I’ve been pleased this year to see so many encouraging responses to my new book, Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church (IVP Academic, 2018). Who would’ve thought people would be interested in the second century?
For those who haven’t picked up a copy yet, this book highlights what is really a forgotten century of sorts in the history of Christianity. Much attention is paid to the first century (for obvious reasons!), and by the time the third and fourth centuries roll around, the church is more established (which means more sources for scholars to study).
In between sits the “Cinderella Century” (as Larry Hurtado calls it), all too easily overlooked. But, in this critical time period the church faced an enormous number of challenges and transitions–ones that would shape its identity for years to come.
These transitions includes issues of demographics (what kind of people became Christians?), politics (how’d Christians interact with the Roman government and how were they perceived?), ecclesiology (who ran the churches and how’d they relate to each other?), theology (were Christians unified in their beliefs and how did they handle “heresy”?), and Scripture (when did Christians collect their own books as canon?).
I’ve been doing a ton of podcast interviews, and I have also seen some of the reviews start to come in. Here is a sampling: [Read more…]