Robert Louis Wilken
400 pp., $29.95

"Christianity is more than a set of devotional practices and moral code," writes Robert Wilken. "It is also a way of thinking about God, about human beings, about the world and history. For Christians, thinking is part of believing."

In this book, Wilken, a professor of the history of Christianity at the University of Virginia, explores how early Christians like Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and Augustine thought about such matters. He shows that these men were more than armchair theologians, but rather sought to win the hearts and minds of people and change their lives.

Along the way, he explores how they handled such topics as the role of Scripture, the work of Christ, creation, the church in relation to society, Christian culture (including poetry and icons), and the Trinity.

He attempts to write for a general audience and mostly succeeds, although his rich vocabulary sometimes gets in the way.

Readers discover that the early church fathers' writings are "like an inexhaustible spring, faithful and true, they irrigate the Christian imagination with the life-giving water flowing from the biblical and spiritual sources of the faith."

Cindy Crosby is a frequent contributor to Publishers Weekly

Related Elsewhere

The Spirit of Early Christian Thought is available from and other book retailers.

More information is available from the publisher.

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