Creating communities of the kingdom: New Testament models of by David W. Shenk

By David W. Shenk

David W. Shenk and Ervin R. Stutzman weave into the biblical statement useful purposes gleaned from modern theology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and conversation idea. contains questions for evaluate, research and dialogue. 232 Pages.

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Sample text

The church is the new com- Page 20 munity which brings healing to the divisions of humankind. Although language and cultural differences never disappeared at Pentecost, people discovered the precious unity and fellowship of the Holy Spirit which brings people of different cultures together as true brothers and sisters. Preaching the Gospel Nevertheless, the new community happens only as people respond in faith to Jesus Christ. The response to Christ becomes possible as the disciples of Jesus proclaim with clarity the truth of the gospel.

His life, his values, and his culture were to be transformed in obedience to the principles of the righteousness of God, with the promise of God's blessing. In a similar way, the church is constantly in pilgrimage, moving from what it is to what God is calling it to become in obedience to Jesus the Lord. The Christian is always somewhat uneasy within the cultural and historical situation. It is obvious that the kingdom of God is never in full harmony with human society. The pilgrim church resists the pressures of the surrounding evil culture.

Luke traces the spread of the church from Jerusalem across Asia Minor and on to Rome. He does not share the whole story of its spread across North Africa, but he does show us the dynamics of the movement. This people of the waydescribed by Paul as a third people (1 Cor. 10:32)are above all disciples of Jesus Christ. The book of Acts, the acts of the Holy Spirit, gives enriching insight into Christian faith and mission. Viewed in relation to church planting, it brings a specific focus to our understanding which is especially meaningful as a guide in new ventures of church development.

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