Christianity's Dangerous Idea and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$13.15
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.99
  • Save: $2.84 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Tuesday, April 22? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution--A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First Paperback


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.15
$8.99 $6.00

Frequently Bought Together

Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution--A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First + Documents of the Christian Church + The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day
Price for all three: $53.85

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 71%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (November 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061436860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061436864
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is McGrath's third book title borrowed from his atheist bête noir Richard Dawkins. But don't let the titular borrowings fool you: this is an original and important book. Someone had to imitate the long, popular works of history being written on secular subjects from Lewis & Clark to FDR, and McGrath has the theological and historical expertise necessary to tell a story stretching from the Reformation's origins in the 16th century to today. The dangerous idea was Martin Luther's: that individual believers could and should read the Bible for themselves. The result was occasionally violent (as in the peasants' revolt and the English Civil War), occasionally brilliant (musicians like Bach, theologians like Calvin and Jonathan Edwards, poets like Milton) and certainly world altering (the Calvinist Reformation clearing space for the rise of secular science and capitalism). McGrath concludes not with the faith practices of present-day England or America, but with the increasingly Pentecostal global south. The book occasionally falls into the dry tone of a textbook and assumes points that historians would want to debate, but is still the most readable introduction to the history, theology and present-day practices of Protestantism. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“An original and important book... the most readable introduction to the history, theology and present-day practices of Protestantism.” (Publishers Weekly)

More About the Author

Alister E. McGrath is a historian, biochemist, and Christian theologian born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A longtime professor at Oxford University, he now holds the chair in theology, ministry, and education at the University of London. He is the author of several books on theology and history, including Christianity's Dangerous Idea, In the Beginning, and The Twilight of Atheism. He lives in Oxford, England, and lectures regularly in the United States.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
13
4 star
15
3 star
3
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 32 customer reviews
I found this book very informative and easy to read.
Eric Stillman
Alister McGrath not only presents an excellent survey of Protestantism from the Reformation up to now; the book was also a good, enjoyable read.
H. A. Strecker
Patrick F. O'Hare and Triumph by Hw Crocker III as well as How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization By Woods.
Jose Lopez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By H. A. Strecker on January 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Alister McGrath not only presents an excellent survey of Protestantism from the Reformation up to now; the book was also a good, enjoyable read. Like an exciting novel, it was hard to put down. That is the good side. The other side is that I found Alister McGrath's estimate for the future of Protestantism regretable, even if accurate. As A practising Roman Catholic, I frequently pray for the reunification of our fractured Christianity. If Alister McGrath's estimate is right, That just ain't going to happen. One more thing. Alister McGrath seems to find Protestantism as a root cause of western secularism. If one views the Reformatrion as a consequence of a historical Catholic and Protestant disfunction, then one has to understand that secularism is rooted in that disfunction, and Protestantism shouldn't shoulder the blame alone.
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jordan M. Poss VINE VOICE on January 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alister McGrath's latest book has been a long time in the making, and the end result certainly shows the care and meticulous attention he spent on the project. Christianity's Dangerous Idea is not only valuable as a history and examination of Protestantism, it is an especially good book on what it means to be a Protestant and how that meaning has shifted significantly since the movement's beginning.

McGrath divides his book into three large sections. The first deals with the history of Protestantism from the Reformation to 19th century, the end of which marked a major watershed. Because of the complexity of the era and the broad goals which McGrath has set out for his book, his treatment is not exhaustive but is very good nonetheless. The second section deals in some greater detail with the major issues within Protestantism, both historically and today, such as the theories of the sacrament, the organization of Protestant churches, the distinctive traits of Protestantism, and--most interestingly for me--Protestantism's impact on culture, the arts, and science.

The final third of the book is perhaps the most important, and examines Protestantism from about 1900 onward. The beginning of the 20th century marks the beginning of the Pentacostal movement, which has grown from a meeting of students and faculty in Kansas to a worldwide movement of perhaps half a billion people. McGrath devotes a great deal of time to examining what has made Pentacostalism so successful--research which I imagine was difficult but rewarding. This section also discusses Protestantism in the "global south" and Asia, as well as the movement's future, which is far from certain.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Keel on February 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What is the most basic, fundamental, revolutionary idea to come out of the Protestant Reformation? Alistair McGrath contends that it is the idea that individuals can read and decide on their own, without a centralized authority, what the bible means. Tracing this foundational and revolutionary idea from the Renaissance to the present McGrath shows how this idea is both an amazing blessing and a Pandora's box not only for the development of most of Christianity, but also for the Western world as a whole. Written in an understandable style, but documented and researched with superb scholarship this is a must read for everyone who takes the label "Christian." That being said this is a book of history, not theology, so take what Dr. McGrath writes as a broad picture of the development of Christianity rather than a blueprint for theological thinking. Whether you are a Fundamentalist, a Liberal, an Evangelical, a Pentecostal, Eastern Orthodox, or a Catholic you will be challenged to reexamine your presuppositions of your own traditions and methods for reading the bible.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on February 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After 500 years, the Protestant movement is still the world's most vital and unpredictable branch of Christianity, Oxford scholar Alister McGrath argues persuasively in a book that's essential reading for anyone trying to track the rapidly changing course of faith and culture.

The basic idea behind this book is daring: trying to analyze for general readers five centuries of a diverse global movement that now boasts thousands of variations. But, McGrath already has demonstrated his intellectual courage, if not his inerrancy. In his earlier book, "The Twilight of Atheism," he argued basically that disbelief seems to be vanishing from the world stage - just in time for a vigorous rebirth of atheism and skepticism over the past year or two.

That doesn't mean McGrath was wrong - or even that he is prone to misjudgment. On the contrary, it means that he's daring to grapple with the hottest issues in contemporary religious life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
To cover five centuries of a movement as significant and world changing as the Reformation, or as McGrath terms it, the Protestant movement, is ambitious and challenging. He proposes that this movement is based primarily around what he terms "dangerous idea" that each individual Christian has the right and power to read the Word of God for himself and interpret it. He pins this on Luther at the outset, and then this flows to Calvin, Zwingli, et al, collectively striking out at the Roman Catholic church, but each has their own disagreements with how much protest (or reform) is necessary. Luther the smallest, and the others more.

What this scheme does not recognize is that first of all, Luther would never go along with this theme. He would propose what is at the center of the Bible is Christ crucified for sinners. The other reformers disagree, as did and does the Roman Catholic faith. For Calvin it is the sovereignty of God and for Zwingli it was the freedom of the human will. This more matches up with the Reformation history to this day, rather than the idea of each individual believing what they will without any authoritative/interpretative source. This changes everything about viewing this historical narrative. It also shows the bias of the author, having previously suggested "the genesis of doctrine", rather than a reform of doctrine back to its first state in a book by that title. McGrath thus views his historical narrative of the movement in this biased position, which helps him to conclude as his does.

However, having made this critique, this work is still well done and fascinating. It does expose the wide diversity which opened up when Luther was able to challenge the authority of the papacy and Catholic tradition.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa48e88a0)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?