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Doing Church History: A User-Friendly Introduction to Researching the History of Christianity
The book is an introductory textbook for seminary students who take church history courses. Most seminary students do not have a history background (and many do not look forward to taking history courses at seminary), and so there is a need to provide a brief, basic, non-technical introduction to the discipline. There are other texts written for those seeking to do more ...more
Paperback, 108 pages
Published September 10th 2008 by Gordon Heath
(first published September 1st 2008)
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I loved this little book (I read it one sitting). If you are a seminary student about to take your first history course, you need to read this book. Heath situates history in the context of both the church and the academy, showing why it is important and relevant. He has a very readable style that makes understanding history look attainable.
4 stars –“I really liked it” » A perfect introduction to doing historical research. Great for a first-timers, ages 15+. A couple of appendices make the book special: one suggests 13 ways church history can be used in service to the church, even by non-professionals, another gives some special guidance on how you might write a history of your local church. A fun read for those getting started.
Sep 12, 2011 Kevin Ressler rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Seminary Students and Lay Church Historians
Recommended to Kevin by: Anne Thayer
It is a good book. Nothing exemplarily exciting one way or another. It is a good primer, so those who already know contemporary academic models of history and the mainstream reasons for church historians specifically to use that method will find this book a bit pedantic. It's an easy read, so even for those people, it isn't but an hour and a half bother to read anyway and he makes interesting illustrations and provides helpful charts anyone can use as a reviewing thought process.
This work was well written, and is an excellent introduction to the subject of church history. I gave it four stars because it serves it's purpose well. For those who have very little exposure to church history or doubt it's relevance, this book is for you. On the other hand if you have had some exposure to church history research you will probably find this work a bit unnecessary.
As the summary states, this is an intro to church history for seminary students, which is why I read it. It's a quick read and provides a good framework for understanding and digging into the various works on church history.
The book is a basic introduction to approaching church history. The author highlights several major challenges of the subject matter and offers guidelines of dealing with them. Every student of a seminary and many parishioners will find this book an easy and informative read.