover from B&H.
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.
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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