One of my continuing aims in 2014 is to continue to read more non-fiction. In particular I have been enjoying historical and Christian non-fiction. I picked up History of the Christian Church in the First Century by Edward Burton hoping it would be the perfect blend of both history and Christianity.
History of the Christian Church chronicles the spread of Christianity after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In particular Burton looks at the lives, journeys and ministry of the apostles and later disciples. The most prolific of which seem to have been Paul (Saul) and Peter although many more are discussed. I have always found it fascinating how Christianity spread so quickly and so far in a world without technology. It all relied on believers having the faith and courage to take the word to new people and new lands. However it wasn’t all smooth sailing the apostles and disciples as well as the distance had to deal with persecution from the Jewish leaders and the Romans, and corruptions of Christ’s teachings (from groups such as the Gnostics).
History of the Christian Church is the first book I have read by Edward Burton. I had not heard of this author before but I just spotted this offered for free and decided to give it a go. I am glad I did because I did enjoy the mixture of my favourite genres of non-fiction; history and Christianity. The only thing I would say though is that while this is a history so could interest non-Christians. I did find that the author did seem to presume that the reader was a believer which wasn’t a problem for me but could be for other readers. Other than that though I thought this was a well written and detailed look into the apostles, their ministry and their writings which was all well referenced with the history that was going on around them. This added up to this being an interesting, quick and easy read for me.
History of the Christian Church in the First Century is an interesting and well written book on the lives, journeys and ministry of the apostles and later disciples. I recommend to those with an interest in the founding of Christianity.
Have you read Burton? Any recommendations of historic Christian reads?