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Christianity Defined and Defended

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Studies in the Acts of the Apostles

Christianity Defined and Defended

David Gooding


Christianity as we know it did not simply emerge ‘ready–made’ after Pentecost. It began within Judaism—the apostles and all the early believers were Jews. But as the gospel spread and the church grew, Christianity progressively diverged from Judaism over key aspects of belief and practice. The first and most crucial issue was the person of Christ and whether he is indeed the Son of God and the promised Messiah as he claimed, but which Judaism would not accept.

In this series, David Gooding reviews each of the six main sections in the book of the Acts of the Apostles—sections delineated by Luke himself in his writing—and traces in each of them those vital issues over which Christianity found it necessary to diverge, not only from Judaism but eventually also from the paganism, philosophies and politics of the ancient world. The end product is a distillation of the essential features and truths which define authentic Christianity. The challenge for us is to ensure that in our day we hold to those same truths and do not allow them to be obscured by any elements which are alien to the gospel the apostles preached.

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