Rod Bennett was for many years the editor of Wonder Magazine, a popular Christian media journal. He has written for national publications ranging from Rutherford and Gadfly to Cornerstone and Catholic Exchange. Rod has appeared on TV and radio programs such as The Journey Home, Bookmark, and Catholic Answers Live.
His book Four Witnesses: The Early Church in Her Own Words (Ignatius Press, 2002) is widely recognized as a modern classic of Catholic apologetics. Rod’s other books include Chesterton’s America; Bad Shepherds: Five Eras When the Laity Thrived While the Clergy Did the Devil’s Work; and The Apostasy that Wasn’t (Catholic Answers Press). A convert from the Southern Baptist faith, Rod became a Catholic in 1996. He lives in the mountains of Tennessee with his wife, Dorothy, and their two children.
The Apostasy That Wasn’t: Early Church History Versus Conspiracy Theories
When Catholic and Protestants discuss Scripture, the conversation can degenerate into “my interpretation” versus “your interpretation.” When such debates fail, it might be time for historical apologetics. A common anti-Catholic narrative posits that early in the life of the Church a “great apostasy” took place. Authentic Christianity, the narrative goes, was restored only sixteen or more centuries later. Does this account of an early falling away from New Testament Christianity bear the scrutiny of history, archeology, and sociology?