N R NEEDHAM
Every generation has an uncanny tendency to view themselves as more enlightened than those that have gone before. The Church certainly has made mistakes all through history – and yet, no insights which we possess would be possible without the efforts, and even some of the mistakes, of our ancestors. The first volume of 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power covers the period from the 1st Century AD to the start of the Middle Ages. From the works of Saint Augustine of Hippo to the first apologetic ever penned, this time in history established the foundations of what we take for granted today.
Without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable and readable surveys of the early church that a family could possibly read! Dr. Needham’s goal for this series is to strike the much-needed balance between accessibility for the non-specialist, and scholarly integrity. In this first volume, he accomplishes this task admirably, and both the interested layman, and more advanced student can profit from this text. Dr. Needham’s treatment of the many complex theological debates that shaped the early church is both clear and concise, and his exposition of the worship and practice of the early church is both fascinating and refreshing. Each chapter ends with a section of carefully selected primary source materials, which provide the reader some exposure to the writings of the figures discussed in the preceding chapter. Includes a variety of simple maps and a dozen illustrations.
What makes the books so useful is that in a non-technical (but not simplistic) way, they bring out the main story line of the history of the church through the centuries. But in addition, and most helpfully, each chapter concludes with a selection of writings (translated of course!) from people discussed in the chapter. This means that we are not only told what certain people believed, but we are able to read some of their actual writings — and this is often extremely illuminating. (Martin K. Bussey ~ Lecturer in theology, Africa International University, Kenya)
It is a brave historian who tackles the extremely challenging task of writing the 2,000-year history of the Church. Well, Nick Needham has more than risen to the challenge. This eagerly-awaited fourth volume has been well worth the wait and, not to pressure our brother scholar, we now look forward to the concluding volume! (Michael A. G. Haykin ~ Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)
For many years now I have said: if you want a thorough, learned but accessible and well-written history of the church, read Nick Needham’s 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power. Now, with the fourth volume finally available, Christians have an excellent resource for improving their knowledge of the history of their faith. Highly recommended. (Carl R. Trueman ~ Paul Woolley Professor of Historical Theology and Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Nick Needham’s volumes on church history explain everything that someone new to the subject might not understand. At the same time, they achieve a depth of detail to interest those who already know something of the subject. We use them as standard texts at LTS and look forward eagerly to forthcoming volumes. (Robert Strivens ~ Principal, London Seminary, London)
About the Author
Nick Needham is the Church History lecturer at Highland Theological College in Dingwall and the minister at Inverness Reformed Baptist Church. Previous to this, he taught Systematic Theology at Scottish Baptist College in Glasgow. He is author of the highly collectable 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power series.