Yesterday, I tweeted to arguably one of the finest publishers known to the human race. Indeed, not since Moses has a publisher been this highly regarded. Anyway, I am preparing for a series of Sunday School lessons (I think) meant to introduce the class to early Christianity.
One of the finest series on Church history is the series by ]]. There is no taking away from this series, but my tweet yesterday suggested that IVP-Academic could take their extensive commentaries and the such from the early Christians an the Reformation and make my life simpler. This is what I would like to see.
Split the series something like Pelikan as done into five eras. Take the writings from the known and the unknown (and this is a great feat of IVP, that they have rescued the names and works of the unknown – seriously, look at their Ancient Christian Commentary series) and make volumes for era writings. No subject in particular for each volume, just writings from each era, although I wouldn’t object to having the writings under the headings.
For instance, in the first section, from the time of the New Testament to the sixth century, writings from people like Ignatius and the like would be molded to fit into the certain subjects, such as the Trinity. From Ignatius to Tertullian to Cyril and the like, readers would get to see how such doctrines developed and were used. Say, the Trinity, baptism, the sacraments, etc… Would be great to see how early one the deity of Christ was affirmed.
And so on as other issues emerge — such as classical .
These era-readers (phonetically, we might need to reconsider this slang) would serve well for devotionals as well as mapping out trajectories (so you, know, multiple audiences). For me, it would help in introducing others to Christian thinking for the past 2000 years without having to use numerous books and the like. Each book would feature key thinkers of the era on key issues of the era. I would take the first book and read what the early Church thought on the Trinity or Scripture or Predestination without digging through history books or having to have entire works in front of me.