The Early Church

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Member Reviews

As I read “The Early Church: St. Peter, the Apostles, and Martyrs,” by James L. Papandrea, I was reading an exciting family history. Names I have heard many times became attached to stories of the real people who were part of the Church’s beginnings.

Papandrea’s background is theologically rich and deep, yet, “The Early Church” was very approachable, The author has a sense of humor and allows his personality to shine through, as well. Despite the complex history of the early church, this account was easy to follow due to the way the book was organized chronologically. Readers will easily see the cause and effect that is such a natural part of history.

Within this concise history, the author includes the heresies the early church had to overcome, as well as the major players in the ups and downs of the early church, including martyrs, early popes, philosophers, and politicians. What stood out the most to me was the way these people and the hurdles they faced came alive.

“The Early Church,”  provides a deeper understanding of how we moved from Jesus and the Apostles to the Church as it is today. “The Early Church” is just the beginning of the “Reclaiming Catholic History” series. I look forward to seeing how the books in the rest of the series build on this informative, and at the same time entertaining book.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the Church Fathers and the first 3 centuries of Church History. I give it a hearty 5 stars and look forward to reviewing the 2nd book in the series, “The Church and the Roman Empire (301–490): Constantine, Councils, and the Fall of Rome” by Mike Aquilina. “The Early Church” will be released on November 22, 2019. Until then you can pre-order your copy so that you get it as soon as it is available.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ave Maria Press for providing me with an ARC of ”The Early Church” in exchange for an honest review.
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Most of us know little about the early years of the Church. We know there were persecutions, we know Constantine made Christianity legal in the Roman empire. Those of us who remember some church history might remember a few Popes, something about the fate of the Apostles and, perhaps a heresy of two.

The fact that we know little about this important time is part of what m akes Papandrea's short book so wonderful. In an engaging easy-to-read style we'll learn the facts: how the Church grew from the Apostles, how the New Testament grew from documents circulated in Apostolic times, and how the Sacraments became codified. Heresies are covered clearly, showing how they came to be, where they went wrong and how orthodox doctrine came to be defined because of the battle against them.

In addition to a great main narrative, the author also tackles many questions we and other Christians ask about this time.

Written in clear language accessible to high schoolers and above, this is an essential introduction too Church history.
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