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The church of today did not appear on the earth fully formed but developed over the centuries through historical events that, while they may seem distant, have a direct effect on our everyday lives. Following Jesus's command to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth, the apostles and their spiritual descendants have grown the church through times of peace and times of The church of today did not appear on the earth fully formed but developed over the centuries through historical events that, while they may seem distant, have a direct effect on our everyday lives. Following Jesus's command to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth, the apostles and their spiritual descendants have grown the church through times of peace and times of war, through persecution and pilgrimage. The church that began as a rag-tag group of Middle Eastern fishermen, tax collectors, and zealots became the multi-ethnic, multifaceted church of today. Now thirty of those course-altering events are brought to life by consummate storyteller Alton Gansky. Spanning twenty centuries of history, this lively book will entertain and educate readers who love history and who want to know why the church is the way it is today.


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The church of today did not appear on the earth fully formed but developed over the centuries through historical events that, while they may seem distant, have a direct effect on our everyday lives. Following Jesus's command to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth, the apostles and their spiritual descendants have grown the church through times of peace and times of The church of today did not appear on the earth fully formed but developed over the centuries through historical events that, while they may seem distant, have a direct effect on our everyday lives. Following Jesus's command to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth, the apostles and their spiritual descendants have grown the church through times of peace and times of war, through persecution and pilgrimage. The church that began as a rag-tag group of Middle Eastern fishermen, tax collectors, and zealots became the multi-ethnic, multifaceted church of today. Now thirty of those course-altering events are brought to life by consummate storyteller Alton Gansky. Spanning twenty centuries of history, this lively book will entertain and educate readers who love history and who want to know why the church is the way it is today.

59 review for 30 Events That Shaped the Church: Learning from Scandal, Intrigue, War, and Revival

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    “Christian history is everyone’s history, not just those in the pews but those who have never crossed the threshold of a sanctuary.” I remember signing up for a church history class while an undergrad and I was soooo excited about it. Y’all. It ended up being one of the worst classes I’ve ever taken in my educational life. There were a handful of reasons why, but suffice to say I didn’t learn anything and I’m still sad about it. So these days I read about it on my own, still trying to make up for “Christian history is everyone’s history, not just those in the pews but those who have never crossed the threshold of a sanctuary.” I remember signing up for a church history class while an undergrad and I was soooo excited about it. Y’all. It ended up being one of the worst classes I’ve ever taken in my educational life. There were a handful of reasons why, but suffice to say I didn’t learn anything and I’m still sad about it. So these days I read about it on my own, still trying to make up for that class. This book was a great way to feed the habit! The events covered range from obvious events all believers know (like Pentecost and Saul’s conversion) to some some events I’ve never heard of (like Bishop Ussher’s Chronology) to even more events that I haven’t studied in a while (like the 1925 “Monkey Trials” and early Catholic historic events). While this list is by no means the “top” 30 events that shaped the church, it is a healthy look at some events that definitely had an impact, whether for better or worse. If you enjoy history, you’ll enjoy reading these quick and easy chapters. I’m always up for learning more fun facts – like how Nero was the embodiment of evil (yet he didn’t start out that way) to the Christians who took part in the Scientific Revolution. Plus there’s plenty of end notes, so if you’re interested in further studying once topic or another, you have a place to start! Is there a specific era or event in history that has always fascinated you? (Thank you to Baker Books for the copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion) Originally posted at http://booksandbeverages.org/2015/02/...

  2. 5 out of 5

    W. Whalin

    What a unique juxtaposition! What a unique juxtaposition! A storytelling novelist, Alton Gansky writes about a normally dry and boring topic: church history. The combination makes for a highly engaging readable book. As Gansky says in the introduction, this book is a companion book to 60 People Who Shaped the Church. "In this book, I focused on events that continue to shape our Christian behavior and thinking." (Page 10) The writing is lively and keeps readers turning pages. It is a fascinating What a unique juxtaposition! What a unique juxtaposition! A storytelling novelist, Alton Gansky writes about a normally dry and boring topic: church history. The combination makes for a highly engaging readable book. As Gansky says in the introduction, this book is a companion book to 60 People Who Shaped the Church. "In this book, I focused on events that continue to shape our Christian behavior and thinking." (Page 10) The writing is lively and keeps readers turning pages. It is a fascinating overview of church history. I highly recommend this title.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leona E. Johnson

