Cassandra D. Carkuff Williams
Digital edition available for:
How should the church respond to the cultural and societal changes going on around it? Should it reject the historic traditions that served the early Christian church or should it turn a blind eye to the changes happening in modern society? Neither, as Cassandra D. Carkuff Williams advocates—we should and must recover and reclaim our foundations and reinterpret them in light of present-day realities.
In Learning the Way: Reclaiming Wisdom from the Earliest Christian Communities, Williams suggests that the biggest problems facing the church today are the victim mentality created out of its own presumptions and that we have allowed society to dictate how we lead our churches. Williams explores early Christian communities and their practices in order to identify principles for discipleship formation. She then offers expert advice on how to approach modern-day issues of Christian education and discipleship formation based on the examples set forth by our earliest forebears in the faith.
As Williams states, "Discipleship is a way of being grounded in vocation, nurtured within community, and guided by tradition." This book provides an overview of the past in order that we might take the proven example of early christians and apply it toward our present and our future.
"If you are serious about engaging in authentic discipleship in times of change and in contexts of increasing religious diversity, this is book you’ll want to read. The author reflects upon questions that will invite church practitioners to critique their present practices and see how the wise ways of the early church communities can speak to the challenges of being and forming followers of Christ today." —Pat Baxter, Associate Pastor for Education and Congregational Care, Sun City West, Arizona
"How can we raise up healthy Christian communities? Cassandra Carkuff Williams helps us explore that question without giving into the temptation to reinvent the church. Instead, Williams turns our focus on the marks and practices of earlier Christian communities. These reflections from our shared tradition are blended with stories drawn from her own life to form a mosaic of practical, grace-filled, and timely ideas for all those desiring to build authentic Christian communities in today’s world." —Terry L. Martin, Program Officer, Evangelism, Episcopal Church Center
"Christian teaching and learning from its roots sprung from communal connections and emphasized a way of living together. Inspired by Sara Little, Cassandra Carkuff Williams brings our attention to lessons gained from the earliest Christian communities for our lives today. Good reading for all those engaged in and called to the teaching ministries of the Christian Church." —Robert W. Pazmiño, Valeria Stone Professor of Christian Education, Andover Newton Theological School
"Historical context remains significant to our present and future growth as Christians and Learning the Way reconnects us to the roots of the early church very effectively. The content is thorough and understandable to lay and clergy, seasoned and new believers. Dr. Carkuff Williams provides interesting and practical summaries of the early Christian communities with an intentionality of strengthening the life of present communities of faith. The final chapter—A Lesson Plan for Christian Education—is so rich because of all the chapters that precede it."
—Rev. Lisa Harris is an American Baptist pastor currently serving as acting national coordinator for the Children in Poverty Initiative/Christian Center Relations with the American Baptist Home Mission Societies.
Alban No. AL385
($14.40 for members)