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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowing where we came from, December 16, 2000
This review is from: Early Christian Doctrines: Revised Edition (Paperback)
One of the problems with the modern evangelical Christian church is that very few of its members know where they came from. History was reviled by many of us in school, so there are those who would make the mistake of ignoring history. The problem with this outlook is that, as someone famous once said, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. That is true in the historic Christian faith. Our spiritual forefathers worked hard to distinguish orthodoxy from heresy. From the person of Christ and the nature of God to baptism, Kelly explains what the early church fathers believed. He is quite honest about those early debates, and he shares with us the orthodox conclusions. Today, when we deal with heresy, we should feel free to see what those before us believed. Perhaps this will save a lot of heartache later on when deciding if a church is truly Christian or not.
One minor complaint. The footnotes are hard to read/understand. Most of us will have to take Kelly at his word, as he is the expert. But trying to understand these notes made me almost dizzy. Finally, I point out that the index is a great tool. Even if a person does not read this book from cover to cover--it can get a little dull for some of us, all that history!--the index makes this a wonderful resource when studying certain Christian doctrines. So, for instance, if you want to know what the early church felt about baptism, there are several dozen places in this book to look up. This makes it valuable on an available bookshelf.
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