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5 Stars Out Of 5
The Story of Christianity - Volume 1
October 3, 2014
This book is a great introduction to church history. While writing in an easily understood format, Justo Gonzalez does a commendable job of introducing the church fathers, through whom the church's history was created; and he gives equal attention to the schisms that threatened to divide the church. In each section of this book, Gonzalez provides an excellent bibliography for additional study. It's unfortunate these books are not available as hard backs.
This was the recommenced text for a church history course that was/is available at www.churchtimeline.com . I have found it a wonderful text that is concise enough yet, seemingly accurate to keep me engaged and forever learning new facets of church history.
Justo Gonzalez essentially wrote one very large volume on the history of Christianity and it has been broken into two parts to make it more accessible (I am including reviews for both works). After all, we're talking about two thousand years of history here. Like many histories, the diving point is things prior to the Reformation and things after. This split makes sense for a two-volume work.
Church history isn't exactly the most riveting matter for most Christians and Gonzalez has done a terrific job in making this topic very readable and enjoyable. He traces the world from the time of Jesus through recent events. Obviously this will need to be revised as time goes on. He makes ample use of charts and maps and pictures and even after seminary his work is still a great guide in sermonizing and teaching.
I would highly recommend this work for anyone who is interested in knowing more about the history of the Christian church. Obviously it's hard to cover so much ground in so "short" a work, but Gonzalez treats his topics fairly thoroughly. One can sit down and read it as a regular book or it also serves its purpose as more of a reference material.