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In this book Garry Williams writes about Christians of the past for Christians of the present. He describes both famous and less well–known figures and movements from church history, from the fourth century through to the twentieth: Augustine of Hippo, the Council of Chalcedon, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, Nicholas Ridley, John Calvin, Anne Bradstreet, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, and John Laing.
As their lives are sketched and their writings expounded, they serve as silent witnesses to the essentials of the Christian Faith, to the challenges of Christian living, to the work of the pastor, and to the life of the church. At the end of the book, after their stories have been told, a final chapter makes the case for a Christian view of history itself.
Too often Christian biographies degenerate into discouraging hero-worship. This is not the approach of this book. There are a series of chapters each one devoted to an historical figure or issue, and the importance of the issue or example is considered today. Two chapters stood out for me: John Laing (Christian builder - not previously known to me) and the epilogue "Making the case for Christian history" where Williams argues that we need to apply a Christian mind to history, as secular historians, who may write well and correctly about the details, will inevitably miss the point of all things being under God's rule. Any Christian studying history should read it.
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