Here’s a new article I wrote for RELEVANT. Enjoy!
In his preface to the Popular Patristics publication of On the Incarnation, C.S. Lewis writes “It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in-between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones.”
New books are great, but they are untested—we don’t know which ones will stand the test of time. But old books have been sifted by time. It’s always good for us to look at the context of the people that came before us and see how the world looked from their time and place.
For Christians, it is even more important we recognize our heritage. Our beliefs are not composed out of thin air, but they come from the revelation of Jesus Christ and were handed down to His disciples through Scriptures and the Church, which is the “pillar and the foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
Here are five books which have not only stood the test of time, but had a great impact on the understanding of Christian doctrine to Christians living in the time shortly after Christ’s ascension, during the Church’s building period.