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We Look for a Kingdom: The Everyday Lives of the Early Christians Paperback – March 1, 2007

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A fascinating and highly informative account of the lives of early Christians, bringing to our attention aspects of the early Church often overlooked. --James Hitchcock

About the Author

Carl Sommer is a devoted educator and a successful businessman with a passion for communicating values and practical learning skills to children. As a successful businessman and educator, Sommer is eminently qualified to impart to students the principles necessary for success in an increasingly complex world. Following his passion, Sommer has authored books in many categories. His works include: the award-winning "Another Sommer-Time Story" series of children's books and read-alongs that impart character-building values and principles for success. The Another Sommer-Time Story Series of 20 character-building story books and read-alongs have won these prestigious awards: Teachers' ChoiceTM Award, Mom's Choice Award Benjamin Franklin Award ForeWord magazine book of the Year Award The Communicator Award Family Review Center Gold Award iParenting Media Award Family Choice Award Many of these books have been translated into foreign languages. (The series now has 24 books.) Sommer also authored Reading Adventure: a phonics literature-based reading program for children consisting of over 40 books. Reading Success: a phonics literature-based reading program for adults consisting over 30 books. And Number Success: a complete practical mathematics series from addition to trigonometry, supplemented with workbooks and videos consisting of 12 books and 47 teaching DVDs. His concern for the lack of character in America led him to write, Character Under Attack and What You Can Do About It (Free at our website). During the Korean War Sommer served in the Marine Corps. At age 40, he became a New York City public high school teacher. To become a certified teacher, he attended Oswego State University, City College of New York, and New York University. Sommer then became an assistant dean of boys in a high school with 3,600 pupils where he counseled students and parents. As Sommer taught, he witnessed firsthand the many deficiencies of the educational system and began to investigate the system. His research led him to work as a substitute teacher at every grade level in twenty-seven different schools in all of the boroughs of New York City. Identifying the problems and needs of America's students, he proceeded to craft solutions. His exhaustive ten-year study, including a one-year leave of absence from teaching, led to his first book published in 1986--Schools in Crisis: Training for Success or Failure? (Free at our website). It is reported the book has had a major impact on school reform in New York, as well as other states. Across the nation, Sommer has appeared on radio and television programs, including the nationally syndicated Oprah Winfrey Show. He has served on the Texas State Board of Education Review Committee and taught a Junior Achievement economics course at Prague University, Czech Republic. International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, England has also nominated him for International Writer of the Year. Sommer is the founder and president of Advance Publishing, Inc.; Digital Cornerstone, a recording and video studio; and Reliable EDM, a precision machining company that specializes in electrical discharge machining. It is the largest company of its kind west of the Mississippi River (www.ReliableEDM.com). He has also authored technical books: Non-Traditional Machining Handbook, a 432-page describing all of the non-traditional machining methods currently available; and coauthored with his son, Complete EDM Handbook. Born in 1930, Sommer is happily married since 1955 and has five children and 17 grandchildren. He continues to write and develop educational materials in Houston, Texas. His publishing company, Advance Publishing, will be releasing many more character-building resources, including 24 Another Sommer-Time Adventure DVDs and bilingual versions in Spanish for all the Another Sommer-Time storybooks. Their website provides over 750 pages of free character-building resources. Sommer is an avid reader, and his hobbies are swimming and fishing. He exercises five times a week at home. He attends church faithfully, and thanks the Lord for his excellent health. Sommer has no plans to retire. He is in excellent health and continues to write and develop educational materials in Houston, Texas. Advance Publishing's children's division mission statement reveals Sommer's passion and purpose: "Providing exciting and inspiring character-building resources that train and motivate children with positive virtues and life skills, which enable them to live successful lives, and resulting in stronger families, better schools, and a safer and more productive society." Following his passion, Sommer has authored books in many categories, over 100 books. His works include: the award-winning Another Sommer-Time Story series of childrens books and read-alongs that impart values and principles for success for children. The Another Sommer-Time Story Series of 20 character-building story books and read-alongs have won these awards: T

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 457 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586170791
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586170790
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on April 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
It is amazing that this book has not been reviewed prior to now. It is, perhaps, the best work I have seen in this genre and a solid addition to any student of Church or Roman history. The interplay of the growing Christian religion within the context of the Roman empire is a fascinating topic. Many works on the topic provide such a high-level view of the development that they do not provide the more detailed cultural background required to provide a good base on the topic. It is as if many recognize the importance but they lack the well rounded grasp of ancient Roman cultural eccentricities to come to any conclusions.

In this ground-breaking work, Mr. Sommer divides the subject into two major portions - first the Roman cultural background, then the Christian experience and influence within that culture. Having, for some time, believed that the Christian influence was particularly strong in the Roman military leading up to the conversion of Emperor Constantine, I was especially pleased with the details on the Roman military culture and the early Christian views on military service. Mr. Sommer owes a great deal to earlier works such as Militia Christi: The Christian Religion & the Military in the First Three Centuries. Translation of Militia Christi Die Christliche Religion Und Der Soldatenstand in d but is able to summarize that work in a more accessible form. Mr. Sommer is a good teacher and communicator and has done a fine job of condensing so much material into such a well organized package. His background in historical theology is clear in this work and helps to make it essential reading for anyone interested in doctrinal development or Church history.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book, thinking I might be able to use it in an undergrad history course I teach annually. I thought it might complement Wilken's stellar "Christians as the Romans Saw Them" and Sordi's "Christians and the Roman Empire." Hopes were especially high because Ignatius Press has a good reputation--they're the English-language publishers for Ratzinger's books, after all!

So I'm shocked and appalled that Ignatius would publish this book, which reads like a B- college paper. Many of the sweeping generalizations would be hilarious if the author weren't apparently serious. A personal "favorite" is on p. 14, where Emperors "Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero" are all lumped together: "all four died violent deaths in the midst of widespread public revulsion." Claudius was no saint, but what historian on this planet equates him with the other three? and what reputable scholar would ever dream of suggesting that his death (presumably by poison, administered by relatives with an eye to seizing power) is comparable to (e.g.) Caligula's murder by the Pretorian Guard? If a college student made such a ridiculously innacurate statement in a term-paper, I'd cover the page with red ink!

But page after page is simply riddled with statements like this one, over-simplistic, banal, and misleading. Take p. 22: "by the time of Augustus the pontifex maximus was the most important religious figure in Rome, which might be why Augustus took this office for himself." Did the author never learn in school that Julius Caesar had been pontifex maximus until his death, and Augustus seems quite obviously to have wanted to continue the notion that future rulers of Rome would hold that office too?
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