Theologian and church historian Catherine Gunsalus Gonz lez studies
three often overlooked books in the New Testament, 1 and 2 Peter
and the Letter of Jude. These writings from the late first century
or early second century helped guide the young church as it faced a
variety of issues, both internal to the church's life, and external
in the social and political culture in which it was growing. The
letters help us focus on the character of the church and the
importance of congregations in the church's ongoing life. They
raise basic issues of authority, on how the church knows the
directions to follow, how Christians should live, and how diverse
views should be considered. Gonz lez uses a variety of resources to
illuminate these letters. She very helpfully centers on their
theological importance for contemporary churches and for Christian
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