The Good Race. History of the Early Church

D. Becht

History of the Early Church

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The amazing history of the Early Church:

Table of Contents

The Good Race
  1. Beginnings
  1. Palestine: Meeting Place of Greek and Aramaic
    • Alexander the Great
    • Greek and Aramaic Heart of the Early Church
Spread of the Faith
  1. Jewish Roots of the Faith
  2. Jewish or Gentile Church?
    • Spread of the Church
    • Peter and Cornelius
    • Crisis
    • Isolation of Jewish Christians
  3. First Evangelists of the Good News
    • Evangelism Through the 12 Apostles
    • Evangelism Through Other Believers
  4. Spread of the Faith
    • Towards the East
    • Towards the West
  5. Reasons For the Rapid Spread
    • Network of Jewish Gatherings
    • Medium of 2 International Languages
    • Two International Bible Translations
    • Good News that Sets Free
    • Good News that Changes Lives
    • Worth of Every Person in Christ
    • Network of Monks & Monasteries
    • Contribution of Countless Laypeople
    • Promotion of Schools (Madrasas)
    • Christian Charity
    • Network of Roads in East and West
  6. Reasons for the Dwindling of Eastern Believers
    • Conversion of Rulers to Other Religions
    • Insistence on Using Syrian Aramaic For Services
    • Superstition
    • Tendency Towards Politics
    • Dwindling of Evangelism
  7. Lessons to be Learned
    • Minister Amongst Your Own People First
    • Use the Common Language
    • Emphasize the Power of Faith to Set Free
    • Emphasize the Power of Faith to Change Lives
    • Stress the Worth of Every Person
    • Consider the Option of an Ascetic Life
    • Stress the Role of Laypeople
    • Stress Education and Charity
    • Make Use of All Possible Means
Triumph Over Heresies
  1. Forerunners of Theology
    • Apostolic Fathers: Organisation of the Church
    • Apologists: Defense of the Faith With the Help of Philosophy
    • Gnosticism: Sinking Into the Divine Sun
    • Mani: War Between Light and Darkness
    • Jewish-Christian Heresies: Christ Only a Prophet
    • Marcion: the Two Gods of Scriptures
    • Montanus: Emphasis on the Holy Spirit
    • 3 Reasons for Victory Over Heresies
  2. Developing the Doctrine of the Trinity
    • Beginnings of Theology in Answer to Gnosticism
    • Irenaeus: Progressive History of Salvation
    • Tertullian: Lawyer of the Faith
    • Christian Gnosticism of Alexandria
    • Clement: the True Gnostic
    • Origen: Christian Gnosticism on the Brink of Heresy
    • Victory of the Logos Theology over Heretical Monotheism
    • Victory over Arius
    • Athanasius: Christ Became Man to Make Man Immortal
    • Marcellus of Ancyra: The Transitory Nature of the Trinity
    • The 3 Cappadocian Fathers: One Essence in Three Persons
    • Aim of the Doctrine of the Trinity
  3. Developing the Doctrine of Christ
    • New Focus on the Person of Christ
    • Apollinaris: The Uncreated Logos is Christ's Spirit
    • Antioch: Two Distinct Natures of Christ
    • Does Christ Have One or Two Natures?
    • Conclusion
  4. Augustine: Sin and Grace
    • Forerunners of Augustine in the West
    • Augustine's Platonic Journey
    • Augustine's Journey to Grace
    • Pelagius: Prevail Over Sin Through Your Own Strength
    • Augustine's Answer: The Whole of Life is Dependent on Grace
    • Nature of the Church
    • Lessons to be Learned From Augustine
Martyrs of the Faith and Veneration of the Martyrs
  1. Persecution
    • Roots of Persecution
    • Reasons for Persecution
    • Persecution in the West
    • Great Persecution in the East
  2. Martyrdom and Veneration of the Martyrs
    • Original Meaning of Martyr: Witness
    • First Change in Meaning: a Martyr is a Sacrifice
    • Beginnings of Veneration of Martyrs
    • Reasons for Veneration of Martyrs
    • The Issue of Willingly Dying as a Martyr
    • Methods of Venerating Martyrs
    • Two Church Fathers Who Venerated Martyrs
    • Two Critics of the Veneration of Martyrs
    • Honouring the Saints
    • Honouring the Virgin Mary
    • Honouring Relics of the Saints
    • The Problem of Honouring the Saints
    • Lessons to be Learned From the Martyrs
Champions of the Faith: The Desert Fathers
  1. Desert Fathers of Egypt
    • Anthony: Life Separated From All
    • Pachomius: Beginnings of Monasteries
    • Macarius: Small Groups of Scetis
    • Nitria: Relative of Scetis
    • Kellia: Progressive Form of Nitria
  2. Desert Fathers Outside of Egypt
    • Syria: Extreme Ascetics and Members of the Covenant
    • Palestine: Lavra
    • Cappadocia: Monasteries Serving the Community
  3. Sayings of the Desert Fathers
    • Collections of Sayings
    • Aim of Sayings
    • Central Ideas of the Fathers
  4. Lessons to be Learned
    • Seclusion
    • Consciousness of Holiness and Sin
    • Transformation through Faith
    • Purity of Thought
    • Guides in One's Spiritual Journey
    • Impartiality
    • Monastic Ministry
    • Negative Aspects of Monastic Life
Faith's Expression of Worship
  1. Constantine's Influence on Worship Forms
  2. Sunday
  3. Festivals
  4. Holy Rites
Faith's Expression of Fellowship
  1. Promotion of the Priest's Importance
  2. Promotion of the Bishop's Importance
  3. Promotion of the Pope's Importance
  4. Promotion of Schools (Madrasas)
  5. Unity of the Church
  6. Discipline in the Church
  1. Development of Christology After Chalcedon
  2. Mystics Amongst the Desert Fathers