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The Fathers Know Best Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Catholic Answers (November 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933919345
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933919348
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

We are particularly blessed by this release of Jimmy Akin's superbly compiled synopsis of the writings of the early Church Fathers. There are other works, but Akin's finely selected and categorized collection provides a far more accessible introduction to the early Christians --Marcus Grodi, President of The Coming Home Network and host of EWTN's The Journey Home

More About the Author

Jimmy Akin was born in Texas and grew up nominally Protestant. At age 20 he experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, Jimmy started an intensive study of the Bible, but the more he immersed himself in Scripture, the more he found it to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he was compelled in conscience to enter the Catholic Church, which he did in 1992. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in the book Surprised By Truth.

Akin is a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a member on the Catholic Answers Speakers Bureau, a weekly guest on the global radio program, Catholic Answers Live, a contributing editor for Catholic Answers Magazine, and the author of numerous publications, including the books Mass Confusion, The Salvation Controversy, The Fathers Know Best, and Mass Revision.

His personal blog is www.jimmyakin.org.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 41 customer reviews
The majority of the book is broken up into major topics and then sections within those topics.
Jeffrey Miller
Excellent summaries of the early church fathers, heretical groups and early church doctrine of the Christian faith.
Maka Veli
This book proves to be very well done, and professional in the way the information was obviously researched.
Daniel Davidenas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Miller VINE VOICE on January 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is more than just a collection of quotes from the Church Fathers. The first major section contains a lot of information on the Church Fathers and related subjects. Ably and fully answered is the definition of what the definition is of a Church Father in the first place compared to who would come under the column of an ecclesial writer. A list of the Church Fathers along with short biographies and the time frame is provided along with other useful lists concerning the various councils and heresies from this period. Some of the stories included in the biographies are quite interesting and it is obvious care was taken to provide just information that could be historically verified.

The majority of the book is broken up into major topics and then sections within those topics. These sections such as the Trinity, Primacy of Peter, Women's Ordination contain an introduction followed by multiple quotes which are sorted by earlier to later Church Fathers. Where applicable along with these quotes are also listed any canons from Church Councils pertaining to the subject. The introductions are very good and give a good summary of the subject from scripture, tradition, and magisterial teaching.

For the most part the quotes are taken from a publicly available Protestant translation of the Church Fathers. So this is perfect for apologetics work and this makes it easy for others to see the full context of the original writings. In some cases fair use quotes of Catholic translations are used because they were left out of the aforementioned Protestant translation.

This is really one of the best references concerning the Church Fathers in that it is very easy to find information on the topic you want and their are multiple indexes in the back to make this easier.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Being Real on February 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is packed full of facts and statements from the Early Church Fathers, bringing to light clear and convincing evidence that the church Christ established upon his apostles 2,000 years ago is the Catholic Church.

Mr. Akin (author) identifies his work as being more akin to that of a reference book. I can attest to this as I mistakenly chose to read it like a novel (front to back) only to find myself overwhelmed by information, causing a circuit overload. However, in my second attempt (having changed course) I found it masterfully done, amazingly insightful and a fascinating journey in the truth.

My personal recommendation when reading this historical collection is to begin with the short introduction titled "About This Book" followed by selecting topics that most interest you under (Part Two) of the Contents. Then, if your desire more precise details on a particular Father, history, geographical area, councils, writings, heresies, etc... select from the list of subjects under (Part One) of the Contents.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Biedrik on June 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book with an interest in getting more knowledgeable about the Church Fathers. For this purpose it is good, and yet it isn't. This book really is there to provide material for Catholic apologists to demonstrate the fact that the early Church was Catholic. This the book does admirably, covering the various different parts of Catholic dogma that are most hotly contested today, varying from abortion to asking saints for intercession. For each topic there's a bunch of patristic quotes, going from earliest to latest. This provides an excellent way to be able to quickly find this sort of stuff. However, this book really should be used only as a starting point for studying the Church Fathers. The book really is crammed full of the various quotes (which are excellent), so unfortunately Jimmy Akin didn't really have much room to get too much into the various fathers. Yeah, he does give a pretty good basic overview, but when you compare it to some other introductions to the fathers such as Pope Benedict's Church Fathers, it pales in comparison. Still, I can't really fault Jimmy Akin for that too much, as a lot of information did have to be crammed into this book. However, I still have to take off a star because the advertising gives the impression that there's a lot more than just a basic overview of the different fathers here. Overall though this is an outstanding book if you have any doubts as to whether or not Catholic dogma really is from the early Church. It's elegantly designed, and an easy read. I heartily recommend it.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Chad E. Griffith on January 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written in a way that makes information about the Church fathers easy to find. It also grants easy access to information on topics of interest from then and now, as well as heresies.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Brian on February 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic resource when studying topically based Church teachings. It is very well organized, straight forward and approachable. You do not need to be a theologian or scholar to receive a significant boost to your faith. This book needs to be in your collection!

As always, pray for Christian unity!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Edward on February 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a well-organized and interesting collection of writings of the early Church Fathers (though of course it contains a great deal of other information beyond quotes from early Christian authors). Because the writings are organized by topic you can go to the area in which you are most interested and see what the Fathers thought about that subject.

Jimmy Akin did a great job of picking writings that clearly highlight the Fathers' views of the subjects in the relevant sections of the book. I was pretty amazed at how clearly the Fathers articulated their views on certain issues. This led me to see, for the first time in some cases, how closely the Catholic Church's teachings match the teachings of the early Church, especially in the areas of the Eucharist, the primacy of Peter, apostolic succession, and church unity (i.e., having one church), among other things.

There were a few areas where I would have liked to have seen more material (such as in dealing with intercession of saints), but my opinion of the book as a whole was not lessened, and I believe that it was, overall, an excellent book.
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