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Church History in Plain Language [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Bruce Shelley

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Amazon.com: 4.2 von 5 Sternen  98 Rezensionen
34 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Made a class more enjoyable. 18. Mai 2009
Von T. Blake - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I purchased this book for a class. I expected the class to be a very long list of dates and names and... very boring. This book helped make the class very enjoyable. Needless to say, this book is NOT a very long and boring list of whatever. I don't feel like the book made me any type of Church History scholar, but that isn't its intent. It's a great introduction, very enjoyable and readable.

There are 49 short chapters, covering seven "The Age of": Jesus and the Apostles, Catholic Christianity, the Christian Roman Empire, the Christian Middle Ages, the Reformation, Reason and Revival, Progress, and Ideologies. The book is a pinch over 500 pages.

Shelley believes that "clarity is the first law of learning" and so, instead of inundating the reader with dates, names, events, etc., he gets to the plot of the story rather than to every single detail. He writes in his prologue, "Taking this 'issues' approach admittedly leaves plenty of gaps in the story. Some readers will wonder why certain important people or events are not included. But this approach has the advantage of showing to the layperson the contemporary significance of church history. Many of today's issues are not unique. They have a link with the past." And this is where I think Shelley's genius comes out. The question everyone asks in a history course is, "What has this got to do with life NOW?" Shelley answers that. He writes in such a way that the reader immediately sees the connections between what has happened and what is happening. One purpose of the book is to show that church history is relevant and I think it does that very well.

I recommend the book as an introductory reader for other Church History students.
22 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good survey with a few faults 1. April 2012
Von J. Oakes - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I read most of the older reviews on here before purchasing this book. Overall, it was a good read. It gave a good overview of the history of Christianity, from Christ's life to the turn of the 21st century. Shelley covers Christianity's rise and spread systematically, covering challenges to the church and the church's response in all different ages, from Gnosticism to post-modernism. He also ties the history of the church to the history of the parts of the world the church is found in; as a result, I ended up with a better understanding of 'secular' history, as I read how the church interacted with governments and important people to influence world history. One of the nice features of this book is that, at the end of each chapter, there are recommendations of books to read for further study on that chapter's topics.

As noted in other reviews, of course, this book has its faults. First of all, the author's tone toward the Roman Catholic church in general, but especially after the rise of popes in the late fifth century, is disapproving at best and hostile at worst (I say this as a life-long Protestant). However, this tone changes considerably once he reaches the post-WWII era and the Vatican II council, which he frames as the Catholic Church coming out of its Counter-reformation fortress. Secondly, the eastern churches are barely mentioned after the church council age. Russian Orthodoxy, for example, is mentioned in a passing paragraph, then ignored until the author describes the rise of communism in the 20th century. I would hope that, in a 4th edition of this book, Shelley would neutralize his tone toward the historical Catholic church, and add more information regarding the church in the East.

All in all, I am glad to have read this book. Even with its faults, I would recommend this book to someone who has not previously studied Christian history.
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen You'll see the bigger picture. 7. Juli 2011
Von Brian Sun - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Church History in Plain Language provides one really, really amazing thing: perspective.

In the midst of this "movement" and that "movement" in the church and in the world today, it was refreshing for my soul to grasp the reality of Jesus' kingdom throughout the past two thousand years.

I recommend this for every Christian (really) because we must know the Story that we've entered into as the people of God.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen As it says in the title 26. Dezember 2012
Von 1970Thunder - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I purchased this book for a church study. It really is church history in plain language. It reads easily. Everything is explained well; you don't need to be a theologian to understand all the concepts presented.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Very Enlightening 21. November 2012
Von Judith Donnelson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This book talks about the history of the Christian Church from the time of Christ until the present: The councils, the contracts, the proclamations, the movements and variations on doctrine, etc. It is overwhelmingly filled with facts and dates, as one would expect,however It is very informational, enjoyable and easy reading (with a little humor injected here and there.) I have learned more about the background and tenets of my faith from this book than in my 35 years as a Christian!
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