As Christianity becomes less dominant in Western culture, we will increasingly have much to learn from the theology of the early Christians, who lived and bore witness to Christ in an empire they didn’t control.
If you need to be convinced of the relevance of the early Christians for today, I highly recommend Alan Kreider’s book The Patient Ferment of the Early Church. If, on the other hand, you want to immerse yourself in early Christian theology, here are ten classic from the first four centuries of the church that are available as FREE ebooks!
First and Second Apology
|Justin Martyr, an early Christian apologist, is regarded as the foremost exponent of the Divine Word, the Logos, in the second century. He was martyred, alongside some of his students, and is venerated as saint by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church,and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
Most of his works are lost, but two apologies and a dialogue did survive. The First Apology, his most well known text, passionately defends the morality of the Christian life, and provides various ethical and philosophical arguments to convince the Roman emperor, Antoninus, to abandon the persecution of the Church. Further, he also indicates, as St. Augustine would later regarding the “true religion” that predated Christianity, that the “seeds of Christianity” (manifestations of the Logos acting in history) actually predated Christ’s incarnation. This notion allows him to claim many historical Greek philosophers (including Socrates and Plato), in whose works he was well studied, as unknowing Christians. (via Wikipedia)
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Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith
"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior
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