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The early church

In Destroyer of the Gods, Larry Hurtado seeks to explain why an increasing number of people converted to Christianity in the Roman world, even though it was the most persecuted of all religions and carried significant social cost. But Hurtado speaks of the unique Christian social project -a unique kind of human community that defied
categories then and will still do so today.” lt has at least five elements that could be broken down and expounded at greater length, but which also need to be seen together, as they constitute a whole. The early church social project was:

  • Multi-racial and multi-ethnic
  • Highly committed to caring for the poor and marginalized
  • Non retaliatory, marked by a commitment to forgiveness
  • Strongly and practically against abortion and infanticide
  • Revolutionary regarding the ethics of sex


The early Christian community was both offensive and attractive. But believers did not construct their social project in some strategic way to reach Roman culture. Each of the five elements was there because Christians sought to submit to biblical authority.

Tim Keller - American Pastor

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