As many of you know from prior posts (for example, see here), I have a forthcoming book on the second century entitled, Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church (SPCK, 2017).
I am excited to announce that it is now available! (technically July 20th). Since the book is a joint publication between SPCK and IVP Academic, it releases in the UK now (under SPCK) and then will release in the USA in the Spring (under IVP Academic).
Not sure why there is such a big gap of time between the two releases, but there you have it. Of course, you can still order from the UK Amazon here, and I am sure it will be available in the States through a variety of other channels.
I wrote this book for a number of reasons. One is that I am already involved in this time period due to my prior research on NT canon and heresy and orthodoxy issues. More than this, I think this century marks an significant time of transition for the early Christians. One might even say that Christianity is what it is today largely due to the decisions made, and the events that occurred, in the second century.
Here’s the description on the back cover and endorsements:
It is the second century. Everyone who knew Jesus is now dead. Christianity has begun to spread, but there are serious threats to its survival.
Christianity at the Crossroads examines the crucial issues that faced the second-century Church – a period often neglected or overlooked in other studies. It was during this period that the fledgling Church struggled to work out its identity and stay true to the vision of Christ and the apostles. Threatened by divisive controversies from within and fierce persecution from without, the Church’s response to these and other issues not only determined its survival; it was to shape the beliefs, values and lives of millions of Christians throughout the world over the next two millennia.
‘In this well-written study, Michael J. Kruger makes accessible the overlooked, yet fascinating, world of second-century Christians. He not only introduces readers to the key texts, figures and modern scholars in the discussion, but also the social circumstances in which second-century Christians made their distinct identity claims. Kruger treats complex topics, such as the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, pagan criticisms of Christians or the textual culture of early Christians, with nuance. Christianity at the Crossroads is a fantastic introduction to second-century Christianity.’
Chris Keith, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, St Mary’s University, London
‘Kruger correctly points to the second century as crucial in the formation of what became subsequent Christianity, and the New Testament too. This book will serve readers well in pointing to important developments, issues, writings and people that make the second century essential for the study of Christian origins.’
Larry W. Hurtado, Emeritus Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology, University of Edinburgh