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Abstract

Models of historiography often drive the theological understanding of persons and periods in Christian history. This article evaluates eight different models of the early church period and then suggests a model that is appropriate for use in a Seventh-day Adventist Seminary. The first three models evaluated are general views of the early church by Irenaeus of Lyon, Walter Bauer and Martin Luther. Models four through eight are views found within Seventh-day Adventism, though some of them are not unique to Adventism. The ninth model, proposed by the author, is expressed colloquially for the sake of simplicity and memorability: The good guys are the bad guys/The bad guys are the good guys. The lessons of history must be learned from actual people with their successes and failures. There was no golden age when exemplars thought and acted in perfect virtue. History was lived by very human people.

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