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Peril and Peace (History Lives Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Mindy Withrow , Brandon Withrow
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Let history come to life - just the way it should be.
Read the stories of Paul, Polycarp, Justin, Origen, Cyprian, Constantine, Athanasius, Ambrose, Augustine, John Chrysostom, Jerome, Patrick, and Benedict. People from the early and ancient church and discover the roots of Christianity.
From the apostle Paul to Benedict you can discover how those in the early church still influence church today. In their lives you will see the young and developing church struggling and growing in a hostile and difficult world. Watch in amazement as a varied selection of people from different countries, cultures and times merge together to form the Christian church. Learn from their mistakes and errors but more importantly learn from their amazing strengths and gifts. Marvel at the incredible things accomplished by God in such a short space of time.
Written in a modern and relaxed style this is a book that will introduce you to history without the tears and with all the wonder. There are longer chapters interspersed with short factual chapters.
Extra features throughout this book look deeper into issues such as persecution; worship; creeds and councils and the formation of the Bible as well as a timeline.


Editorial Reviews

Review

There is nothing new under the sun - that is definitely true with church history. Many of the same issues and problems face us today that faced the medieval church. So not only does this book give a good, fast-paced narrative through early christian history - it also highlights some of the mistakes and problems that have raised their heads again today. ~ Catherine MacKenzie (Author and CF4K Editor)

Most church history books for kids are either too textbook-ish to enjoy or too brief and sanitized to be accurate. Our desire for the History Lives series is to provide an engaging, accurate introduction to the true story of Christianity. These "fictionalized" accounts are based on extensive historical research and incorporate quotes from the character's actual writings. Volume 1 is not about the "heroes of the faith," but merely some of the flawed human beings that God used to establish his church in the first 600 years after Christ. We hope that, like us, you will be encouraged to more faithful living by their stories. ~ Mindy Withrow (Blogger, writer)

Review

There is nothing new under the sun - that is definitely true with church history. Many of the same issues and problems face us today that faced the medieval church. So not only does this book give a good, fast-paced narrative through early christian history - it also highlights some of the mistakes and problems that have raised their heads again today. ~ Catherine MacKenzie (Author and CF4K Editor)

This is a great overview of Church history -- and a sobering look at the cost of following Christ in the early days of the church. While written for the youth market, I found it very readable as an adult. I've given copies to several friends with children and all are enjoying it. ~ Parent of a Young Reader

My daughter tore through these books and can't wait for the next ones to come out. I finally wised up and read the first one this summer. A fine balance of history and personality. It made the ancient church come alive. How grateful I am to be in the same family of faith as these fallible believers. As a pastor I think this should be required reading for seminary students. Thanks Withrows for writing this series! ~ Parent of a Young Reader

Product Details

  • File Size: 787 KB
  • Print Length: 207 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications; Volume 1: Chronicles of the Ancient Church edition (July 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WPZZKM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,498 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intro to church history December 5, 2008
Format:Paperback
We've read through most of the series, including "Peril and Peace." My son and I started reading them together when he had just turned 7. They are an inspiring way to enter into church history--through balanced biographical sketches of historical figures. There are even little short chapters that fill in chronological gaps or significant developments during the given era (i.e., creeds and councils, how did we get the bible, Islam, etc.) Each volume has a timeline, map, and bibliography for further reading.

We're eagerly waiting for the next volume, Rescue and Redeem. The books work well to supplement a home school curriculum but could used as well in some family devotional settings or a snowy day.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview for adults and children March 14, 2006
Format:Paperback
I found volume one in the History Lives series to be very readable and have given several copies as gifts to friends with children. It is a great overview of early church history for adults and children. I was particularly challenged by the reminder of the sacrifice the early church made. And while there was no shirking from the martyrdom of so many earlier believers, it was recounted in such a way that children can read the accounts.

FYI, Amazon has the titles a bit mixed. It's Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient Church. Volume 2 is Monks and Mystics: Chronicles of the Medieval Church.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb June 24, 2009
Format:Paperback
For an introduction to early Christian church history, it's tough to imagine a more compelling book than Peril and Peace, volume one in "History Lives: Chronicles of the Ancient Church" by Mindy and Brandon Withrow. It is a surprisingly good page-turner.

The Withrows combine great knowledge of history with the novelists art, making this volume a fun read even for kids who normally think history is boring. Nearly every chapter is a novelized snippet of early Christian life, covering such important Christians as Paul (Saul), Polycarp, Justin, Origen, Cyprian, Constantine, Athanasius, Cappadocians, Ambrose, Augustine, John Chrysostom, Jerome, Patrick, and Benedict. Full of action, dialogue, and interesting details, these chapters make me wish I was reading an entire historical novel about each individual, rather than only a single chapter about them.

