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 Post subject: Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce Shelley
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:33 pm 
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Hi. My name is Dawn and I am new here. Has anyone read 'Church History in Plain Language' 2nd edition, by: Bruce L. Shelley?

I was given this book by an anti-Catholic Elder at my former church. He hoped that the book would prove to me that the Catholic Church is not good. But I've tried reading the book and I'm finding the language in the book to be too plain. I don't even know how to describe it. Mr. Shelley, I'm sure is an intelligent man, and he means well, but I'm finding him to be in error - I've only read up to page 70 - is it worth continuing on with the torture?


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 Post subject: Re: Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce Shelley
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:32 pm 
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Reading Church history can be a huge help--it played a major role in my conversion. But yes, the author you mention is clearly grinding an axe. I wouldn't bother with reading that book myself. Back in my pagan days, I actually stumbled across The Early Church by Henry Chadwick, and it made a big impact on me. I have no idea now, 20-some years since I read it, whether I'd think it is a good book of Church history. But at the time, it was very enlightening to me. Another one that was important was RW Southern's Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages. Again, it's been a long time and I can hardly give an unhesitating endorsement, but this was an eye opener for me at the time, and it really helped clear the way for me to the Church.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/014023 ... 14&sr=8-14

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Society-C ... EX5MF20F28

One other book that made a big difference was the well-known book by Henry Kamen on the Spanish Inquisition.

http://www.amazon.com/Spanish-Inquisiti ... nquisition

Church history is a big subject--I wouldn't look to Thomas Nelson Press for good works on it, though. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce Shelley
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:15 pm 
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First I have to say, I'm loving your name and the Larry the Cucumber mug shot. My husband Mike got a huge kick out that - being an avid pickle lover! :)! I have always enjoyed the Veggie Tales personally. I think I enjoyed reading the books to the kids in the church nursery more than they enjoyed hearing them. ::):

Thank you for the help. My husband loves to read, so he appreciates the book suggestions too.

We are very interested in checking out the Spanish Inquisition.

Thanks again and God Bless.

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 Post subject: Re: Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce Shelley
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:16 pm 
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gherkin wrote:
Reading Church history can be a huge help--it played a major role in my conversion. But yes, the author you mention is clearly grinding an axe. I wouldn't bother with reading that book myself. Back in my pagan days, I actually stumbled across The Early Church by Henry Chadwick, and it made a big impact on me. I have no idea now, 20-some years since I read it, whether I'd think it is a good book of Church history. But at the time, it was very enlightening to me. Another one that was important was RW Southern's Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages. Again, it's been a long time and I can hardly give an unhesitating endorsement, but this was an eye opener for me at the time, and it really helped clear the way for me to the Church.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/014023 ... 14&sr=8-14

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Society-C ... EX5MF20F28

One other book that made a big difference was the well-known book by Henry Kamen on the Spanish Inquisition.

http://www.amazon.com/Spanish-Inquisiti ... nquisition

Church history is a big subject--I wouldn't look to Thomas Nelson Press for good works on it, though. :)


Three good titles.

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 Post subject: Re: Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce Shelley
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:18 am 
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I think there is at least a bit of value in almost every religious discussion or writing, even despite error and sometimes malice. I don't have the Shelley book, but I very much like McSorley's History (see earlier thread).
Although I deplore the Bokenkotter History (another thread) I'm still poking around in the book, amazed by its flagrant bias and misrepresentation, and trying to decide what merit there may be in pointing out the problems.
I believe it's important to learn from Church history both how much the Church has contributed to the enrichment of civilization, as well as how incredibly the Church has withstood dreadful persecution. Bokenkotter and perhaps Shelley show us some of the persecution first hand.


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 Post subject: Re: Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce Shelley
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:41 am 
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I have had a copy of Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages for a long time. Rather than reading it cover to cover, I have read it section by section. When a European Middle Ages history topic comes up that involves Christianity I sometimes check this book out to get some decent background info.

Before starting I recommend reading some of the Amazon reviews so you get an idea of what to expect.

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