Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church” as Want to Read:
Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  171 ratings  ·  20 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
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Christianity Through the Centuries, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Christianity Through the Centuries

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 352)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
...more
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
...more
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.
Chad
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
Vangelicmonk
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
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
Nate
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.
Don
Talbot Course: Reformation and Modern Theology

A solid look at the history of Christianity. It reads like a history textbook because it is one.
Thomas
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.
Cbarrett
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
Shawn
This was a really good work on the history of the church.
Gwen Burrow
Didn't leave a brilliant taste in my mouth.
Jeff
Good overview of the history of the church.
Nathan
Thorough! Great Information!
Noah
Kinda boring.
Taylor Brost
Taylor Brost marked it as to-read
Dec 17, 2014
Craig Forrester
Craig Forrester marked it as to-read
Nov 25, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine: A Companion to Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology
  • A Survey of the New Testament
  • Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity
  • Documents of the Christian Church
  • A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament
  • Revival and Revivalism: Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism 1750-1858
  • The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-Lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World
  • A Survey of the Old Testament (Second Edition)
  • Jesus and the Gospels
  • Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond
  • The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption & Restoration
  • Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
  • The Case for Classical Christian Education
  • A Little Exercise for Young Theologians
  • Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament
  • Historical Theology
  • Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship
  • Church History in Plain Language
An Endless Line of Splendor: Revivals and Their Leaders from the Great Awakening to the Present God And Man In Time: A Christian Approach To Historiography The Christian in Society Preach the Word! V. Raymond Edman: in the presence of the king,

Share This Book