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Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

ChristianityDiarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years (New York: Penguin Books, 2010), 1187 pages, ISBN 9781101189993.

I enjoyed reading this book so much that I read it over a second time and then read separate chapters that were of particular interest. You may want to do the same. The book will give you a feel of Christianity through the ages. And you can return to chapters or sections that are of interest to you.

If you are not a Church historian, this book will be informative reading. MacCulloch not only analyzes the development of the Western Church, but also the various Eastern Churches. He looks at the rise of Islam and its interaction with the culture, growth and relationship to Christianity. MacCulloch also looks at the Roman Empire and its influence on Christianity and how the church used the Roman Empire to spread the gospel.

In regards to the rise of Islam, it is interesting but disappointing that the Western Church did not help the Eastern Church when Islam was converting Christian nations by the sword to Islam. It is to be noted that the Eastern Church did help France when they were attacked by Moslem armies and resulted in France being saved.

MacCulloch suggested that the Pentecostal church in the future will be amalgamated into the wider church. I can see that happening in the west as the line of demarcation becomes less distinguishable with other Christian groups but I am doubtful if this will happen in the third world.

Reviewed by Aldwin Ragoonath

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Category: Church History, Pneuma Review, Summer 2013

About the Author: Aldwin Ragoonath, Ph.D., is a trained homiletician with over twenty years of pastoral experience in the Caribbean and Canada. His ministry is devoted to helping pastors develop their preaching gift, teaching Pentecostal preaching courses and facilitating seminars around the world. He and his wife make their home in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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