Hall, Christopher A. Learning Theology from the Church Fathers, Downers Grove, Ill: Inter Varsity Press Academic, 2002, 308 pp, $18 paperback.
Dr. Christopher A. Hall is an Episcopalian theologian, a writer, and a teacher, who is a leading figure in the area of Paleo-Orthodoxy, which is an area of religion that primarily focuses on Christian Theology before the separation between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. Since 2008, he has served as the first chancellor of Eastern University. Dr. Hall has served as a pastor in France for five years and in Canada for two years, and has also served as Director of Pastoral Care at a New Jersey psychiatric hospital. He has authored and edited numerous books, in addition to having numerous articles published in many prominent Christian publications.
This book is about the perspectives and ideals of the church fathers as they relate to the Christian faith. In the opening chapter of the book, the author introduces a number of fundamentally basic ideas that are directly related to Christianity. It introduces details, and raises questions, thoughts, and ideas that serve to fuel the curiosity of those who desire to become better acquainted with the faith they profess, instead of merely settling for the “professed Christian” designation.
When you read the term “father” in the Bible, it usually refers to one who serves as a teacher or mentor to another, like the relationship between Paul and Timothy. However, the term “church father”, according to the author, is ascribed to those who have been distinguished as having contributed greatly to the understanding, and the preservation and propagation of the historical Christian traditions, including the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The author cites “Bishops who faithfully preserved and protected the integrity of historical decisions by key councils, such as Nicea (A. D. 325), Constantinople (381), and Chalcedon (451).”...