Catholic Answers Press

The Apostasy That Wasn't: The Extraordinary Story of the Unbreakable Early Church (Paperback)

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  • Rod Bennett debunks the myth of the Great Apostasy in The Apostasy that Wasn’t—revealing the true story of Christianity's survival.
  • Explore Rod Bennett’s historical journey from apostasy theory to Catholicism in The Apostasy that Wasn’t—a compelling narrative of faith and history.
  • Rod Bennett’s The Apostasy that Wasn’t challenges the idea of a Great Apostasy with gripping tales of early Church resilience and heroism.
  • Discover why Rod Bennett’s The Apostasy that Wasn’t is a must-read for anyone interested in the true history of Christianity’s early struggles.
  • Journey through the early Church’s battles against apostasy theory with Rod Bennett’s vivid storytelling in The Apostasy that Wasn’t.
  • Rod Bennett recounts the heroic defense of Christian orthodoxy in The Apostasy that Wasn’t—a captivating exploration of Church history.
  • Delve into Rod Bennett’s exploration of Christian resilience against apostasy in The Apostasy that Wasn’t—an eye-opening narrative of faith and history.


The theory goes like this: Just a few centuries after Christ’s death, around the time the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, the true Faith suffered a catastrophic falling-away. The simple truths of the gospel became so obscured by worldliness and pagan idolatry—kicking off the Dark Ages of Catholicism—that Christianity required a complete reboot.

This idea of a “Great Apostasy” is one of the cornerstones of American Protestantism, along with Mormonism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and even Islam. Countless millions today profess a faith built on the assumption that the early Church quickly became broken beyond repair, requiring some new prophet or reformer to restore the “pure” teaching of Jesus and the apostles.

This theory is popular… but it’s also fiction.

In The Apostasy that Wasn’t, Rod Bennett follows up his bestseller Four Witnesses with an account of the historical events that led him out of his own belief in apostasy theory and into the Catholic Church. With the touch of a master storyteller, he narrates the drama of the early Church’s fight to preserve Christian orthodoxy intact even as powerful forces try to smash it to pieces.

Amid imperial intrigue, military menace, and bitter theological debate, a hero arises in the form of a homely little monk named Athanasius, who stands against the world to prove that there could never be a Great Apostasy—because Jesus promised his Church would never be broken.


“To read this book is to live in the fourth century, for a vivid moment, knowing the thrills and heroics to which true faith led our ancestors. This is the most enthralling book you'll read this year.”  —Mike Aquilina


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Additional Information

Rod Bennett
Softcover, 323 pages
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3 Reviews

  • 5

    Absolute must-have

    Posted by Jennie on Jun 12th 2023

    Rod Bennett takes a deep dive into the early church and its teachings, councils, traditions, and practices, demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was NO "great apostasy" shortly after the Church Fathers (which is an argument i heard more times than I could count as a Protestant). He demonstrates that the Church's teachings on the Trinity, the Eucharist, baptism and more were rock solid, trustworthy, and faithfully handed down--in spite of persecution, death, peril, and apathy. This is a great gift book for a Protestant friend who is starting to ask good questions.

  • 5

    An enthralling tale

    Posted by Jenard on Apr 23rd 2022

    Rod Bennett crafts an incredible story of the Church as it faces one of its biggest threats, proving once more that the Lord never faltered in his promise that gates of hell will not prevail against it. Bennett weaves together a great narrative, a chronicle that weaves together what would otherwise be fragmented citations.

  • 5

    Debunking Myths

    Posted by Paul Curry on Apr 2nd 2022

    A detailed historical read on the fight to defend Christian orthodoxy and proving that Jesus kept his promise that the Church would never be broken. There's not a detail left untouched in this great book. The author also begins with how his journey began as a Protestant and became a Catholic and discovering truths that were distorted in his previous church. This led him to write this book.

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