Get This Must Have Book On Early Church History

The Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David W. Bercot, is a must have book for anyone interested in learning what the early church fathers taught.  Extremely informative and  very easy to read and use!  I am thrilled that I found it about 3 years ago.  So much so,  that I wanted to let you all know about it.

Most evangelical disciples of the 21st century have had their theological views shaped primarily from the arguments of the 1500’s.  That is 1500+ years removed from the actual events.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go back and read what the early disciples taught about these matters?  Of course, you can, but it has been a tedious endeavor.  Up until now.  This book is written in a format that allows simple and easy access to the writings of the early church fathers of the first 300 years of church history (The Anti-Nicene Fathers).

How did the disciples of the Apostles and their disciples view original sin, the trinity, free-will, predestination, God’s sovereignty and fore-knowledge, worship, music in church services, parenting, salvation, eternal security or conversion? Bercot puts together a variety of quotes (directly from the Ante-Nicene writings) together for each of these topics and hundreds more (over 700 topics are covered!) Many topics have 10 or more quotes of a variety of lengths from the church Fathers.

It is not the Bible, but it can be a very effective tool to help one understand what the Bible teaches.   Here is a the advertisement for the book from the publisher:

Interest in the ways of the early church has never been more intense. What did early Christians believe about the divinity of Christ? What were the beliefs of those who sat at the feet of Jesus’ disciples? Now, for the first time, a unique dictionary has been developed to allow easy access to the ancient material and furnish ready answers to these questions and others like them.

David W. Bercot has painstakingly combed the writings of these early church leaders and categorized the heart of their thinking into more than 700 theological, moral, and historical topics to create A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs. Wonderfully suited for devotional or thematic study as well as sermon illustration, this resource offers a window into the world of the early church and affords a special opportunity to examine topically the thoughts of students of the original apostles, as well as other great lights in the life of the early church.

• Collects relevant comments on key Christian concepts from prominent figures such as Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Clement of Rome, and Hippolytus.

• Includes key biblical verses associated with a given topic.

• Offers brief definitions of unfamiliar terms or concepts, allowing easy access to the ancient material.

• Provides a “Who’s Who” of ante-Nicene Christianity to put in context the ancient Christian writers.

• Discusses more than 700 key theological, moral, and historical topics.

• Gives strategic cross-reverences to related topics.

• Functions as a topical index to the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers.”

Read more reviews of this book here.

About Jim

Not For Itching Ears is a blog dedicated to discussing the American Evangelical church. It is a place for people to share their thoughts on a host of issues relating to this subject. Jim is available to speak at weekend services, and retreats at no cost to churches in Florida. Contact us for more information.

Posted on March 21, 2011, in Christianity, Early Church History, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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