Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians

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9781941663530: Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians

Most Protestants believe that there s a great contrast between modern Catholicism and first-centuries Christianity. But in this exploration of history and early theological writings, Papandrea (a former Protestant minister) shows that there s actually a stunning similarity. In Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians, James L. Papandrea (Seven Revolutions) examines that most crucial era in the transmission of Christian truth: the time of the early Church. During those few centuries following the apostolic age, the brilliant and holy pastors, teachers, and writers known as the Church Fathers took the gospel they received and developed the doctrines and practices that defined the Christian religion. And that religion of the Fathers continues today faithfully kept, vibrant and alive in the Catholic Church. The essence of Christianity is this: we hold fast to what we were given by those who came before us. From Jesus and the apostles to believers throughout history, God s saving revelation has been proclaimed, preserved, and passed on, each generation not inventing the Faith for itself but staying true to the tradition it received. Papandrea demonstrates that the early Christians were decisively Catholic in how they acted and what they believed in, including: -The authority of the Church and Sacred Tradition in addition to Scripture -The sacraments, including the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist -An ecclesial hierarchy with priests, bishops, and a pope -A theology of salvation that included the importance of works and free will -Prayers and devotions to the saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary More than a compilation of Patristic prooftexts (important though these are), Handed Down offers a fascinating window into the life of the early Church and the lessons it holds for us today. It s perfect for history-conscious Protestants looking for a friendly defense of Catholic belief, as well as for Catholics who want to deepen their connection with our forefathers in the Faith.

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From the Inside Flap:

Most Protestants believe that there's a big difference between modern Catholicism and first-centuries Christianity. But in this exploration of history and early theological writings, Papandrea (a former Protestant minister) shows that there's actually a stunning similarity. The essence of Christianity is this: we hold fast to what we were given by those who came before us. From Jesus and the apostles to believers throughout history, God's saving revelation has been proclaimed, preserved, and passed on, each generation staying true to the tradition it received. In Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians, James L. Papandrea examines that most crucial era in the transmission of Christian truth: the time of the early Church, when the brilliant and holy teachers known as the Church Fathers took the apostolic faith they received and from it shaped the Christian religion. And that religion of the Fathers continues todayfaithfully kept, vibrant and alivein the Catholic Church. He demonstrates that the early Christians were decisively Catholic in how they acted and what they believed in, including: The authority of the Church and Sacred Tradition in addition to Scripture The sacraments, especially the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist An ecclesial hierarchy with priests, bishops, and a pope Prayers and devotions to the saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary Handed Down offers a fascinating window into the life of the early Church and the lessons it holds for us today. It's perfect for history-conscious Protestants looking for a friendly defense of Catholic belief, as well as for Catholics who want to deepen their connection with our forefathers in the Faith.

About the Author:

Jim Papandrea is a teacher, author, speaker, and musician. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor s degree in music and theater arts, Jim went on to receive his M.Div. degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, with a concentration in youth ministry Jim is currently Associate Professor of Church History at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary at Northwestern University, as well as a consultant in the area of Adult Faith Formation, and a regular speaker in parish and lay formation programs in the Chicago area. Jim is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the North American Patristics Society, and the Catholic Association of Music.

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