|About the Book|
(FROM THE INTRODUCTION): This small book owes its existence to two considerations. One is quite obvious but the other was surprising. It is obvious that for an understanding of the New Testament and of the life of the Church we must go back to whatMore(FROM THE INTRODUCTION): This small book owes its existence to two considerations. One is quite obvious but the other was surprising. It is obvious that for an understanding of the New Testament and of the life of the Church we must go back to what Jesus was doing with His disciples. It was surprising to realise that the subject of Jesus and His disciples does not seem seriously to have engaged the attention of the Church in recent decades and that there has been no successor to A. B. Bruces The Training of the Twelve, written eighty years ago. The more one thinks of it, the more strange this must appear. For any concern with the life and thinking of the Church to-day would seem to lead directly to this study. Everywhere throughout the Church in the world to-day there is manifest a new discussion on the form of the Churchs life. This has arisen in a practical way...out of a newly awakened conviction of the Churchs mission and out of a realisation of the necessity of finding a more adequate pattern of Church life to meet the needs of the changed world....This interest is expressed in innumerable experiments....Many are private, spontaneous experiments- others... officially undertaken or sponsored by the Churches. These experiments have found a meeting place in the oecumenical studies of the World Council of Churches. Experiments in Evangelism, experiments in Industrial Mission, experiments in the Training of the Laity, experiments in Parish Mission--such as The House-Church: all these bring up at the practical level questions about the essential nature of the life of the Church. They have led to a new interest in the ways in which the Church must live its life in the widely differing social and political conditions to be found in the world to-day....It is not surprising that this has led to a fresh interest in the life of the early Church as we see it in Acts and in the Epistles. It is surprising that interest seems to stop there.