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While the church today looks quite different than it did two thousand years ago, Christians share the same faith with the church fathers. Although separated by time and culture, we have much to learn from their lives and teaching.
This book is an organized and convenient introduction to how to read the church fathers from AD 100 to 500. Michael Haykin surveys the lives and teachings of seven of the Fathers, looking at their role in such issues as baptism, martyrdom, and the relationship between church and state. Ignatius, Cyprian, Basil of Caesarea, and Ambrose and others were foundational in the growth and purity of early Christianity, and their impact continues to shape the church today.
Evangelical readers interested in the historical roots of Christianity will find this to be a helpful introductory volume.
“Haykin has given us a user-friendly introduction to the early centuries of the Christian church. He illustrates the key elements of the church’s teaching by referring to the lives and teachings of major figures of the time, most of whom are little known to nonspecialists. Ordinary people need to know about these things, and this book is a great place to begin.” —Gerald Bray, Research Professor of Divinity, History, and Doctrine, Beeson Divinity School; author, God Is Love and God Has Spoken
“This gem of a study sparkles with polished clarity. Michael Haykin has skillfully unearthed buried treasures among early church leaders. As an experienced guide, he has drawn from his own personal journey and decades of scholarly research. He presents valuable Patristic insights into apologetic engagement, missional work, spiritual formation, use of Scripture, theological discourse, communal worship, personal piety, and approaches to suffering and martyrdom. From the apostolic fathers to the apostle to Ireland, Haykin’s investigations masterfully apply classical wisdom to contemporary concerns.” —Paul Hartog, Associate Professor, Faith Baptist Theological Seminary
“In this introduction, Michael Haykin, an eminent evangelical scholar, opens the door to the riches of early Christianity for evangelicals in a splendidly concise handbook of sorts. Evangelicals, who are experiencing a renaissance of interest in the Fathers, need look no further than this volume for an introduction to many of the most significant figures in Christian history. Readers will be left wanting to learn even more. Evangelicals are indebted to Haykin for this well-written volume.” —Steven A. McKinion, Professor of Theology and Patristics, Southeastern Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina
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