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Impeccable from an historical and academic standpoint, Hart maintains an ecumenical tone throughout and does not display any particular overwhelming bias towards any sect. An essential read if one wishes to understand the grand narrative of Christianity especially without a Western bias. Everything Bentley Hart touches turns to gold. Hart repeatedly punctures the ideologically motivated myths told about religious history with the sheer weight of his vast learning. Jul 13, Ben rated it it was amazing. The "illustrated" aspect of this coffee-table-book approach goes a long way in making for interesting reading.

Small timelines and brief bios are usually included in each short chapter. Far from an exhaustive text on the topic, it's still an accessible and informative all-around resource. A well written, erudite and lucid single volume introduction to the history of the Christian Church. Outstanding Nice short chapters. It's a good overview. The kind of overview that gives less than a full page to Martin Luther. And so when you get to the significant events after the Reformation, it's almost a maze of names and dates that have less context than you might expect.

That being said, it's also quote a bit more balanced in terms of showing what happened in the Eastern Church than I had previously been aware of. Apr 14, Adrian rated it it was amazing. A major strength of David Bentley Hart's study is the fact that it has a truly ecumenical approach. While Hart is a Theologian of the Eastern Orthodox Church, he nonetheless provides a study of all Churches, movements and includes the sects that essentially failed or went extinct. Hart includes all the historical events one would expect, the early Church Councils, the Great Schism of , the Reformation and the Enlightenment, but his concluding chapter has some ground breaking insights.

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Apparent A major strength of David Bentley Hart's study is the fact that it has a truly ecumenical approach. Apparently, movements such as Pentecostal and Charismatic are more widespread than one or at least this reader had imagined and it's now not inconceivable to encounter a Catholic church service involving Spiritual gifts.

But his most sobering analysis is in Christianity's global shift from north to south, and from East to West. Hart concludes that while Church numbers may be declining in Europe and the US, Christianity has literally exploded in Africa and is growing ever faster in China, and perhaps this is where Christianity's future may be strongest. Hart is thorough without being verbose, yet succinct without being overly simplistic or giving into caricatures.

From the Near Eastern Mediterranean to Ethiopia and North Africa, from India to Constantinople to Russia, the spread of the faith is told in an enjoyable, flowing narrative that is very accessible. His emphasis is just after the Apostolic period to the Reformation 15th century.

An even-handed and enjoyable read for any Christian or anyone that wants a good read of Fantastic book. An even-handed and enjoyable read for any Christian or anyone that wants a good read of the history of the Christian faith. Jan 12, Deepu George rated it really liked it. An excellent book that gives a concise history of Christianity from the apostolic era to the present. To put everything that happened in the last years is humanly not possible in this book.

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He doesn't touch upon the very many controversies associated with the Popes and gives even pope Alexander 6 some reasons to smile ;. Feb 21, Michael Dunn rated it really liked it. David Bentley Hart has done a very nice, balanced work to provide a fast and broad survey of the story of the Christian faith. It was fun to read - even with a lot of education - because in about pages he hit the main points through the history of the story. However, it would great to read for someone who wanted a quick read that exposed one to all the main high points, with the idea of delving into further details if something captured one's attention.

Apr 07, Tim rated it really liked it. Hart's history of Christianity allows some of his biases to leak through, but that is fair enough. Western Christians need to know more about the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental churches and understand similarities and differences. This book is just an overview, not a full discussion, and is also more concerned generally with thinkers than with practice. Still a good introductory overview and the pictures are beautiful. This is, in pages, a very brief and very readable presentation of the story of Christianity beginning with the story of Abraham's people found in the Hebrew Bible and continuing to its rise as a truly global movement in the 21st century.

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The story is presented in brief chapters of pages which make it ideal for reading in small bites on a regular basis. Aug 26, Jonele rated it liked it. Very broad overview of Christianity from a little before it's inception. Some of the information I want to recheck because it doesn't hold with the majority opinion - which doesn't mean it's wrong - but overall well handled for such a large topic. May 13, Mac rated it it was amazing. Short fascinating chapters, beautiful illustrations on oversized pages. David Bentley Hart's wonderfully engaging style maintained even as it is pared down for popular audiences.

An excellent survey of Christian history by one of the best minds in the Church at present. Does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a straight-up account of Christianity's first 2, years. As you'd guess, it doesn't cover everything in depth but is more of an account of what happened with a few sections on why they happened. A well chronicled summary of the definitely very long history of Christianity. Knowing the history puts a lot of things of faith into a clear perspective, including today's social and political status of the world.

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It reads like a summary of Justo Gonzalez's work. Jan 03, Ferci added it. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About David Bentley Hart. Hart is an Eastern Orthodox writer and a professor of philosophy and theology. Books by David Bentley Hart. Trivia About The Story of Chri No trivia or quizzes yet. Quotes from The Story of Chri The Christian faith is birthed and the gospel of grace is preached. Early heresies sprouted; first church councils and the canonizing of scripture. Christianity became a faith for the masses; start of Monasticism. Benedictine monks deployed as missionaries; the pope becomes the "ruler" of the church.

The church gains the world but loses its soul. The start of denominationalism - Examples: Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist and Anglican. The papacy loses its power and influence. Pluralistic and totalitarian societies see no relevance for Christianity.

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God , the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus , the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried , and rose from the dead according to the Bible. One consequence of that is that they had a rather optimistic view of human nature. Get the weekly Five Books newsletter. Some of the monks of this tradition were austere, savage people who punished themselves to be as pure as possible.

They have suffered terrible, terrible disasters in the last years. The Ottoman Empire had tolerated them and given them an honoured place in its setup, but a terrible intolerance set in in the 19th century, I think provoked by anger against the West. Virtually all of them have had to flee Baghdad.

And so you end up with many of the leaders in exile, in Australia or Chicago. It is a miserable story of persecution and suffering. Five Books interviews are expensive to produce. If you're enjoying this interview, please support us by donating a small amount. Is it on the rise? It is the largest world religion, and there is no sign of it decaying.

My own selfish hope is that no form dominates. But my money is on Pentecostalism, and whatever happens next to Pentecostalism no, not necessarily the jumping-up-and-down, happy-clappy, tambourine-bashing version. Pentecostalism represents a listening to the spirit, not relying on text, on the Bible all the time — and a lot of its success has been to do with getting beyond words, because that can also leap cultures.

If you look at the enslaved peoples in the southern part of the United States in the 18th century — these are people who had no choice in their lives. One thing that evangelical Christianity offered them was to make a choice: Instantly that gives you back a sense of self-respect. When your life is sorted out, that may be a very good reason for not needing it. But that sounds like complacency. I think another factor in Europe is that we experienced the effect of tidy-minded ideologies during the 20th century at first hand.

The Story of Christianity : An Illustrated History of 2000 Years of the Christian Faith

We saw what it was like to offer people a simple way to salvation — and some of those ways were apparently non-religious: Five Books aims to keep its book recommendations and interviews up to date. If you are the interviewee and would like to update your choice of books or even just what you say about them please email us at editor fivebooks. We ask experts to recommend the five best books in their subject and explain their selection in an interview. This site has an archive of more than one thousand interviews, or five thousand book recommendations. We publish at least two new interviews per week.

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