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Book Review: Our Legacy
Our Legacy is a book that looks at Christianity’s views on things like the trinity of God, who Jesus was, the authority of the Bible, and how people are saved. It traces these concepts from the infant church, a generation after the writers of the New Testament, up to modern day.
Dr. John Hannah, the author, has taught Church History for decades and has thoroughly studied the writings and texts from each of the historical periods he discusses. This book comes straight out of his research and teaching.
Dr. Hannah's Book
Dr. Hannah does an excellent job of summing up the evolution of thought and doctrine in the church, how it has diverged over the years into various schools of thought, and what the different current views are. While it is clear that Dr. Hannah has an opinion in this matter, he is very fair in his representation of the different lines of reason that differ from his own so that the reader gets an even, unbiased idea of what each denomination believes in the various areas he surveys.
Our Legacy may be a challenging read for someone who has no background in theology or church history. Hannah is clearly trying to make his subject matter accessible, but since he doesn’t necessarily have the space to give a detail of the historical background that each doctrine arises from, some foundation in the subject matter would be helpful for a reader to fully comprehend the content. Hannah also writes somewhat academically, so that a reader who is not committed to getting everything they can out of the book may possibly find it difficult to finish reading this.
Our Legacy is important to the Christian believer because it gives a full and comprehensive look at how various people have thought deeply about scriptural content and the conclusions they have come to. It helps the reader avoid repeating pitfalls and heresies that have developed in the church historically, while at the same time allowing them to consider the views to decide for themselves which they feel is the most biblical and reasonable.
It is important to the Christian critic because it gives them a complete idea of the beliefs Christians embrace so that they can have a considered and informed idea of the concepts they are critiquing.