Principal Doctrinal Discussions: Historical Theology Part 1 of 2

Welcome to the Still Waters Revival Books video book summary for “Historical Theology: A Review of the Principal Doctrinal Discussions in the Christian Church Since the Apostolic Age” (2 Volume Set) by William Cunningham (Part 1)

Two large volumes totalling just under 1300 pages. The definitive work on doctrinal history. Compares the truth to the three major heretical systems: Romanism, Socinianism (an old form of liberalism) and Arminianism. Covers the most important disputes, focusing in on significant points of controversy in each. The value of this set should not be underestimated, for it is an antidote against much of the innovative folly so prevalent in our day. As Iain Murray, concerning human pride and scriptural interpretation, succinctly points out,

“Instead of beginning with a realization that God in His providence had already caused His Church to investigate and settle at least the great majority of Biblical doctrines, the Church, flattered by the supposed possession of superior light, began to despise the old doctrinal standards and to construct a ‘creed’ anew, as though the faith of the previous eighteen centuries counted for nothing. Nor were the evangelicals free from this plague; even they took up the slogans that ‘Christianity is not a doctrine but a life’ and that to express the truth systematically is an abuse of logic — as though to think illogically was a mark of true spirituality!”

J.J. Bonar stated that Cunningham’s “grasp and vantage of the field of theological discussion” was “of inestimable value.” This set is certainly one of the most useful items we carry and is much needed in our day.


CHAPTER I. – The Church
1. Nature of the Church
2. Notes of the Church
3. Promises to the Church
4. Different Theories of the History of the Church

CHAPTER II. – The Council Of Jerusalem
1. Scripture Narrative
2. The Rule of Church Power
3. Authority of Church Officers
4. The Place of Church Members
5. Subordination of Church Courts
6. Obligation of Apostolic Practice
7. Divine Right of a Form of Church Government

CHAPTER III. – The Apostles’ Creed

CHAPTER IV. – The Apostolical Fathers
1. Barnabas
2. Hennas
3. Clemens Romanus
4. Polycarp
5. Epistle to Diognetus
6. Ignatius

CHAPTER V. – The Heresies Of The Apostolic Age

CHAPTER VI. – The Fathers Of The Second And Third Centuries
1. Justin Martyr
2. Ireneus
3. Clemens Alexandrinus
4. Origen
5. Tertullian
6. Cyprian

CHAPTER VII. – The Church Of The First Two Centuries
1. The Doctrines of Grace
2. The Sufficiency of Scripture
3. Rights of the Christian People
4. Idolatry
5. The Sacraments
6. The Papal Supremacy

CHAPTER VIII. – The Constitution Of The Church
1. Prelacy: – State of the Question
2. Prelacy: – Argument from Antiquity

CHAPTER IX. – The Doctrine Of The Trinity
1. Testimony of the Early Church on the Trinity
2. Nicene Creed – Consubstantiality
3. Nicene Creed – the Eternal Sonship
4. Nicene Creed – Procession of the Spirit

CHAPTER X. – The Person Of Christ
1. The Eutychian Controversy
2. The Nestorian Controversy

CHAPTER XI. – The Pelagian Controversy
1. Historical Statement
2. Depravity – Original Sin
3. Conversion – Sovereign and Efficacious Grace
4. Perseverance of the Saints

CHAPTER XII. – The Worship Of Saints And Images
1. Historical Statement
2. Doctrinal Exposition

CHAPTER XIII. – The Civil And Ecclesiastical Authorities
1. Voluntaryism
2. Co-ordinate Authorities
3. Erastianism
4. Popish Theory

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