File Size: 26675 KB
Print Length: 542 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (November 26, 2013)
Publication Date: November 26, 2013
First, except if you have been in school and forced to read via a particular church history book, you will want to find one that’s legible. That can be difficult because the market is academic. I found Chapel History strikes somewhere in the middle. It’s certainly geared for academic study, but most of it is readable. I don’t think your average Orlando who enjoys reading will see moving through its pages difficult.
Also, from my experience your every day Christian is least knowledgeable about the early church (imprecisely called, but I’m using it regardless, for say, the years of 100AD-500AD). Many Protestants know enough about the Roman Catholic Church after 500AD and also are familiar with the Reformation in basic. There’s something shadowy in a lot of people’s mind with the early church. I found Doctor Ferguson’s discussion of the developments in this section of history helpful. We thoroughly enjoyed the time he spends on major figures during this period. He’s frank when talking about their strengths and weak point. He provides enough biographical detail to peek passions without slogging the reader down.
This review is short, but I want to encourage those enthusiastic about church history--purchase a solid church history book you can use to learn your heritage and also for reference. I believe Dr. Ferguson has given all of us a solid resource in this regard. For the equal share of comprehensiveness, readability, and reference, Chapel History won’t disappoint., We got this book after i started church history lessons at the seminary. It had been very useful for me personally as I reviewed the sujects the teacher spoken about later every day, and got more information about them.
In my opinion, this edition has a good amount of contents and a good balance of details. In general, if someone needs more details about an event, it is better to read a specific book instead of a basic one.
With regard to me, this book meets its premise, which is to be a basic history book, that provides the reader with information about the primary events in the church history.
I additionally must highlight the illustrations. Every topic has pictures and images relevant to it, which enriches the reading/studying experience.
Even though it is a good history book, it is not a fairly easy read for the informal reader, but students, theologians and people in general who want to study the subject will find it very useful.
Disclaimer: I received a duplicate from Netgalley in swap for my honest review., Filled with so much information, the style is dense with facts yet keeps readability and flows well throughout each chapter. We never enjoyed history much but I found this to be quite interesting. Also important to me is that I never experienced bias presented in the text; instead I experienced the author did a great job presenting the historical information in a manner that the evidence spoke for itself., Use the knowledge of the past to help navigate the present toward the future. This is the underlying conviction of authors of history books and historians at large. This comprehensive Church historical past textbook, now into the second edition, is no different. Ferguson is Known Scholar at Abilene Orlando University in Abilene, Texas as well as an author of numerous books especially on Church history. As a possible experienced historian, he smartly advises students to embrace these perspectives which We paraphrase the following:
1) Huge Picture Understanding: Understand the data and details, but notice more the religious life of the people and the perspectives during that era;
2) Imitating the favorable: For the periods and instances of faithfulness in the previous, rejoice and reaffirm the imitation of them;
3) Avoid Reproducing the Bad: For the durations and instances of infidelity, learn from them and steer clear of repeating mistakes of the past;
4) Storying the Greatest Event in History: That Church historical past is to be researched because it is about the greatest thing ever before to happen to humanity through the coming of Christ;
5) Compass for the Highway Ahead: With historical mind of the past, one is better equipped to deal with the present and the future.
Like many Church historical past textbooks, the majority of the " narrative thread" in this book will be on Western Christianity. Compressing the time of Christ to the Pre-Reformation means seeking to frame nearly 1400 years into a 544 pages volume. This is a tough mountain to climb but having climbed it, Ferguson provides readers a bird's eye view from the summit. He sets the stage by helping readers prefer the contexts in the Roman world, the Jewish world, and the Greek world, calling them the " three concentric circles of influence" for early Christianity. He brings readers through the life, the ministry, and the death of Jesus Christ, plus continuous emphases on key doctrinal beliefs and theologies. On the Early Chapel, he begins with Antioch and slowly makes his way through the many churches mentioned in the book of Acts. This individual points out the many tensions that existed among the Christians in the first two centuries. Presently there were the ritual differences between the Hellenistic and Jewish believers; the struggle against Gnostic influences; the persecutions that seemed to grow unabated from early Pharisaic challenges to intense Empire executions. If the first century was marked by persecutions and accomplishments, the second century was notable through heresies and schisms. Ferguson helpfully shows the lessons learnt through both good and bad times. For example, Ferguson poses the question of whether our doctrines and orthodoxy has been shaped by the occurrence of heresies. The conclusion is that orthodoxy was already present prior to any heretic beliefs. When the heresies came up, Church frontrunners were forced to ratify or to put down the Orthodox beliefs in writing.
Century by century, Ferguson traces the development of Christianity as world forces fought one another; Chapel factions argue East and West; and political and religious lines demarcated within an increasingly complex world. Luckily, the missionary movements carried on to grow both East and West. On the East, despite problems like the Iconoclasmic controversy, the Islamic threat, and the terrible Crusades, the Byzantine chapel continued to flourish from the 9th to 11th Century, partly due to the strength of the Byzantine Empire. Just like the Eastern missionary motion that was able to reach out to the Slavs and Bulgars in Central The european countries, the West too experienced their shining stars occurring in the churches of England and Ireland. In case Patrick was the " apostle to Ireland, " Ninian was the " apostle of Scotland. " Another major turning details of the Church and State relationships happened at the coronation of Charlemagne.
