With more than 315,000 print copies sold, this is the story of the church for today's listeners. Dr. Bruce Shelley makes church history come alive in this classic audiobook that has become not only the first choice of many laypeople and church leaders but the standard text in many college classrooms.
What separates Dr. Shelley's work from others is its clarity of language and organization. It treats history as the story of people, and the result is that history reads like a story, almost as dramatic and moving as a novel. Yet there is no fiction here. Dr. Shelley was a respected scholar whose work was painstakingly researched and carefully crafted for historical accuracy.
The fourth edition of Shelley's classic one-volume history of the church brings the story of Christianity into the 21st century. This latest edition, now an audiobook and revised by R.L. Hatchett, contains information concerning Gnosticism and its ongoing relevance, the theology of the early church and Reformation, and most extensively, the rapid global extension and transformation of Christianity since 1900.
Unless otherwise specified, all Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. © 1946, 1952, 1971, 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission. Scripture quotations marked NRSV are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
©2008, 2013 Bruce L. Shelley (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
Full disclosure - I am an active Christian.
I have always wondered how we got to "now" with fractured denominations, the decline of Christianity in the West, the relationship of the Catholic Church to Christianity in general, and more. This book covered all of these topics and more. It was a great overview of Christianity from Christ to the present, covering details from the vantage point of how Christ has worked in the world over the past 2000 years. Non-Christians will still find the information interesting and historical, but the book is definitely written from the standpoint of a believer. Catholics will find it equally interesting, although they may find aspects of their beliefs challenged at times (for instance, the infallibility of the Pope), although never in a rude or crass manner.
Overall, this was exactly what I was looking for - an historical account of the church and how we got to today. It was a long audio book, but I found it worth the time.
This audio book goes for over 20 hours. I went through the whole thing and found it very informative and worthwhile.
It is very educational and the presentation is excellent in that it does not get bogged down in detail and terminology.
Some of the history is highly disturbing - but the book does a good job of giving an detached observers overview.
I have no reservation in recommending this book.
Awesome book, it was very long but it is very detailed with an abundance of information. It breaks down from when Jesus walked with the apostles to very recent history June of 2013 . I would recommend listening to section at a time so you can take thorough notes. It gives you plenty of stuff to study out.
It is a must read. The only problem I had with this book is that in order to make it more "readable" the author would jump timelines between chapters. I would prefer it be more timeline based, so I could correlate the events better.
Great summary of facts and perspectives of Christian history. Wish I would have noted all the people and events I would like to study further.
Outstanding book giving an overview of church history from a fair minded viewpoint. Will help you gain a real sense of the scope and the intellectual journey of the Christian from its foundations to today. Very happy with this purchase.
The title very much gives what it promises delivering a clear and simple recap of the Christian history.
Story/history is told in a compelling way with many biographical details making it more approachable.
Narration is good and clear throughout.
History is always told from a perspective. This title's perspective is North American Evangelical. Towards the end of the book this position comes a bit too strongly at least for me.
All and all, I would recommend this book for everyone who has either never heard of church history or would like to have a easygoing recap.
I enjoyed the way this book captured the story of many important figures in church history. I took some issue with his description of the Church in the Roman world. My schooling is in classics and at times I believe he misrepresented the ancient world and the early church.
Also I took issue with his treatment of Martin Luther. He shoehorns Luther's thought and teaching into a modern American Evangelical context of thinking and doesn't treat Luther's deep commitment to the Sacraments and the roots of his Theological thought.
Too much attention to the most familiar, too little to the most interesting. Incorrect details (e.g., claiming first century Jews weren't evangelistic when they were) make you unsure of how good a rendition you're actually getting. The Orthodox Church more or less drops off the map entirely after the great schism.
"Learnt a lot from this book"
It was great but to get a full overview of the history of the church over 2000 years. I knew a lot about the Bible and sone of the very early 1st century and 20 century history but very little about the 1800 years in between. Really enjoyed this book.
"Not too shabby"
I liked the story style of this history. I liked the emphasis on God's work. I appreciated that the author didn't just bash everyone he disagrees with (although he could be nicer to Luther). The only down sides are that the stories jump around and the listener is left struggling to form a timeline in his/her head. My critique of the performance is only as an Englishman. Words are mispronounced like Keswick. The w is silent!
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