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Ekklesia: To the Roots of Biblical Church Life Paperback – March 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: NTRF (March 1, 2005)
  • ISBN-10: 097290820X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972908207
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Atkerson resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife Sandra and three home-schooled children. Steve graduated from Georgia Tech and worked in his family’s electronics firm before heading off to seminary. After receiving a Master of Divinity degree from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, he retuned to Atlanta to serve on the pastoral staff of a Southern Baptist Church. After seven years in the pastorate, Steve resigned to begin working with churches that purposely adhere to apostolic tradition. This change of venue also necessitated a change of vocation, so he returned to the family electronics business, where he is now the third generation owner and manager. Being self employed allows him the freedom to travel and teach as the Lord opens doors of opportunity. Steve is an elder at the home church he helped start in 1990, is president of the New Testament Restoration Foundation, editor of Toward A House Church Theology, author of The Practice of the Early Church: A Theological Workbook and also The Equipping Manual. In conjunction with Dan Trotter, Steve produced the cassette tape series Searching For The New Testament Church.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By bookman109 on June 2, 2006
This book deserves to be widely read. It is a fully "sober" house church book, devoid of the usual hype, extremism, polemical tone, and superior attitude.

It is an anthology of chapters & sections of chapters by eight men who are all experienced in living out their vision of New Testament (house-) church life. The editor Steve Atkerson is the biblical theologian of the group, and it is a pleasure to read his careful and fair take on passages dealing with, for example, the issue of church leaders being paid for their work. He's a real thinker - not a swashbuckling proof-texter, and he usually makes a very convincing case. All of the authors take this attitude: look at the NT, and check what we say against it. I have to say, it is hard to object to anything they say. There's a particularly attractive, practical, balanced view here, on hot-button issues such as the Lord's Supper, or Baptism (Beresford Job handles these beautifully.)

The only downsides I would name: there is some repetition involved in coordinating eight different authors. A single author text would be perhaps a little shorter and more readable. (Not that this book is unreadable - it everywhere takes a serious and careful, but non-scholarly approach). Second, there's an oddly strong emphasis on the authors' (esp. Atkerson's) all-out committment to "historic, classic Christianity". This term, as near as I can tell, really means something like neo-Reformation / Augustinian theology. Do they really want to exclude Arminians and Open Theists, for instance? Or people with slightly different views on the Trinity? One would think that men so devoted to the NT would take a more minimalist approach to what are considered the absolute core doctrines of the faith, eschewing the medieval standards that are commonly used.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Vaughn on January 23, 2007
A review of: "Ekklesia...to the roots of Biblical church life". Steve Atkerson, editor. Atlanta, GA: New Testament Restoration Foundation, 2003, 190 pp. [Note: According to the publisher's web site, the book is now available in a more recent edition with a slightly different title "Ekklesia: to the Roots of Biblical House Church Life".]

The bulk of material in this book is written by Steve Atkerson, elder, teacher, and president of the New Testament Restoration Foundation, though contributions are made by numerous authors, including Beresford Job, Jonathan Lindvall, Dan Trotter, and Jon Zens. All contributors and their writings are firmly founded on the conviction that apostolic practice is normative. Foundational to understanding this book is knowing that its authors believe there is a need to "return to the way the original apostles did things" and that God "has shown us some areas of church practice that we believe have been neglected."

The answer ("We believe He did") to the question "Did God leave us instructions on how to do church" will resonate with landmarkists, primitivists, restorationists and others wishing to imitate New Testament church life. The authors' plea that we consistently go ALL the way back to the New Testament may unnerve some of us concerning some of our own church traditions!

"Ekklesia" addresses numerous issues that concern (or at least should concern) churches today. While many "organized institutional churches" may dismiss such concerns, a number of seekers are looking for more than the "traditions of the fathers" on the one hand, or the "it doesn't matter" on the other hand.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Seeking Disciple VINE VOICE on October 13, 2004
Ekklesia is an excellent treatment of the house church movement and offers a biblical view of the movement. Contrary to popular teaching, house churches by in large do not reject authority but simply believe fully in the priesthood of the saints (1 Peter 2:4-10; Rev. 1:5-6) and that all disciples should use their gifts to edify the entire church (1 Cor. 14:26) rather than a one man show (pastor led churches). Further, Atkerson and his fellow house church leaders offer biblical, historical, and practical advice for Christians.

If you are one who has been troubled by "church" life (there is none or very little) and you also want to see how house churches fit in the ultimate plan of God than I would urge you to read and study Ekklesia. An excellent work!
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