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The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day Paperback – December 7, 2010
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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:)
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.
BE ADVISED: there are significant differences. If you require a specific text, especially for academic work, consider the paperback edition, linked below.
The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day
By the last few chapters, the author makes it very clear that his view of a "healthy" Christianity involves an emphasis on ecumenicism, liberation theology, "contextualized theology," and missions, which he defines in economic terms more so than theological or salvific. He clearly has a Marxian view of the Christian message, with an anti-colonial and anti-imperialist theme throughout. His portrayal of conservative evangelicals in the 20th century is as biased as the traditional narrative he critiques. In fact, our introduction to the movement begins with an image of a Klan rally, as if the KKK were a mainstream movement within modern evangelicalism.
As I said, his editorial does not become heavy-handed until that latter quarter of the book. If you can enjoy the breadth of history he offers, and extract the bias, then it's a very informative book that's very well written. Or, if you already agree with his views, then you'll find his narrative all the more appealing and inspirational. However, if you can't stand "progressive" political correctness, then don't buy this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
you want to read a history book that is not boring - this is it. reading this book is like watching a movie with actions. Great author!Published 1 month ago by Emerson Cardichon
The book is excellent and covers it's topics extremely wellPublished 1 month ago by James B. Reynolds
Very informative, thorough; needed it for a class at my church, also reasonably priced. Thank you.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
It is well written and I am enjoying reading it. He has done a lot of in-depth research. I am a history buff and find it hard to put the book down.Published 2 months ago by Janet McGuire
Very detailed history. Seemed easier to read than volume one.Published 2 months ago by Debbie Liddel
I appreciated the general overview and appropriate summation of movements, yet with attending to specific people and movements proving to be turning points of history. Read morePublished 2 months ago by bobbygaither
Thoughtful, insightful, if anything too smoothly written, but a great text for Church History survey courses.Published 3 months ago by James Hart Brumm
Marvelous detailing of the journey from the Reformation to Current-day Christianity.Published 3 months ago by Jeffery Chapman