Slowly but surely, perceptive readers will sense that the dark ages actually became fodder that rooted the seed for Reformation. With power increasingly being used (and abused) by both imperial powers as well because the Church papacies, the Church descended upon a regrettable phase of the Crusades, the Inquisitions, and overt display of power. With the Crusades lied greater alienation between the West and the Greeks. With the holy battles laid discontentment among the peasants. During these times, the Monastic movement started out its quiet rise in influence and positive advancements for the society. Presently there was the rise of Scholasticism with impressive advancements in theology and colleges of learning. Commentaries were written. Theology becomes still living. Scholars such as Abelard, Anselm, and Aquinas set the cause. The Augustinians, the Benedictines, and the Cistercians brought about new monastic vitality. In addition to that, they were active in charitable causes, and helped spread the other advancements such as arts, education and learning, literature, rhetoric, and many aspects of modern culture. These positive developments were negated somewhat by " portents of decline" toward the finish of the 13th century. The Chapel needed to be converted. Heresy always been a problem. The political situation was increasingly unstable. It really is at this point readers will be enticed to look forward to Volume 2 of this history series.
Rising Church history is perhaps one of the most crucial and effective strategies understanding our modern culture. If we do not know our past, how can we appreciate our present? Exactly how can we then anticipate our future. If we fail to learn from the past, our company is likely to repeat the mistakes of the past. Ferguson techniques through a noticeable chronological order of things which helps viewers monitor where they are. Sometimes, it can be a little complicated when the developments are happening at the same time but at different places. It is important to use the chapter titles as a marker when reading this book. Sometimes, it could be necessary to bookmark the stand of contents and relate to them regularly so that one will not be lost among the list of details. I appreciate this book for four reasons.
Firstly, it gives us a good bird's eye view of the development of Christianity from persecutions to coronation, that the gospel is powerful. Be it external persecutions or internal controversies of doctrines and heresies, it reminds me of the power of the Nature to help the development of the gospel irrespective of circumstances. In reality, in the hands of a few, God will multiply. God will spread the gospel. God will make himself known as Jesus is lifted high up.
Secondly, it helps all of us prefer the roots of modern Christianity. For example , many modern atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and even believers will often point to the Crusades as the big dark mark in Church and Christianity. While in some way that is valid, in other way it can be unfair and misguided. The Crusades happen not merely because of religious motivations. It is more to do with political greed and cultural pride. Ferguson paid quite a lot of attention on the Islamic and Christian tussles, showing that the parallels between the battles among kings and popes, and the unlucky embrace of holy conflict that totally undermines the Ten Commandments and the laws that meant to protect rather than ruin. Come to think of it, suppose the Chapel was non-existent at that time, and a religious beliefs called " whatever, " chances are, armies through Europe and Asia will be battling out in the name of " whatever" against the " non-whatever. " This is because regardless of the religions per se, the human condition is sinful.
Additionally, the book is brutally honest about the size of historical past. Both the ups and downs are boldly set out. The mistakes are there for us to learn. The highs are there for all of us to remember how God was dedicated throughout history. It could have been tempting to attempt to put a positive spin on everything, also to downplay the disadvantages. Ferguson did not do that. He explains it as they are, so that readers can make their own interpretations also to recognize that we live in an imperfect world, and the past is no less imperfect than our own world.
Fourthly, I appreciate Ferguson's weaving of most cultural, political, intellectual, and spiritual contexts. After all, religious beliefs not only shapes the culture around, the culture also shapes the religious beliefs. This is one reason why the title " Chapel History" can throw people off into thinking that it is merely a spiritual text or a text message about Church. While the title is understandable to Christians, students, and seminarians, it might give non-believers an impression that it is limited only to Church. For this reason in some places, people use " History of Christianity" instead.
Finally, just like the way the Older Testament ends in Malachi, where there is apparently an incomplete story, this book finishes with the very brief summary of the story ups and downs. We suppose this is intentionally done, as Church historical past does not finish at the 14th or 15th Century. It is the beginning of the continuous story of the best story ever told over and over again. We find myself wanting more. On to Volume 2.
Rating: 5 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me thanks to Zondervan and NetGalley as a swap for an honest review. All thoughts offered above are mine unless otherwise explained or implied., Very well structured resource! Very specific referrals, people, time periods, documents and records and tgeir claims to validity. A resource I will return to again and again! I feel not a theologian in any conventional capacity unfortunately he able to follow this book easily. It is certainly a textbook but I also appreciated it's very organized index so you can look up just what you need or read though. Study part 1 and 2 for the whole history! Wish some things went more in detail but with this already so huge a resource, they can't go very deeply into everything... but they did provide resources for further study at the finish of each section.
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