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A History of the Christian Church

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  118 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Since publication of the first edition in 1918, A History of the Christian Church by Williston Walker has enjoyed outstanding success and recognition as a classic in the field. Written by an eminent theologian, it combines in its narrative a rare blend of clarity, unity, and balance. In light of significant advances in scholarship in recent years, extensive revisions have ...more
Hardcover, 4th, 768 pages
Published May 1st 1985 by Scribner (first published 1918)
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Erik Graff
Jun 18, 2008 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone in a "Christian country"
Recommended to Erik by: David Lotz
Shelves: religion
One of my brothers worked for a "great books" college where no history to speak of is taught. The students work solely with original texts, delving deeply into some seminal issues, but have little sense of how they fit together. Unless they do the contextual study themselves and get a sense of human history and its dynamics, they end up with too much appreciation of the Platonic notion that somehow ideas are superior to and independent of their instantiations, that thinkers are superior to and i ...more
Andrew Shauver
Jan 02, 2013 Andrew Shauver rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I bought it fir a quarter at a yard sale. Excellent... for a textbook. Dry and historical, but super well-researched. This book was my first experience into a bigger world of Christian history. It was accessible and easily digested for a novice. I'd still be referring to it, but I have since loaned it away... Never to be heard from again.
Matt
Oct 24, 2009 Matt rated it it was amazing
The most informative, insightful, comprehensive church history combined with good writing. A classic.
Paul
Sep 01, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: about-history
Excellent concise treatment, from New Testament times to the 20th century.
Michaelpatrick Keena
Apr 21, 2008 Michaelpatrick Keena rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who want to go beyond the surface gloss
Shelves: church-history
John Gerstner said that this book was the best one volume Church History in print.
Christi
An excellent history of the Christian Church.
Jerry
Oct 13, 2010 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very unbiased history of Christianity.
Mark Oppenlander
Like many Christians, I feel as if I know far too little about the history and development of my own faith tradition. Thus, I was looking for an overview of Christian history, and this seemed to be one of the more authoritative and definitive texts. It has been around for a while and I know a number of pastors and theologians who have it on their shelves as a core text. The plethora of authors on the front cover will tell you how old it is and how often it has been expanded and revised. The edit ...more
Read1000books
May 02, 2011 Read1000books rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tremendous and thorough history of Christianity from its founding up to the early 20th century (it was written in 1918). The author covers not only the major and minor personages but also, sometimes in depth, the theological issues and conflicts of given eras. Even though the author (who was a professor at Yale) seems a bit too conciliatory towards the progressive, less-than-orthodox views (he never uses the word "liberal") of certain movers and institutions of the 1850-1918 period, the book i ...more
Brett
Jan 20, 2008 Brett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church-history
A single volume history of the church, Walker’s work provides a great introductory resource for the student and pastor. In-depth and very readable, Walker divides the books by period into short, easy-reference chapters. While chronological (spanning from the NT-era to the mid-20th century – thus missing some more recent developments), each chapter is either personality or issue driven, thus making the book a good resource for review of specific issues and events in church history. A
Steve
Aug 26, 2011 Steve rated it it was ok
To give you an idea of how old this book is, when he retired from Yale as Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History Williston Walker was replaced by Roland Bainton. Bainton was replaced in 1962 by Jaroslav Pelikan, who just passed away in 2006. This book is well written, full of information,but just a tad dry. Use it as a supplement to other books.
Allison Rockwell
I read to p. 279, which is the end of Period IV and the end of my required reading for the St. Stephen's course. While it's full of information, this book is very dense and slow-reading, and the author at times seems to assume a lot about the background knowledge of the reader. Let's just say I'm glad to be moving on.
Charles
Apr 26, 2011 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orthodox-history
The standard history of the Christian Church, only readable if your really interested or a history buff, once you get into it a lot of neat stuff, the book written more from a scholarly point of view than a Christian one. Probably the best generic Christian History Volume.
Benjamin
Mar 28, 2011 Benjamin rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
This book is a tremendous reference for Christian history. It's incredibly detailed but since such a large span of time is being covered Walker is still constrained on skimming over events. A good overview from the apostles to neo-orthodoxy. A difficult read at times.
Charles
Aug 13, 2011 Charles rated it really liked it
Shelves: orthodox-history
The standard history of the Christian Church, only readable if your really interested or a history buff, once you get into it a lot of neat stuff, the book written more from a scholarly point of view than a Christian one. Probably the best generic Christian History Volume.
Dominic
Aug 31, 2016 Dominic rated it really liked it
Classic. This is a one stop shop book for anyone who wants to learn more about the church but also looks to springboard into something deeper. Even though this book is almost 100 years old, it reads like a modern day work.
Jane
Feb 25, 2013 Jane rated it really liked it
It is an excellent reference. I have used it for study and to get back-ground historical context when reading the Bible.
David
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Feb 02, 2008
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Volkert
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May 14, 2012
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Dec 26, 2013
Shawn Grant
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Mar 22, 2012
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was an American Church historian, born in Portland, Me. He graduated from Amherst in 1883, and at the Hartford Theological Seminary in 1886, then studied at Leipzig (Ph.D., 1888).

Professor Walker was employed at Hartford Seminary from 1889 to 1901 when he accepted a position at Yale University. His publications include:

Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Williston Walker
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