This anthology is an attempt to approach Christian history in that second, more reckless way. You're not going to find many dates here. Nor will you find detailed explanations of the politics, empires, events, or histories taking place in the background. No, instead you'll find the history-makers themselves, in their own words. You'll find sermons, songs, letters, and speeches written by pastors, kings, slaves, councils, and normal, everyday citizens. And you'll quickly realize two things: reading history from the words of those that lived it isn't nearly as hard as you thought it'd be; and even though these believers are separated by thousands of years and thousands of miles, their faith wasn't-isn't-really all that different from yours.
The many variances of the denominational map are represented here. Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox, Lutherans and Calvinists, scholastics and mystics, and the many others that don't fit neatly into a category. Again, hopefully you'll see that in spite of what we perceive to be many differences, most of our Christian faith is common to us all. Only two documents in this collection were written by non-believers: Galerius the persecuting emperor's reluctant Edict of Toleration and Arius' heretical poem Thalia (clearly denoted as a prime example of the Arian heresy of the fourth century). Additionally, protestants will probably disagree with several of the Catholic statements issued in the years leading up to the Protestant Reformation.
My goal with this book is twofold: the obvious one is that you'll grow closer to Jesus Christ by soaking up the rich wisdom of scripture and the loving devotion to God saturating these ancient pages. The more subtle is that you'll grow closer to your Church family. Not the parishioners you sit next to every Sunday morning, but your big "C" Church family: the believers attending the church down the street who believe slightly differently than you; the congregation across town that baptizes its converts the wrong way (at least in your estimation); the denomination around the world whose worship services seem unorthodox to you; and your brothers and sisters who were slaughtered thousands of years ago for believing things you might take for granted.
They-we-are all family. We may look differently, speak differently, worship differently, maybe ever believe slightly differently, but so long as we all confess Christ as our Lord and believe in His resurrection, we are family. And the sooner we accept this, the sooner Jesus' words will be realized:
[I pray] for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, and in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent me. (John 17:21)
So head on out. The water is rather nice today. Jump on in, and enjoy the swim.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)|
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