on 29 May 2003
This book covers the period in church history commonly known as the 'age of the early church fathers'. It describes the lives of, and the events surrounding the lives of, famous men such as Augustine and Jerome and also many other not so well-known men. What I found especially helpful was the fact that the author not only provides insights to movements within the church, but also to the various philosophies and sects in that day. Particularly interesting to British readers is a section in the book which relates the spread of the gospel to Britain and the establishing of a church there.
Readers of this book are assumed to have little or no previous knowledge of church history. The author has set forth the book in straightforward and non-technical language which is not only extremely helpful but also a pleasure to read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the early days of the church.
on 22 December 2008
I have to admit I walked past this book several times when in my local Christian bookshop. The spine just looked a bit weird. A thin-faced bearded man peered out from below the bold yellow writing of the title. I was later to find out that it was Athanasius of Alexandria who so piercingly scared me off to another corner of the shop. The cover just isn't very inspiring and looks a little as if it was designed by a high school media studies student.
But don't let that put the reader off. Prior to reading this book, I had no interest and little or no knowledge of the early history of the Christian Church. This was very quickly changed and Needham has an easy to read conversational writing style which lends itself to a simplified but unabridged account of early Church history. He skilfully guides the reader through the web of names and events, separating the heroes from the heretics. A helpful section at the end of each chapter summarises the characters mentioned and includes significant writings from a few of the most important. An introductory chapter is included to explain dates, timelines and Roman numerals which is helpful for the reader if all he got in History class was detention.
Some readers may be put off a little by Needham's anti-paedo baptism digs but it's a small complaint in an otherwise thoroughly adequate introduction to Christian history.
on 18 April 2014
Easy to read, informative, interesting, a useful tool for evangelistic purposes, and most importantly, its inspiring. I admire the authors heart for making this book easy to read. I love it. And i believe that it is a book that many Christians's today must read. There are not many who realize how did the church get to where it is today;.
on 25 September 2014
I was introduced to this series of books when I was doing church history at theological college (WEST the finest theological College in the UK). As such don't think I could have had a better introduction. I always been very keen on church history but these books made reading about it is an incredible amount of fun and I actually took the each volume on holiday with me to read! This particular volume gives a very clear and readable insight into the early church. What emerges is the vitality of many parts of the early church and also the struggle and confusion in some parts of it of trying to be biblically orientated. What is particularly helpful is that Nick Neeham includes extracts of the writings of some of the main figures in the early church who he has mentioned in the text. All in all this is a very good book a very reasonable price and if you are thinking about getting a book on Church history, this will be one of the best places to start!
on 9 November 2014
So often Christians who speak of what they know, by grace, lack the patience in their witness and testimony (toward those who stand where we once stood) of Nick Needham..
To such, the early pages of this book will seem uninspired perhaps, yet it appears as a wonderful remembrance of Gods sovereign plan to raise up a people for Himself from every tribe and generation.
To the new seeker after Christ, it is a wonderful confirmation that the journey is well spent.