F his Mere Christianity that it is a hallway and the various doors leading off of it are the various Christian traditions It is not right says Lewis to remain in the hallway Rea s book serves as a similar hallway It
Is The Hallway Of The Christian Path the hallway of the Christian path is not only helpful but necessary in reminding and training s in the long history of Christianity but in the end we still must choose a room Author Robert ReaPublisher IVP AcademicReading Level ModeratePages 233ISBN 0830828192 When we ignore centuries of God loving Christians and the rich well of resources that they have passed on to The New Competition us sometimes ignoring even Scripture itself in the process our perceived needs are often little than mirrors of our fallen culture We need these earlier Christians We need our brothers and sisters in Christ 15An Invitation to Love and Learn from Our Past is the descriptive subtitle to Robert R Does the study of church history really matter Being a church historian by training and having taught church history I have had to offer an answer to thatestion on many an occasion Students often come into a church history class with a predisposition against it Seminarians often see church history as course reuirement that is irrelevant to their future oriented call to ministry What can we learn from history except perhaps negative things With a progressive vision that marks both theologically conservative and theologically liberal folks they assume that we must know than our forebearers Of course I disagree with them and do my best to disabuse them of this notionIn this book Robert Rea a church historian affiliated with a seminarycollege in a branch of the Stone Campbell Movement offers his own apology for the study of Church History His target audience is what he calls Bible Focused Christians In other words conservative evangelicals Who Seek To Follow seek to follow religion of scripture but who it seems I would concur from experience find little of value in the past Rea seeks to show how those within this movement would benefit from the interpretive and illustrative gifts of their spiritual ancestorsThe book is divided into three major sections Part 1 speaks to the way we Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution by Francis Wayland and Richard Fuller understand tradition Here he offers his take on the definition of tradition shares how Christians havenderstood tradition down through the ages and then offers his take on how it is Mini Habits for Weight Loss: Stop Dieting. Form New Habits. Change Your Lifestyle Without Suffering. understood today noting the difference between those who hold to apostolic succession the idea that the current ministry of the church descends in annbroken line from the apostles through the historic episcopate Roman Catholics Orthodox Anglican and those who do not affirm apostolic succession everyone else Part 2 focuses on what Rea calls expanding circles of in. Le But let's be honest even those of s who admit that church history is important are often too intimidated or busy to delve into it deeply And for students it is sometimes difficult to see how church history matters in practical ways for future vocations inside and outside the contemporary church In this wide ranging book veteran teacher Bob Rea tackles these barriers. Good read but thoroughly soaked in an nhelpful ecumenism I would first recommend John Fea s recent work Why Study History Reflecting on the Importance of the Past Baker 2013 In Why Church History Matters Dr Robert Rea provides an apologia to those who might want or have been taught to devalue Christian History at least Christian History beyond the founding of their own tradition I hope to write a much longer review for publication but here allow me to say a few words in praise and critiue of this bookBob Rea is my former Master s Supervisor my boss my friend and in many ways an early mentor Bob introduced me to a love of Christian history beyond the narrow things I desired to study His love of the history of the Way is evident in this book Some reviewers on sites such as this one note that this book does little for those already committed to studying the tTradition This is however intentional The purpose of the book is to convince those who currently devalue Christian history to value it To that end Dr Rea in the first part of the book gives background information on the meaning and meanings of words like Tradition tradition and traditions to various different Christian groups and how they should or can be The Oswald Reflection understood today In the second part Rea goes on to describe why the study of Church History can beseful even to those who do not hold what might be called a High view of Tradition In the third part Rea goes on to give practical advice and examples of how the study of the Christian past can enrich and is necessary to Christian life in the presentRea does a masterful job making this a necessary book for all who devalue Christian history as necessary for present worship and study This book would also serve well for any introductory courses on Church History ensuring the students taking it that this discipline is neither dry nor irrelevant Rea could of course go deeper or come out on one side of various arguments that he could of course go deeper or come out on one side of various arguments that he The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Harvard up for instance what happens in the Eucharist but does not in order to appeal to a broader audience Eually Rea does not note that these of certain practices from the past must at least reuire one to explain why the surrounding structure for those practices is not to be accepted For instance if one were to begin praying the divine hours following John Cassian and later Benedict s examples one would need to have a place for the Eucharist as it serves as the fount from which the divine hours flow Even bracketing out a fully fledged Quantum (Captain Chase understanding of transubstantiation both Cassian and Benedict would havenderstood the Eucharist as being than a Zwinglian remembrance Nevertheless Rea s book is not intended to be a final word but a beginning C S Lewis says Does it matter how Christians in other times and places thought If the Bible alone is God's revelation why spend time studying church history Aren't history and tradition of a problem than a solution For many Christians who believe the Bible is the Introduction to Mythology ultimate authority for faith and lifeestions about the role and value of the church's traditions can be difficult to tack. .
Uiry In this section of the book the author seeks to show how the study of church history can help form spiritualChristian identity He notes that our circle of inuiry starts narrowly within the congregation and then the denominationmovement but suggests we would be enriched if we can see ourselves as the descendants of that Great Cloud of Witnesses with whom we share community by imbibing their works and witness This expanding circle of witnesses can provide accountability helping s see how our own visions and experiences match earlier Christians We can also see these Christians as our spiritual mentorsPart 3 RESPONDS TO THE EVER PRESENT responds to the ever present of relevance After all why read history if it has no relevance to what we are doing now in the present Of course those of s who love history can read it for enjoyment but not everyone gets a kick out of reading about a group of 18th century high church Anglicans who separated themselves from the established church because of their political loyalties I m speaking here of the Nonjurors my area of study For everyone else Robert Rea shows Children of Blood and Bone us how our spiritual ancestors can helps read scripture engage in ministry thorugh preaching spirituality worship ethics and Why does Church History matter Rea concludes that Hit Allows Us To allows Laird of Shadows (MacDougall Legacy Book 1) us to the body of Christ p 192 It does this by broadening our vision of the body to include not only those who share life withs in our congregations or even denominations but reaching out across the communion of saints Some caveats here I liked the book but recognize that I m not the target audience The constant recitation of the phrase Bible focused Christians was distracting especially when I realized that I am no longer part of that community Though not a common occurrence the few mentions of liberalprogressive Christians were at times expressed through Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - Selected: An Interlinear Translation unfortunate stereotypes The audience is conservative evangelical for the most part who are struggling to make sense of the value of history While I recognize that Rea is speaking to this evangelical audience I was hoping he would connect his own journey into history with the often ahistorical nature of the Stone Campbell Movement Perhaps he didn t want to offend colleagues but our shared tradition has often discounted everything that existed beteween the first century to the enlightenment of Thomas and Alexander Campbell in the 19th century That would have been aseful case study It is a Stowaway useful book though for those in the Mainline a similar but different book would be most helpful An inspiring but tedious bookIf you want a book on the value of church history this is worth your time but I think you will get for your effort by reading On Doing Church Histor. Tonderstanding and embracing the significance of the faith and practice of our spiritual forefathers In three parts he covers how Christians The Syntactic Licensing of Ellipsis understand church tradition why it is beneficial to broaden our horizons of community and how tradition helpss The Persian of Thunder Bay understand ministry Rea not only skillfully explains why church history matters he shows why it should matter tos.