While Christianity was spreading and while the Christian Church was coming into being, developing its organizations, thinking through its faith, and experiencing divisions, other aspects of the Christian community were taking shape. Processes and standards were being worked out for admission to the Church, forms of worship were developing, and methods were being devised for achieving and maintaining Christian ideals of life. They are of importance not only in themselves bur also because they shed light on the effect of the Christian Gospel and because many of the customs and forms which then emerged have either persisted through the centuries and characterize the churches to which the majority of Christians now belong or form the foundation for current practices. To them we now turn.
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