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Christian History & Biography Magazine (issues 1–99)

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Explore the rich heritage of your faith with Christian History & Biography! Since 1982, this quarterly magazine has been dedicated to the events and personalities that have laid the foundations of modern Christianity, covering subjects ranging from Martin Luther to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from the Crusades to modern Christian-Muslim relations. In this massive collection of every issue of Christian History & Biography since 1982, nearly 2,000 articles by hundreds of authors cover every aspect of church history from the Early Church to the present day!

Logos is pleased to offer the entire archive, featuring all 99 issues published since 1982! Each issue includes articles by leading historians, timelines, excerpts from historical writings, biographical vignettes, and page after page of commentary from top scholars. Christian History & Biography is more than just a magazine—it’s an enduring treasure you’ll go back to time after time. Place your order today to experience how 2,000 years of church history comes alive in your digital library!

In these volumes, you will meet such colorful personalities as Augustine, John Chrysostom, Charles Spurgeon, and C. S. Lewis, and learn how the earliest Christians read the Bible, wrestled with theological questions like Christ’s divinity, lived out their faith, and evangelized their world. You will encounter stories of perseverance that overcomes whips and shackles, movements that have cost thousands of lives, and movements that have saved millions. Read articles that invoke the imagination, invigorate the senses, and inspire your mind. Explore the interactions between church and state, between faith and money, between the Arians and the Augustinians, and faith and reason. Christian History & Biography brings you face to face with the people, events, and issues that have shaped our faith.

Do you already own the first 51 issues? Check out the Christian History & Biography Magazine Upgradeto get Issues 52–99!

  • Timelines
  • Excerpts and commentary on historical writings
  • Recommended resources for each issue
  • A “Did You Know?” column containing interesting facts and trivia
  • All Scripture references are linked to the Bibles in your digital library
  • The powerful search tools in your digital library help you find your way through 99 issues, pinpointing exactly what you need for your research projects.
  • Link Christian History & Biography to the rest of the reference works in your digital library, and explore what multiple reference works say about a single subject—all at once!
  • Title: Christian History & Biography
  • Issues: 99
  • Please note that Christian History & Biography does not include page numbers.
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Issue 1: Zinzendorf & the Moravians

A man possessing unquenchable zeal for the Church, Count Zinzendorf compassionately offered refuge, peace, and vision to the Moravians, a persecuted sect of Protestantism during unstable times for the European Church. Their story is one of courage, their goal was sharing the Gospel, and their lives were saturated with prayer. Meet the Count, the Moravians, and many more exciting individuals in this inaugural issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • The world of 1732
  • The Moravian mission
  • Zinzendorf and the Moravians
  • Moravian hymns
  • Early Herrnhut

Issue 2: John Wesley: Leader of the Methodist Movement

John Wesley did it all: He preached 40,000 sermons, rode 250,000 miles on horseback, lived on 28 pounds annually, founded (unintentionally) a new denomination, served the forgotten people of Britain, and had great respect for his mother. His love for historical Christianity was unmatched except by his love for the Gospel, and his desire for renewal in the Church of England had no parallel. Found here in this issue of Christian History & Biography, his story will surprise and inspire you.

  • Revival and revolution
  • Wesley’s organization
  • The eighteenth century world of John Wesley
  • From Wesley to Wilberforce
  • Wesley and Christian history

Issue 3: John Wycliffe: Bible Translator

Plagued by disease, dominated by the Church, and strained by a century of warfare, the English people were wrought with despair during the 1300s, the time of John Wycliffe. This issue of Christian History & Biography reveals a courageous man of faith, a man willing to fight for biblical truth and against a Church corrupted by money and politics. His final act, translating the Bible into common tongue, is one of the greatest historical achievements for Christianity prior to the Reformation.

This Christian History & Biography classic is devoted to John Wycliffe and the 600th anniversary of the translation of Bible into English. This is an issue that should be part of every Christian historian's library.

Bible translation since Wycliffe

  • Wycliffe’s England
  • The five bulls of Pope Gregory XI against Wycliffe
  • Controversy over the Eucharist
  • Why Wycliffe translated the Bible

Issue 4: Zwingli: Father of the Swiss Reformation

Ulrich Zwingli, a man often overshadowed by Herculean reformers Luther and Calvin, died a Swiss patriot in 1531—he fought for freedom to preach biblical faith. A determined man, Zwingli fathered the Reformed tradition and established Scripture as the absolute and primary authority for Christian living. Learn about these extraordinary achievements and much more in this issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • Zwingli and Luther
  • Zwingli and the Black Death
  • Zwingli’s 67 theses
  • The spread of Zwingli’s Reformation
  • Replacing the Mass with a new order of worship

Issue 5: Radical Reformation: The Anabaptists

Fanatics, corner-preachers, mob-spirited factionalists, Donatists and revolutionaries were among the nicknames assigned to the 16th century Anabaptists. Their nonconformist, anti-institutional existence sparked an angry era of persecution by mainline Protestants which forced them to become an underground movement. Their beginnings, hardships and near-extinction are recorded in this issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • Anabaptist beginnings
  • Stories of Michael Sattler, Paul Glock, and Klaus von Grafeneck
  • The martyrdom of Hans Bret
  • Sixteenth century responses to the Anabaptists
  • Anabaptist missions

Issue 6: The Baptists

This issue of Christian History & Biography reveals the origin of this steadfast group of believers who fought through a century of persecution to revolutionize the Church-State relationship and practice baptism by immersion only.

  • The emergence from the English church
  • Baptists on religious liberty
  • Five Baptist convictions
  • Gallery of Baptist leaders
  • The history of the Baptist movement

Issue 7: C. S. Lewis: His Life, Thought, & Theology

"I want God, not my idea of God" echoes throughout the words and works of C.S. Lewis, a man of immense imagination who defended supernaturalist Christianity during an era of modern and rational criticism. This issue of Christian History & Biography, the first on C.S. Lewis, explores his journey to faith, his prolific writings, and the people and influences that made him one of the greatest communicators of the Christian Faith.

  • Profile of C.S. Lewis
  • Peter Kreeft on C.S. Lewis’s view of history
  • C.S. Lewis on reason, imagination, and meaning
  • C.S. Lewis on God’s transcendence
  • C.S. Lewis’s last published article on death

Issue 8: Jonathan Edwards & the Great Awakening

Puritanism, Calvinism and rationalism—three foundational worldviews to the theology and philosophy of the greatest thinker in American history. Though beset with controversy and ongoing ministry difficulties, Jonathan Edwards managed to combine Herculean intellectual labors with child-like piety on his quest to know the infinitely complex yet blissfully simple Almighty God. Join his endeavor in this exciting issue of Christian History & Biography!

  • Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening
  • Puritanism in a new age
  • The American vision of the covenant
  • Extracts from two sermons by Edwards
  • Early letters of Jonathan Edwards

Issue 9: Heritage of Freedom: Dissenters, Reformers, & Pioneers

The history of the church is filled with movements that have helped Christians define their faith against cultural and political movements which run contrary to the spirit of the Gospel. From the theological changes of the Reformation, to the political resistance of Nazism in Germany, this issue introduces readers to the key figures who have articulated the Gospel message against prevailing cultural assumptions.

  • Reformers before the Reformation
  • The Puritans in Britain and America
  • The Moravians
  • The Plymouth Brethren
  • Christians against the Nazis

Issue 10: Pietism: The Inner Experience of Faith

The influence of the Pietists emanates from the contemporary expressions of missions, ecumenism, revivalism, social activism, and even Bible study groups. Their rich hymnology, devotion to giving, and heavy reliance upon the authority of Scripture place Christians of the 21st Century deeply in their debt. Find out more about their worshipful lifestyle and steadfast faith in this issue of Christian History & Biography!

  • The maligned movement reexamined
  • The roots of pietism
  • Addressing formalism
  • Preaching, social concern, and missions in Pietism
  • The Wissahickon hermitsv

Issue 11: John Bunyan & Pilgrim's Progress

Uneducated and thoroughly working class, John Bunyan seems an unlikely candidate for writing a world-famous, allegorical rendition of the Christian journey of faith. This imaginative work, Pilgrim's Progress, draws on the tumultuous English 17th century for its situations of temptation, suffering and perseverance. The origins of this riveting work, accounts of Bunyan's own Christian adventure, and a historical snapshot of England during the 1600's are yours in this issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • The writing of Pilgrim’s Progress
  • Bunyan in prison
  • The Quakers
  • The fifth monarchy movement
  • Bunyan’s last sermon

Issue 12: John Calvin: Reformer, Pastor, Theologian

Predestination often overshadows the vast ministry of John Calvin to the people of Geneva. During his tenure, Geneva had no beggars, no lack of biblical preaching, and a solidly constructed relationship between church and state. His Institutes of the Christian Religion, the most intricate and comprehensive volume of systematic theology in his time, exhibited a mastery of Reformation doctrine and an intense love of the Scriptures. Learn more about this Protestant Church Father in yet another illuminating issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • The life of John Calvin
  • