Products>Baker Academic Church History Collection (4 vols.)

Baker Academic Church History Collection (4 vols.)


This collection includes four volumes on church history. It allows readers to discover the people and events that have impacted and shaped Christianity. Two volumes focus on the broader scope of church history—key events and figures. Turning Points concentrates on 14 critical moments in church history. God in Dispute presents 29 imaginary dialogues and debates between church history’s leading figures, assessing each theologian and the key issues they presented. The collection’s other two volumes focus on American Evangelicalism. They analyze its rise, social reforming roots, key figures, subgroups, current challenges, and future.

With the Logos edition of the Baker Academic Church History Collection, you can instantly access important information about dozens of prominent individuals and historical Christian events that have influenced—and continue to influence—the church. The advanced search tools in Logos Bible Software give you instant access to the subjects, topics, and individuals you’re looking for. All Scripture references are also linked directly to the Bibles in your library, making God’s Word instantly accessible.

Key Features

  • Analyzes evangelicalism's history
  • Provides 29 imaginary dialogues and debates between key theologians
  • Studies important events that impacted church history

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The American Evangelical Story: A History of the Movement

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The American Evangelical Story surveys the role American evangelicalism has had in the shaping of global evangelical history.

Author Douglas Sweeney begins with a brief outline of the key features that define evangelicals and then explores the roots of the movement in English Pietism and the Great Awakening of the eighteenth century. He goes on to consider the importance of missions in the development of evangelicalism and the continuing emphasis placed on evangelism. Sweeney next examines the different subgroups of American evangelicals and the current challenges faced by the movement, concluding with reflections on the future of evangelicalism.

Combining a narrative style with historical detail and insight, this accessible, illustrated book will appeal to readers interested in the history of the movement, as well as students of church history.

Evangelical history can seem complicated, but in this book, clarity, precision, and solid spiritual lessons are the order of the day. For care in defining who evangelicals are and have been, for reliability from using the best available scholarship, for awareness of world trends and political influence, and most of all for concentration on the Christian meaning of evangelical history, this is a very fine book.

Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

This is a great resource, especially for people who want something short and easy to read yet detailed enough to apprise them of what evangelicalism is about. Unlike some books that read like dry compilations of unending historical facts, this one is engaging from start to finish. It is also inspiring. Perhaps the best thing about it is Sweeney’s attitude—he is appreciative of the movement’s famed leaders yet diligent to acknowledge that others, such as Pentecostals, charismatics, women, and blacks, have also made significant contributions that should be joyfully recognized as basic to a true telling of the story.

Sarah Sumner, dean, A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary

Here is a superb overview of American evangelicalism presented with vigor, insight, and sympathy. This is a fine introduction written by one of our best historians.

Timothy George, dean, Beeson Divinity School

The American Evangelical Story is a fascinating and readable introduction to the history and theology of the evangelical movement. Douglas Sweeney tells the story of American evangelicalism with the passion and clarity of an insider and the insightful eye of a trained and seasoned historian. With recognition of evangelicalism’s imperfections and failures, Sweeney recounts a movement that attempts to be faithful to the Gospel, is broad and inclusive in its reach, and at its best motivates participants to act to change humanity both at home and abroad.

—David G. Roebuck, director, Hal Bernard Dixon Jr. Pentecostal Research Center

Sweeney’s bracing history of American evangelicalism brings the lesser-known branches of the movement into the fold, placing them in the broad context of the history of the church. This welcome addition to the field pulses with the author’s faith and optimism for the future growth of evangelicalism in a hurting world so long as it adheres to the historic mission of our faith. Even as he casts an attentive, critical eye on the mistakes of the past, Sweeney swings the gate wide open in a welcome embrace of the incredible diversity and richness of the American church. The strength of this book is that the author’s lucid and engaging analysis focuses not merely on ideas but on the consequences of faith in action. I strongly recommend this book as an introductory text to all students of Christian history, especially college freshmen at Christian colleges and universities.

—Judith Mendelsohn Rood, professor of history and Middle Eastern studies, Biola University

For those who have been looking for a brief, balanced, and reliable introduction to American evangelicalism, The American Evangelical Story is an excellent place to start. Scholars and general readers alike will benefit from Sweeney’s delightful wit, insightful reflections, interpretive balance, mastery of the sources, and clear prose.

Garth M. Rosell, professor of church history, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Douglas A. Sweeney is professor and chair of the Church History and the History of Christian Thought Department and director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Discovering an Evangelical Heritage

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When it first appeared, Discovering an Evangelical Heritage was widely regarded as a groundbreaking historical work. The continued relevance of the issues with which this book deals justifies its reappearance 12 years after its first advent challenged countless people to rethink their evangelical heritage. If anything, the challenge is even greater now to follow the example set by the forebears of twentieth century evangelicalism.

For instance, Catherine Booth, cofounder of the Salvation Army and ardent feminist, offers a powerful testimony to the impact that Christian witness can and should have upon society. Likewise, abolitionist Theodore Weld, converted under the ministry of Charles G. Finney, showed what a response to the radical call of Christ means as he strove to right social injustice and inequity during his day.

Despite the hardship and consequences of living out their faith, these and other evangelical forerunners left a heritage to be remembered and an example to be followed. Like the author himself, the reader will be challenged to rethink his or her own relationship with evangelicalism and will have to reflect upon the broader significance of that movement in American culture.

Donald W. Dayton was a professor of theology and ethics at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago.

God in Dispute: “Conversations” among Great Christian Thinkers

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This volume creatively explores the history of Christian thought by imagining a series of 29 dialogues and debates among key figures throughout church history. It traces the history of theology via such conversation partners as Augustine and Pelagius, Calvin and Arminius, Barth and Brunner, and Bultmann and Pannenberg. Each imagined dialogue includes a brief summary that introduces the figures under consideration and places them in the history of theology, a more detailed assessment of the thinkers and theological issues presented, and a guide for further reading. This approach offers readers an entertaining, informative, and concise history of Christian thought. The book will be of use to professors and students in theology, church history, and historical theology courses and will also interest pastors and lay readers.

