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One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic: The Early Church Was the Catholic Church Paperback – Sep 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; 1st ed. edition (Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898708028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898708028
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 12.1 x 2.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 749,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
A dramatic and accurate view of the Early Church 15 Nov 2000
By NYJ - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book's focus is on the Early Catholic Church and covers five primary areas in five huge chapters (the book itself is a soft covered book of over 300 pages). The topics covered are 1. The Church of the Apostles, 2. The Church of the Early Church Fathers, 3. The Church of the First Four Great Councils, 4. The Primacy of Rome in the Early Church and 5. The Early Church Was the Catholic Church.
This book is an excellent read, some of it being in story form which makes it an easier and more interesting read than some other apologetic material. It is strongly rooted in history, presenting historical facts to prove that the Catholic Church of today is a direct descendent of the Early Church of the time of the Apostles.
I would recommend this book for anyone who is involved in Catholic Apologetics, or who would like to learn more about the Early Church. It draws upon a huge source of early Church literature, it develops a very interesting picture of the Early Church and ties them all together to give us the Catholic Church we have today.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Well-Structured Apologetics 30 Dec 2004
By Steven K. Szmutko - Published on
Format: Paperback
The central premise of Kenneth Whitehead's 300+ page work is that, despite the protestations of "reformers," the early church was indeed the Catholic Church. The author carefully takes the reader through the early centuries of the Church, exploring the development of the institution and hierarchy from the time of the apostles and the early church fathers through the four great councils, establishing the primacy of Rome from the earliest of times.

The author's arguments are carefully laid out and full developed in a flowing narrative3, offering the reader a systematic exploration of doctrinal developments as well as evidence of papal primacy. One weakness, particularly for those of a more critical bent or for those with a greater intellectual curiosity, is the lack of footnotes to accompany the extensive bibliography. However, given the intended audience, this is a minor criticism, detracting only slightly from what is well-crafted prose. The combination of scriptural, doctrinal and traditional exposition provides a good overview of the Catholic Church's apostolic roots.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Good Introductory Apologetic 7 July 2006
By Matthew K. Minerd - Published on
Format: Paperback
Whitehead aspires to write for the common believer who wishes to have an introduction into the validity of the Church's claim to be "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic" according to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. The text is a good introduction into this material, its development and history in Church thought.

The number of names and heresies is nearly head-spinning if one does not have a great grasp on early Church history. Because of this, I think that an extra index should exist with the names of the individuals written about along with a brief explanation of their stance (with textual cross references). Such cross-references would be nicely added to the already existing heresy index. This is mostly a nice addition, as an index does exist for the text.

I must also agree with the complaints of other reviewers about the lack of footnotes. However, this is a minor issue, as the text is not meant to be technical but to be an apologetic help.

I think the text is good for all who want to have a better view of the early Church and do not have a thorough knowledge thereof. It is an easy read, although a bit factually overwhelming for the non-historians, even if you are somewhat-experienced in theology. The author can be a bit pedantic, reminding the reader that what he is writing supports his thesis and also is a bit heavy on the proof for the primacy of Rome in the early Church, while neglecting other topics related to the creedal formula. Nonetheless, I suggest this book highly, as stated above!
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Informative for me 21 Nov 2005
By badebop - Published on
Format: Paperback
I had purchased this book when it first came out, but just now got around to reading it. I thought it was going to be a rehash of Catholic apologetics that I pretty much have a handle on. This book would more appropriately be placed in the history section of your library. I already had a rudimentary knowledge of Church Councils and the various heresies, but after reading this book I am now more knowledgeable of how and why the Councils came about and why the heresies were so dangerous. Whitehead goes into quite a bit of detail on the Arian heresy and just how close Christianity came in denying Christ's divinity.

Only if your mind is closed or you have axes to grind with the Catholic Church will you NOT come away reading this with a better understanding of what the early Christian Church was and give you a better appreciation of what the Church is now.
22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Excellence book of knowledge 9 Dec 2000
By Sem. Mario Sujanto - Published on
Format: Paperback
this book strength lies in its broad scope and in the blending of institutional history whith theological development and historical fact. Unlike many books of this kind, this one devotes considerable attention to the development of early Christianity.
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