We, today, need to rethink our strategy or all we do is trade powers (theirs) for another power (ours), exchange one oppressor (them) for another (us). The big question for Jesus followers is how did he conquer and change what the powers had control over: through a Holy Kiss, a Table, Baptism(s), and Households. We need to return to that Holy Kiss, that Table, Baptism(s), and Households. ReRead the Acts and you'll get a hint.
Jesus, the NT Jesus anyway, isn't simply a spiritual adviser; he is a king and a priest and a prophet, making him aversive--an political opponent to the powers in place in his day (which did not have any wall, fence, or divide between "church" (i.e., religion) and state. His life, the cross, and the resurrection confronted, disarmed, and overturned all the powers contrary to God's rule and reign.
Paul and Jesus (and Luke in Acts for that matter) had something much more ambitious (as the book being reviewed had stated) than advocating for slaves to be legally free (which would have been good for our comfort levels and political agendas, but actually not so much at that time for slaves). First and foremost, Paul and Jesus wanted the church to see slaves as human beings. They wanted to make them into human beings. This—slaves along with making children and women—into human beings (which they had always been, but you know what I mean)—is what changed everything, unhinged an empire, and its shadow (this approach and paradigm modeled by Jesus and the NT writers) has caste itself as the gospel moved demographically and geographically. This should be what the church is about: making others, especially the marginal, the oppressed, and disenfranchised into human beings.
"Foodless worship is unthinkable in the Bible and has been unthinkable through most of Christian history. That didn’t change at the Reformation. Most Reformers wanted to increase participation in and frequency of communion. Only recently have Christians become accustomed to seeing an empty table, or no table, at the front of the church. Ironically, the Christians who claim to be biblical are the ones who ignore the most consistent element of biblical worship" (Peter J. Leithart, “At The Table,” First Things [June 30, 2017]).
The gathered church that met “house to house,” in a family’s meal room was the platform for both proclamation of the gospel (in instruction and in reenacting the Lord’s Supper as part of a communal meal) and, as well, a seditious act against Caesar, the god’s of the empire, and the tyranny of oppressive forms of de-humanization. For the Cup was raised for a dead (but now alive) insurrectionist rather than for Caesar, the gods of Rome, or local family deities. The Broken and shared Bread was a declaration, not of Caesar’s provision or pf the gods, but of the dead (but now alive) insurrectionist’s provision for the forgiveness of sins—for all people. For, the leverage of the gospel proclaimed and enacted in the household-church gathering (the church’s only leverage) was who reclined (yes, actually reclined) at table for fellowship and eating and drinking. Breaking every known cultural and social etiquette and acceptability of the day, of the empire. The church’s only leverage for its seditious church gathering around the meal and the Cup and the Broken Bread was a gathering of a community of poor, landowners, business women, slaves, children, ex-prostitutes, former cult and current military leaders, and women. The form of the household church gathered (literally reclining) around a table and eating and drinking was a true and faithful representation (literally an outcome) of the gospel of Jesus, the Messiah.