IVP Academic Set to Release Book on the Second Century

“If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the church after the apostles, how the church began to expand and grow, and why it developed its particular beliefs, then Michael Kruger has written the book for you.”

 

Last year (2017) my book on second-century Christianity was released with SPCK in the UK:  Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church.

For my American colleagues and friends however, this book has not been easy to get.  Since it is a dual publication between SPCK and IVP Academic, and since it was released by SPCK first, it has thus far only been (technically) available if ordered from the UK.

I am pleased to say that its US release is almost here. IVP Academic plans to release it March 6th (see here).

And I have to say I love the new cover (see inset picture).  I also thought the SPCK cover was great, so I am blessed that I like both of them (which is not always true for authors).

In addition, the volume has a new description, and a new set of endorsements:

Christianity in the twenty-first century is a global phenomenon. But in the second century, its future was not at all certain.

Initially Christianity possessed little social or cultural influence and found itself fighting for its life. While apostolic tradition was emerging as a “rule of faith,” factions contested the nature of the gospel, and pagan philosophers found its claims scandalous. And while its pathway was tenuous, Christianity was forming structures of leadership and worship, and a core of apostolic texts was emerging as authoritative. But it was the challenges, obstacles, and transitions faced by Christians in the second century that, in many ways, would determine the future of the church for the next two millennia. It was a time when Christianity stood at a crossroads.

Michael Kruger’s introductory survey examines how Christianity took root in the second century, how it battled to stay true to the vision of the apostles, and how it developed in ways that would shape both the church and Western culture over the next two thousand years. Christianity at the Crossroads provides an accessible and informative look at the complex and foundational issues faced by an infant church still trying to determine its identity. The church’s response to the issues of heresy and orthodoxy, the development of the canon, and the transmission of the Christian Scriptures not only determined its survival, but determined the kind of church it would be for generations to come.

“If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the church after the apostles, how the church began to expand and grow, and why it developed its particular beliefs, then Michael Kruger has written the book for you. In this learned volume, Kruger takes readers into the mysterious second century, where he lucidly explains things like the formation of a distinctive Christian identity, pagan responses to Christianity, the rise of certain heresies, and the canonization of the New Testament. This book will open a whole new world that you never knew existed!” (Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia)

“This is a good introduction and overview of Christianity in the second century, which was a crucial period of growth, opposition, and development of doctrines and practices. Readable and informed, Kruger’s book is a recommended choice for course readings and for individuals seeking to know more about early Christianity.” (Larry W. Hurtado, professor emeritus of New Testament language, literature, and theology, School of Divinity (New College), University of Edinburgh)

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