The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation

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Harper Collins, 1984 - Church history - 429 pages
5 Reviews

The Story of Christianity, Volume 1, is an informative, interesting, and consistently readable narrative history. It brings alive the people, dramatic events, and ideas that shaped the first fifteen centuries of Europe, such as the Spanish and Portuguese conquest of the New World. Historian Justo Gonzalez shows how various social, political, and economic movements affected Christianity's internal growth.

Gonzalez skillfully weaves in relevant details from the lives of prominent figures from the apostles to John Wycliffe, tracing out core theological issues and developments as reflected in the lives and struggles of leading thinkers within the various traditions of the church. "The history of the church, while showing all the characteristics fo human history, is much more than the history of an institution or movement," Gonzalez stresses. "It is a history of the deeds of the spirit in and through the men and women who have gone before in the faith." The Story of Christianity demonstrates at each point what new challenges and opportunities faced the church, and how Christians struggled with the various options open to them, thereby shaping the future direction of the church.

The Story of Christianity will serve as a fascinating introduction to the panoramic history of Christianity for students and teachers of church history, for pastors, and for general readers.

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This series by Gonzalez is by far the best introductory-level Christian history overview that I have read. I recommend it for anyone desiring to begin learning about the richness of the Church's heritage.

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