Aquinas and Augustine, Baptists and Anabaptists, Wyclyffe and Wesley, homoiousios versus homoousios, Councils and Creeds, Reformation and Counter-Reformation–a lot of information–probably too much for most believers to sort through. Why would anyone want to take on the overwhelming subject of church history?
One good response is to remind ourselves of the famous motto: "Those who do no learn from history are doomed to repeat it." If church history is a litany of mistakes and false starts then it offers an unlimited number of opportunities to learn; it is a great source of practical advice on what not to do. No sect of Christianity is without fault. All of us need significant midcourse corrections to the path our own particular local congregation, denomination or church movement is following. At the risk of offending the reader right from the beginning, all of us teach at least some false doctrines, no matter what religious group we associate with. Church history tells us this has to be true. How are we to determine which changes are most needful right now? What practical steps do we need to take to pursue these changes? Of course, the divinely inspired word of God is the first rule for determining our steps.
In this book you will learn about:
• Beginnings: the New Testament record
• Christian writings before AD 150
• Early church fathers: setting a cannon, and fighting heresy
• The Gnostics: their text and beliefs
• Important church fathers from the early third century
• Heterodox theological movements in the early church
• Persecution and its impact on the church
• Developments in worship, teaching and practice
• The relationship between Christendom and the Roman Empire
• The early ecumenical councils: their purpose and impact