As I often mention, Church history is a subject that is extremely important to a Christian apologist. Many apologists don’t understand its value. They believe that since the Bible is the word of God and Church history is not divine, we should focus wholly or almost wholly on scripture. I agree that scripture is the priority and that is why I try to spend two hours each day studying scripture but Church history is the second most important area to study.
Recently, I purchased four books off Amazon to help learn more about Church history. Three of these four books were written in the fist millennia of the Church and the last one was written only a few years ago.
The books are:
The Life of Constantine by Eusebius of Caesarea is a must read. Eusebius is a very important Church historian and in this book he chronicles the life of a very important Christian. The Roman Emperor Constantine legalized the Christian faith and adopted the faith himself. Without this important historical figure, who knows how Church history might look.
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Venerable Bede is the second book that I picked up. Church history in Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, Carthage, Constantinople, Alexandria and Jerusalem is known to a lot of people. The English people have a very different story, which is not known to most of the Christian world. Venerable Bede is a Doctor of the Church, which means that his writings are extremely important to learn from. There are three-dozen Doctors of the Church. It is a very exclusive list.
A History of the Church in Nine Books by Sozomen is the third book I ordered that was written in the early Church. This book covers history from the early fourth century to the mid-fifth century. This part of history is important because it deals with the Arian controversy. This movement struck at the heart of Christian theology because it denied the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ
The last book purchased and the only book not written in the early Church that I ordered is Rome and the Eastern Churches by Aiden Nichols. When most people think about the Eastern Church they think of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and the Slavic Churches which they founded in Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and elsewhere. There are actually many Eastern Churches. In addition to the Eastern Orthodox Church, there is the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome such as the Byzantine and Maronite Catholic Churches. My background is largely Eastern European so this topic is very close to home for me. Many of my relatives belong to Eastern Churches.
This concludes the description of the books that I purchased. They all look very good and I don’t know where to start. What can I say? I simply love Church history.