In Learning Theology with the Church Fathers, Christopher Hall discusses the doctrinal beliefs of the early Christian leaders while Christianity was in its fledgling state of development. Much of what is discussed by Hill in his book is the standard for what the beliefs on the subject will be throughout the church’s history. The topics in Hill’s book are important because the church father’s findings concern these issues establishes the church’s beliefs on these doctrinal topics.
Hill’s approach in his book is to take a subject that was highly contested in the life of the early church and follow one or two of the major leading authorities on the subject from the time period. A benefit to looking at the topic this way shows what the prominent thinking of the day was and if it still relates to Christians today. The first major theme that the book addresses is to describe the attributes of God. Hill looks at the various aspects of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Within discussing the parts of the Holy Trinity, Hill shows the various thinking the early church had concerning the three, what each of their roles are, and discusses how each of the three had equality together without either being subordinate to another.
The second theme addressed by Hill is that of God’s interaction with humans. Hill explains the teachings concerning man’s sin and how the church fathers understood God’s forgiveness toward man. Hill also speaks of man as being instilled with God’s goodness. Man’s natural instinct is not bent on doing what is inherently good, but it is within God’s instilled grace that God’s best for man is placed within himself (Hill, 130). Hill also writes in discussion of God’s providence to man as being loving, transcendent and wise.
The third theme Hill discusses are those things that are directly relatable to Christians in their relations with God. These things consist of the Christian’s relation to the scriptures, the apostolic founded church, and a...
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