Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A New Book on Church History....

A penny if you can recall who said on the writing of many books there is no end.  If you cannot recall, save your pennies and use them to purchase a new book very worth the many pennies it takes.  From Ed Engelbrecht comes word that the presses have stopped and the book is done:

The Church from Age to Age: A History from Galilee to Global Christianity. You can see a sample of the book on our product page or its Amazon Kindle page. I invite you to compare the price for our book with other general church histories out there. For a comprehensive work (1,000+ pages deep) at $36.99, it has the sweetest price on the market.

I believe that as much as our good people may be short on doctrinal and Biblical knowledge and understanding, they also suffer from the very severe lack of any perspective on church history.  It is remarkable to me how ignorant we Lutherans are of our own history, how we look at the muddle of the Christian world today without any grasp of history that has led us to this moment, and how we march into the future making the same mistakes as those before us -- yet oblivious to the lessons which should have been already learned.  Many of our questions could well be answered by a good church history text.  Don't wait until you head to Seminary to read one and because most of you may not get there, CPH is to be commended for bringing out this one -- a thoroughly accessible and complete book on Church History.

Now some of you may think a thousand pages a bit much.  I suppose you could look at one of the shorter histories of the Christian Church.  Martin Marty has a brief one that has been well used.  So does Owen Chadwick.  That is all well and good, but a larger work is not without its own benefits.  For one, a bit more direct source material.  For another, a more in depth review of the events and their meaning.  For another, more footnotes and sources for additional study.

I know that CPH publishes a ton of material that is not really marketable -- that is they do not make CPH much or any money.  Let us turn that tide by addressing our lack with the fine resources that Concordia has brought to bear.  This is but one of the many fine works that they have brought out.  I know that they have to sell a lot of little widgets to cover the cost of endeavors like this but I wish they could count on us instead of the widgets to make a comprehensive work like this a marketing success.  See what you can do, eh?!

8 comments:

Rev. David M. Juhl said...

I believe the statement that begins your blog post is in the Bible. Concordia Journal used to begin their book review section with that quote. Methinks it's in Ecclesiastes, no?

Norman Teigen said...

Church history is a fascinating topic. Perhaps your readers might be interested to know that there a great many works on American church history available for free on Google.

Terry Maher said...

Rats, Father Run DMJ beat me to it. It is Ecclesiastes. Right at the end. About the best line in the whole Hebrew Bible.

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

Well said, as usual Pastor Peters, this book comes at an opportune time, one of the people in my new member class asked for another class on this subject. CPH continues to do stellar work, and provides superb resources for the church.

Paul McCain said...

Larry, thanks for the post. Glad you like it, too. I'm really enjoying digging back into a good one volume history of the Church.

Great stuff here.

We continue to get rave reviews for it from Lutherans and, non-Lutherans, alike.

And, thanks for your encouragement for folks actually to BUY these kinds of books.

You are right that we actually, at the end of the day, "lose" money on our books we publish, and the only way we can produce them is from folks buying our bulletins, offering envelopes, curriculum [Sunday School, Day School, VBS, Bible Studies].

Indeed, we do have to sell a lot of "widgets" to do books like this...thanks for your support.

Chris said...

This book should be renamed. This is pretty much a history of Western Christianity. The Eastern churches are given scant attention, a mere 17 pages in chapter 20. This bias is further reflected in that Augustine is given an entire chapter. I have no problem with a history of Western Christianity but to call it The Church from Age to Age is really a misnomer.

elmhurst erik said...

This books looks to be quite impressive just from reviewing the seventeen page Table of Contents (from CPH's sample pdf). It is now on my Christmas wish list.

Anonymous said...

I pre ordered mine and got it in time to get it signed by Paul Maier this past Saturday when he was in Houston! He said he hadn't got his copy yet, so it was his first time to actually see it hot off the press.