Church History in Plain Language: Fourth Edition

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Zondervan Academic, Dec 10, 2013 - Religion - 560 pages

Church History in Plain Language makes church history clear, memorable, and accessible to every reader.

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. 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.

This fourth edition, revised by R.L. Hatchett, brings the story of Christianity into the twenty-first century, with detailed information on:

  • Theology of the early church and Reformation
  • Gnosticism and its ongoing relevance
  • The rapid global extension and transformation of Christianity since 1900
  • The decline in traditional mainline denominations
  • The influence of technology on the spread of the gospel
  • How Christianity intersects with other religions in countries all over the world

Church History in Plain Language makes history easy to follow and retain by dividing the Christian story into the great ages of the church. Its clarity, organization, and historical accuracy are part of what make this book a go-to resource for today's readers.


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This book is one of the best resource material for academia on church history

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i found this book to be an excellent biblical commentary in its earlier chapters.However it is theological as opposed to an historical treatise.


The Age of Jesus and the Apostles 6 BCAD 70
The Age of Catholic Christianity 70312
The Age of the Christian Roman Empire 312590
The Christian Middle Ages 5901517
The Age of the Reformation 15171648
The Age of Reason and Revival 16481789
The Age of Progress 17891914
The Age of Ideologies 19141989
The Age of Global Expansion and Relocation 1900
List of Popes from Leo I to the Present

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About the author (2013)

Dr. Bruce Shelley was Senior Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Denver Theological Seminary. Heheld the M.Div. degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Among his previous publications are "The Church: God's People; Evangelicalism in America;" and "The Cross and the Flame.

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