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Joined: 2005/7/3
Posts: 233
Lancashire, England

 Church history for idiots

I was wondering if the church at SI could help me with something,

I'm interested in finding out more about the early church from the period of 0-500A.D. however I'm pretty much a complete novice in this topic.
I've made a 'start' with Edgar Parkyns series on church history and Halleys Bible Handbook but would be interested in any concise 'reader friendly' material that anyone could recommend whether book or audio.

I look foward to your response

matt and mim


 2006/6/3 17:18Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re: Church history for idiots

I'm not so sure on how much you can get a "user friendly" version of early church history. Frankly, such was anything but user friendly time and amazingly steeped in extremely controversial and complicated matters.

The best way to study early church history is to get your hands on primary documents e.g. the Ante-Nicene series, as well as a few general survey's of church history, which will cover the basic issues and such of the early church. THen if you want, get books on various topics/themes of the early church. But you will find most of these books are simply based on what is found in the Ante-Nicene Fathers.

For an a solid, brief, and more "friendly" survey of Church history, I'd strongly recommend "Christianity Through the Centuries" by Earle E. Cairns. He has more than enough chapters in his book on the early church to wet your whistle, and each chapter has a recommended bibliography for future reading. It's also a good survey for the rest of church history.

Jimmy H

 2006/6/3 22:30Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Christian History

You might try perusing through this site as well;

[url=]Christian History Institute[/url]

Mike Balog

 2006/6/3 22:40Profile

Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re: Church history for idiots

There's a Chruch History series by [url=]David Guzik[/url] (starts around page 8) which is excelent for the novice, because he focuses mainly on the personalities in history. I recomend this be listened to before Parkyns, as the whole Historicist thing is enough of a head screw, without having to grapple with Church History at the same time. But that's just me.

Aaron Ireland

 2006/6/4 3:01Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732

 Re: Church history for idiots


If you are interested in traveling at warp-speed through church history you might begin with this page in the Christian Institute site.

[url=]Christian Centuries at a glance[/url]

It acts almost like a table of contents for the pages of history as it were, listing major events and developments century by century. Starting at the first page you can read a pretty good overview of the past 2000 years in about 10 minutes. (Just click on "next century" for each page.)

This is history through a telescope. Once you spot something of particular interest, you can pull out your microscope and take a closer look, through books, documents, and even a [url=]few videos from Vision Video![/url]


Mike Compton

 2006/6/7 0:45Profile

 Re: Church history for idiots


Two items worth reading:

The Early Church
By Henry Chadwick
Penguin Books

The Pilgrim Church
E.H. Broadbent


 2006/6/7 1:06

Joined: 2005/7/3
Posts: 233
Lancashire, England


Thank you all for your suggestions:

Ive started listening to the David Guzik messages thanks for the info CJaKfOrEsT

I was going to read the ante nicene fathers (it's on e-sword) a few weeks ago until i realised it was absolutely massive and therefore i'll use it more as a reference for what i read about. but thanks still Kingjimmy

the Christian History Institute website looks brilliant ill definitely have to delve into that thanks Crsschk and Compton

Those books you recommended Walkington ive looked at on amazon and will give them a looking over too

thank you all again so much i realise it's a topic that you can spend your whole life studying but everyone has to start somewhere

matt and mim


 2006/6/7 3:13Profile

Joined: 2006/6/7
Posts: 17

 Re: Church history for idiots

Hi Matt,
If you want a very simple church history book for 'idiots'
then their is a new one called
God and His People by James L. Garlow
this is very easy read and probably what you are looking for.
After that try pilgrim Church which someone else mentioned, in my humble opinion this is one of the best concise books on the history of His Church

Simon Brereton

 2006/6/7 5:54Profile

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