The Church History ABCs   -     By: Stephen J. Nichols, Ned Bustard
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The Church History ABCs

Crossway / 2010 / Hardcover

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Retail: $16.99
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Product Description

A brilliant way to integrate church history into your children's understanding from their youth! In the familiar A is for apple format, here each initial provides the opportunity to dive into a short biographical paragraph on 26 famous men and women in church history; A for Saint Augustine, B for Anne Bradstreet, C for John Calvin. Photos of historic portraits, artifacts, and first-letter-related items provide additional visual interest. This wide range of characters reflects the breadth of church history and reminds children that these great figures were once living, breathing people who lived and died for the glory of God. 34 pages, hardcover.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 32
Vendor: Crossway
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 12.00 X 9.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1433514729
ISBN-13: 9781433514722

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Publisher's Description

This book follows the alphabet as it introduces parents and children to twenty-six pillars of the Christian faith. Whimsical, full-color illustrations and engaging prose teach church history in a fun and creative way.

Author Bio

Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. He is an editor of the Theologians on the Christian Life series and also hosts the weekly podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.

Ned Bustard (BA, Millersville University) is a graphic designer, author, illustrator, art gallery director, and printmaker. He owns the design firm World's End Images, and is also the creative director for Square Halo Books, Inc. He is the designer for Christians in the Visual Arts. Ned and his wife, Leslie, have three daughters.

The Church History ABCs may be represented as juvenile literature, but do not be fooled. This is one of those wonderful books that doesn’t fit any genre and is for all ages. You will laugh, become engrossed, long to know more and head for your computer to do research, wonder at the intricacy and humor of the illustrations, and wish the sequel was all ready published. Yes, The Church History ABCs does start with the well-know Augustine – not designated a saint, and sitting on a pear (turn to the additional information at the back of the book for further explanations of such things as Augustine and his pear). It then goes on to tell of several well-known Christian historical characters, each with his or her conundrum illustration, such as John Newton, Patrick (again, no saint), and the Wesleys. There are also several not-so-well-known ones, such as one of my favorite historical Christians, Queen Jeanne of Navarre, who bravely worked for the Reformation; and Zacharius Ursinus, a 16th century God-led genius and scholar. Because it is presented in alphabet format, there are twenty-six in all.

Christian research professor and prolific author Stephen Nichols presents The Church History ABCs as an intriguing almanac, using love of subject, scholarship, and a happy sense of humor. In the few interesting words he allots to each person, Nichols portrays personality, just enough information to whet your curiosity, and joy in being a Christian brother to such folk. His Introduction states, “In fact, this story hasn’t even ended yet. Someday you will be adding your own story to it” (p. 4). Graphic artist and children’s book illustrator Ned Bustard combines many items, including photos, maps, and music, with his wide-eyed portraiture to give his modern, steeped-in-history graphics a storytelling life of their own. How many uses can one book have? This one has several: family-time reading, leading into devotions; interest catching reader for elementary students; picture book to be read to savvy non-readers; home-schooling text; Christian school library volume (or any library, for that matter); and, reference book for group devotions, sermons, students, and those others who just can’t get enough learning.

Buy this book! You will love it! -- Donna Eggett,

Product Reviews

5 Stars Out Of 5
5 out of 5
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 6
Page 1 of 2 12 Next
  1. Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 29, 2012
    homeschool mom
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    We love this book. My kids are learning about church history and don't even know it! It is full of interesting details on each persons life that make for great discussion. Get this book for sure!
  2. Cottage Grove, MN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Teach you little ones their ABCs & Church History!
    December 1, 2011
    Shaun Tabatt
    Cottage Grove, MN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Just as it is important for us to teach our children about the Bible when they are young, it is also important to introduce them to the people that played a key role in church history. One particular book that that I have found quite helpful in this regard is The Church History ABCs: Augustine and twenty-five other heroes of the faith. Using the twenty-six letters of the alphabet as a starting point, this book introduces children to the following heroes of the faith:

