Mich.: Baker, 2012. 326 pp. n.p.
The extremely creative writer Mark Noll of Wheaton College (Illinois) on his
inspiring survey of the history of Christianity designed for the general reader.
Dr. Noll graduated from Wheaton as an English major and from Vanderbilt with his PhD in the
History of Christianity in 1975. After four years of Trinity College (IL), Noll joined the Wheaton
College in 1979. Author of several other books.
Unlike the usual this book is one fact after another church history "turning points" Dr Noll end
each chapter with a prayer a figure related in some way to the turning points, this twelve
textbooks volume populate the market, and builds the story of the growth and extension of the
church around these. Noll readily admits that these are not the only or even the most significant
ones, but they were chosen to provide the basis for a coherent narrative.
To underscore the point that the great decisions of the past were made by real people who
worshipped together with their fellow believers, Noll introduces each chapter with a hymn and
ends it with a prayer, both of contemporary origin. He covers the developments within the
church with considerable objectivity, but lets the reader know where his own Protestant biases
shape his thinking and choice of material. He references on the works of other scholars and
suggested the sources he drew upon to construct the various sections of the book.
The result of the turning Points: is the History of Christianity. I will summarize the achievement
in those seven chapters of this book, base on his uniqueness and his thoughts of the Christian
history. The discussio...
... middle of paper ...
...srael; every man did what was right in his own eyes"
(Judges 17:6). And at a time when thousands are dying in another civil war when ugly arguments
rage without sign of resolution in the Church and the public square, and when, to my eye, theologians
seem equally as paralyzed as their nineteenth century predecessors, this history offers more
perplexity and disquiet than it does the richness and hope. The ultimate importance of this great
book is that it describes the origins of a crisis that is with us still.
Dr. Noll’s book is a good tool for helping me as a Seminary student to understand what Christianity
history is all about. The book explains how the Reformed tradition and the Enlightenment tradition
from their doctrines. Then, the author clearly and methodologically explains in those thirteen chapters
several distinctive views of the Reformed tradition.
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