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A History of Christian Thought: Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Council of Chalcedon (Revised Edition) [Paperback]

By Justo L. Gonzalez (Author)
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Item description for A History of Christian Thought: Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Council of Chalcedon (Revised Edition) by Justo L. Gonzalez...

This is Volume 1 of the acclaimed, three-volume set which has been completely revised to provide a readable, definitive, and completely updated treatment of the evolution of Christian thought from the early church to the great flowering of Christianity in the Middle Ages, through the Reformation and the Enlightenment, to the twentieth century. Volume 1 includes, From the Beginnings to the Council of Chalcedon. The other two volumes in the set are sold separately. Volume 2, From Augustine to the Eve of the Reformation; Volume 3, From the Protestant Reformation to the Twentieth Century. Justo L. Gonzalez has added a major new chapter on the twentieth century, has eliminated all sexist language, and - in light of recent scholarship - has completely revised the text and updated the bibliographies.

Publishers Description
A treatment of the evolution of Christian thought from the birth of Christ, to the Apostles, to the early church, to the great flowering of Christianity across the world. The first volume introduces the central figures and debates culminating in the Councils of Nicea and Chalcedon among which the theologies of the early church were hammered out.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Abingdon Press
Pages   402
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 1987
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0687171822  
ISBN13  9780687171828  

Availability  72 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 06:20.
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More About Justo L. Gonzalez

Justo L. Gonzalez Justo L. González, a retired member of the Río Grande Conference of the United Methodist Church, went to college and seminary in Cuba before receiving postgraduate degrees from Yale University. He taught at the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico and Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. He played a key part in the founding of the Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana and of the Hispanic Summer Program. He was also the first executive director of the Hispanic Theological Initiative. Justo has published more than one hundred books, as well as hundreds of articles, and edited the journal Apuntes for twenty years.

Justo L. Gonzalez currently resides in Decatur, in the state of Georgia.

Justo L. Gonzalez has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Abingdon Essential Guides
  2. Armchair Theologians
  3. Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible
  4. Good News for the Millennium
  5. History of Christian Thought
  6. Jesus Collection
  7. Know Your Bible (Spanish)
  8. Three Months
  9. Three Months with

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about A History of Christian Thought: Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Council of Chalcedon (Revised Edition)?

Protestant review of Catholic Doctrine  Sep 11, 2007
First I wish to say that my one star rating is very generous and is only due to the fact that the ratings do not go any lower. Gonzalez's book at times is nothing short of an attack on Catholic doctrine: which is fine if that is what you want to do, but please, at the very least, do not attempt to hide this behind a facade of an honest discourse on the history of Christian thought.

I find it ironic that a Protestant can analyze Catholic history and put Protestant spins on what is clearly Catholic doctrine. The book is filled with tons and tons of sourced references in his footnotes, but there are few qoutes; many times he makes statements that are either twisted to suit his own point of view, which he admits in the preface, or flat out lies. For instance, he states that there is no reference to the Church of Rome as the pre-eminent Church of the Christian faith until the third or fourth century--at the earliest; but he is mistaken; if one turns to the "so-called Apostolic Fathers," (his term, not mine), we see that as early as the second century other Churches were writing to the ROMAN CHURCH for questions and clarifications concerning doctrine. Though there may be no mention of the Church in Rome as first among equals, the very fact that other bishops were writing to Rome for clarification is evidence enough as to its position in the early Church. Furthermore, his animosity towards the Catholic Church is evidenced by his refusal to call the bishop of Rome "Pope." True enough, the Pope is in fact the bishop of Rome, but let's call it like it is: before the Reformation there was only the Catholic Church, and the honest historian cannot deny this; needless to say, Gonzalez is not an honest historian: he predicates Protestant and heretical interpretations upon a time when this type of "theology" did not exist--an anachronism.

If you really want to know what the early Church and its doctrines and problems was really like, the honest reader would be better of with William Jurgens "The Faith of the Early Fathers." This text will help you judge for yourself as to the beliefs and doctrines of the early Church. Also, Copleston's (sp?) "A History of Philosophy" in 9 volumes will be very helpful. Here is a true historian. Volumes 1 and 2 deal with philosophers beginning with the pre-Socratics and going through Duns Scotus. Unlike Gonzalez, Copleston does not interpret the writings and beliefs of these philosophers unless necessary, that is, when there is perhaps some debate on the issue, and even then, he admits, unlike Gonzalez, that this is his interpretation and even presents you with other interpretations that may be just as viable given the evidence the scholar is basing his interpretation on. Also, Copleston's sources are very accessible, 90% of the time or better, they come from the philosopher he is presenting. Gonzalez on the other hand rarely sources the philosopher or theologian, but will use some obscure text in Spanish, French, Russian, German, or what have you (some of this is understandable considering he was originally writing in Spanish).

Nonetheless, this text is lacking and many times misrepresents or flat out twists the beliefs of the early Church to suit Sr. Gonzalez's own view of the way things were, or more accurately, the way things should have been.

Good introductory text with significant detail in places   Aug 4, 2004
Justo Gonzoles' comprehensive perspective on the historical development of doctrine can be both inspiring and overwhelming. His attempt to summarize the major movements and developments in the first four centuries of the church in Volume one was more successful than the following synthesis of a thousand years in fewer pages. The early church and ecumenical councils develop in a manner linear enough that are amenable to this sort of treatment. Gonzales' text is readable and could, at times, even be classified as fun (rare for a history of doctrine text). He does a particularly good job with the Apostolic Fathers and the early heresies.
Useful introduction and resource  Aug 31, 2002
In this first volume on the development of Christian thought, Gonzalez outlines the main currents of theology and how they progressed during the first ~450 years after Christ. He begins with an interesting look into the religious culture of the Jews and the Graeco-Romans around the time when Jesus Christ came into the world. He moves on to describe the writings of the "Apostolic Fathers," some of the oldest Christian literature written after the New Testament, and then progresses into the main stream of the book. The main course of the book is devoted to discussing the thought of the major theologians in the first 5 centuries, and how various controversies circulated through the church. Gonzalez explains how the church handled these issues, and the resulting theology that came from responding to various heresies. A great deal of emphasis is placed on the development of trinitarian doctrine and the corresponding refutation of Arianism, and then the later Christological controversies enter in during the latter portion of the book. There is certainly a great deal that the church today can learn from looking at its past, and this book offers a good overview of the main issues in Christianity during those early years. One might find themselves surprised that some of the same issues are still discussed today, reminding us that Solomon was right when he said "There is nothing new under the sun."
Justo Gonzalez - Theology for everyone  Dec 21, 2000
This series of books does an excellent job of laying out the issues that confronted Christianity during the first few hundred years. Gonzalez writes in a very accessible style, and tries to keep the technical language to a minimum.

No matter what your exposure to the issues, this book provides an excellent summary and introduction, and is one that I recommend to friends who need a basic grounding in eary Christian thought.

Gonzalez presents a generally balanced view, though it seems that the "orthodox" position is generally portrayed in the best light in most cases, though not to such an extent that the book is heavily biased.

Overall, an excellent introduction and summary. I strongly recommend it.

A good beginning overview. . .  Aug 11, 2000
This book is a good introduction to the great theological issues which arose during the first 4 1/2 centuries of Christianity. The material is offered in a balanced, non polemic fashion, and would be useful for Catholics and Protestants alike.

The book is useful for the college undergraduate and for the informed layperson seeking deeper information. It is probably not a good choice for graduate level or seminary studies.


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