    A - Saint Augustine

    B - Anne Bradstreet

    C - John Calvin

    D - John Donne

    E - Jonathan Edwards

    F - John Foxe

    G - Jane Grey

    H - Hippolytus

    I - Ignatius

    J - Absalom Jones

    K - John Knox

    L - Martin Luther

    M - Monica

    N - John Newton

    O - John Owen

    P - Patrick

    Q - Queen Jeanne

    R - Nicholas Ridley

    S - Charles Spurgeon

    T - Tertullian

    U - Zacharias Ursinus

    V - Antonio Vivaldi

    W - The Wesleys

    X - Francis Xavier

    Y - Florence Young

    Z - Ulrich Zwingli

    Each page introduces readers to a new letter and a new hero of the faith, with approximately 1-2 paragraphs talking about their life and what it is that made them an important part of church history. The last four pages of the book have additional biographical information about each of the men and women from church history introduced earlier in the book. My wife and I found this book to be ideal for reading to our children at dinner time, but I suspect it would also work well for reading at bed time. If you read one page per day, you can get through all twenty-six heroes of the faith in just under a month. I highly recommend this resource for helping your children age four and older learn their ABCs and some church history all at the same time.

    Author Information:

    Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is research professor of Christianity and culture at Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School. He has written several books, including Pages from Church History (P&R Publishing, 2006). He lives with his wife and two sons in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

    Illustrator Information:

    Ned Bustard, a graphic artist, has written and illustrated many children's books, including Ella Sings Jazz, The Story of Sir Galahad, and The Sailing Saint.


    This book was provided by Crossway for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Intro to Church History for Children
    July 18, 2011
    Share and Learn Together
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This picture book gives a short biographical look at 26 people in church history. This would be great for giving your kids an overview of such a broad subject. It helps answer the question: "Where do I even start?" Each letter of the alphabet briefly introduces one person. You can easily read a page each day to even very young children. I have a two year old and a five year old and they both ask me to read it to them. The pictures are well-done and even most parents will learn a few things as they read. Also, in the back of the book is a little more detailed summary of each person.

    (Crossway provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair critique).
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 28, 2010
    t's difficult to find good material on church history aimed at children, but this is a unique, lively option. The book presents 26 heroes of the faith, one for each letter of the alphabet. This presents a limitation, since sometimes there are multiple possibilities for one letter. Still, it manages to cover a nice variety of figures from throughout church history. One brightly colored page is devoted to each person, & is written from their viewpoint. The illustrations are unique & entertaining. They're a combination of drawings & photos. Each one has a likeness of the person featured on that page along with several related objects. Be sure to pay attention to all the details, some are quite amusing! The info provided for each person is quite basic, but at the end of the book is a section with further details for older children or adults, along with explanations of some of the details in the illustrations. Another limitation of the ABC format is that it's not possible to put it in chronological order. Really though, for younger children what we're after is exposure. Understanding the flow of events can come later. Still, the authors have provided a timeline in the back of the book that puts everyone in chronological order, along with dates. The age range listed is 3 to 6, but I think this book is appealing to a wider age range than that. The bright colors & ABC format appeal to younger kids, the witty writing & additional information in the back are interesting to older kids, & the unique, detailed illustrations appeal to all ages. My kids, 1, 4, 9, and 12, all enjoyed this book. Our family has thoroughly enjoyed The Church History ABCs. It's unique, entertaining, & informative, & makes information on a nice variety of historical Christian figures accessible to younger children. I recommend it to families to use with all ages! (Thanks so much to Crossway for providing a review copy of The Church History ABCs for our family to review.)
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 20, 2010
    Recently I received a copy of the book "the Church History ABC's" by Stephen J. Nichols and Ned Bustard from Crossway. This is a book for children (book says ages 3 - 6) that gives a brief introduction to 27 figures from church history (2 for W). I really enjoyed this book. It offers a wide range of people that emphasize different nuances of what the church believes. I think this book would be very helpful for a Sunday School class, a parent teaching their child, or any other arena where children are being taught about the church. I highly recommend this book.I this is a review copy from Crossway.
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