In Protestantism today, we oft refer to our theological past only to the Reformers (Calvin, Zwingli, Luther, etc.), or, as in my case as a Baptist, to Smyth and Helwys. It seems that our only engagement with the Fathers is through the Reformers and/or modern theologians who wrote about them.
Christopher Hall in, “Learning Theology with the Church Fathers,” provides us a bridge from our present to our theological past. He is also the author of, “Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers,” which is volume one of a three-volume series (this present work is the second volume). As it says on the back cover, “what would it be like to sit under the teaching of these great men? Christopher Hall replicates this experience and takes us into the world of Patristic theology.”
Taking into account the beginnings of Christianity, Hall covers Christ being the Son (and not created!), God’s providential care, doctrines of sin and grace, the two natures of Christ, and so much more.
Though probably written for an introductory course in seminary, this book is definitely for the lay person seeking more knowledge and understanding of hymns, creeds, and the development of our faith, as well as for the pastor post-Seminary who wants a refresher on these precious Fathers and what they thought (not so much much tracing the history of their thought).
“Learning Theology with the Church Fathers” is a commendable work and I hope you will find a place on your bookshelf and in your schedule to digest and reflect what the Fathers wrote so long ago, and its importance today.
Disclaimer: I received this book from InterVarsity Press (IVPress, IVP) in exchange for an honest review and the opinion expressed is my own.