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Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church
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Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The third edition of Christianity Through the Centuries brings the reader up-to-date by discussing events and developments in the church into the 1990s. This edition has been redesigned with new typography and greatly improved graphics to increase clarity, accessibility, and usefulness. - New chapters examine recent trends and developments (expanding the last section from ...more
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published November 19th 1996 by Zondervan
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(showing 1-29 of 402)
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Adam T Calvert
In this book Dr. Cairns has skillfully crafted a brilliant and accessible survey of the history of the Christian Church from its inception all the way up to the present day (latest ed. 1996). His writing is engaging, helpful, and honest.

Obviously with a survey book, no one can include all the details of any significant person, event, or movement. But Dr. Cairns does a wonderful job (as any historian would do) of selecting which things to include and which things the reader can do without.

The boo
Peter B.
This was a helpful overview of the church history of the last two thousand years in textbook format. I appreciate the book recommendations that are scattered throughout the book for further study. The author comes from a reformed-evangelical perspective, which I appreciate, although he is also sympathetic to premillennialism and egalitarianism, which I don't appreciate. But over all, I have a better understanding of Christian history as a whole and a greater recognition of my smallness in the wh ...more
Thomas Freeman
This is the classic! Highly recommended. I found myself relying heavily on this book to look up details that other books might hint at. I found the layout a bit challenging at times. But the index helped to make up for this. Some events are covered in multiple chapters but with a different focus for each. They were not "inconsistent" but just not holistic. This would require me to jump around to gain a complete picture of some events.

The book has great charts, good writing and has been updated t
Nathan Vani
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathan Woodward
This was just a great, great exposition of church history. It's not as detailed as it can be, but I'm afraid if it were more detailed it would be over the top. This is a great book to read along side "Turning Points" by Noll. If you're interested in church history, you ought to give this one your shelf space.
Aug 22, 2007 Chad rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interested in church history
This being a general overview of church history from the time of Acts to "present day", (mid 1990's), it is not a good read if one is looking for detailed accouts of any given movement or event during the covered timespan. The book does give the reader the basic flow of the church's origins, to the height of papal power, the reformation, the expansion into the new world, and why the church is the way it is today. The final chapters are some persoanl conclusions of where the chruch is headed both ...more
I had read most of this book for a seminary class and I picked it up recently to finish it. It is a bit outdated book published in 1996 in its third revision, but it still has insight as it looks at the history of the church. Moreover, it is interesting to read about its views of the direction of the church, its current/future problems etc. It does help to have that perspective. This book isn't as in depth or well written as say Roger Olsen's book on church history (which I read for the same cla ...more
Nathan Parker
This book is a solid overview of Church History. I does makes for an excellent textbook for an entry level Church History course. The author does a fine job going through the various periods of both early and later church history.
Charlie Johnson
From a very protestant perspective.
Gerald Thomson
A great overview of the church since the time of Christ. Truly only touches the surface, but provides the highlights as well as analysis as to what the various moves of the church has meant. You will definitely want to delve into some of the topics in more depth through other sources. Very interesting history when looking at today’s debate about the separation of church and state. It truly puts the issue in perspective when you see what those who came to America were running away from where a tr ...more
I have read this book from the reformation forward and something about it never really sat right with me. I just chalked it up to it feeling too much like a text book, which I hate. This book came up in conversation with a friend the other day and he helped me realize that this is terrible writing, and after a second review, I realized that this was what was bothering me before. Cairns writing is just not good. There are other histories the read better and don't feel like a text book.
Bob Collins
A classic college text - Church history from a conservative evangelical point of view. Takes the reader up to the 1950's.
Rock Rockwell
A really good read if you like history, want to see how Christianity is woven in history (councils, leaders, denominational offshoots, etc.). Cairns is not deep, but moves quickly through out this book but provides the essential information at each stage of history. Good for High School history classes.
Mark Notestine
Enjoyable and easy to read survey of church history that I would recommend to anyone interested in the subject. A little too light on the ancient/early church like many surveys; this shortcoming can be addressed through books such as "The Early Church" by Henry Chadwick.
Talbot Course: Reformation and Modern Theology

A solid look at the history of Christianity. It reads like a history textbook because it is one.
Didn't have to read it all and probably never will. It is very dry but very concise. Good book to reference in the future.
College level overview of the history of the church. Written in an easy style. Really good for a quick reference near the desk.
Brian Kelly
I love Church history books. This is the best one I've read. Great information, very well presented and easy to follow & remember
This was a really good work on the history of the church.
Gwen Burrow
Didn't leave a brilliant taste in my mouth.
Good overview of the history of the church.
Thorough! Great Information!
Kinda boring.
Htet Htet
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Jul 21, 2015
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