For the last few weeks, I’ve been looking for a book that I can review. I want to write more book reviews, but I also have to be very careful with my time. Since I’m working and writing my prospectus/dissertation, I don’t have alot of spare time.
So, I was very excited to find a new book in the bookstore last week. The book is Joseph H. Hellerman’s When the Church was a Family (Nashville: B&H, 2009). The subtitle of this book is “Recapturing Jesus’ Vision for Authentic Christian Community.”
My blogging friend Joe (JR) from “More than Cake” introduced me to Hellerman and his book The Ancient Church as Family about a year ago (see my post “Church as Family“). In that book, I enjoyed Hellerman’s understanding of the church as family as the church’s primary identity in Christ.
I think I will enjoy this new book as well. The subtitle indicates that Hellerman is going to propose familial relationships among the church as the basis of community. If so, I agree.
I’m also excited that the first line of the book (in the introduction) is this: “Spiritual formation occurs primarily in the context of community.” I agree again! And, in fact, I think this statement (if true) indicates why so many in the church remain spiritually immature – no community!
While I plan to write a critical book review of this book (hopefully for publication), I will publish some of my thoughts on this blog. Hopefully, it will encourage all of us to understand better who we are as the family of God – both in relation to God and in relation to one another.