I've enjoyed Christianity: The Biography enormously! What an original idea. It presents the current scholarship in church history in a very engaging way. I hope this book is widely read... An absolutely outstanding volume!
Christians today have largely lost their historical memory, and it is no surprise that as a result many are struggling to agree on the right way ahead for the church. Ian Shaw's remarkable book, encompassing in one volume the entire chronological and geographical range of Christian history, will prove invaluable in helping Christians to recover their historical memory and hence to find wisdom for the future.
Believers need to know the story of their own faith, and Christianity: The Biography is a great place to start. It covers fascinating figures, movements and trends across two millennia without ever getting bogged down or side-tracked. It is not only clear and accessible, but also inspiring and wise.
The more we learn about Christianity's global reach, the more urgent is the need to re-frame how we understand Christian history. This book gets it right. It offers fascinating accounts of Christianity entering the ancient civilizations of Persia, India and China and its transformation of Ethiopia, Egypt and the Sudan -- even while it was reaching the wild tribes of the remote British Isles. We learn too about the rise of Islam, the modern missions movement and the rapid worldwide spread of Pentecostalism. In sum, this text is a lively treatment of a truly global faith.
So-called 'histories of the church' are often essentially histories only of the church in the West. It is a joy to meet one that recognizes that 'world Christianity' began in the early centuries, and that the story of the Christian faith is a six-continent one. It is a joy also to find it so helpful and well written