What were the most important practices in the early church? In this volume, Michael Cooper arranges the writings of the Apostolic Fathers into eight themes that provide deeper understanding about the subjects important to the disciples of the New Testament apostles. First Christian Voices examines the written testimonies of the late first and second centuries to discover what animated the church in the face of internal and external struggles and growth as the gospel extended to the boundaries of the Roman Empire.
One of the most compelling truths concerning the Christian faith is that it was lived by real people in various cultures often under dire circumstances over the passage of time. Dr. Cooper has in this concise work invited us into the thoughts and concerns of those earliest disciples who first received the “faith once delivered to the saints” and challenges us to consider how we must continue to uphold the foundational truths of God's Word in the context that Christ has placed us. Leaders and followers worshiping in every language on every continent will benefit from the insights expressed within these pages. God's truth will always be challenged by Satan's lies and it is the responsibility of every Christ-follower to adhere to sound doctrine. As these men considered their place in HIS-story, read and contemplate your own.
David Pope, DMin
First Baptist Church, Millburn, NJ
First Christian Voices: Practices of the Apostolic Fathers connects the everyday believer with the world in which God’s Church was planted as a tender shoot. It is a necessary work to illuminate the shadows of ancient history and expose to a disenchanted world the miracle of the Church. Jesus’ resurrection is the miracle that anchors our faith, but the rise of the Church is a miracle story of its own. This story has voices—and they are not “sound and fury.” Michael Cooper has captured some key voices in this volume and represents them in a way that speaks to our wafting world. This work is hefty and handy. It skillfully hits the right academic and historical notes. And it also has an ease of read that invites you to read it as a part of your story.
Kwesi Kamau, DMin
Impact Church, Dallas, TX
Dr. Michael Cooper explores the theological truths and missiological points of interest in the lives and ministries of the Apostolic Fathers. He endeavors to apply the tactful approaches of the Apostolic Fathers to ecclesiastical issues that persist today, such as teaching a sound doctrine of the Triune God, and especially of Jesus Christ. The impressive lives and contributions of the Apostolic Fathers urge Christians today to imitate their faith by living Christ-like in our diverse situations. This book is a must-read book for Christians, and especially missions practitioners.