We Believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (#05 in Ancient Christian Doctrine Series)
When was the church founded? Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God and not of a religious organization subsequently called church. We don't find in the Gospels expressions which make reference to the foundation of a new religious community, a...
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When was the church founded? Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God and not of a religious organization subsequently called church. We don't find in the Gospels expressions which make reference to the foundation of a new religious community, a new and distinct community of followers of Jesus. But after the resurrection of Jesus, his followers, as a result of his express command, gather together not only those from the people of Israel but men and women of all nations.
^^The final clauses of the Nicene Creed spell out, briefly and to the point, the church's self-understanding in these early centuries. Angelo Di Berardino assembles a wide range of texts and teachers of the church during these years to enrich our understanding and deepen our faith in the great mysteries expressed here.
^^The Creed quickly hits the four marks of the church--that it is "one holy catholic and apostolic." What do we mean by professing each of these? Di Berardino helps us to give an answer with the help of the fathers of the church.
^^The volume closes, as does the Creed, with a consideration of baptism (the traditional entrance for people into the church) and two central features of the church in the future--the expectation that all of God's people will enjoy the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
Angelo Di Berardino is president and professor of patrology at the Augustinian Patristic Institute (Augustinianum) in Rome. He is the editor or author of authoritative works on the early church including Encyclopedia of the Early Church (recently updated and expanded in Italian as Nuoca dizionario patristico e di antichit cristane) and Patrology: The Eastern Fathers from the Council of Chalcedon to John of Damascus. He also serves as the Italian-language editor for the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.
Thomas C. Oden (Ph.D., Yale University) recently retired as Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology at The Theological School of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He is general editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture; Ancient Christian Texts and Ancient Christian Doctrine Set and author of numerous theological works, including a three-volume systematic theology