Monday, May 16, 2011

The Story of Christianity by Justo L. Gonzalez

book cover

The Story of Christianity:
The Early Church to the Present Day
by Justo L. Gonzalez

ISBN: 1-56563-522-1
Hardback: 880 pages
Publisher: Prince Press
Released: 1999

Source: Bought through

Book Description from Goodreads:
Now available in one affordable hardcover, Gonzalez's 2- volume work continues to set the standard in seminary classrooms worldwide. This highly acclaimed text provides a vivid introduction to Christian history, from the apostolic church to the present day. Gonzalez skillfully weaves in relevant details from the lives of prominent figures, tracing out core theological developments as reflected in the lives of leading thinkers within various church traditions. Especially careful attention is given to Christian expansion into Central and South America during the early modern period.

My Review:
The Story of Christianity covers the history of Christianity from the Apostles to John Wycliffe in Vol. 1 and from the Protestant Reformation to the mid-1900's in Vol. 2 of this two-volumes-in-one book. The author traced the controversies in Christian thought and developments in Christian action in roughly chronological order. (He'd talk about developments in one area or county and then sometimes jump back in time a bit to cover a parallel development in another country.) He explained how the different social, political, and economic forces shaped Christian thought and action. He covered the people who most influenced Christianity though few were studied in-depth. He also filled in political events that connected major points in Christian history.

The book was very readable despite it's huge size. Though the author didn't bash Catholics, he did point out things that Catholics might not like to hear, like just how late certain Catholic doctrines were developed and how not all popes were exactly saintly people. The author also seemed to have a slight bias against any Christian group who held or holds any doctrine too fervently. Also, despite it's size, the book didn't cover any subject as in-depth as some people will like, but it's an excellent overview of the subject.

I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting an easy-to-read overview of the developments in Christian thought and action.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read the Table of Contents and an excerpt.

No comments: