“Christian history is everyone’s history, not just those in the pews but those who have never crossed the threshold of a sanctuary.”
I remember signing up for a church history class while an undergrad and I was soooo excited about it. Y’all. It ended up being one of the worst classes I’ve ever taken in my educational life. There were a handful of reasons why, but suffice to say I didn’t learn anything and I’m still sad about it. So these days I read about it on my own, still trying to make up for that class. This book was a great way to feed the habit!
Uncover the surprising history of the Christian church
The church of today did not appear on the earth fully formed; rather, it developed over the centuries. Following Jesus’ command to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth, the apostles and their spiritual descendants have grown the church through times of peace and times of war, through persecution and pilgrimage. The church that began as a ragtag group of Middle Eastern fishermen, tax collectors, and zealots became the multiethnic, multifaceted church we know today through historical events that, while they may seem distant, have a direct effect on our everyday lives.
Now thirty of these course-altering events are brought vividly to life by consummate storyteller Alton Gansky. Spanning twenty centuries of history, this lively book will entertain, educate, and enlighten you even as it enriches your appreciation for those who have come before us in the faith.
The events covered range from obvious events all believers know (like Pentecost and Saul’s conversion) to some some events I’ve never heard of (like Bishop Ussher’s Chronology) to even more events that I haven’t studied in a while (like the 1925 “Monkey Trials” and early Catholic historic events). While this list is by no means the “top” 30 events that shaped the church, it is a healthy look at some events that definitely had an impact, whether for better or worse.
If you enjoy history, you’ll enjoy reading these quick and easy chapters. I’m always up for learning more fun facts – like how Nero was the embodiment of evil (yet he didn’t start out that way) to the Christians who took part in the Scientific Revolution. Plus there’s plenty of end notes, so if you’re interested in further studying once topic or another, you have a place to start!
Is there a specific era or event in history that has always fascinated you?
(Thank you to Baker Books for the copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion)