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Clarence Jordan

Author of The Cotton Patch New Testament Translations, doctor of New Testament Greek (via Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), and founder of Koinonia Farms. Koinonia Farms is a Christian Community deep in the heart of Georgia, down the road from Plains. Even in the midst of racial turmoil in the deep south from the 40's 50's and 60's, Jordan built a community that was interracial and self-sustaining. Despite the best efforts of Klansmen and even Jordan's own church to drive the community out, they remained.

Koinonia was the context in which Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity, became convinced that he should do something with his life besides pursue wealth and power. He ended up starting an organization and a cooperative that built housing for families that needed it, and the work has blossomed into a worldwide effort that has involved many.

Jordan was a master at discerning the social climate of Jesus' day, and relating it to his own context, the South. After my youth group made a visit to Koinonia in 1974, I began listening to audio tapes of Jordan's many seminars exploring the issues he saw as central in the New Testament.

Jordan's told many stories of confronting racial division in the United States, and particularly in the church (Jordan called 11:00 Sunday morning "the most racially segregated hour in the country"). These stories were to prepare me for my explorations into the Sociology of Religion during my studies at Murray State University 1974-78, where I majored in Sociology. With the tutilidge of Jordan's ideas about the Bible, the Church, and the way that social climate can "tint" (or also "taint") one's interpretation of the scriptures, I was beginning to experience the seeds of becoming a "questioner" of the staus quo.


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