Item description for Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction by Bryan Litfin...
Overview Offers a clearly written, accessible introduction to ten church fathers Shows how the early church writers were saturated in Scripture Requires no previous knowledge of the patristic period Augustine, Tertullian, Origen. For too many Christians such names are abstract, one-dimensional legends, innocuous vioces from antiquity no longer relevant to modern needs and concerns. However, a closer look at these church fathers reveals writers whose reflections on the apostolic teachings edify all generations of believers. Bryan Liftin helps readers understand the fathers as individuals who cared deeply about preserving the core tenets of the Christian faith, and debunks misconceptions about their religious status and treatment of Scripture. An unveiling of these ten personalities demonstrates how much the fathers can teach us about the doctrines of our faith and the enduring community of which we are a part.
Publishers Description Augustine. Tertullian. Origen. For too many Christians such names are abstract, one-dimensional legends, innocuous voices from antiquity no longer relevant to modern needs and concerns. However, a closer look at these church fathers reveals writers whose reflections on the apostolic teachings edify all generations of believers. Bryan Liftin helps readers understand the fathers as individuals who cared deeply about preserving the core tenets of the Christian faith, and debunks misconceptions about their religious status and treatment of Scripture. An unveiling of these ten personalities demonstrates how much the fathers can teach us about the doctrines of our faith and the enduring community of which we are a part.
Citations And Professional Reviews Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction by Bryan Litfin has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal Supplements - 11/15/2007 page 22
Christianity Today - 03/01/2008 page 81
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Studio: Brazos Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9" Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Release Date Nov 12, 2007
Publisher Baker Publishing Group
ISBN 1587431963 ISBN13 9781587431968
Availability 0 units.
More About Bryan Litfin
BRYAN LITFIN grew up in Dallas, TX; Oxford, England; and Memphis, TN. He earned a degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee, a master's degree in historical theology at Dallas Seminary, and a Ph.D. in the field of ancient church history at the University of Virginia. He now serves as Professor of Theology at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. Bryan lives with his wife and two teenaged children in Wheaton, IL, and is a member of College Church in Wheaton.
Reviews - What do customers think about Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction?
Bridge Over Troubled Church History Jun 5, 2008
Americans are notoriously ignorant of the past, and American Christians are no exception. What little people do claim to know are often distortions of the past and are generally two-dimensional. Church history, moreover, can actually be discouraging to Evangelicals who might at best peer through the scratched lens of fragmented history and see only abusive popes, intrigue, politics, and schism.
Yet Dr. Litfin has built a bridge over that admittedly troubled Church history to bring out the humanity of those brave believers of the nascent Church. No longer should we be content to choose between stale academic treatments or pithy portraits produced by self-serving and ignorant authors. Dr. Litfin introduces the reader to real people with real struggles while simultaneously educating the Evangelical enthusiast as to the larger canvas of the impact these key individuals had on the development of Christianity. Moreover, reading this with an open mind will help Evangelicals work through the tension of a messy Church history that nevertheless brought out courage and faithfulness of men and women during times of great challenge to Christianity's very survival. What a message of hope for us in our day!
As other reviewers note, the language is accessible and fresh, though one should not dismiss its historical depth; on the contrary, the author displays a persistent commitment to authenticity and accuracy. The professional and layman would do well to add this to their personal library.
Great read Apr 3, 2008
One of those books you don't want to put down. An easy read, very informative. I'm now looking for more books like it.
a brilliant broad swathe through the ancient Xtn fathers Jan 13, 2008
Bryan Liftin has written a very inclusive and dynamic book about the early church fathers, an excellent narrative of historical, biographical and theological themes. Full disclosure: I am not an evangelical Christian so I cannot comment from that perspective whether the book fulfills a need for that community. However, as one studying more about Eastern Orthodox Christianity I can say without fear of contradiction that this book provides anyone interested in the origins and development of the Christian ideas and beliefs which are still current in modern times a broad and intelligent introduction. Liftin covers the trail blazed by the early Fathers in a linear approach, looking both at the history of the life of each one but also how each develops the important articles of faith and determination of the sacred texts from their predecessors. One can read how the theology of the Trinity,for example, accepted by almost all Christian faiths of today was painstakingly developed and resolved in a sometimes conflicting and contradictory manner. The reader is readily engaged by Lifkin in this pursuit and can follow a path made very clear despite so many fits and stumbles during those early days. You can easily see how dedicated the Fathers were to the insistence on truth and true knowledge and understanding of Christ as a living person and as the transcendent eternal son of the Father. All of us who have believed in Christianity owe a great debt to the precision and life-long dedication of these remarkable historical figures and their writings concerning the true faith. Lifkin spends very little time proselytizing about the evangelical Christian's perspective, which really adds much to the fact that I think anyone of Christian belief will find this work enlightening, well documented, and 'orthodox', meaning the one truth unchanged as it was given to the Fathers from the Apostles. There's no question that he is opening a new door for fundamentalist Christians by acceding to the idea that the tradition which was given to the Church and maintained through the early Fathers is extremely relevant to evangelicals as it is to Eastern Orthodox and the Church of Rome and its various off-shoots such as the Anglican, Lutheran and Calvinist faiths.
Christianity and Western Culture Dec 17, 2007
Dr. Litfin's "Getting to Know the Church Fathers" is an excellent introductory text that fulfills exactly what the title proclaims. Litfin provides a intriguing historical accounts of men who protected the early Christian church. He accurately describes the church Fathers without making them righteous as he digs out both their saintly and sinful deeds.
Dr. Litfin teaches an introductory class titled Christianity and Western Culture at Moody Bible Institute that covers the majority of the content of his book. This past semester I had the privilege of being in this class. As I read "Getting to Know the Church Fathers" I felt as if I was once again in the same room with Dr. Litfin as he teaches not from a heady pious standpoint, but from a humble, learning stance. His goal is not to overwhelm or guilt but to reveal those who have gone before us, who have paved the way, and to call us to the same standard.
If you cannot take Christianity and Western Culture read this book.
"An Introduction ..." Nov 28, 2007
Dr. Litfin's Book "Getting to Know the Church Fathers", overall is a helpful overview of a topic that modern Christians know very little about. He sheds important light on some of the doctrinal disputes came about, and how these figures were influential in shaping Christianity as we know it today. Another part of this book which i particularly enjoyed was that Dr. Litfin included short sections of writings from the church fathers at the end of each chapter and lists suggestions where one can learn more about the particular church father.
Dr. Litfin writes in a very plain style and is very easy to read. However, one of the downfalls in being so easy to read is that in some cases the book becomes to feel like it is not especially scholarly. This is demonstrated by his introduction to the church fathers in which he gave short modern anecdotes which i found to be superfluous. Another minor issue that he had with this book was it seemed to me that Dr. Litfin skimmed over or ignored altogether some of the blemishes that these Church Fathers had.
Overall, this book is definitely worth reading. Dr. Litfin has indeed blessed the church with this work.