    Quite An Education This book was compelling reading from start to finish. I grew up in a church that as an adult I've concluded encouraged memorization and blind obedience over learning so that you could grow. I've recommended this book for our Sunday class which my church calls the learning hour rather than school. Quite An Education This book was compelling reading from start to finish. I grew up in a church that as an adult I've concluded encouraged memorization and blind obedience over learning so that you could grow. I've recommended this book for our Sunday class which my church calls the learning hour rather than school.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Nipp

    A good overview of Church History, albeit with a strong evangelical bent. ( Can't complain too much since I'm evangelical myself) I was suprised that there wasn't a chapter on the Azusa Street Revival; thought that would make the cut. A good overview of Church History, albeit with a strong evangelical bent. ( Can't complain too much since I'm evangelical myself) I was suprised that there wasn't a chapter on the Azusa Street Revival; thought that would make the cut.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    Very enjoyable. He's a great writer and did a great job approaching church history using major events in history. Very enjoyable. He's a great writer and did a great job approaching church history using major events in history.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bobbie

    Great book regarding church history

  7. 5 out of 5

    James

    I am a bit of history buff so on this score I may be a bit more critical than the general reader. Still I was excited to read 30 Events That Shaped the Church by Alton Gansky. Ganksy is the author of twenty-four novels and eight books of non-fiction and this isn't his first foray into Church history. He also wrote 60 People Who Shaped the Church (Baker Books, 2014). These thirty historical vignettes failed to capture my interest, were light on analysis and were highly selective. I think church h I am a bit of history buff so on this score I may be a bit more critical than the general reader. Still I was excited to read 30 Events That Shaped the Church by Alton Gansky. Ganksy is the author of twenty-four novels and eight books of non-fiction and this isn't his first foray into Church history. He also wrote 60 People Who Shaped the Church (Baker Books, 2014). These thirty historical vignettes failed to capture my interest, were light on analysis and were highly selective. I think church history is far richer and more interesting than what is presented here. I admit that Ganksy culled together some facts I did not know and is generally even-handed in his presentation of these events. Nevertheless he is not a historian and relies heavily on other popular level histories (such as Bruce Shelley's Church History in Plain Language) and older, more dated material. He is responsible in what he shares, though he occasionally conflates events. Where I took issue with Gansky was in the 30 events he chose for this book. The first three chapters cover biblical accounts (Pentecost, the conversion of Paul, and Acts 15 council in Jerusalem). The next couple of chapters describe Rome burning (under Nero) and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. This is followed by three events in the patristic period: the edict of Milan, the first council at Nicea (though he gives us the Nicene Creed text as it was finalized at the second council at Constantinople in 381), and Jerome's translation of the Vulgate. Nevermind that the patristic period is far richer than this, the medieval period is vastly under represented, descring only three events in over a thousand years: the schism between the Chirstian East and West in 1054, and Pope Innocent III and Boniface VII's consolidation of papal power. The rest of the book takes us from the Reformation to the present ( the Gutenberg Bible in 1456 is proto-Reformaiton) and tells a largely Protestant Western story (Catholicism is described as significant points in relation to how open or closed they are to Protestant expressions of church). Gansky describes the publication of the King James Bible, the birth of the Baptists, The Great Awakening, Bishop Usher's chronology, the Scofield Bible, the Fundamentals (conflating the 1910's publications with five fundamentals described by the Niagra meetings of 1876 to 1897) the Neo-Evangelical movement.and the Jesus People. He also talks about