Recently there has been a tremendous amount of attention drawn to the second century church. Most of the writing on this subject has been done from a highly critical viewpoint. As such it is refreshing to have scholarly yet conservative voice in the throng. Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church written by esteemed scholar Michael J. Kruger is that strong anthem. Kruger is the beloved president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC and is known for his work on the cannonicity of the Word.
The second century was a critical time in the history of the church for the first time in the history of the church, there were no Apostles, no one who had experienced directly the teachings of Jesus, this therefore was a time of transition. The church was taking its first breath and there dangers all around her, and heretics who sought to manipulate the church to their own end, yet the church grew. It is in this growth and controversy that Kruger writes, he takes a look at seven different areas of the Church, looking at how they looked sociologically, how the world saw the church, how they worshiped Jesus, the diversity in the church itself, the growth, literature used by the church, and how the church saw the New Testament as cannon.
This work is truly a wonderful piece of writing, scholarly yet understandable by an educated laymen. This is not surprising however for Kruger is an expert communicator, both in public lectures and in the classroom. Thankfully this expertise in communicating transitions in his writing ability, for he writes with passion to know Christ and to make Him know. This book clearly lays out the past with a weathered eye on the future, Christianity at the Crossroads is truly a book that you do not want to miss.
This book was provided to me free of charge from IVP Academic in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.