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Urban Legends of Church History: 40 Common Misconceptions

, 2020
ISBN: 9781433649844
  • Format:Digital


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Urban Legends of Church History surveys forty of the most commonly misunderstood events of church history from the period of the early church through the modern age. While these “urban legends” sometimes arise out of falsehood or fabrication, they are often the product of an exaggerated recounting of actual historical events. With a pastoral tone and helpful explanations, authors John Adair and Michael Svigel tackle legendary misconceptions, such as the early church worshiping on Saturday and the unbroken chain of apostolic succession. Urban Legends of Church History will correct misunderstandings of key events in church history and guide readers in applying principles that have characterized the Christian church since the first century.

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  • Addresses some of the most important myths of church history
  • Covers four periods: the early church (50-500), the medieval period (500-1500), the Protestant era (1500-1700), and the modern age (1700—present)
  • Distinguishes between outright fabrications that bear almost no resemblance to historical facts, and events that are based on the truth

Part I: Urban Legends of the Early Church (50-500)

  • The Earliest Christians Worshipped on Saturday
  • The Church Apostatized Shortly after the Apostles
  • The Sands of the Colosseum Are Stained with the Martyrs' Blood
  • The Lord's Supper Was Originally a Love Feast or "Community Meal"
  • The Earliest Church Didn't Know the Difference between Orthodoxy and Heresy
  • An Emperor, Pope, or Church Council Canonized the Bible
  • Pagan Philosophy Contaminated Christian Theology
  • The Doctrine of the Trinity Developed Centuries after Jesus
  • The Emperor Constantine Made Christianity the Official State Religion
  • Women Never Served as Church Officers in the Early Church

Part II: Urban Legends of the Medieval Period (500-1500)

  • Nothing Good Came from the "Dark Ages"
  • The Substitutionary Atonement First Appeared in the Middle Ages
  • The Roman Catholic Church Ruled Europe with Uniformity
  • The Christian Faith Was Lost during the Middle Ages
  • The One True Church Went Underground during the Dark Ages
  • The Medieval Catholic Church Completely Abandoned Salvation by Grace
  • The One True Church Is Marked by an Unbroken Chain of Apostolic Succession
  • Abelard and Anselm Debated over the Atonement . . . and Anselm Won
  • The Eastern and Western Churches Split over Just One Word in the Creed
  • The Roman Catholic Church Regularly Burned Heretics at the Stake

Part III Urban Legends of the Protestant Era (1500-1700)

  • The Protestant Reformers Concocted the Doctrine of Salvation by Grace through Faith
  • The Reformers Believed the Bible Was the Only Source for Theology
  • The Reformers Were Trying to Restore the Church of the New Testament Era
  • The Reformers Removed the Apocrypha from the Bible
  • Protestants Don't Accept the Church Councils and Creeds
  • The Anabaptists Were the Predecessors of Modern Baptists
  • John Calvin Summarized His Theology in "Five Points"
  • Jacob Arminius Denied Depravity and Taught That Christians Could Lose Their Salvation
  • The King James Version Was the First Authorized Protestant Translation
  • The Pilgrims Fled Religious Oppression to Establish a Society of Religious Freedom

Part IV: Urban Legends of the Modern Age (1700—Present)

  • Modern Scholars Were the First to Notice "Problem Passages" in the Bible
  • The United States Was Originally a Christian Nation
  • Fundamentalists Were the First Christians to Believe in the Inerrancy of Scripture
  • None of the American Founding Fathers Were Orthodox Christians
  • Christians Took Genesis 1 Literally until Darwin's Theory of Evolution
  • Atheism First Threatened the Church in the Modern Era
  • The Church Has Never Been as Divided as It Is in the Modern Era
  • The Swiss Theologian Karl Barth Was a Liberal
  • Calvinists Nearly Killed Evangelism and Missions; Non-Calvinists Revived Them
  • Date Setters and Sign Seekers Are a Uniquely Modem Phenomenon
In this book John Adair and Michael J. Svigel have gone on a church history myth-busting rampage like a bull in a China shop. Whether it is secular conspiracy theories or pious prejudices, they expose the fake news about church history. The whole book is one big, ‘Well, actually, no, that ain’t true, what really happened was...’ This book is a great cure for a whole lot of stupid. Mandatory reading for anyone beginning church history!

Michael F. Bird, academic dean, lecturer in theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia

As an orthodox, Protestant, evangelical Christian, I believe there has never been a more important time to know church history than right now. In Urban Legends of Church History, John Adair and Michael Svigel offer gentle and straightforward responses to some of the most important misconceptions, half-truths, and fallacies throughout the history of the church. For too long, these urban legends have shaped our Christian culture.

Kyle D. DiRoberts, associate professor of biblical and theological studies, Arizona Christian University

Busting myths and misinformation with wit, wisdom, and goodwill, Adair and Svigel have done a great service to the church with their Urban Legends of Church History. From their extensive knowledge and with helpful illustrations, the authors deliver a clear explanation of key moments and topics throughout church history. The authors’ goals are not merely to expose legends, but to apply history’s lessons today for the sake of Christian unity and the health of the church. Every pastor and teacher should have this book on their shelf.

Lynn H. Cohick, provost and dean, professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

  • Title: Urban Legends of Church History: 40 Common Misconceptions
  • Authors: Michael Svigel, John Adair
  • Publisher: B&H
  • Print Publication Date: 2020
  • Logos Release Date: 2020
  • Pages: 320
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Reader Edition
  • ISBN: 9781433649844
  • Resource ID: LLS:9781433649844
  • Resource Type:
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2021-09-29T16:37:35Z

In the Logos Reader Edition, this volume is enhanced to best fit the content. Scripture references are hand-tagged to integrate with powerful functionality in Logos Bible Software. Page milestones and internal citation tagging provide accurate points of reference. Search important words across resources to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive tools for reading digital content are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.


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    Digital list price: $19.99
    Save $10.00 (50%)

    In production