"A history of doctrines of the early Church, written and arranged with exceptional clarity by a leading patristic scholar, the principal of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. Canon Kelly describes the development of the principal Christian doctrines from the close of the first century to the middle of the fifth, and from the end of the apostolic age to the council of Chalcedon. His book thus covers the great doctrinally creative period in the Church's history, the centuries in which there was a constant upsurge of fresh ideas before the settled formalism of both the East and West. He gives the student and invaluable outline of Church history and patrology against which to place the evolving theological doctrines which he summarises and expounds" -- Back cover.
A Reader in Christian Doctrine, from the Bible to the Present
Author: John H. Leith
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
"An excellent compendium of Christian creeds. Especially valuable are the informative notes and comments by the editor which introduce both creedal sections and individual creeds".----Presbyterian Journal
This clear and concise text helps readers grasp the doctrines of the Christian faith considered basic from the earliest days of Christianity. Ronald Heine, an internationally known expert on early Christian theology, developed this book from a course he teaches that has been refined through many years of classroom experience. Heine primarily uses the classical Christian doctrines of the Nicene Creed to guide students into the essentials of the faith. This broadly ecumenical work will interest students of church history or theology as well as adult Christian education classes in church settings. Sidebars identify major personalities and concepts, and each chapter concludes with discussion questions and suggestions for further reading.
This volume offers patristic comment on the second half of the third article of the Nicene Creed. Readers will gain insight into the history and substance of what the early church believed about the nature of the church and the consummation of all things.
"Who do you say that I am?" This question that Jesus asked of his disciples, so central to his mission, became equally central to the fledgling church. How would it respond to the Gnostics who answered by saying Jesus was less than fully human? How would it respond to the Arians who contended he was less than fully God? It was these challenges that ultimately provoked the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. In this volume covering the first half of the article in the Nicene Creed on God the Son, John Anthony McGuckin shows how it countered these two errant poles by equally stressing Jesus' authentic humanity (that is, his fleshliness and real embodiment in space and time) and his spiritual glory or full divinity. One cottage industry among some historical theologians, he notes, has been to live in a fever of conspiracy theory where orthodox oppressors dealt heavy-handedly with poor heretics. Or the picture is painted of ancient grassroots inclusivists being suppressed by establishment elites. The reality was far from such romantic notions. It was in fact the reverse. The church who denounced these errors did so in the name of a greater inclusivity based on common sense and common education. The debate was conducted generations before Christian bishops could ever call on the assistance of secular power to enforce their views. Establishing the creeds was not a reactionary movement of censorship but rather one concerned with the deepest aspects of quality control. Ultimately, what was and is at stake is not fussy dogmatism but the central gospel message of God's stooping "down in mercy to enter the life of his creatures and share their sorrows with them. He has lifted up the weak and the broken to himself, and he healed their pain by abolishing their alienation."
This volume offers partristic commentary edited by Gerald L. Bray on the first article of the Nicene Creed. Readers will gain insight into the history and substance of what the early church believed about God the Father.
The Apostles' Creed is the oldest, most beautiful succinct summary of Christian beliefs. Though often recited in unison during worship services, the creed begins with the phrase "I believe," making it a deeply personal profession of faith. But when was the last time you examined it closely? In Affirming the Apostles' Creed, an excerpt from Growing in Christ, noted Bible scholar and author J. I. Packer explains the meaning and implications of each phrase of this great creed. Each concise chapter serves as an invitation to dive further into the creed-and as a result, into the essentials of the Christian faith-by concluding with discussion questions and Bible passages for further study.
Christianity has always been a "creedal" religion in that it has always been theological. It was rooted in the theological tradition of ancient Israel, which was unifi ed by its historical credos and declaratory affi rmations of faith. No pre-theological era has been discovered in the New Testament or in the history of the Christian community. From the beginning Christianity has been theological, involving men in theological refl ection and calling them to declarations of faith. A non-theological Christianity has simply never endured, although such has been attempted, for instance, by individual seers in the sixteenth century and also by collaborators with totalitarian ideologies in the twentieth century. The creeds presented here range from the ancient faith of the Hebrews and the creed-like formulas of the New Testament to the Barmen declaration of 1934 (framed by the Christians in Germany who faced the threat of Nazism) and the Batak Creed of 1951 (in which Indonesian Christians gave authentic expression to their religious belief in the idiom of their own culture. All the creeds are in some sense "offi cial," and every major division of Christendom is represented, including the Younger Churches. The volume ends with the messages of the most important assemblies dealing with the Ecumenical Movement. This single volume, containing all the major theological affi rmations of the Christian community, is a source book for the study of Christian theology. It comprises a record of the Church's interpretation of the Bible in the past and an authoritative guide to its interpretation on the present. Indeed, it is a guide to an understanding of the Christian interpretation of life.
