Excommunicating the Faithful:
Jewish Christianity in the Early Church
By Kenneth W. Howard
FaithX executive director Ken Howard recently published the third edition of his book, Excommunicating the Faithful: Jewish Christianity in the Early Church, edited and revised to include the most current research on the subject.
Excommunicating the Faithful is a research-based, academic book, yet very accessible to the average reader and highly relevant to our present theo-political divisions. It traces the development of Jewish Christianity from its beginnings in the earliest Christian communities through its apparent disappearance in the fourth or fifth century after they were declared heretical by the Church Fathers and excommunicated from the Church, despite the fact that they were as “orthorodox” as any Christian groups at the time and considered themselves a part of the greater church.
It is a cautionary tale that is reminiscent of a murder mystery.
It is cautionary because it shows how cultural misunderstandings and power struggles between competing Christian communities can result in increasingly narrow and conflicting views of orthodoxy, and orthopraxis can create not only theological divisions but racial and ethnic prejudice as well. And also because it shows what a loss it was and is for the Church to forget its spiritual heritage.
It is reminiscent of a murder mystery because the only evidence of the crime consists of fragments in the writings of the ones who were responsible for its death as a part of the Church.
We hope our readers will find it helpful.
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