on December 23, 2006
This is not a new book. Written in 1982, with the English translation published in 1984, this 24-year old book speaks powerfully to the role of the people of God throughout history. Lohfink, former professor of New Testament at Tubingen University, makes a compelling case for "the people of God" as those communities called by God to live out the reign of God here and now.
Lohfink argues that "the people of God" -- whether in the Hebrew scripture or New Testament or today -- have always been a "contrast-society" distinguished by, not just their belief, but by their practices. This book takes scripture seriously, and brings new life to our understanding of the role of the church. Lohfink argues, "When the church is criticized among the nations because of its bad example, the holy name of God itself is dishonored. This presupposes that the church is the sign, the presence, the honor of God in the world. When the church obscures this sign, it impedes the work of salvation and disfigures the true nature of God."
Powerful stuff and needed today.
on March 21, 2013
If you are looking for how to be a leader in a community like Jesus did, this is a great book. The book is an easy read and very informative on how Jesus desires us to live out our lives in community with brothers and sisters. Lohfink gives an explanation of what type of community the church is to be and how we are to live that out. It also teaches how Jesus did community, with his disciples and in ministry. It also concentrates on the call of Christ to be disciples and leaders of community. Best advice, if the title interests you and you're still continuing to read on about it, just read the book, it's worth it!!
on March 9, 2013
To be frank, I did not find many pages within this book worthy of anything greater than reading at a scanning level, but there are a few sections making the book worthy of slow chewing and digestion. Section three of the book was particularly insightful and his unpacking the role and place of women in the New Testament profound. Later, he articulates how the early church marked by sacrificial love for each other and a view of every member as a "brother" or "sister" created a witness for Christ and his kingdom that established the Christian faith in the world by drawing many into the family of God. I gave this book four stars because of these sections and wholeheartedly recommend it because of its transformative and revolutionary message of community.
on October 21, 2014
I had initial doubts that a book by a German theologian might be turgid, but no it was very readable. I like the way he made is points very empirically by citing specific texts, if sometimes his own individual interpretations of them. We are using it as a book club book and I think it will work very well.
on July 29, 2007
In his centering on Jesus and Israel in the manner in which the work takes, were it not for the writer's Roman Catholic context and reflective biblical theology it could read as a polemic against the influences in dispensationalism or a call for the reformers to have gone further than "institutional focused Reformation." While I can hear that response to the argument, my "ecclesial worldview does not evoke it. The reading/interpretation of the manner in which textual material is applied to Israel as the context of Jesus, especially in the way He introduced/demonstrated the goodnews to them as "first audience and community" - the Kingdom speaks to them before it speaks through them. Another impact is the thesis' support of present expressions of charismatic relating to the Spirit's eschatological activity to call attention to the nature of Jesus' healing ministry is part of the call of the goodnews to the community cf meeting the need of an individual. I find few contrast questions, more praxis questions, Ie. "How do you/I/we relate the central argument to enabling the emergence of mission community amongst individuated younger 21st century adults, in a manner that is not yet another deconstruction?" The work should be a must read for all serious "lovers of Christ's Body"