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Life in the Family: An Oral History of the Children of God (New Religion Movements) [Hardcover]

By James D. Chancellor (Author) & William Sims Bainbridge (Foreword by)
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Item description for Life in the Family: An Oral History of the Children of God (New Religion Movements) by James D. Chancellor & William Sims Bainbridge...

From a unique insider's perspective -- including interviews with more than seven-hundred family members -- James D. Chancellor charts The Family's course since its emergence as the most controversial group to grow out of the Jesus People Movement in the 1960s.

Chancellor, who had extraordinary access to rare Family records, includes the experiences of members who have remained loyal to the community and to the founding vision of their prophet, David Brandt Berg. In the first book of its kind -- comprising often painful personal histories and firsthand accounts -- Chancellor focuses on the motivation and process of becoming a Child of God, the core beliefs of the community, the mission of the disciples, their shifting sexual mores, and the cost of membership in terms of internal discipline and external persecution.

Intense confrontation with the legal, religious, political, and educational establishment marked the movement's activities from the beginning. The young disciples heeded the call of their prophet to flee a soon-to-be-destroyed North America. Dispersed throughout Europe, Latin America, Africa, and East Asia, they virtually disappeared from the American landscape. In the late 1980s, The Family had gone through extreme theological and lifestyle changes, including a radical reordering of their sexual ethos. The Children of God started to come home. Now a worldwide counterculture of some twelve thousand members, the movement's colorful history reveals a profoundly religious group that has tested the limits of human experience.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Life in the Family: An Oral History of the Children of God (New Religion Movements) by James D. Chancellor & William Sims Bainbridge has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Booklist - 06/01/2000 page 1804
  • Reference and Research Bk News - 11/01/2000 page 11
  • Choice - 04/01/2001 page 1477
  • Publishers Weekly - 06/26/2000

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Syracuse University Press
Pages   291
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.22" Height: 0.96"
Weight:   1.38 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2000
Publisher   Syracuse University Press
Edition  New  
ISBN  0815606451  
ISBN13  9780815606451  

Availability  108 units.
Availability accurate as of May 22, 2017 01:28.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About James D. Chancellor & William Sims Bainbridge

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James D. Chancellor has published or released items in the following series...
  1. New Religious Movements

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Protestant

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Reviews - What do customers think about Life in the Family: An Oral History of the Children of God (New Religion Movements)?

First hand knowledge leads to top notch insight  Jan 29, 2006
Dr. Chancellor has done something that most do not especially when investing an entity that most people refer to as a "cult". By spending more time with the group than anyone else in academia, Chancellor is able to offer insights that would otherwise be distant observations. How a group views themselves offers added detail that the normal objective theological observation does not. Chancellor is right when he said recently that he was not the nations leading cults expert, but that he is the leading authority on the Children of God.
Distorted?  Jan 7, 2006
This is mainly a comment on previous remarks on the book. I think it is helpful to know that Dr. Chancellor poured over six years of his life in unprecedented close contact with followers of the Children of God from all over the world. When he was done with his research, the manuscript was reviewed by Peter Amsterdam himself, second in leadership of the movement. Amsterdam found only two factual errors, which were corrected, despite the clear portrayal of the movement's self-admitted embarassing practices.

From Dr. Chancellor's own mouth, he does not in anyway support their practices. By stating that they have made improvements simply means just that. It is not the same as supporting them.
A distorted view of The Family  Mar 12, 2005
Anyone reading this book must be careful not to accept at face value the conclusions Chancellor reaches about this extreme, fundamentalist, high-demand group. The methodology he used in writing this book is flawed, and so the picture he paints of this dubious new religious movement/cult is very distorted. The Family practices a doctrine referred to as "deceivers yet true," which they use to deceive outsiders as to their true nature and intentions, including scholars like Chancellor. Even the editors of this website have accepted Chancellor's claims in the book that The Family has changed for the better.

I strongly urge any reader of this book to do their own investigation of The Family on the internet, and not just blindly accept what Chancellor says about it. They will be shocked to learn the true nature of The Family, and it is not as Chancellor makes it appear.
This book is one of the best and most honest ones about the
"Family", a Christian humanitarian international movement that is out all over the world following Christ's commandment "to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature". The
"Family" lives communally like the early Christians in Acts lived and are really "succesful" because they put God's Love for mankind into action. I can only recommend this book.

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