our blog

January 20, 2020
Sefer Shpiel - "When The Church Was a Family" - Some Concluding Concerns From a Jewish Missiologist

Joseph Hellerman's When the Church Was a Family is foundational for anyone seeking to understand or implement household spirituality. His analysis of biblical and historical materials viewed in the light of against the strong group family are thought-provoking, and his call to implement strong-group ecclesiology is provocative, especially because he presents this not as one […]

Read More
January 17, 2020
Sefer Shpiel - "When The Church Was a Family" - (Chapter Nine) - Leaders Worth Following

In Joseph Hellerman’s When the Church Was a Family, his ninth chapter speaks of “Leadership in the Family of God.” Here he goes deeper still into the what and how of modern church renewal in the image of strong-group model. He opens describing a strong-group community which turned out to be deeply cultic, indicating that […]

Read More
January 15, 2020
Sefer Shpiel - "When the Church Was a Family" - (Chapters 6-8) - We Are Fam-i-ly!

Here we continue our summary of and comments upon Joseph Hellerman's When the Church Was a Family. Chapter Six considers “Salvation as a Community Creating Event,” using this theme as a platform for considering the limitations and liabilities of individualism and individualist schemas of salvation. He begins by discussing Evangelical statements of faith and how […]

Read More
January 11, 2020
Sefer Shpiel - "When the Church Was a Family" (Chapter Five) - Discipleship in a Pagan Context

Chapter Five of When the Church Was a Family, “The Church in the Roman World,” notes the high bar of commitment expected of church members, including leaving professions regarded as immoral or corrupt. Churches would routinely see to the financial maintenance, care, and feeding of those obliged to make such choices because of familial solidarity. […]

Read More
January 10, 2020
Sefer Shpiel - "When the Church Was a Family" (Chapter Three and Four) Paul and the Family Business

In the Third Chapter of When The Church Was A Family, Joseph Hellerman looks at how Yeshua imbedded Mediterranean familial assumptions in the group he formed, and how these assumptions are reflected in his teachings. The major thrust here is the difference between belonging to a group in the first century and belonging to a […]

Read More
January 8, 2020
Sefer Shpiel - "When the Church Was a Family" (Chapter Two) Yeshua's Spiritual Family Counseling

In Chapter Two of his book, When The Church Was a Family, Joseph Hellerman highlights the nature and benefits of familial spirituality as modelled in the New Testament. While western marriages are romance-based, those from a collectivist society are alliance based and for the purpose of producing desired offspring. And in Mediterranean antiquity, the marriage […]

Read More
January 8, 2020
Sefer Shpiel - "When the Church Was a Family" (Chapter One) - Jack, Rose, and a Titanic Problem

Hellerman names his Chapter One "The Group Comes First," which he contends is a fundamental worldview assumption of the first century home group model. To examine this contention, he first discusses the movie Titanic, highlighting its appeal to individualistic assumptions. He reminds us how a Western audience sympathizes with Rose and her quest for self-actualization […]

Read More
January 7, 2020
Sefer Shpiel - When The Church Was a Family (Introduction - "Integrate or Disintegrate")

(This series of blogs coordinates with parallel YouTube videos, providing further and more formal background to what is said there. This arrangement is meant to accommodate people who learn better in one modality or the other, or others who like a multimedia approach). On his personal blog, Joseph Hellerman says this of himself: My name […]

Read More
January 3, 2020
What's The Big Idea? Your Worldview and How You See REALITY

Some ideas are so pivotal that they can and do lead to paradigm shifts, fundamental changes of perspective that give rise to entirely new questions and new answers. It is like the difference between standing with your back to the Grand Canyon and turning around to face it. Once you turn, everything changes in an […]

Read More
November 17, 2019
Review of Bari Weiss, How to Fight Anti-Semitism

Weiss, Bari. How to Fight Anti-Semitism. New York: Crown, 2019. Bari Weiss is an opinion writer for the New York Times who formerly wrote for the Wall Street Journal and for Tablet, the online magazine of Jewish politics and culture. Politically left of center, she is a committed Zionist and proud Jew, with roots in Pittsburgh, […]

Read More
closearrow-circle-o-downellipsis-v linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram