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Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, 3rd ed.

ISBN: 9781441253804
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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.

With the Logos edition of this volume, 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.

Resource Experts
  • Identifies 14 moments in church history crucial to the modern state of Christianity
  • Examines Christianity and the understanding of God over time
  • Presents the new edition, featuring two new chapters and other updates
  • The Church Pushed Out on Its Own: The Fall of Jerusalem (70)
  • Realities of Empire: The Council of Nicaea (325)
  • Doctrine, Politics, and Life in the Word: The Council of Chalcedon (451)
  • The Monastic Rescue of the Church: Benedict’s Rule (530)
  • The Culmination of Christendom: The Coronation of Charlemagne (800)
  • Division between East and West: The Great Schism (1054)
  • The Beginnings of Protestantism: The Diet of Worms (1521)
  • A New Europe: The English Act of Supremacy (1534)
  • Catholic Reform and Worldwide Outreach: The Founding of the Jesuits (1540)
  • The New Piety: The Conversion of the Wesleys (1738)
  • Discontents of the Modern West: The French Revolution (1789)
  • A Faith for All the World: The Edinburgh Missionary Conference (1910)
  • Mobilizing for the Future: The Second Vatican Council (1962–65) and the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (1974)

Top Highlights

“The Council of Chalcedon was an important event—and a critical turning point—in the history of Christianity both because it clarified orthodox Christian teaching and also because of the way that it accomplished that clarification.” (Page 61)

“Chalcedon showed that it was possible, through judicious use of one era’s dominant forms of thought, to define critical aspects of Christianity as handed down in the Scriptures. Moreover, Chalcedon showed that such necessary theological work can succeed despite an environment of brutal ecclesiastical strife and despite the reality of cultural division within the church itself. In these terms Chalcedon was a threefold triumph: a triumph of sound doctrine over error in the church, a triumph of Christian catholicity over cultural fragmentation, and a triumph of discriminating theological reasoning over the anti-intellectual dismissal of philosophy on the one hand, and over a theological capitulation to philosophy on the other.” (Page 61)

“2. Christ was consubstantial [of one substance] with the Father.” (Page 48)

“4. Christ became human for us humans and for our salvation.” (Page 49)

“The turning point of Christian history at Jerusalem in AD 70 was the church’s emergence on its own.” (Page 18)

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 (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is Francis McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Nolls main academic interests concern the interaction of Christianity and culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Anglo-American societies. He has published articles and reviews on a wide variety of subjects involving Christianity in modern history. Some of his many books include The Civil War as a Theological CrisisIs the Reformation Over?The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield and the Wesleys, and The Old Religion in a New World.


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Shop April's Monthly Sale!


Regular price: $28.99
Save $8.70 (30%)