A Short History of the Early Church

Overview

For readers who want a brief yet reliable introduction to the history of the early church as well as for those who are looking for a quick review of the period, this volume furnishes a concise overview of the key events, figures, controversies, and councils essential for a proper understanding of the first seven centuries of the Christian church.

Harry R. Boer provides background on the world into which the church was born, surveys the life of the church from the ministry of ...

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Overview

For readers who want a brief yet reliable introduction to the history of the early church as well as for those who are looking for a quick review of the period, this volume furnishes a concise overview of the key events, figures, controversies, and councils essential for a proper understanding of the first seven centuries of the Christian church.

Harry R. Boer provides background on the world into which the church was born, surveys the life of the church from the ministry of Jesus until 600 A.D., examines the effects of persecution and heresy on the church, explains the role of several key church leaders, and focuses specifically on the church's ongoing struggle to formulate proper doctrines of the Trinity and of Christ. Each chapter is clearly outlined and concludes with several discussion questions that enhance the book's use as a study guide for church groups or as a text in courses on early church history.

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Editorial Reviews

Christianity Today
Offers the layman an excellent overview of the course of Christianity in the first few centuries of our era.
New Testament Abstracts
Provides a lucid and concise account of the peoples, places, institutions, events, and ideas that made a difference in the development of the Christian faith from the first through the seventh century.
Restoration Review
An excellent account of the early centuries of the church.... All the information the average Christian needs on the persecutions, heresies, and great councils.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802813398
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 3/28/1990
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 1,372,073
  • Product dimensions: 5.47 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Table of Contents

I. THE WORLD OF THE EARLY CHURCH

The Roman Empire
The Jewish Background
Greek Thought
Religion in the Empire

II. THE BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH

The Ministry of Jesus
Pentecost
Palestinian Christianity
The Church Outside Palestine

III. THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH TO 313

Government
Doctrine
Conduct

IV. PERSECUTION IN THE EMPIRE

Christianity and the Law
The Causes of Persecution
Christian Defense
The Extent of the Persecution

V. GNOSTICISM, MARCIONISM, AND MONTANISM

Gnosticism
Marcionism
Montanism

VI. THE POWER OF THE APOSTOLIC TRADITION

The Authority of the Bishop
The Canon of the New Testament
The Apostles' Creed

VII. THREE CITIES: Rome, Carthage, Alexandria

Rome
Carthage
Alexandria

VIII. DIOCLETIAN AND CONSTANTINE

Diocletian
The Darkest Hour
Constantine

IX. THE TRINITARIAN CONTROVERSY

Various Answers
The Council of Nicaea
From Nicaea to Constantinople
Final Stages

X. THE GERMANS, ARIAN MISSIONS, AND MONASTICISM

The Rhine and the Danube
The German Migrations
The Visigoths
Arian Missions
The Rise of Monasticism
Monasticism in Europe

XI. THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH, 312-600

The Government of the Church
Church and State
The Worship of the Church

XII. FOUR GREAT CHURCH LEADERS

Ambrose (340-397)
Jerome (345-420)
John Chrysostom (347-406)
Augustine (354-430)
Augustine's Writings

XIII. THE PROBLEM OF THE HUMAN AND THE DIVINE IN CHRIST

The Beginning of the Problem
The Theology of the Problem
The Church's Answer to the Problem
The Problem Remains
The Seven Ecumenical Councils
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