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Suggested Readings

and background on History of the Holidays articles and lessons by Bill Petro




In the Fullness of Time: A Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter, and the Early Church, by Paul L. Maier

This remarkable book is a compilation of Professor Maier's earlier books -- The First Christmas, The First Easter, and The First Christians -- which are hard to find now in print, and is an excellent place to start. It got me on my start over 25 years ago in looking deeper into the history behind the holidays of Christmas and Easter, as well as a more detailed examination of the Acts of the Apostles.

Hardcover: 363 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.04 x 9.30 x 6.36
Publisher: Kregel Publications; Revised and Updated edition (January 1998)
: 0825433290




Charts of Ancient and Medieval Church History, by John D. Hannah

This book by Professor Hannah covers Church History from the beginning until the dawn of the Reformation, and some of the elements both inside and outside the Church that fomented the Reformation.

Paperback: 192 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.52 x 10.94 x 8.52
Publisher: Zondervan; Book and CD-ROM edition (November 1, 2001)
ISBN: 031023316X



Luther 1

Charts of Reformation and Enlightenment Church History, by John D. Hannah

This covers a 250 year period between the dawn of the Reformation until the beginning of the Modern Era.

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; 1st edition (April 2004)
ISBN: 0310233178


Luther 2


The Kregel Pictorial Guide to Church History, by John D Hannah

Introductory, concise overview of Church History by Professor Hannah.

Paperback: 32 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.14 x 10.47 x 7.65
Publisher: Kregel Publications; (February 2001)
ISBN: 0825427983


Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce L. Shelley

This excellent introductory text covers two thousand years of the History of Christianity is an engaging narrative.

Paperback: 544 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.56 x 9.04 x 6.02
Publisher: Word Publishing; 2nd edition (May 7, 1996)
ISBN: 0849938619

Martin Luther - The Early Years, Christian History magazine, Issue 34

This magazine covers the early life of the Reformer. Excellent introductory material for a lay reader.

Luther 1
Martin Luther - The Later Years and Legacy, Christian History magazine, Issue 34

This issue covers the remainder of Luther's life and the legacy he left behind.


Luther 2

The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God's Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, by John Piper

This is the first in Piper's series of mini-biographies, "The Swans Are Not Silent." Piper's approach is devotional rather than historical, but where he touches on history, he is accurate on these three heroes of the faith. In it he traces the themes of Sovereign Joy, Sacred Study, and The Divine Majesty of the Word.

Hardcover: 158 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.70 x 9.35 x 6.24
Publisher: Crossway Books; (May 1, 2000)
ISBN: 1581341733

Luther 2
Zwingli: Father of the Swiss Reformation, Christian History magazine, Issue 4

Swiss Reformation 1
The Radical Reformation: The Anabaptists, Christian History magazine, Issue 5

Swiss Reformation 1

John Calvin, Christian History magazine, Issue 12 Calvin


John Calvin: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait, by William J Bouwsma

Professor Bouwsma taught the year-long class at the University of California, Berkeley called "History of Christianity." I was his student some thirty years ago and later talked with him while he was writing this book. This book was his magnum opus on the life of the widely misunderstood genius of Geneva, John Calvin.

Hardcover: 310 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.25 x 9.75 x 6.50
Publisher: Oxford University Press; (January 1988)
: 0195043944


Augustine, Christian History Magazine, Issue 67 Calvinism

The Five Points of Calvinism, by David N. Steele, Curtis C. Thomas

A good, short treatment of Arminianism and the 5 Points (TULIP) of the Canons of Dordt -- from a Reformed perspective. A concise introduction to Calvinism.

Paperback: 95 pages
: P&R Publishing Company, 1963
ISBN: 0875524443


John Knox and the Scottish Reformation, Christian History Magazine, Issue 46 Scots/English

Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation, Christian History Magazine, Issue 48 Scots/English

Wide As the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired, by Benson Bobrick

Approachable narrative on the creation of the English Bible.

Paperback: 392 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.82 x 8.42 x 5.52
Publisher: Penguin USA (Paper); Reissue edition (February 2002)
ISBN: 0142000590


God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible, by Adam Nicolson

Engaging recounting of the formulation and development of the English Bible under King James I.

Paperback: 281 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.81 x 8.01 x 5.30
Publisher: Perennial; (March 2, 2004)
ISBN: 0060959754


The American Puritans, Christian History Magazine, Issue 41 Pilgrims-Puritans

Jonathan Edwards: A Life, by George M. Marsden

This large contemporary volume gives a perspective on Edwards' world from an historical and sociological point of view, and was recommended to me by the pastor of the Edwards Church in Northampton, MA.

Hardcover: 640 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.83 x 9.60 x 6.44
Publisher: Yale Univ Pr; (April 2003)
ISBN: 0300096933

Great Awakening

God's Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards, by John Piper Great Awakening

Spiritual Awakenings in North America, Church History Magazine, Issue 23 Great Awakening

John Wesley: Revival and Revolution, Christian History Magazine, Issue 2 Great Awakening

The Wesleys, Christian History Magazine, Issue 69 Great Awakening

George Whitefield, Christian History Magazine, Issue 38 Great Awakening

Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening, Christian History Magazine, Issue 8 Great Awakening

Jonathan Edwards, Christian History Magazine, Issue 77 Great Awakening

The Christian Face of the Scientific Revolution, Christian History Magazine, Issue 76 Enlightenment

On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding, by Michael Novak

This Templeton Award winning author gives an excellent balanced account of both Faith and Reason as elements in the founding of the American Republic.

Hardcover: 250 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.95 x 9.24 x 6.24
Publisher: Encounter Books; 1st edition (April 2003)
ISBN: 1893554341


The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America, by Frank Lambert

Lambert takes a clearly "Separationists" view of the Founders while explaining the difference between his position and that of "Accommodationists."

Hardcover: 344 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.00 x 9.25 x 6.25
Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr; (January 9, 2003)
ISBN: 0691088292


Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers, by John Eidsmoe

Eidsmoe takes the "Accommodationists" perspective with informed and favorable perspectives on a number of the Founders.

Paperback: 480 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.10 x 8.95 x 6.03
Publisher: Baker Book House; (July 1995)
ISBN: 0801052319


Christian History Made Easy, by Timothy Paul Jones

A useful, though not particularly comprehensive survey of Church History. Chapters are bite-sized if not especially deep.

Paperback: 172 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.43 x 9.24 x 7.48
Publisher: Rose Publishing; (July 1999)
ISBN: 1890947105



American Scripture : Making the Declaration of Independence, by Pauline Maier

A delightful description of the making of the American Declaration of Independence. Wonderful history, though I would have preferred a more detailed "exegesis" of the text.

Paperback: 336 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.75 x 8.01 x 5.18
Publisher: Vintage; (May 26, 1998)
ISBN: 0679779086



American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, by Joseph J. Ellis

This highly readable book is one of the best modern treatments on the life and impact of Thomas Jefferson.

Paperback: 464 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.06 x 8.06 x 5.25
Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (April 7, 1998)
ISBN: 0679764410

Christianity and the American Revolution, Christian History Magazine, Issue 50 Revolution




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