Mark Noll Sings the Praises of Jaroslav Pelikan

"For those who believe that you don't need tradition because you have the Bible," he reflects, "The Christian Tradition has sought to say, 'You are not entitled to the beliefs you cherish about such things as the Holy Trinity without a sense of what you owe to those who worked this out for you.' To circumvent Saint Athanasius on the assumption that if you put me alone in a room with the New Testament, I will come up with the doctrine of the Trinity, is naive." Jaroslav Pelikan

So says the great Church historian Jaroslav Pelikan. Too many evangelicals are under the false impression that studying Church History is an unecessary task. Many settle for summary works which are usually biased toward a particular tradition.

Do yourself a favor: Read Pelikan's classic 5 volume set, and at the same time begin integrating some of the great works of the Church Fathers. If you truly want to understand the history of Christianity from a focused, objective view, begin with Jaroslav Pelikan. So says the evangelical scholar Mark Noll ("The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind"). In Noll's words, "Jaroslav Pelikan has written a history of the Christian tradition on a scale no one else has attempted in the twentieth century."

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