other significant events for the church such as the American Bill of Rights, Charles Darwin's publications, the Scope's Monkey Trial and the Rise of New Atheism (by this he means secularism and does not even mention the principal New Atheists or 9-11). This is all a very Protestant Evangelical Story and an American tale (I say this as a Protestant Evangelical American!). I would have given weight to other events. Things like the fall of Rome, the rise of Christian Monasticism, the Crusades, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement. Ganksy never says 'the 30 events' only 30 events and there is room to have a different list. Still I didn't by and large find his account compelling. For a deeper look at significant events in the life of the church, I recommend Mark Noll's Turning Points (Baker, 2001). But on a note of appreciation, I think that Ganksy did a great job of describing the Evangelical and Fundamentalist story, noting the philosophical differences between the two. As an Evangelical with fundamentalist roots, Ganksy names part of my story too. I give Ganksy's effort three stars. Notice of material connection I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Excellent and very informative. I enjoyed the last 12 or so chapters best bit found all the book interesting.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Writing an accessible church history for a general adult audience is no small task, particularly writing one that people will read. Alton Gansky's book succeeds in providing a readable, fast-moving survey of the history of the church through 30 succinct vignettes of important events in this two thousand year history. One of the strengths of this book is Gansky's ability to narrate events and give us concise profiles of key individuals and concluding summaries that underscore the significance of e Writing an accessible church history for a general adult audience is no small task, particularly writing one that people will read. Alton Gansky's book succeeds in providing a readable, fast-moving survey of the history of the church through 30 succinct vignettes of important events in this two thousand year history. One of the strengths of this book is Gansky's ability to narrate events and give us concise profiles of key individuals and concluding summaries that underscore the significance of each event for the church. Many will find his accounts of early church history especially helpful, including the fall of Jerusalem, the burning of Rome, the Edict of Milan, the Nicaean Council, and so forth. It was particularly illuminating for me to realize the fine scholarship involved in Jerome's Vulgate translation, as well as to understand the expansion of the power of the papacy. I also appreciated his even-handed narrative of the evolution controversies in this country. Of course, one of the difficulties of Gansky's approach is the selection of events. For the most part, this is a narrative of Western, and in the last third, American Christianity. While this is probably what is of greatest interest to those who would be the target audience of this book it fails to account for the rise of the modern missions movement and the explosive and game-changing growth of Christianity in China, other east and southeast Asian countries, and in much of the southern hemisphere. And in its narrative of American Christianity he seems to have little to say about slavery, the abolitionist movement, and the black church and civil rights. I found his decision to include the Jesus Movement as both personally of interest (because of the impact of this movement in my life) and yet questionable as a major church-shaping event--particularly because of the focus on contemporary Christian music, which certainly has changed American church worship. I would not have given separate chapters to Darwin and the Scopes trials. I also found one inaccuracy (probably a proof-reading error). On page 242 he notes the death of Pope Pius XII, who preceded Pope John XXIII and Vatican II. On page 244 he indicates that Pius XII succeeded Pope John XXIII, which would have been a far more momentous event than Vatican II. In actuality it was Pope Paul VI. In summary, I found this a highly readable and informative account of Western and white American church history. It is regrettable, considering the readability of this volume, that it is not more truly representative of the whole Church. ____________________________________ Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michele Morin

