Item description for Church History In Plain Language (2nd Edition) by Shelley Bruce...
Overview Dr. Bruce Shelley makes church history come alive in this classic book that has become not only the first choice of many laypeople and church leaders but the standard text in many college classrooms over the nation. What separates Dr. Shelley's book from others is its clarity, both of language and organization. Church History in Plain Language treats history as the story of people-their motivations, the issues they grapple with, the decisions they make and the result is that history reads like a story, almost as dramatic and moving as a novel. Yet there is no fiction here. Dr. Shelley is a respected scholar whose work is painstakingly researched and carefully crafted for historical accuracy.
Church History in Plain Language makes history easy to follow and easy to retain by dividing the Christian story into eight parts, each part one of the great ages of the church.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 5.8" Height: 1.7" Weight: 1.73 lbs.
Release Date May 31, 1996
Publisher Thomas Nelson
ISBN 0849938619 ISBN13 9780849938610
Reviews - What do customers think about Church History In Plain Language (2nd Edition)?
Sloppy History, Sloppy Editorials Mar 29, 2007
I was lent this book after finishing J.N.D. Kelly's 'Early Christian Doctrines.' Unfortunately, much of it is a disappointment. I was a little surprised to find how sloppy and broad-stroked Shelley's historical development of Christian history was, especially during the first five centuries: the development of papal doctrine, for instance, occurs much earlier than Shelley concedes in his book. Once the doctrine does develop, Shelley seems obliged to offer unsatisfying counterarguments to the reader - as if the reader were somehow unsettled by a historical development, and needed reassurance. This overall polemical attitude toward Roman Catholicism makes the book read much more like an editorial against it than a history of how it developed among other Christian churches. I would recommend trying a different book that aims to do more straight-forward history, and not historical promotion of one ideology over another.
Very informative book Feb 7, 2007
Finally got it after my wife finished it. Good book. Everyone should read it.
A must-have book for any student of Christianity Jan 11, 2007
I have looked for a long time for a well-written, descriptive yet easy to follow summary of church history.
This book is a great introduction to those either studying Christianity or Christians wanting to research the roots and history of Christianity.
Long but worth it Jan 9, 2007
Don't let the 1000 pages overwhelm you. This is a very readable book that objectively covers the history of the Christian Church from the post Apostles era to today.
Western Church and not the Church History Nov 27, 2006
My main complaint is that this book is an exclusively "Western Church History" and not a "Church History" as it claims in the title. Even during the time of the Great Ecumenical councils, it focuses mainly on Rome and the Popes. Eastern Orthodoxy which contributed the most to the three first Councils (Nicaea 325, Constantinople 381, and Ephesus 431) that spelled out the main Christian doctrines of both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches gets mentioned only in two chapters and without any details. Regardless of the great role they played, the Oriental Orthodox (Syrians and Indo-Iranian) Christians only get mentioned in very few sentences and only as occasional incidents.
The Coptic Church which was established by Saint Mark himself and which remains as one of the very few Churches that - from its conception and up till today - seldom enjoyed a peaceful time without persecution and consequently was never affected by the state or political influences but held tightly to the early Christian traditions and teachings, is hardly ever mentioned. There were no comments on the many great saints of Christian Orthodoxy nor the Desert Fathers and Mothers who had a great impact on the Church's teachings.
Because of overlapping presentation of events, it is not easy to follow the actual timeline; the author often jumps back and forth in time causing some confusion. Furthermore there was no mention of the differences that separate the three main churches: Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant; Missing such an essential matter in the history of the Church is quite disappointing
If you are looking for a book about "The History of the Western Church", this is a book for you. If you are interested in knowing about the Eastern and/or Orthodox influences in the history of the church, this is not the book for you. I will look for other books to get a better perspective on the cultural vastness of Christianity. When I find one I will edit this review to mention it for you