This clear and concise text helps readers grasp the doctrines of the Christian faith considered basic from the earliest days of Christianity. Ronald Heine, an internationally known expert on early Christian theology, developed this book from a course he teaches that has been refined through many years of classroom experience. Heine primarily uses the classical Christian doctrines of the Nicene Creed to guide students into the essentials of the faith.
This broadly ecumenical work will interest students of church history or theology as well as adult Christian education classes in church settings. Sidebars identify major personalities and concepts, and each chapter concludes with discussion questions and suggestions for further reading.
Ronald E. Heine (PhD, University of Illinois) is professor of Bible and Christian ministry at Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Oregon. He is the author of Reading the Old Testament with the Ancient Church and several books on Origen.
Heine has provided the beginning student of theology with a reliable and readable guide to Nicene Christianity. This book will help cement the turn toward patristic orthodoxy that is taking place in evangelical thought.
associate professor of theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
In Classical Christian Doctrine, Heine draws from the obvious breadth and depth of his many years of research to create a manual for beginning theologians. Here is a crisp and accessible text eminently suitable to introduce undergraduate students to the essentials of early Christian thought and of the enduring truths of Christian doctrine.
J. I. Packer Professor of Theology, Regent College
If you are searching for a solid and solidifying introduction to the doctrines of early Christianity, this is it. Ronald Heine helps those of us who feel unsettled within our transitory age to find some steadiness of faith within the classical and foundational. This is a book for those who think beginnings might be important to beliefs, who think antiquity might enrich the contemporary, and who, because they don't like to free-fall, appreciate the groundwork.
D. Jeffrey Bingham,
department chair and professor of theological studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
Ronald Heine has provided a fresh and invaluable introduction to the complex body of early Christian doctrine for an audience of nonspecialists. With his careful organization of the issues and proposed discussion questions, a broad array of themes, including Trinity, Christology, salvation, and eschatological hope, all come into sharp focus and are made accessible for Christians anxious to enrich and deepen their understanding of the church's faith and their own identity in relation to Christians past.
Dean E. Walker Professor of Church History, Emmanuel Christian Seminary
One couldn't ask for a clearer or more succinct account of the process whereby classical Christian doctrines were articulated. Shaped by the clauses of the Nicene Creed, it brilliantly sketches out how the early church fathers debated and appropriated scriptural themes. This sharp focus and the judicious selection of key elements in what can seem a dauntingly complex story make this an excellent initial text. Also of value are telling quotations from original sources in clear English translation and good questions to make beginning students think hard about doctrinal questions.
emeritus professor of theology, University of Birmingham; author of From Nicaea to Chalcedon
Ron Heine offers his usual wise words for the beginner in Christian theology. Although written in simple language and sentence structure, this book comes out of broad knowledge and depth of study. It is much needed in an age adrift in a sea of religious confusion and uncertainty. Classical Christian Doctrine may also provide an introductory text for the early period in the history of doctrine.
professor of church history emeritus, Abilene Christian University
Contemporary Protestants greatly benefit from discovering how much our faith can be traced back to the wisdom of the ancient church. In Ronald Heine's fine introduction to central Christian doctrines, he unpacks the true 'catholicity' (universality) and 'classical' nature of our faith, inviting us not only to recognize our debt to the past but also to grow in our theological understanding in the present.
Kelly M. Kapic,
professor of theological studies, Covenant College
Here at last is an introductory theology text that gracefully inducts beginning students into Christian doctrines deriving from the Nicene Creed. Undergraduates as well as seminarians will meet the major minds and texts that shaped classical Christian theology and emerge equipped to engage the intricacies of Christianity's doctrinal struggles through this most lucid portal, which is replete with textual excerpts, explanatory glosses, and accessible though not overly simplified presentations of hotly debated questions.
Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
In recent decades there has been a noticeable resurgence of interest in the early church and its classical faith. In Classical Christian Doctrine, Ronald Heine provides a very useful resource for those seeking a travel guide to this intriguing ecclesiastical terrain. Using the topics posed by the Nicene Creed as a heuristic framework, Heine expertly explores a range of theological issues and debates that eventually came to define historic orthodox Christianity. A wonderful choice for an undergraduate textbook.
Paul Rhodes Eddy,
professor of biblical and theological studies, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota