From Head to Toe: Men and Their Roles in the First Two Generations of Christianity
Please note that the printed version of this book is no longer available to purchase through this website. It is, however, still in print. If you would like to find out how to obtain a copy of this book, please contact Lula Sanders (firstname.lastname@example.org; 02 88501562; 0407 081 774).
Download your free sample chapter of From Head to Toe here.
From Head to Toe invites us to into the world of men in the first two generations of Christianity as they come to terms with what it means to follow Jesus. We share in their struggles and triumphs as they make the journey ‘from head to toe’ – from status-seeking to serving.
Ross Saunders shows us how to read the New Testament with new eyes and hearts, exploring our own understanding of authority, leadership and service within the household of God.
For a church that has been steeped in patriarchy, it is quite a shock to see Jesus as a feminist. But that is exactly what Ross Saunders documents. Scholarly but readable, From Head to Toe examines the lives of dozens of men in the Bible as they are called to relinquish status and accept Jesus’ radical view: that true leadership means becoming a servant to all. Along the way, Saunders unfolds in extraordinary detail the lives of these men and their struggles and triumphs with Jesus’ message. The message for us now is no less radical. To follow Jesus, we men must abandon all claims to privilege or power. Only then can we be free.
Steve Biddulph, author of The New Manhood
From Head to Toe makes a significant contribution to understanding the culture of the first two generations of Christianity and provides an important opportunity to stimulate fresh discussion about servant leadership in the church.
Jackie Stoneman, Director of Studies, Mary Andrews College
Review by Dale Harcombe, Australasian Christian Writer’s Blog
It’s hard to know where to start in reviewing this book, as there is so much to read and consider. It really helps put a lot of things into context. This is an insightful look into a leadership model for Christian society. It clearly shows what a great change this meant for those early male followers of Jesus. For them to follow Jesus meant a move downward in importance. It identifies how men in the Mediterranean world at the end of the first century were called by Jesus to a different model of leadership, taking them from a model as lead-as- dictator to one of leader- as- servant. Reading this book could well change your thinking or at least cause you to look at lives and incidents in the New Testament with fresh eyes.
This book follows through the lives of many New Testament men starting with Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. It raises some interesting thoughts about John and his ministry that I had not considered before. It also covers not just the well know men such as Paul, Peter , John and James but some of those who only make brief biblical appearances like Simeon, Gaius, Crispus and others.
Christianity brought about huge changes and cost. For the disciples, especially any who were the eldest son in a family, walking away from family responsibilities was a huge step and brought great dishonour. These followers of Jesus were ‘exiled from their household and thus suffered a loss of identity and status.’ Because of this the Romans at Antioch first labelled them Christians – that is ‘belonging to the household or tribe of Christ.’
‘Travel was regarded as somewhat deviant behaviour in those days.’ For people of today’s society who are often used to being able to travel at will without needing a reason