Christians today tend to see the earliest followers of Jesus as zealous converts who were much more counterculturally devoted to their faith than typical churchgoers today. Cultural Christianity might seem like a modern concept, one most likely to occur in areas where Christianity is the majority culture. However, Cultural Christians in the Early Church Video Lectures explains that in the early church, cultural Christians were the rule rather than the exception.
Using categories of sin as an organizing principle, classicist Nadya Williams considers the challenge of culture to the earliest converts to Christianity as they struggled to live on mission in the Greco-Roman cultural milieu of the Roman Empire. These believers blurred and pushed the boundaries of what it meant to be a saint or sinner from the first to the fifth centuries CE. Their stories not only provide the opportunity to get to know the regular people in the early churches, but they offer a fresh perspective for considering the difficult timeless questions that stubbornly persist in our own world and churches. Recognizing that cultural sins were always a part of the story of the church and its people is a message that is both a source of comfort and a call to action in our pursuit of sanctification today.