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The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day Paperback – December 7, 2010


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The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day + The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation + Documents of the Christian Church
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 2nd edition (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061855898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061855894
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This highly informative, narrative history covers the events, persons, external influences, and formative ideas of Christian history. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Beginning with the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, this fully revised and updated second volume of The Story of Christianity continues the marvelous history of the world's largest religion. Award-winning historian Justo Gonzalez bring to life the people, dramatic events, and theological debates that have shaped Protestantism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy. From the monk Martin Luther, who dared to stand up to a corrupt pope, to the surprising spread and growing vitality of today's church in Africa, Asia, and South America, The Story of Christianity offers a complete and up-to-date retelling of this amazing history.

With new information on the important contributions of women to church history as well as the latest information on Christianity in developing countries, Gonzalez's richly textured study discusses the changes and directions of the church up to the twenty-first century. The Story of Christianity covers such recent occurrences as the fall of the Soviet Union and the return of the Russian Orthodox Church; feminist, Africa-American, and Third-World theologies; the scandals and controversies facing the reign of Pope Benedict XVI; interfaith dialogue; and the movement toward unity of all Christian churches. This revised and updated edition of The Story of Christianity concludes with a thoughtful look at the major issues and debates facing Christianity today.


More About the Author

Justo L. Gonzalez, author of the highly praised three-volume History of Christian Thought and other major works, attended United Seminary in Cuba, received his M.A. at Yale, and was the youngest person to be awarded a Ph.D. in historical theology at Yale. Dr. Gonzalez is now on the faculty of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.

Customer Reviews

It is well written and very readable.
J. Lindner
I HIGHLY recommend this for anyone wanting to learn about the history of the church.
P. Schwan
Second I chose this book because I had already read vol.1.
peace

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By P. Schwan on October 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a new believer, I had a lot of questions about how and why doctrine came about. I've been very interested in apologetics, particularly the push and pull between fundamental Christianity and the scientific community. Mr. Gonzalez presented a perfect resource for familiarizing myself with the history of the church. It could easily be used as a textbook for a college class, but it doesn't read like one. Wonderfully thorough and very well-written.
I HIGHLY recommend this for anyone wanting to learn about the history of the church. Every Christian should study this to an extent, if for no other reason than to see that challenges to our faith are nothing new. There's definitely nothing new under the sun:)
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In another text ('The Changing Shape of Church History'), Justo Gonzalez writes about the shift away from a Eurocentric focus on the history of Christianity to a recognition that Christianity is a global phenomenon, not just due to Western missionary activity, but rather has been since its earliest day. Gonzalez keeps this global perspective in mind in his two volume narrative history, 'The Story of Christianity'.

Gonzalez' presentation of the Reformation period concentrates on significant people, primarily Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin, bringing in other people as appropriate (Tetzel, various popes, etc.). However, Gonzalez does not confine himself to a 'story of great men' approach, combine the history of ideas, events, and institutions together with the biographical narratives of the people involved. Gonzalez is also the author of a three-volume history of Christian thought, and draws material from that series into this more general church history text.

Gonzalez' approach to the Reformation includes the standard Luther/Zwingli/Calvin triad, with information about the reformations in Britain, the Benelux (Low) countries, France, Anabaptists, and influences in the Catholic church. Gonzalez uses the term `Catholic Reformation' rather than Counter-Reformation, for as he states, `the Catholic Reformation was well under way when Luther was still a young boy.' Gonzalez highlights some earlier controversies that influenced Luther (Hus and others), as well as so-called `minor' actors in the unfolding historical events. This is standard for Gonzalez - he addresses the major events and people while incorporating a good deal of information about the influences and people that normally do not get `topping billing' in historical narratives.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Southern California on August 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not a theology student, I simply wanted to know more about how the church has developed over time. This book is perfect for someone like me: it gives the overall picture, with enough details to grasp the issues, but not so many that we get bogged down and lose track of the overall storyline; I am making notes of books or historical characters that I want to look at more closely later on, after getting the big picture, but for now, the story itself is fascinating. This book (both volumes of it) truly is "The Story of Christianity", and I'm finding that it's pulling together everything I thought I knew about western history from the start of the current era until now. I no longer see how anyone can really understand western history, without having a clear idea of the strand of Christianity from the beginning until now.

The book is rigorous enough for a serious theology student, but also readable by someone like me, who simply wants to learn more about this subject.
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47 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Ed Smither (esmither@compuserve.com) on March 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dr. Gonzalez provides the history student with an excellent point of entry into the period of the Reformation to the present. While his writing style is inviting, calling the reader to engage with the figures and events, it is also quite readable. To be sure, the volume does not attempt to go into great depth, however, it does provide a necessary overview and structure for the period. I felt like I got a good grasp on the period at large providing a foundation for deeper study. Overall, I have nothing but praise and appreciation for Dr. Gonzalez's work. A number of aspects in his work struck me as significant and will be considered in this short review. Among them include the excellent "color video" of the lives of key figures like Erasmus, Luther, and George Fox. Secondly, the history of ideas and philosophy of the period given in Part II of the book gave great insight into the diverse thinking that undergirded the Reformation and its subsequent movements. Thirdly, while I have always viewed the Reformation as a revolution of theology and Christian practice, I was somewhat surprised at its strong affect on the politics of the period. Finally, Gonzalez does an excellent job of showing how the various movements and traditions began and developed. The key religious figures of the period were presented with much color and clarity. I found it insightful that Erasmus was the illegitimate son of a priest and physician's daughter. This must have had an impact on not only his own self esteem and place in society but on how his theology developed. For instance, his reformation leanings had much to do with obedience. Gonzalez writes, ". . .Read more ›
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