    I do not envy Alton Gansky the job of narrowing two thousand years of history down to the thirty most significant events. In doing so, however, what he has created is an aerial view of history, a tool for harnessing the parade of names and dates, which should lead to a greater understanding of who and what the church has become since Jesus’ original disciples worked the post-ascension crick out their necks and became part of the movement that turned the world upside down. There’s nothing dry or d I do not envy Alton Gansky the job of narrowing two thousand years of history down to the thirty most significant events. In doing so, however, what he has created is an aerial view of history, a tool for harnessing the parade of names and dates, which should lead to a greater understanding of who and what the church has become since Jesus’ original disciples worked the post-ascension crick out their necks and became part of the movement that turned the world upside down. There’s nothing dry or dusty about Gansky’s brand of history which is, largely, storytelling. His major players are three-dimensional, whether piecing together the New Testament account of the first missionary to the Gentiles (“Paul’s life is the stuff of movies . . .”); the warped trajectory of a demented emperor (“A teenager with ultimate power and a controlling mother sounds like trouble from the start . . .Nero was a young man with hidden and unacceptable appetites.”); or the trials and tribulations of a brilliant scientist who would not bow to tradition (“Galileo, now an old man, was allowed to live out his days under house arrest.”). A further strength of 30 Events . . . is that, without bogging down in detail, Gansky manages to re-enact the history and to provide the background that led to each event. For example, he follows the rise of the Christian Right through the Baby Boomers and post-WWII social changes and on into the commercialism and secularization of the 60’s and 70’s before Jerry Falwell ever puts a toe on the stage. Reading this book has stimulated my own questions about history and will affect my future reading of historical material. I would recommend its use as a supplement to a homeschooling history curriculum. Thirty chapters would provide nearly one a week for a high school student to read and summarize, or it would be ideal for a special read-aloud over lunch for elementary students. An ambitious student could take on the book with a chapter a day for six weeks. Adults will enjoy the opportunity to put flesh on the bones of history they already know (or lived through!), and to be introduced to pivotal events of which they were barely aware. Best of all is the reminder that history unfolds day by day, and the church will continue to be shaped in our life time. As the people of God respond to world events and the leading of the Holy Spirit, God is at work behind the scenes with the gentle reminder, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Disclosure: This book was provided by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Company, in exchange for my unbiased review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is the companion book to "60 People Who Shaped The Church". This volume shows the growth of the church, but also reveals how Jews and Christians were hated from the very beginning. Along with the rise of the church was the increasing control of the church in Rome. I agreed with several things author Alton Gansky wrote. I found other things enlightening, while disagreeing with some of the points the author brought out. One thing I found enlightening is on pages 172 - 173. "There are many to This is the companion book to "60 People Who Shaped The Church". This volume shows the growth of the church, but also reveals how Jews and Christians were hated from the very beginning. Along with the rise of the church was the increasing control of the church in Rome. I agreed with several things author Alton Gansky wrote. I found other things enlightening, while disagreeing with some of the points the author brought out. One thing I found enlightening is on pages 172 - 173. "There are many today who think the phrase `separation between church and state` appears somewhere in the Bill of Rights or in the Constitution. It doesn't. What the First Amendment did, and what Jefferson agreed with, was to ban the federal government from creating - establishing - a marriage between the federal government and any religion." The reader might be interested to note that several places throughout the book the author capitalizes the word "Church", referring to Catholicism. Pope Boniface VIII (1294 - 1303) believed no one is saved apart from the Roman Catholic Church and obedience to the Holy Father (pg. 99). That idea still persists. Today, one billion people claim to be Protestants. In the U.S. 55% of the Christians are Protestant. The beginnings of the early Baptists is thought to have been in 1609, and has matured over the past 5 centuries. This author did hold my attention, as I underlined several interesting passages. The information was presented in a cohesive, appealing matter. I feel the author successfully conveyed historical truth. My beliefs concerning Christian doctrine are found on pages 196 - 197. (1) The inerrancy of Scripture (2) The virgin birth of Jesus and His deity (3) The necessity of substitutionary atonement (4) The bodily resurrection of Christ and (5) The bodily return of Christ. These are the Five Fundamentals of Christianity. I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in learning about church history. It is not a comprehensive study, as it only references 30 events. Disclaimer: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    How can one not eagerly pick up a book with a subtitle like that?! I love to learn from scandal and intrigue! I'm happy to report that Gansky's book did not disappoint. There was scandal and intrigue and war and revival . . . and a lot in between. I can't even imagine how many years Gansky spent researching the 30 events he chose to include in this book, but each hour is obvious. While this book was interesting and a fairly quick read, it could certainly serve as a starting point for further rese How can one not eagerly pick up a book with a subtitle like that?! I love to learn from scandal and intrigue! I'm happy to report that Gansky's book did not disappoint. There was scandal and intrigue and war and revival . . . and a lot in between. I can't even imagine how many years Gansky spent researching the 30 events he chose to include in this book, but each hour is obvious. While this book was interesting and a fairly quick read, it could certainly serve as a starting point for further research into any of the events he mentioned. In fact, I often thought, "If my kids ever need to write about the history of the church, this is the perfect primer for them." From obvious events like Pentecost to the less obvious "Rise of the Neo-Evangelicals," every one of the 30 chapters can stand alone while also flowing from one to the next in a cohesive timeline. Gansky often refers back to another chapter as he's explaining a new event. Then, in the end, he ties the rise of atheism back to the birth of the church and offers hope that we can again come through these current days stronger and more unified. Through this journey from AD 30 to the present day I found my faith sharpened and reaffirmed. It was fun to read about the birth of Protestantism and see where the church I love today--and the Church I love today--got its start and has been forced to change and grow in order to stay alive . . . and where it refused to compromise. This book is a great journey for the seasoned follower of Christ, the new believer, and everyone in between. I think it would also be great for an adult Sunday School as it would spur conversation and a critical look at where we were, where are now, and where we need to go. Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program (www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers). The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/wa...).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wesley

