Thursday, June 30, 2016

Book Review of The Earliest Christologies by James L. Papandrea

The Earliest Christologies: Five Images of Christ in the Postapostolic Age
by James L. Papandrea
ISBN 978-0-8308-5127
IVP Academic
Reviewed by Clint Walker

The Earliest Christologies is a fascinating little book about the way different people at different times viewed Jesus in the early church. Four of the five Christologies came to be understood, for one reason or another, as heretical. What Papandrea calls "Logos Christianity" is what survived as the standard for Biblically-grounded, faithful Christian teaching.

What is unique about this book is that instead of simply explaining what gnostics and adoptionists believed, and why they went wrong, Papandrea uses the imagery in the language and life of the early church to paint a picture of who each group believed Christ to be, why the image may be attractive, and where heretical language and imagery for God falls short.

This is a book from IVPs academic line, and it would certainly be helpful in a church history class. Many of our more well-read lay people in the church may enjoy an in-depth theological discussion on this snippet of historical theology as well though. I certainly did.

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