What did Christianity look like before it became an institution?
In these firsthand accounts of the early church, the spirit of Pentecost burns with prophetic force through the fog that envelops the modern church. A clear and vibrant faith lives on in these writings, providing a guide for Christians today. Its stark simplicity and revolutionary fervor will stun those lulled by conventional Christianity.
The Early Christians is a topically arranged collection of primary sources. It includes extra-biblical sayings of Jesus and excerpts from Origen, Tertullian, Polycarp, Clement of Alexandria, Justin, Irenaeus, and others. Equally revealing material from pagan contemporaries — critics, detractors and persecutors — is included as well.
“The spirit of Christ translates love of God into divine service of love to others. Whoever serves the poor, the destitute, the downtrodden, serves Christ himself, for God is near to them. To be loved by God means to love God and one’s neighbor: community with God becomes community with one another. Expecting the kingdom shapes life and service in the church and unites the believers in one common will. True community and common dedication are the positive results of opposing the present age.”
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