Christianity is
a faith rooted in and based on historical events; thus, it is important for
Christian preachers to have some understanding of the historical events surrounding
the early days of the Christian church. Paul Barnett, an Anglican bishop and
teacher in Australia, has served us well through his new volume The
Birth Of Christianity: The First Twenty Years
(Eerdmans). In the
face of writers like John Dominic Crossan – who show little respect for the
authenticity of the New Testament texts – Barnett shows us that we can learn
much about the first two decades of the church from the biblical material, which
he treats as historically accurate. If you ever preach about the early church,
this volume will provide solid information that will help you deal accurately
with that pivotal time.

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