This is a marvelous little book (only 129 pages) which introduces the reader to some of the early Christian defenders of the faith and, at the same time, details the formal recognition of many essential doctrines we hold dear today.
Some of the key characters found in Haykin’s book include those we term the “Church Fathers:” Irenaeus, Origen, Basil, Athanasius, Augustine and Patrick. The value of the book is multi-facet. We are provided with:
- Information concerning some of the heresies and challenges which faced the early church.
- Sketches of the lives of several Church Fathers, as well as their antagonists.
- Details of how some important doctrines (the Trinity in particular) were debated and ultimately accepted.
- A general history of the first centuries of Christianity.
I particularly found the story of the ebb and flow of premillennialism very interesting,
The Defence of the Truth is an excellent book, informative yet easy to read, with enough detail to whet the appetite but not so overwhelming as to scare off the average reader. At the end of each chapter great resources are provided for those who wish to pursue the subject further. I like this approach far better than placing a large bibliography at the end of the book.
I see this volume as a “must-read” for those desiring a concise and clear understanding of the period of the Apostolic Fathers.