Over the years I have accumulated a shelf full of books relating to the history of Christianity. Some have come from antique shops or used book sales. Some have been purchased on line. Others have been found as I browse through the aisles of a bookstore. I recently found a promising book in a bookstore at Seaport Village in San Diego. It is entitled A People’s History of Christianity, with subtitle “The Other Side of the Story”. It is written by Diana Butler Bass, who has a PhD in church history and has taught at the University of California and at Virginia Theological Seminary. The cover quotes the Washington Post: “What emerges is a persuasive argument that the real traditions of the church are ‘faith, hope, and love entwined'”.
The theme of the book is that lived Christianity is not best understood in terms of formal church history and hierarchy and doctrine, but rather by considering the ways in which Christian people have enacted the Great Command in different times and places throughout the centuries. I have just started reading it. I look forward to sharing what I learn in future posts.