Book Review: When the Church Was Young

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Picking up where the Acts of the Apostles leaves off, Marcellino D’Ambrosio tells the compelling story of the early Church in When the Church Was Young.

cover-whenthechurchwasyoungThis is no dry and dusty history book:  it’s an examination of the lives, times and personalities of the men who shaped the first seven hundred years of the Church. The Church Fathers kept the Faith going through the era when Christians were in imminent danger of martyrdom, refined teachings on the Trinity and Christ’s human and divine natures, defended the Faith and shaped our traditions of worship.

Dr. D’Ambrosio vividly describes what it was like to live as a Christian in those first seven centuries, examining the political climate of the times, the infighting between various factions, the writings of early Popes, and even the very first Catechism.

Readers will discover that the more things change, the more they stay the same:  some of the things we read about in this book sound like they could happen today. Readers will also learn the story behind our observance of meatless Fridays and our exchange of a sign of peace during the Mass. Catholicism in the twenty-first century is more similar to second-century Catholicism than most people may think.

My own knowledge of Church history has a one-thousand-year gap between the time of the Apostles and the time of Francis of Assisi. Dr. D’Ambrosio’s book went a long way toward helping me to fill in the blanks in my understanding of how the Church grew from a small band of people in Israel to a major world religion.

Autographed copies of When the Church Was Young are available to ship beginning August 1. You may purchase this book through Dr. D’Ambrosio’s website, The Crossroads Initiative.

Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2014, Barb Szyszkiewicz

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About Author

Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom, Secular Franciscan and freelance writer. Her three children range in age from high school to young adult, and she enjoys writing, cooking, and reading. Barb volunteers at the school library and is a music minister at her parish. She is also an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Barb blogs at FranciscanMom and shares her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count.

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