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Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up: A New Look at Today's Evangelical Church in the Light of Early Christianity [Paperback]

David W. Bercot
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
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Review

"Early Christianity was a revolution that swept through the ancient world like fire through dry timber," challenging traditional customs and institutions. The author contends that the early Church's stance toward society should concern us deeply, as we face many similar burning issues: divorce, abortion, entertainment, war, economic injustice, and the role of men/women.

Bercot, who is also a lawyer, takes the reader on a very stimulating journey in which we meet Polycarp (who was personally discipled by the apostle John) and other second-century witnesses. -- The Plough, April, 1990

Perhaps the single most important thing the book did for me was to introduce me in an unforgettable way to the early Christian writings. ...However, the author, David Bercot, does more than introduce the reader to the early Christians and their writings he advances a powerful and persuasive argument as to why we should take the early Christians and their writings seriously. This argument is basically similar to saying that the further upstream you go, the purer the waters should be. He makes a convincing case that these early Christian writers were in the best possible position to interpret and understand what the inspired writers had in mind when they wrote the New Testament. After all, some of these early Christian leaders were co-workers with the apostles and knew them personally. It is logical that they had a real advantage over us who read the Bible after nearly 2,000 years. -- Family Life, October, 1989

To say this book packs a jolt is an understatement. Bercot doesn't point fingers; he just tells it like it is, and no book other than Snyder's The Problem of Wineskins has affected my thinking of the church more than this one. This book has my highest recommendations. -- The Obligator, August, 1989

We've heard it all before. The church's decline began when Constantine named Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. David Bercot recounts all this and more. He is deeply concerned with the church's lack of spirituality. He is upset that the church has adopted worldly standards of success rapid growth and wealth. He is right in feeling and expressing these concerns. And he expresses them well. -- Bookstore Journal, November, 1989

From the Back Cover

Sex and money scandals. An exploding divorce ate. Drug-addicted youths. And an ever-growing worldliness. Today's church is fighting battles on all fronts. And we seem to be losing these battles to the relentlessly encroaching world. Perhaps the answers to our problems are not in the present, but in the past. Because there was a time when the church was able to stand up to the world. The author takes you on an engrossing journey back to that time back to the beginning of the second century. Here is an inspiring account of what Christians believed and practiced at the close of the age of the apostles and how the church eventually lost the Christianity of that time.

But this is not primarily a history book. It's a fresh, creative look at the problems facing the church today and the solution to those problems. It's a call for today's church to return to the simple holiness, unfailing love, and patient cross-bearing of the early Christians.

Will The Real Heretics Please Stand Up combines sound scholarship with a free-flowing, readable style designed for contemporary laypersons. If you're looking for superficial solutions to today's problems or a restatement of traditional answers, you will need to look elsewhere. This provocative book confronts traditional answers and challenges you to a deeper walk with God the walk of the early Christians.

About the Author

A former attorney and Anglican priest, David Bercot has made early Christianity his special field of study for the past fifteen years. His primary mission is to make the average layperson aware of the early Christians what they believed and how they lived. A member of the North American Patristics Society, Bercot is also the editor of A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs.
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