The early Church faced its share of villains-persecutors like Nero and Julian, heretics like Marcion and Arius. And what good were they? Plenty, say the Church Fathers. The threat of persecution made Christians strong and bold. As noted author Mike Aquilina demonstrates in Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians, the menace of heresy made Christians smarter-and deepened their knowledge of the divine mysteries. The villains of the ancient world proved the mettle of heroes like Peter and Paul, Irenaeus and Athanasius. Treachery and adversity inspired the Fathers' clearest teaching, most entertaining invective, and more than a few memorable jokes. The time of villains-and heroes-is hardly over. Through Villains of the Early Church, you'll learn how you can keep your good humor through trials and opposition, and all the while grow sharper in doctrine and warmer in devotion.