This introduction to early Church history presents the advance of God’s people through the years 29 to 500 A.D. Emphasizing people rather than policies or polemics, The First Advance shows Christians in the first five centuries persevering under persecution and carrying their faith east and south into Asia and Africa as well as westward into Europe.
The First Advance includes maps, charts, photographs and suggestions for further discussion and study. It also includes many quotations from original sources, making it especially useful for students working alone or without access to a library. John Foster's original text has been updated for this revised edition by the distinguished scholar of early Church history, W. H. C. Frend.
The First Advance is part of SPCK’s International Study Guides series of books. Written by scholars with experience of the worldwide Church, the acclaimed Guides combine trustworthy scholarship with clarity, simplicity and non-technical language. Ecumenical in authorship and outlook, the Guides are ideal for first-year theology students, Bible study groups, multi-cultural classes, people for whom English is a second language, and anyone who needs a sound but accessible guide to the Bible and theology.
John Foster was Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of Glasgow until his retirement in 1969. His experience as a missionary (during which time he earned the nickname of “Gentle Scholar”) informed his approach to this field, convincing him that a new focus on Church history that showed how Christianity had always sought to advance eastward as well as westward was needed.