The Meaning of the Seven Churches

Reading Acts

Colin Hemer identifies four “areas of tension” in the church of the late first century. Each of these bullet points are worthy of a chapter of a book, here is a short summary:

  • Christianity and the Imperial Cult. The context of the imperial cult in Revelation 2-3 and the growing influence of Domitian would have put Christians under pressure to either conform or face some form of persecution. While this may have not been as organized as modern preachers make it out to be, Christians would have been viewed with suspicion if they did not participate in the imperial cult.
  • Christianity and the Pagan world.  This is especially seen with regard to the social life of Greco-Roman cities.  How does a practicing Christian “fit” in pagan society? Could a Christian participate in a civic event like athletic games if those games were dedicated to a god? Could they…

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