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This review is from: The Early Church from the Beginnings to 461 (Paperback)
I picked this up after wanting to know about Nicene Creed and some of the political turns within early Christianity. After Christ, the church had an ardous task, competing with a hostile parent religion, in Juadism, and under an oppressive Roman regime. Along the way they have heretics to deal with, repression both from religious schisms and the state variety, a change in political fortunes, competing early philosophies and local factors to take into account.
This all adds up to something which should read more interesting than what transpires in Frend's book. You see, exhaustive as it is, it takes away something from the narrative and whole chapters leave you gazing over, because the detail is too immense. If there is a demand for a concise overview, this probably isn't it.