Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus

Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus

Article excerpt

The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus. By Robin Meyers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-1-1180-6159-6. xiv and 263 pages. Cloth. $24.95.

How should Christians in the U.S. respond to the decline of church membership and respectability within the past few decades? Meyers lifts up the first century church as a paradigm to consider. Since he sees a resemblance between the postmodern American landscape and the early church's social situation, Meyers exhorts the contemporary church to emphasize orthopraxy (faithful practice) over orthodoxy (right belief). Rather than succumb to theological divisions, Meyers exhorts today's churches to emulate early Christianity's commitment to an active faith life of service and witness instead of a strict adherence to static dogmas. Though this may not increase membership, it will reconnect with what Meyers sees as the church's core identity.

With the rise of Nicene Christianity, an orthodoxy he attributes to Constantinian convenience, Meyers sees a corruption of the early church that continues through today, particularly in the compromises on nonviolence, inclusiveness, and bold witness against the idolatry and injustice of the Empire. …

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