Sunday, July 30, 2017

Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity by Mark A Noll

Executive summary: The before and after for a baker's dozen important moments in Christian history. Read it.

  1. The Church Pushed Out On Its Own: The Fall of Jerusalem (70)
  2. Realities of Empire: The Council of Nicaea (325)
  3. Doctrine, Politics, and Life in the Word: The Council of Chalcedon (451)
  4. The Monastic Rescue of the Church: Benedict’s Rule (530)
  5. The Culmination of Christendom: The Coronation of Charlemagne (800)
  6. Division between East and West: The Great Schism (1054)
  7. The Beginnings of Protestantism: The Diet of Worms (1521)
  8. A New Europe: The English Act of Supremacy (1534)
  9. Catholic Reform and Worldwide Outreach: The Founding of the Jesuits (1540)
  10. The New Piety: The Conversion of the Wesleys (1738)
  11. Discontents of the Modern West: The French Revolution (1789)
  12. A Faith for All the World: The Edinburgh Missionary Conference (1910)
  13. Mobilizing for the Future: The Second Vatican Council and the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (1965, 1974)

Obviously many of these (e.g. The Great Schism) are merely marker dates for larger and longer events. And sometimes the motivating events (e.g. The French Revolution) are external to the Church, but have an impact on it.

The approach gives a convenient framework for covering almost all of Church history. Each chapter's introduction includes a characteristic hymn from the era, and ends with a characteristic prayer. The book is quite readable. The author does his level best to be accurate and empathetic.

Read it.

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Wishlisted. thanks