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Category: Book Review (page 1 of 3)

Will The Real Heretics Please Stand Up?–Part 5 Who understands the Apostles?

At this point the goal of the review is simply to represent the argument of Bercot the author of the book Will The Real Heretic Please Stand Up? Read the earlier sections of the review here, here, here, and here.

Bercot spends two chapters on the importance of the Early Christian writings in understanding the teachings and writings of the Apostles. His basic argument is that the Early Christian writers have a an advantage over contemporary interpreters.

Their Advantages

The advantages are:

  1. Time.  They were closer to the Apostolic teachings than we are.  This advantage makes it less likely that they have missed the apostles’ point. Unless the Early Christians purposely changed the apostle’s teaching, which Bercot believes is unlikely, then their teachings would potentially better represent apostolic truth.
  2. Small changes lead to major departures.  When you have several small changes to apostolic teaching over time those small changes lead to major departures from truth.  Thus overtime the result is something different from what the apostles taught.
  3. They understood the language. The New Testament was written in Greek, which was the native language of these Early Christians.  Although it is possible to learn the Greek of the Bible, there is a difference between someone who learns a language and one who is a native speaker.
  4. They understood the culture. There is no doubt that the culture of the 1st Century is different from the culture of today.  There are also some practices in the Bible that are foreign to our understanding.  However, these practices were not foreign to the understanding of the Early Christians.
  5. They knew the Apostles.  Not all of the Early Christians knew the apostles, but some did. This potentially gave them the opportunity to question and receive further explanation on difficult subjects.

Did they deliberately change the Apostles’ teaching?

After making these five points Bercot then establishes why he believes that the Early Christians would not have deliberately changed the teaching of the apostles.  His reasons are:

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Will the Real Heretic Please Stand Up? Part 4-Luther and Augustine to Blame

This is part 4 of our Review of David Bercot’s Will the Real Heretic Please Stand Up? At this point in the review I am simply restating Bercot’s points.  In the final post I will provide evaluation of the work. Read the posts here, here, and here.

Bercot spends two chapters in Will the Real Heretic Please Stand Up?  to the discussion of two men–Luther and Augustine.  Bercot believes these two men have had the greatest  influence on the church today.  Thus, by extension these two men are to blame, or to be praised depending on your view, for a good amount of the differences we see between Early Christianity and Current Evangelicalism.  Thus, in Bercot’s thinking, they stand alongside Constantine as a major influence away from Early Christian teaching.

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Will the Real Heretic Please Stand Up?-Part 3 What went wrong?

This is the third installment of our book review of David Bercot’s Will the Real Heretic Please Stand Up?.  At this point our goal is to represent the content of the book and in a later post we will evaluate the content. You can read about the doctrine and lifestyle of the early church here and here.

In this third installment I want to trace how, in the mind of Bercot, we left the faith represented in Early Christianity and came to the predominate views that are now seen in the Evangelical Christian world.

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Willl the Real Heretic Please Stand Up? Part 2-Doctrine

You can read part 1 of my Review of Will the Real Heretic Please Stand Up? can be read here.

The first portion of the book dealt with the radical lifestyle of the Early Christians (99-199 A.D.)  As mentioned in the review of that section, their lifestyle challenges even the strongest believer today.  They took their faith seriously and lived out the radical teachings of Jesus.  Today many popular books have been sold with the theme of radical Christian living, but none of those books compare to the lifestyle promoted and lived by the Early Christians.  The first five chapters alone make this book an inspirational read.

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Will the Real Heretic Please Stand Up?–Part 1 Lifestyle

I had read portions of the book Will the Real Heretic Please Stand Up by David Bercot.  I always found the portions challenging to my faith and very easy to read.  However with Graduate Work I never took the time to actually read the book from cover-to-cover.  So the other day while moving books in my office I found the small paperback and decided to read it strait through.

General Information

The book contains 19 chapters and a Biographical Dictionary.  The purpose of the book is to explore the writings of the Early Christians, and compare their teachings and practice with the modern day church.  Bercot defines the Early Christians as “Christians who lived between 90 and 199 A.D.” (5).  These group of Christians wrote letters, defenses of Christianity, and commentaries that we now possess and can therefore garner from them their beliefs and practices.

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