Thursday, January 24, 2008

2000 Years of Christ's Power

I bought this book yesterday, based on a brief skimming (which impressed me), and as I have continued to read it, I am even more impressed; in fact, I also bought Part Two, which covers the Middle Ages prior to the Renaissance and the Reformation (Part Three - which I'll likely also buy). I recall having seeing these for sale at an Evangelical Theological Society meeting.

For a simplified (due to its intended audience) and easy-to-read, but accurate (as far as I can tell), survey of Church History, this seems to be one of the best I've found. From the back cover:

This book was born out of the author's deep conviction that today's Christians can benefit enormously from learning what God has done in the past. The mighty acts of Christ did not come to a halt soon after the events recorded in the book of Acts. In every century since the first, the Almighty has been at work and believers can trace his footsteps by studying the way that Christians of a previous generation faced the challenges that confronted them.

It is intended that this will be the first in a series of four volumes [Note: This Revised and Updated edition now says that there will be five volumes], which will cover the History of the Church from the earliest days up till modern times. Pastors and preachers will undoubtedly gain much from this series, and those who already have an interest in Church History will find the four (sic) books useful additions to their library. Nevertheless, the series is written in a style that will appeal to the non-specialist and any modern Christian will find it challenging and stimulating to be introduced to men and women who loved and served the same Savior that he loves and serves. This volume deals with the age of the Early Church Fathers and includes, together with many more, the stories of martyrs such as Blandina and Polycarp, theologians like Athanasius and Augustine of Hippo and preachers like John Chrysostom.

Nick Needham is a Londoner by birth and upbringing. He studied theology at New College, Edinburgh University, where he specialized in Church History. He also taught a course at New College on the life and works of the Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli, at the same time completing his PhD thesis on the nineteenth-century Scottish theologian Thomas Erskine of Linlathen. He then taught Systematic Theology at the Scottish Baptist College in Glasgow for several years before spending a semester in Nigeria at the Samuel Bill Theological College, where he taught Church History. At present he is the assistant pastor of a church in north London. He is on the editorial board of the Foundations magazine and a trustee of the Evangelical Library. [Update: After a period as assistant pastor in a church in north London, he moved to the Highland Theological College, Dingwall, where he teaches Church History. He recently accepted a call to a pastorate in Inverness.]


  1. Oh, many thanks for the recommendation! I have often had catechumens and inquirers ask for just such a book, and I often have been at a loss as to what to recommend. This seems like it will do nicely; I look forward to seeing a copy some time. Maybe I could even request a review copy!

  2. I'm glad to know of it and will promptly add to my wishlist. Thanks for passing the word along.

  3. esteban and cal:

    As you know, this is not an Orthodox author, so you may not always agree with him. But this book really is one that "puts the cookie jar on the bottom shelf" - e.g., he even takes time at the beginning to explain the meanings of "B.C." and "A.D." and the differences between them in terms of how one counts time and years.