Christianity at the Crossroads

Christianity at the Crossroads

Author Michael Kruger
Publisher SPCK £19.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780281071319

Kruger’s absorbing study shows how the future of the worldwide Christian Church was shaped during the turbulent second century, when all those who had met Jesus were dead. Christians faced enormous challenges. Having emerged from the legal umbrella of Judaism, the early Church learned resilience in the face of frequent, severe persecution from the Roman authorities, and gradually developed leadership structures involving local bishops and presbyters. Kruger shows how the intellectual strength of Christianity was invigorated through significant new writings, and the polemical arguments – culminating in the works of Irenaeus – that were needed to combat the heresies that sprang up throughout the Mediterranean regions. He demonstrates that the New Testament scriptural canon, apart from some brief letters, was essentially in place by mid-century, and suggests that modern Christianity can learn from the prophetic voice of these times. This is a worthy and accessible academic history, with an excellent bibliography.

PETER CLOUGH

History, Patristics

 

Who were the Church Fathers?

Who were the
Church Fathers?

Author Marcellino D’Ambrosio
Publisher SPCK £12.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780281074129

This is a wonderful book if you are interested in Church history. It spans the earliest days of the Church from 100AD and to c.749. It brings alive those great teachers of faith beginning with Clement and ending with John of Damascus. We read about the rise and fall of Arianism, Gnosticism and how the early Church suffered such great persecutions. It does challenge and inspire us to look again at those great thinkers who agreed the Nicene Creed, or helped define what goes in the Bible and what was left out. It was interesting to see that the words we use as the preface to the Eucharistic Prayer are so very similar to the words used in the third century by Hippolytus. It helps our understanding and knowledge of salvation, sacraments and doctrine. I would recommend this book, it blows away the cobwebs of dry theology and makes the early Church much easier to follow.

CHRIS GREGORY

History, Patristics