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george-b
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Date Posted:27/02/2008 8:30 PMCopy HTML

Hi Ian,

Can you recommend a book, or series of books, on Church history? I have been listening for the past 6 months on my ipod to a lecture series on Church History from the Reformed Theological Seminary in the USA. It was a subject I was interested in during my CAI time, but had no time or opportunity to study it.

I find the flow of history quite fascinating. I have been listening to lectures detailing church history from the Patristic Fathers down to William of Ockham and the Nominalists so far.

It has got me thinking that I really should be purchasing some books written by and written about the church fathers and church history.

I already have

1) The complete works of Josephus.
2) From Christ to Constantine by Eusebius
3) The History of the English Church by Bede


So far on my list of "must buys" are;

1) Complete compilation of the Apostolic Fathers
2) City of God by Augustine
3) Confessions by Augustine
4) Sentences by Peter Lombard
5) Shorter Summa by Thomas Acquinas


In the period I have been sudying so far (100AD to about 1300AD), are there any MUST READS - either original source materails or excellent history books detailing the period?

My main aim is to get the "big picture", and join the dots so to speak. From my superficial understanding so far, it would seem that Tertullian would be someone what would appeal. But are there absolute turning points in Biblical understanding that I should be reading? Maybe something from the Greek Fathers? Or Justin Martyr? Or the Desert Fathers? Anothers that I thought might be interesting is Ambrose of Milan.

Once I have a greater grasp of this period of church history, I feel I will be better equipped to delve into the likes of Wycliffe, Hus, Luther and the reformation.

One of the main problems with the CAI I believe is a lack of knoweldge of church history. In my opinion, their view point actually is Pelagian in practice, even if they deny it to be the case.

I tend to lean to Arminiansim on the whole, as I agree with man's free will to accept or reject the grace of God. So reading Augustine will be an intersting excercise!

Anyway Ian, some good pointers would be appreciated.

I have a bunch of books to read already, so my purchases would probably not be in the immediate future. My Youth Group are beggining to argue about the "Emerging Church", and so I have books by Rob Bell and Brian MacLaren to read, as well books refuting their position. Do you know much about this subject? Or is this purely a North American movement? If you do, I would appreciate any insight you may have.

Thanks Ian, and God bless.

George.





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Re:For Ian - question on Church History.

Date Posted:28/02/2008 10:35 PMCopy HTML

Hi Ian,

Can you recommend a book, or series of books, on Church history? I have been listening for the past 6 months on my ipod to a lecture series on Church History from the Reformed Theological Seminary in the USA. It was a subject I was interested in during my CAI time, but had no time or opportunity to study it.

I find the flow of history quite fascinating. I have been listening to lectures detailing church history from the Patristic Fathers down to William of Ockham and the Nominalists so far.

It has got me thinking that I really should be purchasing some books written by and written about the church fathers and church history.

I already have

1) The complete works of Josephus.
2) From Christ to Constantine by Eusebius
3) The History of the English Church by Bede


So far on my list of "must buys" are;

1) Complete compilation of the Apostolic Fathers
2) City of God by Augustine
3) Confessions by Augustine
4) Sentences by Peter Lombard
5) Shorter Summa by Thomas Acquinas


In the period I have been sudying so far (100AD to about 1300AD), are there any MUST READS - either original source materails or excellent history books detailing the period?

My main aim is to get the "big picture", and join the dots so to speak. From my superficial understanding so far, it would seem that Tertullian would be someone what would appeal. But are there absolute turning points in Biblical understanding that I should be reading? Maybe something from the Greek Fathers? Or Justin Martyr? Or the Desert Fathers? Anothers that I thought might be interesting is Ambrose of Milan.

Once I have a greater grasp of this period of church history, I feel I will be better equipped to delve into the likes of Wycliffe, Hus, Luther and the reformation.

One of the main problems with the CAI I believe is a lack of knoweldge of church history. In my opinion, their view point actually is Pelagian in practice, even if they deny it to be the case.

I tend to lean to Arminiansim on the whole, as I agree with man's free will to accept or reject the grace of God. So reading Augustine will be an intersting excercise!

Anyway Ian, some good pointers would be appreciated.

I have a bunch of books to read already, so my purchases would probably not be in the immediate future. My Youth Group are beggining to argue about the "Emerging Church", and so I have books by Rob Bell and Brian MacLaren to read, as well books refuting their position. Do you know much about this subject? Or is this purely a North American movement? If you do, I would appreciate any insight you may have.

Thanks Ian, and God bless.

George.

Good morning, George.

Kudos to you for not just sitting on your backside and whinging like some! A noted exegete once said, "...one can't really aspire to be a competent exegete unless one is also a competent Church historian", a quip which I fully endorse [EMOTE]smiley-laughing.gif[/EMOTE]

Okay, here are some of my views: (1) the most important period to study, post the 1st century of course,  is from the 2nd through 5th centuries. This was the time when most of the major issues relating to orthodoxy were thrashed out. Consequently, you'll need to read many of the primary materials: Eusebius, the Church Fathers, etc. These can be purchased in several convenient impressions, notable among them being the various 'Penguin' publications. (2) the second most important period to study incorporates the lead-up to, the conduct of, and the reaction against the Reformation. Again, the primary works are fundamental: Luther, Calvin, the Catholic responses, etc.

With respect to Church Fathers the following are crucial: (1) Irenaeus, (2) Clement, (3) Origen, (4) Athanasius, (5) Tertullian, (6) Cyprian, (7) the Capodocians, and (8) Justin Martyr. This group is broadly representative of the ebb and flow of the development of orthodox theology during the period, but of course, represents a massive volume of writings! Best that you pace yourself! [EMOTE]smiley-wink.gif[/EMOTE]

With respect to some very solid, introductory texts, the following should prove serviceable: Everett Fergussons, Church History: from Christ to Pre-Reformation; the Baker History of the Church series; and especially, the Penguin History of the Church series.

And finally, with respect to your Arminian quip: you will soon discover, I am sure, the reason why over four fifths of the Christian Church doesn't subscribe to that particular philosophy! [EMOTE]smiley-wink.gif[/EMOTE]

Blessings,

Ian
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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