Urban Legends of Church History
Stock No: WW649832
Urban Legends of Church History  -     By: John Adair, Michael J. Svigel

Urban Legends of Church History

B&H Books / 2020 / Paperback

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Urban Legends of Church History surveys forty of the most commonly misunderstood events of church history from the period of the early church through the modern age. While these "urban legends" sometimes arise out of falsehood or fabrication, they are often the product of an exaggerated recounting of actual historical events. With a pastoral tone and helpful explanations, authors John Adair and Michael Svigel tackle legendary misconceptions, such as the early church worshiping on Saturday and the unbroken chain of apostolic succession. Urban Legends of Church History will correct misunderstandings of key events in church history and guide readers in applying principles that have characterized the Christian church since the first century.

Product Information

Title: Urban Legends of Church History
By: John Adair, Michael J. Svigel
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: B&H Books
Publication Date: 2020
Dimensions: 9 X 6 X 0.75 (inches)
Weight: 16 ounces
ISBN: 1433649837
ISBN-13: 9781433649837
Stock No: WW649832

Author Bio

John Adair is assistant professor of theological studies at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Michael J. Svigel is department chair and professor of theological studies at Dallas Theological Seminary.
 

Editorial Reviews

"In this book John Adair and Michael J. Svigel have gone on a church history myth-busting rampage like a bull in a China shop. Whether it is secular conspiracy theories or pious prejudices, they expose the fake news about church history. The whole book is one big, ’Well, actually, no, that ain’t true, what really happened was . . .’ This book is a great cure for a whole lot of stupid. Mandatory reading for anyone beginning church history!"
 —Michael F. Bird, academic dean, lecturer in theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
 
"Busting myths and misinformation with wit, wisdom, and goodwill, Adair and Svigel have done a great service to the church with their Urban Legends of Church History. From their extensive knowledge and with helpful illustrations, the authors deliver a clear explanation of key moments and topics throughout church history. The authors’ goals are not merely to expose legends, but to apply history’s lessons today for the sake of Christian unity and the health of the church. Every pastor and teacher should have this book on their shelf."
 —Lynn H. Cohick, provost and dean, professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary 
 
"As an orthodox, Protestant, evangelical Christian, I believe there has never been a more important time to know church history than right now. In Urban Legends of Church History, John Adair and Michael Svigel offer gentle and straightforward responses to some of the most important misconceptions, half-truths, and fallacies throughout the history of the church. For too long, these urban legends have shaped our Christian culture."
 —Kyle D. DiRoberts, associate professor of biblical and theological studies, Arizona Christian University
 
"This volume bears witness to the fact that, if things are repeated long enough, if they are found in copious footnotes in worthy publications, and if they were written by trustworthy spokespersons, they will make it into the world of repeatable ’truths.’ Such is the point of this well-written, well-documented book. Myths make for more exciting stories, we suppose, but they do little service in accurately representing reality. I highly recommend this work, written by two competent scholars, who believed the unvarnished story of our Lord’s church is far more beautiful than fabrications. The examples employed to demonstrate what we have all experienced when we found what we thought was, yet was not, are extremely instructive and revealing. It deserves a serious read by anyone concerned with re-presenting the past so as to understand our present and live in hope for our tomorrows."
 —John D. Hannah, research professor of theological studies and distinguished professor of historical theology, Dallas Theological Seminary
 
"Adair and Svigel have ventured forth upon a quest—to slay the dragon of popular misconception. This is no fool’s errand. Armed with sharp and incisive acumen, they jab at fallacies and slice through fabrications. They summon readers to face evidences and to feel the force of arguments. Those who do so bravely are sure to learn from the adventure."
 —Paul A. Hartog, professor of theology, Faith Baptist Theological Seminary
 
"Urban legends can frequently entertain or amuse, but when they involve the church’s history and doctrine, they can have quite serious consequences that negatively impact the church. Adair and Svigel’s handy and accessible volume identifies and confronts some enduring misapprehensions in the church. With a winsome and engaging tone, they bring theological expertise and historical knowledge to these issues, presenting and examining claims even-handedly, undergirding their explanations with abundant primary source evidence. This book will benefit any Christians interested in a faith based on facts rather than myths. For directly addressing and expertly answering these urban legends, Adair and Svigel are to be profusely thanked."
 —Stefana Laing, assistant professor of divinity, Beeson Divinity School
 
"Urban legends are not benign. They distort our understanding of the historic Christian faith. The authors invite readers to evaluate each legend in light of the historical evidence. The relevance is made clear through helpful applications at the end of each chapter. One may not agree with every interpretation, but the treasure of church history is furthered in this work."
 —Bruce Rosdahl, professor of Bible and theology, department chair for Bible and theology, Southwestern Assemblies of God University
 
"Adair and Svigel have done the church a great service in this book. Despite the efforts of church historians to set the record straight, many pastors, teachers, and bloggers are perpetuating distortions of some pretty important aspects of the history of our faith. Such leaders need to consult the handy treatments in these pages of the things they’re getting wrong. The witness of their people is at stake."
 —Douglas A. Sweeney, dean and professor of divinity, Beeson Divinity School
 
"As long as there are popular authors like Dan Brown and Bart Ehrman, there will be a need for a book like this. Adair and Svigel have searched out dozens of legends and myths in church history and offer corrections for many strange ideas about events in the last two thousand years. This book is valuable because it addresses issues that we have to deal with almost every day. Reading it is like having a church history professor constantly at your elbow." 
 —William Varner, professor of Bible and Greek, The Master’s University

"In a clear and inviting manner, Adair and Svigel traverse many urban legends in the history of the church. They creatively identify many modern concerns about ecclesial practices or church history and how revisiting the historical evidences may provide a good corrective for the church’s understanding. For the average reader and the student of history, Adair and Svigel model how to use history to correct a variety of myths that have arisen in the life of the church. To distill this much information in such a clever way highlights how their vivid and winsome prose, matched with good scholarship, will continue to serve the needs of the church." 
 —Shawn J. Wilhite, assistant professor of Christian studies, California Baptist University
 
 

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