Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Christ in the Early Church
08/02/2007 - Jeff DownsA new book that will be worth your time:
For Us and for Our Salvation: The Doctrine of Christ in the Early Church , by Stephen J. Nichols (Crossway, Aug. 2007).
Table of Contents:
“Who Do People Say That I Am?”: Christ’s Crucial Question
1 - In the Beginning Was the Word: Christ in the Early Centuries
2 - In Their Own Words: Select Documents from the Early Centuries
3 - The Triumph of Athanasius: The Battle for Christ at Nicea
4 - In Their Own Words: Select Documents from the Fourth Century
5 - The Wisdom of Leo the Great: The Battle for Christ at Chalcedon
6 - In Their Own Words: Select Documents from the Fifth Century
Jesus: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Appendix 1: The Doctrine of Christ in Scripture
Appendix 2: A Guide for Reading the Church Fathers
Here is an excerpt from the introduction:
The early church fathers wrestled with the same problems presented by The Da Vinci Code phenomenon and its fanciful speculations about Jesus. They wrestled with the same problems presented by Islam and its adamant denial of the deity of Christ. And they wrestled with the same problems presented by the scholars working in the Jesus Seminar or in gnostic texts like the Gospel of Judas who quickly dismiss the four canonical Gospels as God’s true revelation to humanity. In the days of the early church, the names of the opponents were different from those faced by us today, but the underlying issues bear a striking resemblance. When the church fathers responded with the orthodox view of Christ, they did the church of all ages a great service.
and one more...
The early church was right in spending so much time and effort on the doctrine of Christ. They were right to contend that Christ is the God-man, very God of very God and at the same time truly human with flesh and blood. They were right to contend that Christ is two natures conjoined in one person without division, separation, confusion, or mixture, to use the language of the Chalcedonian Creed. They were also right to contend that the gospel collapses without this belief. In the words of Athanasius and the Nicene Creed, Christ is the God-man “for us and for our salvation.”
By the way, if you are not familiar with Stephen Nichols, he and James White spoke at a conference together a few years ago. The audio for that conference is available here.
Nichols is also the author of the following books:
The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World (Crossway), Heaven on Earth: Capturing Jonathan Edwards's Vision of Living in Between (Crossway), An Absolute Sort of Certainty: The Holy Spirit and the Apologetics of Jonathan Edwards (P&R), J. Gresham Machen A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought (Crossway), among others.