This book sets a lofty goal, to show that the congregations founded by the Apostles after the ascension of Christ lead directly to the Baptist church of this day. I happen to agree with that assertion, but it is not proved in this book. There are enormous gaps of time that are not even mentioned, and the entire basis for the claims of descendance seem to be that this group or that was persecuted the most by another group or groups.
I was hoping to find a book that would reference ancient texts, historical documents, archeological finds, etc., that showed how there had always been a group of Christians who believed:
- Salvation is open to all
- Salvation is gained by belief in the sacrifice made by Christ
- Salvation is not of works (although works are a natural outward expression of salvation)
- Baptism is by immersion
- Baptism is neither necessary nor sufficient for salvation
- The Bible and its clear, literal teachings are the final authority for the Church
- Congregational autonomy
- That every Christian is a priest commanded to, "preach the Gospel to every creature"
- That every Christian may approach the throne of the Most High directly as joint heirs with Christ
This book fails to present any evidence for that progression. Yes, there is a long history of persecution of Christians by other Christians, but this book does not present any evidence that this was because of one group holding to the original teachings of Jesus and the Apostles.