Most textbooks that trace the development of historical theology provide us with content, unpacking the positions of theologians and major schools of thought. While Olson’s book does that, it also does much more. By bringing generations of Christian thinkers together in dialogue to discuss a number of topics, Olson helps us understand that the Christian tradition is a complex, lively, ongoing argument about what happened in Jesus Christ. And while most textbooks leave the reader an arm’s length from the disputes, Olson’s approach invites us into the fray as participants in the debates. This is a unique text that makes historical theology come alive.

Dennis Okholm, professor of theology, Azusa Pacific University

God in Dispute creatively presents significant issues in Christian doctrine through imaginary dialogues between giants in the history of our faith. Professors, students, and laypeople alike will find it a valuable resource.

Vincent Bacote, associate professor of theology, Wheaton College

Few scholars possess the creativity, historical breadth, and theological acumen to pull off a volume like this. If Roger Olson’s fictionalized discussions occasionally reveal as much about his own views as those of other Christian thinkers, then the excellence of his unusual survey of church history can be his excuse.

Christianity Today

Historical theology doesn’t have to be dry, dusty, and dull. With Roger Olson as a guide, it can be downright entertaining. . . . God in Dispute collects 29 . . . insightful dialogues involving great Christian thinkers from the early church to the present. . . . He presents the key ideas of each speaker through lively—and sometimes humorous—dialogue. . . . For readers who want to dig deeper, each dialogue ends with a list of suggested books for further reading. But for those who are content with a sampling, Olson provides a painless introduction to some of the greatest Christian thinkers in history.

Baptist Standard

[Olson] offers an intriguing approach to learning about the history of Christian theology. Using 29 imaginary conversations between two or more luminaries of Christian thought, he writes an easily understandable introduction not only to the conversational partners but also to the particular theological issues of every Christian epoch. . . . Even though the author takes pains to acknowledge that these conversations are imaginary, they do have an appropriate historical feel. Olson also makes a very helpful contribution in the setting he offers for each conversation; one understands exactly the context for the content. . . . For readers unfamiliar with this material, the book is an easy-to-read resource, and a list of further readings appears at the end of each selection. . . . Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers.


On a number of levels, Olson succeeds in bringing these figures to life, so to speak, for a wide range of readers not limited to students of theology. . . . The structure of the book is quite refreshing. . . . God in Dispute is an enjoyable book that covers a lot of material. Olson casts as wide a net as is reasonable not only on the issues themselves, which extend as far as evangelical theology, liberation theology, and postmodern theology, but also [on] the conversation participants. . . . Olson’s humor will keep even the most cynical student engaged.

Southwestern Journal of Theology

Roger E. Olson is a professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University, in Waco, Texas. He is a prolific author whose volumes include Reformed and Always Reforming, The Story of Christian Theology, and The Mosaic of Christian Belief. He is also coauthor of 20th-Century Theology.

Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity

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In this new edition of a popular introduction to church history, Mark Noll isolates key events that provide a framework for understanding the history of Christianity. The book presents Christianity as a worldwide phenomenon rather than just a Western experience.

Now organized around 14 key moments in church history, this well-received text provides contemporary Christians with a fuller understanding of God as he has revealed his purpose through the centuries. This edition includes a new preface, updates throughout the book, revised “further readings” for each chapter, and two new chapters, including one spotlighting Vatican II and Lausanne as turning points of the recent past.

Students in academic settings and church adult education contexts will benefit from this one-semester survey of Christian history.

If Mark Noll’s Turning Points gets the attention it deserves, it will contribute immeasurably to a turning point in the struggle for Christian unity within a principled diversity. As an introduction to the history of Christianity, it is fresh and illuminating. As a criticism of the churches, it is historically sound and scrupulously fair. As a statement of core beliefs, responsibilities, and tasks, it is penetrating and constructive. This book speaks eloquently to Catholics and Eastern Orthodox as readily as it does to Protestants.

—Eugene D. Genovese, American historian

This book majors in what is major, giving the reader a fine sense of what has happened, and it does so with care, precision, and respect for the past which is Noll’s trademark.

—David F. Wells, distinguished senior research professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

This highly recommended work provides a thoughtful yet comprehensive framework for the history of Christianity.

Library Journal

Noll’s treatment of the material is evenhanded, engaging, and illuminating. This will be a useful text for readers seeking a historical framework within which to understand their Christian faith.

Publishers Weekly

An informative and inspiring survey of the history of Christianity designed for the general reader. . . . A thoughtful introduction to the two millennia of Christian history.

Church History

Noll’s emphasis on historical significance allows him to range well beyond the institutional and doctrinal matters that dominate traditional church history surveys. . . . A valuable text for church study groups and college-level, one-semester surveys of church history.

Journal of Church and State

The depth to which Noll’s research takes the reader is unmatched. . . . Even the casual reader—or the one who needs a refresher course—quickly enters into the purposes behind the turning points. . . . Reading this book may bring a turning point in your love for church history.

Evangelical Journal

This book is a popular, but never unscholarly, study of important transitions in the history of the Christian Church. Turning Points is the product of a seasoned Christian historian that may be read with profit and delight by any intelligent Christian or by a critical historian. . . . Noll’s book is a splendid example of fine scholarship embedded in deep Christian piety. It will profit those seeking continuing education in churches and those who sit in academic classrooms.


Mark A. Noll is the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He is one of the nation’s most distinguished practitioners of American religious history and is the author of dozens of books in this field, including America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln and The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.