5 Stars Out Of 5
excellent intro into the lives of the early Christians
March 9, 2016
If you are curious about what the early Christians might have been like and how they practiced their faith, this book may be a good one to start with. The author, Everett Ferguson, provides small chunks of writing from early Christians dating 100-300AD. Each chapter represents a different theme: baptism, Christian assemblies, early services, love feast (potluck), early prayers (my fave), early hymns, Lord's Supper, women in the early church, organization of the early church, discipline, Christian living, acts of mercy. 18 topics in all. After the author provides a handful of early Christian quotes, he discusses what it might mean in those times. I really liked the author's discussions, definitely helped give me a clearer picture. Though the book is a bit academic, I was able to follow along just fine. The only place I got stuck is the chapter on the Lord's Supper. The quotes were clear enough, but the discussion confused me. I figure because the Lord's Supper is a beautiful mystery, it can confound us when we try to understand it rationally. At first I came away confused after reading the women in the early church chapter. Some early Christians wrote of men and women being equal spiritually, but then other writers were appalled to hear women baptizing new Christians. I found that so helpful to understand, that even today, we are presented with everyone's opinion on how to practice our Christian faith, and some of the people giving those opinions have cemented their opinions into very firm dogma. Not so with the Early Christians, they were more fluid. They had the Scriptures, Paul's letters, they practiced agape (love), they had their faith, they had the Holy Spirit, they had a handful of elders to help guide them, and that was it. No dogma. That came later, after 300AD. Very helpful book to get that understanding. You can purchase this book at Christian Book online for a reasonable price.