Earlier in the week I read Mark A. Noll's Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, and I found it to be an excellent introduction to the history of Christianity. Church history is complicated to say the least. When anyone attempts to study the history of Christianity, he or she must obviously deal with the development of doctrine, but as Noll states in the introduction of his book,
historical details remind us that ‘Church History’ is never just the grand sweep through great eons of magisterial Doctrines, clashing Principles, or inevitable Consequences, but is rather the cumulative result of often blurred thoughts, often hesitant actions, and often unforeseen consequences experienced by people more or less like ourselves (14).Moreover, the challenge of studying the history of Christianity is expanded as the student deals with all of the political and social happenings that swirl around every doctrinal and ecclesiastical development within Christian history. Noll’s book provides an excellent starting point for anyone that desires to gain a general understanding of the Church’s development without overwhelming the reader with too many people, places, or events. So, if you'd like to know more about the history of Christianity, then check out Turning Points.