Modern Christians will have a tough time not scrutinizing their own lives after reading about the trials of many of these early Christians, who often preferred to die in the name of the Lord rather than run from their persecutors. This is no dry rendering, full of dates about when the early church began doing this or that. This book focuses on famous martyrs and church formers and what life was like for them.

We can also see some problems never change. For example, it's nothing new for the government to find Christianity a threat, and it's an ancient trend for those who encourage others to focus on God and his Word, rather than worldly pleasures, to find popularity passes them by.

There are also a few nonfiction chapters interspersed throughout, introducing readers to life in the early church, how we got the Bible as it reads today, and very general information on how early Christians worshiped.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I was hoping to find a children's series that presented the history of the Christian Church in narrative form, perhaps even containing direct, clearly identified quotations from primary sources. Unfortunately, this book qualifies as historical fiction, not history presented in narrative form. The brief chapters that introduce main sections of the book and the small concluding snippets at the end of each chapter do present well-researched historical information, but kind of like what you'd find at the end of a movie based-on-actual-events (i.e. "Mike went on to marry Linda. They lived in a modest split level in Hoboken, NJ...."). Beyond that, the historical content present in the rest of the book is obscured by narrative embellishments more typical of Hollywood.

Additionally, the theme of martyrdom and the graphic description of violence, found especially in the first half of the book, mute what I believe to be the more pertinent themes of Christian purity, Church unity, Church authority, and the Church's engagement with secular culture. I found the concluding sentence of Constantine's chapter particularly disturbing when juxtaposed with the authors' dedication. What would one find at the end of spears of love? Peril and Peace was almost what I hoped for, but will ultimately find a high shelf on the family bookcase.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good - Had hoped it would be better September 25, 2009
Format:Paperback
I had high hopes for this series as I had read some very good reviews and I regard the publisher highly. While the books I have read in this series (Peril & Peace and Courage & Conviction) are entertaining and informative, covering a wide range of history in such short works, I found the dialogue between the individuals portrayed to at times be too modern and other times to be a slightly crass, or at least not very polished. That said, I think that there is some value in these books if used as an entertaining supplement to more serious study. The books do contain detailed information on the source documents and are written by a professor of church history and his talented wife.

The books begin with an overview of a specific period in church history and subsequent chapters highlight or detail the lives of key figures within that period, spanning several hundred years. Imagined dialogue between key figures is interspersed with actual historical detail with some direct quotes. The end of each fictionalized retelling contains a brief synopsis or significant fact about the key individual or individuals portrayed in that chapter.

As with all books, one must exercise discernment and test everything in light of Scripture, which is advice that I am sure the authors would both recommend as well.

Other books in this series:

Monks and Mystics: Chronicles of the Medieval Church (History Lives series)

... Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fine
Published 24 days ago by Amy Waters
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My 8 year old daughter and I have loved this book.
Published 1 month ago by Dana Lee Mazer
4.0 out of 5 stars I love the entertaining way it teaches early church history
I am reading to my children. I love the entertaining way it teaches early church history. It is very well written.
Published 4 months ago by Miriam R. Vega-Randall
4.0 out of 5 stars Opinion of a 13 year old
According to my 13 year old, this was a great book with interesting background information into leaders of the early church. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mom of 6
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an awesome book- It has short chapters that give information...
This is an awesome book- It has short chapters that give information about the historical church followed by chapters on the lives of certain ancient church fathers. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone at all interested in church history!
This book is absolutely wonderful! I use it with my kids (ages 6-14) for church history studies. It is written in such a way that all of them can understand (although it really is... Read more
Published 10 months ago by KW
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent little overview of church history ideal for reading with kids
'Peril and Peace' Vol. 1 is an enjoyable and informative overview of the lives of early church fathers such as Polycarp, Ignatius, Justin, Origen, Constantine, etc. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Rob
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best!!
If you are looking for a history of the Christian church book series that will excite your children to want to learn more then this book and the other four volumes are the best you... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Kate
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction for Youth
This book would be an appropriate introduction to Church History for a bright 13 year old, but in general might be more helpful to a 14-15 year old. Read more
Published on January 10, 2013 by Charles Dickens
4.0 out of 5 stars Peril and Peace
Mindy and Brandon Withrow came up with a great idea a few years ago - Write a series of books for children that chronicle the history of the church in readable prose that will... Read more
Published on December 17, 2012 by Dr. David Steele
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