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Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction

, 2007
ISBN: 9781441250872

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Many evangelical Christians know very little about the Early Church Fathers. Others have heard just enough to be suspicious of them and their treatment of Scripture. Still others are becoming interested in this neglected but significant community of believers. In Getting to Know the Church Fathers, patristics scholar Bryan Litfin introduces readers to ten ancient Christians and dispels the misconceptions that have tainted many evangelicals' view of them. Litfin's personal and accessible approach to the church fathers—including Augustine, Ignatius, Origen, Perpetua, and Tertullian—reveals the riches of the Christian tradition and how much Christians today have been shaped by them in the ways we worship, pray, study Scripture, and live as a community.

Each chapter tells the story of one figure's life and work, and concludes with probing questions for discussion or reflection, guides to further reading, and a fresh, vivid translation from the church father's original writings. The book is ideal for students, professors, church groups, and others seeking to learn more about historic, orthodox Christianity.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Provides excellent introduction to ten key figures in church history
  • Provides discussion questions and translations from original writings
  • Includes timeline, epilogue, and notes

Top Highlights

“First, Origen fully embraced the catholic church’s Rule of Faith as a theological guide.” (Page 152)

“Misconception #3: The church fathers represent the ‘fall’ of Christianity.” (Page 24)

“In fact, Tertullian was the first known writer to use the term ‘trinity’ to express the relationship of three-in-one that characterizes the Christian God.” (Page 112)

“Misconception #1: The church fathers were not biblical.” (Page 20)

“Tertullian was a master of the Latin language—the first Christian author to use this noble tongue instead of Greek.” (Page 100)

Praise for the Print Edition

Each patristic figure receives a fair and balanced presentation that is easily accessible to the non-specialist. The text is exceedingly readable and non-technical. . . . The project is well-conceived and executed for students new to the field.

—Clayton Jefford, Expository Times

A new generation of evangelicals is discovering the riches of the wider Christian tradition, including the wisdom of the early church fathers. Bryan Litfin's patristics primer is a perfect guide for those who are on this journey, and for others who would like to take the first steps. Well researched and well written, this is a gem of a book!

—Timothy George, Beeson Divinity School

Product Details

  • Title: Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction
  • Author: Bryan M. Litfin
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 304
Bryan Litfin

Dr. Bryan Litfin, professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from ancient and medieval periods.

He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays. Dr. Litfin earned his bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee, as well as a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary.

He has always enjoyed epic adventure stories as well as historical fiction, but most of his reading is taken up by academia.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


6 ratings

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  1. Mattillo



    Please get the 2nd edition from 2016
  2. Sean



  3. Josh



  4. Andrew Lauterbach
  5. W Russell Lyle III
  6. Jim McGarigle

    Jim McGarigle


    An excellent overview of the Church Fathers written from an evangelical/fundamentalist protestant perspective. If you enjoy this, you should also check out Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers by Christopher A. Hall. Hall is a paleo-orthodox Episcopalian who has worked with Thomas Oden who edited the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Bryan Litfin attended Dallas Theological Seminary and now teaches at the Moody Bible Institute. Litfin is living proof that reading the Fathers won't 'turn you Catholic' for those with such worries. You can read, study and love the Fathers of the Early Church and find appreciation for them regardless of your particular Christian tradition.
  7. Albert Blanco

    Albert Blanco


Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!


Regular price: $24.99
Save $6.25 (25%)