Discovered only 130 years ago, the Didache is apparently a catechism intended to present basic instruction on Christian ethics and worship to newcomers about to undergo baptism. The national coordinator of Emergent Village richly explains the meaning of the text section by section, then makes applications for the contemporary church. 136 pages, softcover. Paraclete.
Calling the Didache the most important book youve never heard of, Emergent leader Jones (The New Christians) briefly unpacks the theological and practical lessons to be gleaned from one of early Christianitys most overlooked texts. Less than half the length of the shortest New Testament gospel, the Didache (teaching) informed new Christians about spiritual practices like baptism, prayer, hospitality, fasting, Eucharist, generosity, and basic morality. Dated between 50 and 130 C.E., it is one of the oldest extant Christian texts not found in the New Testament. Jones writes engagingly, explaining the Didaches meaning and importance while also introducing a surprising interlocutor called Trucker Frank, a Missouri truck driver whose house church has based its life together on the Didache. The great and unique value of this book is its vision of how Christians today might put the Didache in practice, rather than as a contribution to early Christian studies; in fact, biblical scholars and historians may raise eyebrows at a few of the books assumptions, particularly its oversimplifications about Gnosticism. Jones, however, has done a great service by recovering and interpreting this neglected classic for the ancient-future church. (Feb.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
In a world lacking moral conviction, and a Christianity deficient in the art of discipleship, we turn to the sources of earliest Christianity for guidance. And because Tony does a great job in bringing these ancient texts to life, the reader is drawn into the nascent energies that flowed in the early church.
- Alan Hirsch, author of The Forgotten Ways