    "If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree."-Michael Crichton One of my complaints with the modern church is summarized with this Crichton quote (which can be found in the beginning of Gansky's book). There is a shocking amoung of historical ignorance in the Church. This is obvious in light of a recent poll released by LifeWay Research which indicates that 31% of people either agree that God the Father is more divine than Jesus "If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree."-Michael Crichton One of my complaints with the modern church is summarized with this Crichton quote (which can be found in the beginning of Gansky's book). There is a shocking amoung of historical ignorance in the Church. This is obvious in light of a recent poll released by LifeWay Research which indicates that 31% of people either agree that God the Father is more divine than Jesus and 27% agree or don't know that Jesus is the first creature created by God. These are just two trivial examples, the list continues so only follow this link if you're willing to be depressed. For most of these issues, a rudimentary knowledge of the history of the Church (or really familiarity with the Nicene Creed) should make Jesus' divinity and relation to the other members of the Trinity a no-brainer. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case with modern Evangelicalism. With the current trend going the way that it is, Gansky's book is wonderfully refreshing. It is easy to read and user-friendly. It also reaches out to a lay audience in a way that will engage them instead of boring them or putting them to sleep. It would be an excellent resource to use for a Sunday school or book study at a church. One of the potential issues with Church history books can be denominational bias. A Baptist, Roman Catholic, Methodist, etc. book on the topic will certainly present other denominations in a negative light. However, Gansky writes from a fairly objective point of view doing a good job not choosing sides in denominational squabbles. I strongly reccomend this book. It is a valuable resource to the Christian's library.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Arlie

    Oh, Alton. If only you had a clearer thesis when writing - I think it would have given your chapters some direction. Unfortunately, I think you lost your way in your love of drama - the monkey trial chapter comes to mind, in which you spend about 3 pages setting the scene before saying anything about the trial itself (lots of melodrama along the lines of "the world would never be the same" and "little did he know..."). Oh, Alton. If only you had a clearer thesis when writing - I think it would have given your chapters some direction. Unfortunately, I think you lost your way in your love of drama - the monkey trial chapter comes to mind, in which you spend about 3 pages setting the scene before saying anything about the trial itself (lots of melodrama along the lines of "the world would never be the same" and "little did he know...").

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jean Sommers

    1. PENTECOST 2. CONVERSION OF PAUL 3. GENTILES AND JUDAISM 4. WHEN ROME BURNED 5. DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM 6. EDICT OF MILAN 7. FIRST COUNCIL OF NICAEA 8. JEROME COMPLETES THE VULGATE TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE 9. EAST WEST SCHISM 10. INNOCENT III EXPANDS THE POWER OF THE PAPCY 11. UNAM SANCTAM PROCLAIMS PAPAL SUPREMACY 12. GUTENBERG PRODUCES THE FIRST PRINTED BIBLE 13. THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION 14. SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION BEGINS 15. COUNCIL OF TRENT 16. SMYTH BAPTIZES HIMSELF AND BEGINS THE EARLY BAPTISTS 17. KIN 1. PENTECOST 2. CONVERSION OF PAUL 3. GENTILES AND JUDAISM 4. WHEN ROME BURNED 5. DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM 6. EDICT OF MILAN 7. FIRST COUNCIL OF NICAEA 8. JEROME COMPLETES THE VULGATE TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE 9. EAST WEST SCHISM 10. INNOCENT III EXPANDS THE POWER OF THE PAPCY 11. UNAM SANCTAM PROCLAIMS PAPAL SUPREMACY 12. GUTENBERG PRODUCES THE FIRST PRINTED BIBLE 13. THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION 14. SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION BEGINS 15. COUNCIL OF TRENT 16. SMYTH BAPTIZES HIMSELF AND BEGINS THE EARLY BAPTISTS 17. KING JAMES VERSION IS PU LISHED 18. BISHOP USSHER'S CHRONOLOGY 19. GREAT AWAKENING IN US 20. BILL OF RIGHTS IS WRITTEN 21. DARWIN'S ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES IS PUBLISHED 22. SCOFIELD REFERENCE BIBLE IS PUBLISHED 23. THE FUNDAMENTALS 24. SCOPES "MONKEY TRIAL" 25. RISE OF NEO-EVANGELICALS 26. DEAD SEA SCROLLS DISCOVERED 27. JESUS MOVEMENT 28. VATICAN II 29. RISE OF THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT 30. RISE OF NEW ATHEISM Very informative, enlightening and educational. It answered a lot of my questions. This book spans twenty centuries of history. It tells how the church came to be, and it has grown. It tells how the Catholics and Protestants separated. Learn about those who came before us in the faith. It begins with Jesus' ministry, crucifixion, death and resurrection. This is a book that will be on your mind for a while. Good book!!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Wacker

