Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book Recommendation - Christopher Beeley's, The Unity of Christ - Continuity and Conflict in Patristic Tradition

This is the second book of Christopher Beeley's published works that I have now read. I first became aware of Dr. Beeley via a link provided by Iohannes in THIS COMMENT. [See also this Google Books Preview.]

I was thoroughly impressed by his, Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God, so when I discovered The Unity of Christ during some recent online research, I knew I had to obtain it—I was not disappointed—this book has reinforced my opinion that Dr. Beeley is firmly establishing himself as one of the most gifted Patristic scholars of the early 21st century.

In The Unity of Christ, Dr. Beeley delves into the theology of the following Church Fathers: Origen of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea, Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Cyril of Alexandria, and Leo the Great, with an emphasis on development of doctrine and the formation of the early creeds produced by the councils of Nicaea (325), Constantinople (381) and Chalcedon (451).

Though all the chapters of the book are quite good, I particularly appreciated the one devoted to Eusebius of Caesarea (chapter 2, pp. 49-104). For a number of years now, I have felt that Eusebius' theological contributions have been either ignored or significantly under appreciated by most patristic scholars. Dr. Beeley is of the same opinion; he demonstrates that Eusebius offers much more than his valuable history of the Church, and that he was a major contributor concerning the issue of the monarchy of God the Father.

Anyway, I wanted to bring this excellent book to the attention of readers who have an interest in patristic studies. Selections from the book can be read online via this, Google Books Preview.

For those who make the decision to purchase the book, I would be very interested in hearing from you once you have had the opportunity to read it.

Grace and peace,