How the Early Christian “Third Way” Changed the World
Gerald Sittser shows how the early church offers wisdom for responding creatively to the West’s increasing secularization. The early Christian movement was surprisingly influential and successful in the Roman world, and so different from its two main rivals–traditional religion and Judaism–that Rome identified it as a “third way.” Early Christians immersed themselves in the empire without significant accommodation to or isolation from the culture. They confessed Jesus as Lord and formed disciples accordingly, which helped the church grow in numbers and influence.
Sittser explores how Christians today can learn from this third way and respond faithfully, creatively, and winsomely to a world that sees Christianity as largely obsolete. Each chapter introduces historical figures, ancient texts, practices, and institutions to explain and explore the third way of the Jesus movement, which, surprising everyone, changed the world.
These two brief videos with author Gerald Sittser are a great introduction to the book:
Ancient Wisdom for
a Post-Christendom Church:
What Made Early Christians Unique?
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com