    In Alton Gansky’s 30 Events That Shaped Church: Learning from Scandal, Intrigue, War, and Revival, the author profiles significant events that have made the Christian Church into what it is today. Beginning with Pentecost and concluding with the rise of the New Atheism, Gansky presents thirty historical happenings that have impacted the Body of Christ for good or ill. These brief synopses are arranged in chronological order and give readers an effective timeline. 30 Events is well-organized, wel In Alton Gansky’s 30 Events That Shaped Church: Learning from Scandal, Intrigue, War, and Revival, the author profiles significant events that have made the Christian Church into what it is today. Beginning with Pentecost and concluding with the rise of the New Atheism, Gansky presents thirty historical happenings that have impacted the Body of Christ for good or ill. These brief synopses are arranged in chronological order and give readers an effective timeline. 30 Events is well-organized, well-developed, and well-written. These glimpses into the past that have influenced the greatest ecclesiastical organization in human history are not exhaustive, but are extremely helpful. To his credit, Gansky refrains from editorializing but gives a fair and honest appraisal of each significant moment in context. This short volume is an excellent resource for those who want to acquaint themselves with pivotal events in Christendom. 30 Events That Shaped the Church is concise, informative, and effective. I highly recommend it. I received a free copy from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

    This book is incredibly informative and fascinating to read! The events span from the Pentecost to the rise of New Atheism happening right now presented in order by year. Some were good events, some bad, but all influenced the church in a major way. Most of the events I'd heard of, but didn't know how much influence they had had on the church. There's fascinating background on the people involved, motivations and consequences. Some events frustrated me and made me angry for how people treated ot This book is incredibly informative and fascinating to read! The events span from the Pentecost to the rise of New Atheism happening right now presented in order by year. Some were good events, some bad, but all influenced the church in a major way. Most of the events I'd heard of, but didn't know how much influence they had had on the church. There's fascinating background on the people involved, motivations and consequences. Some events frustrated me and made me angry for how people treated others and used the church for their own ends. Others were happy events that also influenced the world for the better. Each chapters averages about seven pages, so it's easy to read one here and there or many in one sitting. I thought the writing was well done. Gansky really kept my attention; he's had lots of writing experience as the author of many books, mostly fiction. I highly recommend this book if you're interested in church history or even history in general! I received this book free from Baker Books in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    J.D.

