Customer Reviews for

Church History in Plain Language: Fourth Edition

Average Rating 4
( 16 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2003

    Reads Like an Adventure

    You will, as I did, read this book twice. It is simply outstanding in a very non-technical way. How does an author cover Church history in one small book and still do justice to it all? Impossible, we might think! That is the amazing thing about Mr. Shelley's book. When you finish it, though you may continue to have questions, you will feel much better informed. Beginning with the apostles, Mr. Shelley breaks the book into clear sections. You see the influence of the Roman Empire upon the Church and then the subsequent developments when previously uneducated Christians began to have the Scripture available to them for their own reading. I have heard there is a Catholic bias in the book and I have heard there is a Protestant bias. I believe there is neither. As one reads this book, one must remember that Church history did not stop in 95 A.D., nor did it stop in 1520 A.D. Things continue to happen even in today's Church world. Mr. Shelley gives his reader a good basic overview of history along with further, deeper reading for those who desire it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2001

    Excellent overview of main themes

    I found this book very helpful in explaining, as the title says, in plain language, the major themes and turning points of church history. It is written with a bit of a protestant slant, althought the Catholic church is treated fairly. I was particularly interested in how the church of the apostles merged into the church-state model of medieval Germany. I found ample information on this, as well as generous overviews of the Crusades, the Orthodox Church, the Reformation and Catholic response, the rise of denominationalism and its influence on an infant America, as well as adequate information on modern Christain movements. While the text is lengthy and thorough, it is not overly scholarly, nor is one topic covered too deeply. I appreciated the 'suggested reading' lists at the end of each chapter to direct me to further study. My only complaint is I wish more study were given to the Medieval Church, particularly 400-900 AD, although there is admittedly limited historical record of this era. This is an excellent book to start a church history study.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2001

    A good book--but too much info for the ordinary reader

    _Church History in Plain Language_ covers the bases of church history in a readable way. Unfortunately, the text still isn't 'plain' enough for the average church-member, who is completely unacquainted with the history of Christianity. I would recommend this book to college students and extremely well-read laypersons. For the ordinary reader, I would recommend a slightly simpler text, such as Timothy Jones' outstanding book, _Christian History Made Easy_.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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