On This Day in Christian History: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories about Saints, Martyrs and Heroes by Robert J. Morgan is a unique new resource. I received it to review a few weeks ago and I'm excited about the possibilities.
About the book:
Amazing stories of faith from twenty centuries of church history.
From the Roman Empire to the Reformation, St. Valentine to St. Francis, Martin Luther to Billy Graham, On This Day in Christian History introduces readers to a parade of preachers, popes, martyrs, heroes, and saints from 2,000 years of Christianity.
This introduction to 365 of the most interesting men and women of faith brings a year's worth of inspiration and spiritual challenge and offers an enjoyable glimpse into church history. Each day includes a related Scripture reading and a simple, colorful story about history-making events in the lives of people who loved God wholeheartedly.
What a fantastic resource! I can think of multiple ways this book can be used by different people. Pastors and teachers will find it a great source for illustrations, it makes a wonderful addition to history studies for homeschoolers, and it works well as a daily devotional too.
Author Robert J. Morgan explains why he wrote the book:
'Contemporary Christianity is interested in recent trends, current challenges, and modern methods. So am I. But nothing braces me to face these days like visiting the cloud of witnesses that comprise church history.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn observed, 'If we don't know our own history, we will simply have to endure all the same mistakes, sacrifices, and absurdities all over again.'
'How shall we labor with any effect to build up the church' asks Philip Schaff, 'if we have no thorough knowledge of her history? History is, and must ever continue to be, next to God's word, the richest foundation of wisdom, and the surest guide to all successful practical activity.'
This is one of the reasons I'm providing this armchair tour of the chronicles of Christianity in a devotional format-to inspire, amuse, challenge, and deepen the soul with two thousand years of anecdotes from an alphabet of characters from Ambrose to Zinzendorf.'
I've mentioned before that a knowledge of our history is a priority for me with our children:
'I think being familiar with the history of the church and major figures in it's history is incredibly valuable for children. It's important for them to understand how we got where we are now and give them a sense of heritage. Not to mention the incredible examples some of the church fathers, missionaries and other figures set for us!"
The same applies to adults! A lack of knowledge of church history seems to be the general rule in many churches today. A resource like this is step in the right direction! The entries are short...each date takes up just one page, so each one provides just a brief snapshot. Still, there's a broad range covered here, from ancient to recent times, that will certainly whet the appetite to learn more. Just flipping to a few significant dates for our family for a sampling covers these:
- The origin of the King James Bible
- Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms
- Scottish giant of the faith Robert Murray McCheyne
- The Spanish Inquisition
- Missionary Eric Liddell of Chariots of Fire fame
- The Great Schism between the Eastern and Western Churches
- Jonathan Edwards
Our entire family has enjoyed what we've read so far. My plan is to add it to our daily reading and make a timeline as we go through it using our History Through the Ages figures. I look forward to continuing to use this as a resource for a long time. I highly recommend it!
(I received a complimentary copy of On This Day in Christian History from Thomas Nelson to review, but all opinions expressed are my own.)