- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (September 1, 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780140444759
- ISBN-13: 978-0140444759
- ASIN: 0140444750
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 68 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers Paperback – September 1, 1987
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Text: English, Greek (translation)
About the Author
Andrew Louth, born in Lincolnshire and brought up in the north of England, studied Theology at the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh. From 1970 to 1985 he was Fellow and Chaplain of Worcester College, Oxford, and University Lecturer in Theology, teaching prinipally Patristics. In 1985 he became Reader in History at Goldsmith's College, London. He is the author of The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition (1981), Discerning the Mystery: An Essay on the Nature of Theology (1983) and Denys the Areopagite (1989). He has also edited Early Christian Writings for the Penguin Classics.
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As far as the content is concerned, these are must read texts for Christians, especially in the West. They provide a peek into what Christianity originally was...not what it has become as reflected in modern Evangelicalism. I think that there is no true Christan who can read these works and not be convicted and challenged.
After reading this I'm moving on to Eusebius's 'Ecclesiastical History' in the hope of more completely filling in the picture of Christ's Church in its earliest days. I'm finding that there is a profundity and treasure in the old that simply has been lost in most quarters of the Church today. I'm also beginning to wonder if the reason that there are not many martyrs in the West, is because there is not much actual Christianity. Surely the residual peace from a now waining Christian culture is partly the reason (and something to be thankful for!), but deep down, I think many professing Christians struggle with the thought of actually living and rendering this kind of ultimate witness to Christ. And, I think that this is because so many haven't actually found the living Christ or are not sure about their own individual faith (another matter for another time).
Reading the writings of these first post-Apostolic Fathers is to enter a world of belief and confidence of faith that speaks of truly knowing Christ as the resurrected Lord of all the earth. These men--these martyrs--knew Him and the power of His resurrection, thus desiring to be conformed to Him even in His death. There is nothing here that resembles the "your best life now", "Blessed!" type religion that passes for Christianity in today's affluent West.
This is a raw look at the true Church of the Savior of the world. Read it and be ready to be rocked. Read it and be ready to be edified and roused and surprised by a depth of faith that you (or at least some of us) have not yet experienced.
I will concur with several of the other reviewers that there are other writings, such as the Shepard of Hermas, that are perhaps even more poignant and valuable in a study of early Christian writing, however, this collection is excellent and belongs in any library where this subject or similar subjects are contemplated and studied.
These are just a few. There are many, and while you can usually figure out the meaning, the mistakes are distracting.