Open Blogging

You may also like...

32 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    recommendations on books re: church history??

  2. Michael says:


    The standard text and a good starting point would be “The Story of Christianity” Vol 1 & 2 by Justo Gonzales.

    That will keep you busy for a bit.

    I also highly recommend the online seminary classes of Dr. Frank James at Reformed Theological Seminary…

    Any particular era you’re interested in?

  3. Tim says:

    Thanks Michael,
    More pre-reformation interests. Thinking of starting Church Hx in plain language by Shelley soon which I have on hand. Thoughts on this one?

  4. Michael says:


    I thought it a bit dry, but it’s good.

    If you have the time, I’d really commend that series from Dr. James… “Church History 1” that’s available free on iTunes.

    He’s very engaging…

    I would also commend reading biographies of people from the era you’re studying…I think I learn best from good biographies.

  5. em ... again says:

    topic here has me musing on how strange it is that so little Church history is taught – considering that we’ve been at this for over 2,000 years one would think that the Church would want to know just how we got from Pentecost to today… shouldn’t have happened, should it?
    when one describes the Faith, it sounds impossible; who would believe it? – and who has believed it for the last 2,000+ years?

    have we over-applied or misapplied Philippians 3:13-14 ? 🙂

  6. Duane Arnold says:

    #4 Michael

    “Early Church” by Henry Chadwick

  7. Michael says:


    Listen to Duane. 🙂

  8. Josh the Baptist says:

    Williston Walker – A History of the Christian Church. Good, and not quite as large as Gonzalez.

  9. Josh the Baptist says:

    May as well mention the other standard, Latourette’s History of Christianity. I find it to be a little dry as well.

  10. Michael says:

    I don’t recommend Latourette , but that’s me…

  11. Josh the Baptist says:

    Is there something with his history that don’t like? Seemed like the same story to me, but with a mush more obvious “this is a textbook” slant. From what I saw, you’d still get an accurate overview of Christian history. Right?

  12. Michael says:


    As soon as I wrote that I realized I couldn’t remember what my beef was with it.
    I think it’s mainly that it’s dated and some of the history is not history at all, particularly his take on the Middle Ages.

  13. Tim says:

    thanks for book recommendations

  14. Duane Arnold says:

    Consider the FF Bruce series…. very good.

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    If I may offer one – I had to wait to get home to look on my bookcase. I couldn’t remember the name.

    The Church from Age to Age: From Galilee to Global Christianity

    It’s modern and comes up to the present

  16. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ohh, FF Bruce has a history series? Love me some Bruce.

  17. Duane Arnold says:

    #16 Josh

    I sent my set to Michael, he can give you the bibliographic details. FF Bruce edited the series and wrote the first volume. Very readable, very good…

  18. AA says:

    Thanks Tim for asking the church history question, one I’ve been going to pose myself. I’ll be checking out some of those resources resources everyone’s recommended.

  19. Scooter Jones says:

    Hey all you Open Blogger types, I was driving in the middle of the night this week delivering a truck load of pillows to the Costco distribution center in Sumner, WA. I heard this BBC interview with a violin virtuoso named, Min Kym. She has recently had a memoir published called , Gone.

    Her 1696 Stradivarius was stolen in 2010. Her story is fascinating.

    This interview captures the spirit of her journey and I encourage anyone interested to listen to her interview here:

    When you get a chance listen to this BBC interview with Min Kym who is a world renown violinists. It’s her story about when her 1694 Stradivarius was stolen. It is a remarkable story, about 50 minute long interview.

  20. Ron Larson says:

    Question? If you would recommend 10 books and/or theological resources, so as to begin to compile a library, what would those be? Reformed, puritan preferred. I would be appreciative of your readers to share there choices as well.
    Ron Larson
    Duluth, MN

  21. Michael says:


    I’d have to give that some thought…my lists tend to be fluid over time.
    The first two are pretty easy for me and have been on top for many years.

    1.” Knowing God” by J.I. Packer
    2. “Institutes of the Christian Religion” by John Calvin

    If you incline to Reformed and Puritan I would suggest the whole Packer corpus…he’s kind of the last Puritan.

    A new edition to my top 10 is from the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey.

    3. “The Gospel and the Catholic Church”
    4. “The Pastor” by Eugene Peterson…and everything else Peterson has written.
    5. “Historical Theology” by Gregg Allison
    6. “A Puritan Theology” by Joel Beeke and “Puritan Portraits” by Packer… I’m not real enthused today with Puritan theology, but when I was, these were helpful.
    7. “Surprised By Hope” by N.T. Wright…I think it good to have all of his books…there is much wheat among the chaff.
    8. Steve Brown…”If God Is In Charge” and “If Jesus Has Come”…his early books that are simple and clear.
    9. Martin Luther, “The Bondage of the Will”.
    10. A good systematic theology…a decent modern one is Michael Horton’s, “The Christian Faith”.
    A crappy one is the Grudem book everyone buys, but that’s just me…

    I would also suggest Diarmaid MacCulloch’s “The First Three Thousand Years” or some other such overview of history.

  22. Ron Larson says:

    OK second question. Do you have any recommendations as far as used bookstores online that you find good resources through. There are so many choices when I do a Google search.

  23. Michael says:


    We have a number of used bookstores locally that I can use when I’m looking for hardcover…there may be some in your area.

    Otherwise, I use Amazon which has a number of third party sellers that I’ve had luck with.

  24. Ron Larson says:

    Will decide to keep me busy ’til He returns. Thank you Michael

  25. Josh the Baptist says:

    All of my recommendations would be baptist / evangelical, though I’d suggest using amazon used sellers, too. Great prices, and I’ve never had a transaction go wrong.

  26. em ... again says:

    i third the Amazon source and don’t forget to link to it from this website 🙂
    …although i don’t see the link on my screen today …?…

  27. Ron Larson says:

    I am sort of technically illiterate. If I link it from Michael’s site, Will he get some sort of benefit from it? Because if that’s the case I would be happy to do so.

  28. Michael says:

    Ron, if you go on Amazon from the ad on the left , I get a small kickback. It’s much appreciated.

  29. Scooter Jones says:

    Michael, if someone uses that link to the left, does what the person orders show up on your pay out?

  30. Michael says:

    The persons ordering are not identified. I can see products ordered, but not people.

  31. Scooter Jones says:


  32. JTK says:

    You can see the PRODUCTS ordered through your link, huh?!

    Sounds fascinating.

    I finished the RTS Christian history section by Fortner, I found several parts compelling and helpful; you correctly warned it would be dry.

    But to a starving man…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.