Church History: Five Approaches to a Global Discipline

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Church History: Five Approaches to a Global Discipline.

By Dyron B. Daughrity. New York: Peter Lang, 2012. Pp. xiv, 289. Paperback $38.95 / SFr 36/29.95 [euro]/24 [pounds sterling].

Dyron Daughrity's innovative textbook advances two objectives: guide beginning students through complexity in church history, and give substantial attention to Christianity outside of Europe and America. In doing so, he utilizes five approaches--chronological, denominational, sociological, geographical, and biographical--in as many chapters. The reader is treated to a succinct and at times breezy account.

Along the way, traditional themes receive attention without bogging down the author. Important doctrinal developments that caused rupture factor in the narrative, but results rather than meaning m context are stressed. The contested Reformation principle of sola Scriptura means that believers have freedom to interpret the Bible on their own (58), persecution of Anabaptists by Reformation princes aside. In the sociological section, secularization theories provide one way to interpret declining Christian affiliation in Europe and growth in the Global South through indigenization processes, which provide the background theme present throughout all the chapters. The complexity of the debate over secularization theories is referenced briefly to note that secular Europe's humanitarian movements of protest and reform could be recognized as Christian. …