The goal of this book is to raise the consciousness of the state of being of the institutional church, and the importance of mobilizing the Christian church as a family preparation center for daily Christian living. For the African-American church, this means that the social and spiritual welfare of the congregation must be open for change. Serious attention needs to be given to providing adequate teaching and training on survival skills as well as spiritual empowerment. It is my desire that this book will aid all churches on how to have a dynamic, productive ministry beyond morning worship. The research in this book is not a model for African-American churches only, nor is it the norm for all churches in general. The book is in no way a thesis on all the problems and answers that the church must address in the 21st century, but it does offer some thought provoking ideas and some realities that we as a Christian community must confront and address.
Are you ready for a transformed life? This book contains the formula for a permanent and victorious life and a future hope. This author shares practical life experiences with you to show the certainty of the promises contained in this book.
This study sheds new light on identity formation and maintenance in the world of the early Christians by drawing on neglected archaeological and epigraphic evidence concerning associations and immigrant groups and by incorporating insights from the social sciences. The study's unique contribution relates, in part, to its interdisciplinary character, standing at the intersection of Christian Origins, Jewish Studies, Classical Studies, and the Social Sciences. It also breaks new ground in its thoroughly comparative framework, giving the Greek and Roman evidence its due, not as mere background but as an integral factor in understanding dynamics of identity among early Christians. This makes the work particularly well suited as a text for courses that aim to understand early Christian groups and literature, including the New Testament, in relation to their Greek, Roman, and Judean contexts. Inscriptions pertaining to associations provide a new angle of vision on the ways in which members in Christian congregations and Jewish synagogues experienced belonging and expressed their identities within the Greco-Roman world. The many other groups of immigrants throughout the cities of the empire provide a particularly appropriate framework for understanding both synagogues of Judeans and groups of Jesus - followers as minority cultural groups in these same contexts. Moreover, there were both shared means of expressing identity (including fictive familial metaphors) and peculiarities in the case of both Jews and Christians as minority cultural groups, who (like other 'foreigners') were sometimes characterized as dangerous, alien 'anti-associations'. This title pays close attention to dynamics of identity and belonging within associations.
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