This volume offers patristic comment on the first half of the third article of the Nicene Creed. Readers will gain insight into the history and substance of what the early church believed about the Holy Spirit and his work.
In every generation, the Christian church must interpret and restate its bedrock beliefs, answering the challenges and concerns of the day. This accessible overview walks readers through centuries of creeds, councils, catechisms, and confessions—not with a dry focus on dates and places, but with an emphasis on the living tradition of Christian belief and why it matters for our lives today. As a part of the KNOW series, Know the Creeds and Councils is designed for personal study or classroom use, but also for small groups and Sunday schools wanting to more deeply understand the foundations of the faith. Each chapter covers a key statement of faith and includes a discussion of its historical context, a simple explanation of the statement’s content and key points, reflections on contemporary and ongoing relevance, and discussion questions.
Why were the early Christians willing to die to protect a single iota of the creed? Why have the Judeans, Romans, and Persians—among others—seen the Christian creed as a threat to the established social order? In The Creed: Professing the Faith Through the Ages, bestselling author Dr. Scott Hahn recovers and conveys the creed’s revolutionary character. Tracing the development of the first formulations of faith in the early Church through later ecumenical councils, The Creed tells the story of how the very profession of our belief in Christ fashions us for heavenly life as we live out our earthly days.
A new edition of this well-respected work. "Doctrine and Practice in the Early Church" is clearly written and carefully organized with cross-references throughout to its two companion volumes, "A New Eusebius and Creeds" and "Councils and Controversies" (revised editions SPCK 1987 and 1989). It is well established as the standard introduction to the subject for student and general reader alike. The second edition makes the text easier to understand in the light of widespread use; provides a fuller and updated bibliography; and brings thinking up to date on a number of topics including house churches, Athanasius, Gnostics, Hippolytus, Constantine, the Creed of Constantinople, and the Monophysites.
The Interplay Between Christian Worship and Doctrine
Author: Maxwell E. Johnson
Publisher: Liturgical Press
What was the impact of liturgy on the development of orthodox doctrine in the early Christian church? With renowned liturgical historian Maxwell E. Johnson as a guide, readers of Praying and Believing in Early Christianity will discover the important and sometimes surprising ways that worship helped to shape what was believed, taught, and confessed. In particular, Johnson considers this relationship in terms of soteriology: What is the role of grace in the process of salvation? Trinity: How did early devotion to Christ and the church's baptismal and eucharistic liturgies help shape the developing doctrine of the Trinity? Christ and Mary: What does the devotional and liturgical term theotokos say about them both? ethics: How does the liturgy contribute not only to doctrine but also to convictions about morality? Johnson also explores the ways this relationship worked in the opposite direction: How did doctrinal developments shape liturgical texts in the patristic period? This is an excellent text for beginning students in liturgical studies at the master's level.
What are the basics of Christian belief? How can you know the most important elements of the faith? When you hear people talk about doctrines that seem unfamiliar, how can you know if they are at the core of Christianity or outside the center? The basics of Christian faith have remained the same for centuries. Affirmed by the church around the world since its earliest years, these truths are summarized in documents known as creeds. Among these, the Apostles' Creed is one of the most important. In this brief book, Alister McGrath introduces you to the essential truths about God the Father, the person and work of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Divided into six sections with reflection and discussion questions included for each core truth, "I Believe" is ideal for your personal study or for use in a small group or Sunday school class. Here is the basic book you need to understand the basics of Christianity.
In lucid and non-technical prose, Young demonstrates how and why the two most familiar Christian creeds - the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed - came into being. She describes how creeds originated in instruction before baptism and have their roots in the New Testament itself. She then shows how the rise of Gnosticism and a tendancy towards fragmentation in the church made a clear statement of faith necessary, as well as outlining the various controversies which led to particular words and phrases being included in the creeds as we now have them. She then describes the construction of the great Christian doctrines of the Trinity and incarnation.
Theological Controversy and Christian Leadership in the Later Roman Empire
Author: Carlos R. Galvao-Sobrinho
Publisher: Univ of California Press
During the fourth century A.D., theological controversy divided Christian communities throughout the Eastern half of the Roman Empire. Not only was the truth about God at stake, but also the authority of church leaders, whose legitimacy depended on their claims to represent that truth. In this book, Galvao-Sobrinho argues that out of these disputes was born a new style of church leadership, one in which the power of the episcopal office was greatly increased. The author shows how these disputes compelled church leaders repeatedly to assert their orthodoxy and legitimacy—tasks that required them to mobilize their congregations and engage in action that continuously projected their power in the public arena. These developments were largely the work of prelates of the first half of the fourth century, but the style of command they inaugurated became the basis for a dynamic model of ecclesiastical leadership found throughout late antiquity.