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A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada Paperback – August 11, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; First Printing edition (August 11, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802806511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802806512
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Noll has written a very readable textbook. Though dealing with all denominations, it is centered on the rise and decline of Protestant dominance in the United States. Starting from colonial pluralism, Noll shows how Christianity was Americanized by the "great awakening," the Revolution, and other influences. Evangelical America, he says, began to erode during the Civil War and declined further under the influence of modernism and the social gospel. Examining various trends and leaders, Noll predicts that the 20th century will witness a return to pluralism. Though a little weak on the past 40 years, his book is an excellent overview of American church history. Space is given to minority influences, and hymns are used to show the common worshiper's viewpoint. Especially useful and unique is his section on the church in Canada, which provides great comparison value. Recommended for libraries needing a good, basic history of the American church.
- C. Robert Nixon, MLS, Lafayette, Ind.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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A lot of information.
Scott Uselman
I would recommend this book for anyone's library as a reference guide and as a great read in itself.
Ramblinstan
Read and enjoy and do not be turned off by the size of the book!
Michael Taylor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Michael Taylor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was required to read this book for a seminary class and instead of being intimidated or turned off by its over 500 pages, I found the book to be an extremely enjoyable read.
Noll describes the spread of Christianity from the Roman Catholicism of the 1500s to today's pluralism. Particulary enjoyable were the chapters on: the Puritans, The Great Awakenings, Churches in the American Revolution, Evangelical America during the Civil War, Intellectual Challenges to the Christian Faith in the Early 1900s, certain personalities (Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, Fulton Sheen), and the Southern Baptist Convention.
A very interesting read, I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in the history of Christianity in America!
Read and enjoy and do not be turned off by the size of the book!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Marc Axelrod VINE VOICE on July 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
I think that this is a very thorough, enjoyable journey through the history of Christianity in the US and Canada. He not only focuses on events such as the two American Great Awakenings, but he pauses to discuss some of the more interesting and influential Christians of the times (Anne Hutchinson, Charles Finney, George Whitefield, Francis Asbury, Fulton Sheen, Billy Graham, et al). I highly recommend this book, but it is a long book, so be prepared for many hours of reading.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Reed on March 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
During the past decades a Wheaton College professor, Mark Noll, emerged as one of the nation's finest evangelical church historians. He's confirmed that standing with the recent publication of A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c. 1992), a readable, up-to-date survey, a textbook which should enjoy a wider audience than the colleges and seminaries which offer courses on American church history.
Noll tells an important story, a story largely untold in the typical textbooks used in high schools and colleges in America--where more space is sometimes devoted to Native American religious practices than to Christian communities, where the Pilgrims and Puritans may be mentioned without a word concerning their religious faith and godly concerns. Just as the millions of church-going Americans rarely appear in today's media, so earlier church-goers rarely appear on the pages of authorized school textbooks. Censorship is alive and well in academia! But Christians, at least, should know some truths about their heritage. For. unfortunately, when they're told about this nation's religious background in church they're too often fed some patriotic pablum, filled with ideologically-fueled examples which distort the historical record. Just as academic historians err by omitting the truth, Christian propagandists (seeking to make this nation a thoroughly "Christian" nation) err by over-stating it. True, the United States is, in some ways, a "Christian" country. But, truth to tell, in perhaps more ways, the United States has failed to really be Christian. To get at the real story, we need historians like Noll to clear the record!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian Griffith on January 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
This excellent, detailed history shows what was new about Christianity in the New World. It portrays the dramatic contrasts between official colonial churches and various refugee sects, with their different visions of how they might relate to each other. Where the first colonies, provinces or states usually had official state churches, Noll documents the issues of church relations on the borders or frontiers between these domains. Into these zones, dissidents of all stripes fled from state-backed religion. And in areas where no religious group had a majority, Noll records how people learned to meet their community needs and get along: "The result was a degree of interdenominational tolerance probably unknown anywhere else in the world at that time". (p. 89) Noll's statement may overlook the religious diversity of India or China, but for the Christian world it applied.

Of course Noll's book holds far more, and is of interest to people of every denomination in Canada and the USA. I was just most impressed by the explanation of how religion in North America escaped state control.

-author of Correcting Jesus
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kfenn on October 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book for Church History. It is a single volume that is written on a fairly east-to-read level. If you've not read a Church History reference before, this would be a good choice with which to start.

Mark Noll's works are always good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Seeker of God on September 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book helps us to remember the Christian Heritage of our country. By studying the Christian Heritage of our country we can see how the secular history has played out too and how they go hand in hand. This book by Mark A. Noll helps to bring this rich history in an easy to read format. This book is also a great resource for research and to help with illustrations for sermons and Sunday School lessons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Calfla on January 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is thorough and comprehensive coverage of the history of Christianity in the United States and Canada from the first colonists, up to the date of publication in 1992. It also serves to provide additional insight into the history taught in schools and experienced by all of us. It is from these religious roots that the moral fiber of our culture arises, shaping all events. This book tracks the multitude of divisions and changes that have taken place in our religious landscape during the almost 400 year history of European peoples in North America. It makes it obvious that change is the only consistent factor.

Most of it is clearly and concisely written. It does a good job in explaining major differences between denominations in a given time frame. At times, it does become somewhat muddy as the author tries to explain lesser differences between denominations. I believe that is not the result of a lack of skill on the part of the author, but because those differences themselves are muddy.

The author maintains a consistent level of objectivity throughout the book and is not being a flack for any particular religious point of view.
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