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Customer Reviews for Penguin Putnam Inc. Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

Penguin Putnam Inc. Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

The Definitive account of Christianity in our time.


A product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill, Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years goes back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and encompasses Christianity's spread across the globe. It captures the major turning points in human history and fills in often neglected accounts of conversion and confrontation in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

It uncovers the roots of the faith that galvanized America, charting the surprising beliefs of the founding fathers, the rise of the Evangelical movement and of Pentecostalism, and the recent crisis within the Catholic Church. Bursting with original insights and a great pleasure to read, this monumental history will not soon be surpassed.

And yet, there is so much more to this story. MacCulloch also, and eloquently, narrates the events surrounding Apostolic Christianity, the doctrinal struggles during the era of the Patristics and Ecumenical Councils. He then moves into lesser-known and understood eras that include, the Great Schism between the Greek East and Latin West, the medieval era, and the tumultuous period of the Crusades.

He then moves back into the turbulent, superstitious, and conflicted world of the Protestant Reformation and the events and cataclysmic religious and social changes it would inspire. He then moves through the Enlightenment period, and into the events precipitating the awakenings in America and Great Britain that gave birth to the global Pentecostal phenomenon, and what we now know as Global Christianity.

Along the way, McCulloch introduces the reader to numerous monks, crusaders and mystics, theologians, social activists, popes, politicians, and many other characters that have defined the shape of the church. But he also includes the outsiders, heretics and renegade saints, all the while breathing life into the vibrant spectrum of Christianity's four major branches. Magnificent in its scope, Diarmaid MacCulloch's work is certain to be an unrivaled benchmark in the field of Christian history for years to come.
Average Customer Rating:
3.2 out of 5
3.2
 out of 
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(5 Reviews) 5
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1 out of 425%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
Review 1 for Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Well written, but entirely from human perspective

Date:October 10, 2012
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Jan Willem
Location:The Netherlands, Europe
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
The book is well written, accessible, and "lege artis" historically. But it is written entirely from the human perspective: humans invented the Jewish history, humans wrote the bible, humans invented the christian religion, and humans are quarreling about its details. If you are looking for religious inspiration, I would definitely not recommend reading this book. But it does put those details which have been subject to so much discussion in the past centuries in a broader perspective, which can make it easier to accept different christian denominations as brothers and sisters.
0points
3of 6voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

The author is very biased.

Date:January 4, 2012
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Tony
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
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1 out of 5
1 out of 5
The author's anti- Christian bias shows throughout the book in statements far too many to number. He frequently throws in opinionated statements to subtly attack the veracity of Christianity.
-2points
3of 8voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Very detailed and comprehensive.

Date:April 11, 2011
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mark
Location:Vancouver BC
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a very comprehensive history of the development of Christianity. The reader will probably have heard of and know something about the major players mentioned, but there are a great number of until now obscure characters who have walk-on parts. It is almost more of an encyclopedia than a narrative. Great as a reference work, but a long slog through a thousand pages.
+3points
3of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Liberal secular revisionist view of Christianity

Date:October 6, 2010
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eurbul
Location:San Francisco, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
By his own admission the author is angry at Christianity. The authro throws opinions around, some are plausible and some simply wrong and misleading. His bias shows through and through.
Since his footnones are very sparce (although he got his material from other published sources) it is hard to lend any credence to most of his arguments.
The last thing I would call MacCulloch is an historian.
If you want to see an example of how an historical approach to christianity should be made I would suggest reading Craig Keener's commentary of the Gospel of John.
You get all known sources and different opinions about specific topics including the author's.
On the positive side the author has a very plasant writing style which reads like a novel, which probably contributed to the previous positive review.
-1point
8of 17voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 26, 2010
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Joel Ogter
The writer has a deep knowledge of this vast subject. His book is meticulously researched and beautifully written. Despite the intimidating length, I'm enjoying every page and already (halfway through) amd sad to know this wonderful read will end.
-4points
1of 6voted this as helpful.