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Good Books on Christian Community

Students and faculty at Taylor University, an evangelical Christian college, are beginning to think about returning to school. One of my students, S., is involved in leadership on campus. She emailed me to ask if I knew of any good resources on koinonia (Greek for "fellowship") or Christian community to read before returning to Taylor. I have put below her email and my response. Perhaps you have some other ideas. Feel free to comment.Dscn2038_2


I hope summer is going well for you and Amy and little Ryan . . . Summer is winding down fast, though, so I'm starting to think more about school stuff.

[I’m in leadership at Taylor this year] and I thought koinonia would be a great theme to focus on. The Acts 2 style church is really already set up for us at Taylor. Being the master researcher you are, I wondered if you had any article, sermon, book suggestions on this topic? I want to explore it more before the school year.

My friends and I love your blog and read it often! Tell Amy we say hi!

Have a great week Andy!


Dear S.,

Delightful to hear from you.

You have asked about resources on koinonia and what else to read on Christian community before returning this fall.

I have attached a little Libronix stuff on a Microsoft Word document.

Download Koinonia.doc

First I have put all the occurrences of the word in the New Testament. You could look those up and see what you learn. See my Basic Bible Study Links guide here.

Then I have pasted the BAGD lexicon definition of Koinonia. (It is sort of hard to read because of all the footnotes below. Just ignore those).

You could also get a good commentary on any of the passages to study more. See here for some good commentary suggestions.

Tell me more what you want and I will suggest some other things. Do you want stuff on church? Or habits of the church? Or fellowship and relationships?

My guess is that you are wanting to articulate more clearly and more biblically what it means to care for one another in Christian community.

I would suggest looking at these books in this order:

Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them (Hardcover)
by John Ortberg.  Zondervan (March 1, 2003)

Amy's reading it right now and loving it. He is readable and fun. He is great to listen to on audio as well.

The Safest Place On Earth (Hardcover)
by Larry Crabb.  W Publishing Group (September 10, 1999)

You may have read this for Personal Foundations class. I really was helped by Crabb's books to get a realistic and sober and practical view on community.

Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community (Paperback)
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  HarperSanFrancisco (October 25, 1978)

This is another one that you may have read in Personal Foundations class. It is a classic and I was helped by it to think practically, theologically and less idealistically about community.

I hope this is helpful.

I think I'll put this response on the blog tonight to see if we can get any more comments.

Grace and peace,