Augsburg Fortress

Rooted and Renewing: Imagining the Church’s Future in Light of Its New Testament Origins

Rooted and Renewing: Imagining the Church’s Future in Light of Its New Testament Origins

What does it mean to be church today? As changes in demographics, participation, and leadership continue to roil faith communities in the Western world, questions about the historic roots of church communities have become all the more important. Scholarly investigations of the historical texture of early Christian communities continue to advance our understanding, but are often too technical for non-experts for whom the questions may be more keenly felt. Troy M. Troftgruben provides an accessible, succinct survey of what we now know about the roots of Christian community, taking an "ancient-future" approach by engaging contemporary questions through classical sources. Rooted and Renewing turns to historical-critical and social-scientific studies to portray everyday realities in the earliest communities, especially the Pauline assemblies. Aimed at church members and leaders alike, the book encourages reflection on the church's past so as to explore how Christians are called to be the church in today's world.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506439761
  • eBook ISBN 9781506439778
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 216
  • Publication Date November 5, 2019

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Church Roots Matter
Chapter 1: Sacred Spaces for a Church on the Way 
Chapter 2: On Being True Siblings in a Divided World 
Chapter 3: What Were They Like and What Will We Be? 
Chapter 4: What Did They Do and How Will We Act? 
Chapter 5: How Did Others Experience Them and How Will We Be Viewed?
Chapter 6: Correlations and Questions: Church Past and Present in Dialog


"As cultural change, shifting demographics, and dire predictions make churches worry they aren't measuring up, we should ask: measuring up to what? Churchgoers need to learn about their past so they won't venture into their future fearfully or foolishly. Troftgruben's guidance and insights are sure to generate lively conversations in congregations."

Matthew L. Skinner, Luther Seminary

"Faithful improvisation springs from a fertile memory. In a time buzzing with ideas about the future shape of the church, Troftgruben has gifted us with a rich grounding in the ways that New Testament churches gathered, forged identity, and bore a witness to an enduring gospel."

Christopher B. James, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

"A biblical scholar and experienced pastor, Troy M. Troftgruben makes the struggles, challenges, and vision of the New Testament church come alive for a twenty-first-century church that has much to learn from its earliest heritage. This is a welcome study--substantive, contemplative, and timely."

Carla Swafford Works, Wesley Theological Seminary

"As God reinvents church, we must retrieve core New Testament practices. Authentic spirituality, servanthood, and public witness define the Way of Jesus Christ. This book reimagines enduring patterns beyond the church box: worship, prayer, eating, koinonia, and ministry in daily life. An amazing convergence of congregational savvy and scholarly wisdom."

Craig L. Nessan, Wartburg Theological Seminary