Why study early church history

Edmund Burke, the British statesman and philosopher, has famously said, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”  If we ignore history, we will be undone by the same obstacles and same tests that those who have gone before us have already faced.  Our challenges today are eerily similar to those the church has encountered throughout its history.  Our doctrines are under attack and people are dying for their faith.  For example, Did you know that there were more martyrs for the Christian faith in the 20th century than in the previous 19 centuries combined?

The church where I serve, Glasgow Church, has just begun a new sermon series entitled, “Heroes and Heretics: The Battle for the Church.” Heroes and Heretics: The Battle for the Church is not a history class about the early church.  It’s a journey into the first centuries after the ascension of Christ.  It’s an exploration of Scripture.  It’s a formulation of Christian doctrine.  It’s a battle for truth.  It’s a glorious recounting of God’s providence in expanding Christianity from the upper room to the far corners of the earth.

And, finally, it’s our story too. For we face many of the same challenges as the early church. For the sermon series, I am writing a study guide as a companion to the preaching. Over the next weeks and months, I will share what I am writing by way of my blog here. First up, the Apostles’ Creed.

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