Sunday, August 13, 2006

Book Review: Charts of Church History

Trying to fathom the history of the Christian Church is a complicated affair! Robert C Walton's book, Chronological and Background Charts of Church History should help. Consisting of 84 charts, it covers Christian Church history from the twelve disciples after the death of Jesus, through the medieval church, the Reformation, the Modern European Church, and the American Church down to the present day. There are a number of miscellaneous charts that illustrate a range of general matters such as the parallel structures of systematic theology and church history, the popes recognised by the Roman Catholic Church, and prominent Protestant missionaries.
  • Each chart is a remarkable synthesis of a vast amount of information. For example, the first chart in the book is a table of the 12 disciples following Jesus's death. For each disciple, their name is provided, biblical information is summarised, and traditional information is described. Another example: Chart 2 contains early symbols of Christianity such as the Alpha-Omega symbol (representing the eternality of Christ), the anchor (representing faith), and the dove (representing the Holy Spirit at the baptism of Jesus). There are charts of the major monastic orders in history; theological issues between Calvinists and Arminians; denominational family trees; late 19th and early 20th century revivalists; medieval dissenters and heretical groups -- the list goes on and on.
There is an incredible wealth of material clearly presented, one chart per page (sometimes more than one page). There is an index at the back making the information accessible. If you are interested in the history of the Christian Church, then this book is a must. Related Links

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