I’ve had phenomenal interest in my new book already… Thank you everyone! There’s only so much I can share on Facebook and Twitter, so below you’ll find my Preface and Endorsements taken from the book.
What did life in the Early Church look like, when Jesus’s legacy was fresh, and his physical presence, for some, a living memory? The Book of Acts has been our go-to source as Christians – and rightly so – but we are not discrediting the Bible when we explore issues it doesn’t mention. There are actions of the Early Church written widely of elsewhere, indisputable historical details that speak loudly to us today; the abandonment of babies and children is one such topic.
We have all heard sermons on how the believers ‘met together in one place and shared everything they had’ (Acts 2:42-47); extreme, we may think, and irrelevant now, and perhaps a little off-putting, so we don’t stay with these characters long. But we are missing out on much if our understanding stops here. (Besides, this approach to life is only noted for the believers in Jerusalem.) So, what else were the believers doing? And how would that look today?
Please read the Bible passage listed for each location before you read its story. While Bible characters and events do feature in what I write, it’s important to me that you see the given facts ahead of entering my imagined versions of these places. The stories have been researched to bring plausibility and genuine challenge to the reader. As with Gospel Voices, I hope what you read will take you deeper in your own study and enrich your understanding of God’s character.
Bible quotes throughout the stories are taken from the New Living Translation, unless otherwise stated.
Just as Gospel Voices brings fresh perspective and vibrancy to our reading of the Gospels, The Unfinished Story brings us right into the lives, the fresh faith, the challenges and sacrifices of the early Church in the days of the book of Acts.
I think this is a must-read for Christians in the 21st century church! We face different cultural and social standards, but new believers entering our churches (just like those in Joppa, Jerusalem, Macedonia & Ephesus) either come without previous Christian experience and background, or are often affected by other current religious or identity political issues.
There is much for us to learn from the early church in a now postChristian society. Caroline Greville is that rare thing, a skilled storyteller and dynamic teacher. She challenges us through these glimpses of the early church, to live more bravely, to trust more deeply and to rescue the poor, the outcasts and the hurting. These stories could, and should, be our stories, because Jesus is the same today as he was then and will be forever.
–Grace Turner, Senior Pastor, RiverLife Church, Bern
Caroline Greville opens up the world of early Christianity, 2000 years ago, through relatable characters that we come to care about, and she does it with a delicate touch.
–Bobbie Ann Cole, Christian writer, speaker and writing teacher
In this companion volume to Gospel Voices, Caroline Greville introduces us to a new cast of characters – all of whom are struggling to make sense of the world they live in. In The Unfinished Story we meet a good man who just isn’t very good at being a father as his children hit the teenage years, a woman struggling to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity, and the less than sexy reality of coping with illness in old age. There are urgent questions and no easy answers. But this mosaic of stories assures us of one thing: ‘We know how God feels about us – he’s shown it.’
-Prof. Carolyn Oulton, Subject Lead Creative and Professional
Writing, Canterbury Christ Church University