Church History


Any good one-volume, fairly easy to read, book on the history of Christianity? Protestant pastor recommended *Church History in Plain Language *by Bruce L. Shelly. I browsed through it at Barnes n Noble but I see he does creep in Protestant theology in parts. Like regarding the canon of the NT he stated in so many words that the books were accepted by the Chrsitian community based off of their “self authentication.” Now we know that that was not the case. So I am inclined to think that the rest of the book has minor distortions as well.

I want to recommend a good book for him and myself. But I can see him saying “well that is written by a Catholic author so he/she would naturally also do the same.” Any titles? :confused:


It’s out of print now, but you could probably still get it from somewhere like Amazon. Paul Johnson’s “A History of Christianity”. I can’t guarantee that his theology will be impeccably Catholic of course, although he is himself a Catholic.


Is it like 1960’s old?


I think it was published in the early to mid eighties.


I would recommend Jean Comby’s “How to Read Church History”, it’s in two easy to read volumes and really has all the right stuff!


Here are some previous threads with Church History resource recommendations:



For a Catholic view, I like A Popular History of the Catholic Church by Philip Hughes, though it is old [1950’s] and may no longer be available.

H. W. Crocker’s Triumph is very popular, though I thought a bit thin in spots - probably inevitable due to length constraints.


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