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2,000 Years of Christ's Power: Part One: The Age of the Early Church Fathers Paperback – July 1, 1998
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Each chapter focuses on general periods of time, emphasizing major church figures, major political figures, world events, church growth and practice, and theological development and controversies. Major people, works, and events are in bold. The end of each chapter has a review of key figures. One of my favorite parts is that the end of each chapter also includes several excerpts from writings or figures mentioned in the chapter. The end of the book also has very helpful glossary that explains key figures, events, and theological issues.
Overall, this has become one of my favorite history books for a survey or for reference. I would recommend it to everyone who wants a easily understandable but also accurate portrayal of the history of the church and the advancement of theology.
The book covers all the usual territory you would expect a church history volume to cover. Since the scope of this particular book is the early church and the early church fathers the author explains the significant events and beliefs that shaped the early church. Along the way the author also examines what I think is the most unique aspect of this volume and that is the theological significance of particular movements in the church. While other church history books do this I enjoyed how Needham explained crucial events in the history of the Church.
This volume is part one of a four part series which aim to cover the history of the church from the earliest days to modern times. Those who enjoy church history will enjoy these well-written volumes. Those who haven’t studied church history will find this volume very accessible and easy to understand. Pastors and preachers in particular will gain from this series and want to add the other volumes in this series to the library. Every Christian will benefit from reading this book. This particular volume examines the early church father and includes the stories of martyrs such as Polycarp, theologians like Athanasius and Augustine of Hippo and preachers like John Chrysostom.
Whether you’re well-read on the topic of church history or you’re brand new, this series of volumes on church history will help you gain further insight into what the Church has taught throughout its 2014 years. I enjoyed the theological reflection of the author and the insight he provided even to someone whose read and owns quite a few church history books. I highly recommend this volume and can’t wait to read and share my thoughts on the other books in this series in future reviews.