    Heavily American-centric and sensationalized, while lighter on scholarship than one would expect for a book classified as "Church History". A missed opportunity, really. It would have been preferable if the author had explained what objective criteria (if any) he used to include particular historical events to the exclusion of others. Could also have used tighter editing to fix redundancies in content between chapters and "trim the fat" of much of the author's personal speculation, thinly-veiled Heavily American-centric and sensationalized, while lighter on scholarship than one would expect for a book classified as "Church History". A missed opportunity, really. It would have been preferable if the author had explained what objective criteria (if any) he used to include particular historical events to the exclusion of others. Could also have used tighter editing to fix redundancies in content between chapters and "trim the fat" of much of the author's personal speculation, thinly-veiled favouritism towards American Evangelicals, and other marginally-relevant ruminations in order to clear a straighter path to the historical facts and significance of each event.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Clarke

    A decent introspection to church history. The early chapters are the best, and the chapter on Luther is very good. The second half of the book is very focussed on the United States and contemporary American church life, and ignores the rest of the world. How can the whole continent of Africa be left out while American political infighting is promoted to such a level of importance? Worth reading for the early chapters but be aware of the cultural bias.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maurice Rubino

    A History of Major Events that shaped and continue shape the Church A very well detailed lesson in the Church's beginnings and its evolution that continues to this day. The author chronicles the history through a review the important individuals who have been the driving force that have taken the Church from infancy to the present day. A History of Major Events that shaped and continue shape the Church A very well detailed lesson in the Church's beginnings and its evolution that continues to this day. The author chronicles the history through a review the important individuals who have been the driving force that have taken the Church from infancy to the present day.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Peter J Goeman

    This book does a good job of discussing the history which has had a tremendous impact on the church. It is well written, and is an excellent introduction to history and very readable for the non-scholar.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tim Suddeth

    This is a well written and researched book. Tansy does a good job of putting the events into context of what was happening in the world at the time and why the event was important. He tries to give both sides of the discussion. He also tells how the result's results effected society. This is a well written and researched book. Tansy does a good job of putting the events into context of what was happening in the world at the time and why the event was important. He tries to give both sides of the discussion. He also tells how the result's results effected society.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lane Corley

    Great refresher or intro on Church History. Loved the sections on growth of evangelicals.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aletha Pagett

    This book should perhaps be titled 30 Events that Shaped the World as the events chosen by Mr Gansky have had global impact over the centuries. This is a superbly written and thought provoking.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Really enjoyed this book. Put a lot of church history into perspective and connected a lot of dots for me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Clifton

    Chronologically Speaking This was an enjoyable book and an easy read. Each event had a clear summary, followed by a more in depth study of the event.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Wright

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jason Park

    If you're looking to learn some basics about church history, this is a great place to start. I've felt the need to engage myself in learning church history, and I feel that this book gave me a pretty good foundation. Next I'll move on to "Church History in Plain Language" or something similar to build a better framework. My only complaints are in style, not substance. I felt that the writing wasn't as fluid as it could have been. In addition, knowing nothing about Alton Gansky, I'm guessing he is If you're looking to learn some basics about church history, this is a great place to start. I've felt the need to engage myself in learning church history, and I feel that this book gave me a pretty good foundation. Next I'll move on to "Church History in Plain Language" or something similar to build a better framework. My only complaints are in style, not substance. I felt that the writing wasn't as fluid as it could have been. In addition, knowing nothing about Alton Gansky, I'm guessing he is not trained as a historian. His arguments definitely had a point of view, and while sometimes he is giving balanced opinions, other times his history seemed more one-sided. It is obviously difficult to write this type of book and be fair to all sides of the church, but I guess I expected it more than I got it. However, none of this derailed my general excitement in reading the book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Baker Books

  31. 5 out of 5

    Bill

  32. 4 out of 5

    Therese Wiese

  33. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  34. 5 out of 5

    BDT

  35. 4 out of 5

    Noel

  36. 5 out of 5

    Kim Myers

  37. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Bingham

  38. 5 out of 5

    Walt Bristow

  39. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Cole Marie Mckinnon

  40. 5 out of 5

    Richard Worden

  41. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  42. 5 out of 5

    Glen Delaney

  43. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Clysdale

  44. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  45. 4 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

  46. 4 out of 5

    Skylar

  47. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  48. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  49. 4 out of 5

    Annette

  50. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  51. 4 out of 5

    Kayt18

  52. 4 out of 5

    Melonie Kydd

  53. 5 out of 5

    Miosoti Negron

  54. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  55. 5 out of 5

    Randall Christopher

  56. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

  57. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Hedden

  58. 5 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  59. 4 out of 5

    Daryl Moad

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