Placing the biblical book of Romans in its historical and cultural context, Reta Halteman Finger here creates a simulation of the Roman house churches that first heard Paul's Romans letter and its call for inclusiveness among the people of God.
Finger guides readers in small groups to re-create house churches as in first-century Rome. Based on the text of Romans, participants play various roles and converse, even debate, with other characters from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. This experiential approach makes Romans come alive in new, concrete ways and applies Romans theology to current issues that often still divide groups of Christians.Roman House Churches for Today
includes aids and suggestions for simulation leaders, sample character sketches, and website links with resources for further, deeper study. Not only small groups but also individuals will profit from this unique Bible study.
"The book is a delight to read and a joy to use in teaching, and I highly commend Finger for her imaginitive, yet grounded, reconstruction of the first churches to read Romans."
— Macquarie University
"It is rare to find original ideas, rigorous research, and contemporary application combined in one volume. This is exactly what Reta Halteman Finger has done, also including stimulating questions for individual or group study. I highly recommend this book for use in Bible studies, cell groups, house churches, base communities, and emerging churches — and for all who wish to align their gatherings more with the spirit and impact of the earliest Christian congregations."
Nancy R. Heisey
— Eastern Mennonite University
"The door is open! This book is an unusual and creative invitation to walk through it into a first-century Roman villa or tenement, and to sit there with other Jesus believers listening to Paul's words. Join in a complete and tasty agape meal. Then walk back out into your own living room or classroom, and think through what Paul's claims about good news for all, despite our differences, mean today. You'll never participate in livelier or more challenging Bible study."
"This study of Paul's letter to the Romans takes a thoroughly innovative approach. . . Provides in accessible form a wealth of information about Rome and Paul's letter."