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Defenders of the Faith: Standing for truth when attacks come [9780857219084]

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This book will accompany a set of seminars for the 2018 Spring Harvest under the overall theme of `Only the Brave'. The aim is to look at three different types of attack on the church from various periods, and to learn from those who remained faithful and who kept the church faithful despite temptations to succumb under great pressure. The attacks are cultural, spiritual and political, all relevant to the church today, and so there are applicable lessons that can be learned. The first section looks at Irenaeus of Lyon, the first major theologian of the church in the late second century, who worked in multiple capacities as pastor, bishop and missionary under a pagan Roman empire at a time when the New Testament was not formed and there were great pressures from a Greek-thinking, gentile church to use Greek theological ideas to understand the revelation of Christ. The major threat came from a movement called Gnosticism, which is not appreciated by the church in how powerful it was and how close it came to taking over the church, and which has been present ever since and remains a real danger in Evangelicalism. Irenaeus formed a biblical response and responded to this threat almost single-handedly. The second section moves onto spiritual attack and the fourth-century church, focusing on Basil of Caesarea who wrote the first work on the Holy Spirit called, somewhat blandly, On the Holy Spirit. The church had worked for years to understand the person and work of Christ, with almost no systematic thought on the Spirit and spirituality, and there was thus a real danger that the church would either become a more rational, philosophical religion or a free and chaotic, individualised experience of the divine. Basil responded in beautifully Trinitarian terms to give a solidity and yet a dynamic to the spiritual side of Christianity. The final section looks at the church in China in the twentieth century, particularly from the time when Chairman Mao established the People's Republic of China, leading to the Cultural Revolution. This section has been written in conjunction with the Chinese Overseas Christian Mission (COCM), and includes a series of interviews with individuals who have experienced different aspects of Chinese Christianity, giving a personal dimension to the discussion. From these three, the conclusion then draws together lessons about how individuals and groups have managed to stay faithful and the challenges that they faced as they did this.


AUTHOR: Dr Matthew Knell is the lecturer in historical theology and church history at the London School of Theology, writing and teaching on the history of Christian thought from the Church Fathers to the modern day with a special focus on the medieval period. Prior to this he was a missionary for six years in Belarus and Austria, and also worked as an intercultural consultant.

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SKU:
9780857219084
UPC:
9780857219084
Availability:
Delivery usually in 2-6 working days.
Author:
Matthew Knell
Publisher:
Monarch Books
Publication:
23-Mar-2018
Format:
Paperback
Pages:
160
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