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Church History in Plain Language: Fourth Edition Paperback – December 10, 2013
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About the Author
Dr. Bruce Shelley was Senior Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Denver Theological Seminary. He held the M.Div. degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Among his previous publications are The Church: God's People; Evangelicalism in America; and The Cross and the Flame.
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This book was a fantastic introduction into church history, covering a huge span of time yet maintaining enough detail in each chapter that keeps you wanting to find out more. I'm not normally a reader (averaging maybe 1-3 books per year), but this book had me hooked all the way through it. The author tries to maintain a neutral non-judgemental tone throughout his text, providing a variety of views of how church historians have interpreted events over the years. Of course, recounting history can never truly be an "objective" exercise, but the author does (in my opinion) present his material very thoughtfully without adding too much of his own subjective views.
I've since started studying at Bible College and looking into church history more formally. This book was a huge help in giving me a basic framework to structure my learning around now.
I highly recommend this book, and personally cannot wait to see what's been updated two editions later.
However, as a note to the editor, I believe I have caught a mistake. On page 541, there is an Event Index which claims that the "Great Schism" can be found at pages 231-236. However this is a mistake because those pages take you to the Great Papal Schism of 1378, instead of the Great Schism between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy in 1054
Perhaps an argument is being made that 1378 is the greater schism, but I find this very confusing for the modern scholar since the Great Schism is pretty much universally referred to as that of the one in 1054.
ine of what God has done in and through his church.