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.
Table of Contents:
Appendix 1: Reading the Fathers: A Beginner’s Guide
Appendix 2: Reflections on Jaroslav Pelikan, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600)
Michael A. G. Haykin (ThD, University of Toronto) is professor of church history and biblical spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He has authored or edited more than twenty-five books.
“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, Beeson Divinity School
“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