Brief Summary First, Hall lists four key criteria as to how the term Church father is defined: Antiquity (A. 96- 750), holiness of life, orthodoxy, and ecclesiastical approval. The value of a study like this is supported by his discussion of the concept of hermeneutical proximity.
As modern students know, considerable effort in exegesis is devoted to Bible backgrounds or understanding the authors’ context.by Christopher Hall takes just that approach by combing patristics and theology.While the book is not an exhaustive treatment of either subject, it is a sampling from the formation of the principle divisions in systematic theology.It is one leg of an introductory series of three; the other two are .Hall is a member of the Episcopal Church (Anglican) and is chancellor of Eastern University in Pennsylvania. His theological leanings seem to lean slightly toward the liberal and some of his ideas might spark controversy in conservative Baptist circles.This presentation will first give a broad overview and summary of the book, and then it will offer several key points of analysis.
The first point of analysis is the importance of language, which naturally leads to an analysis of some problematic terms.
Finally, God’s providence will be discussed in terms of an eschatological theodicy.
The paper will attempt to show that the book is a valuable survey of patristic thought and the language and terminology which formed the major doctrines of classical Christianity.
Whereas we must reconstruct context through historical investigation, the Fathers were still within recent memory of that context to a large degree.
Some modern scholars would do well to consider that.
The book takes a topical approach as it moves through major doctrinal areas.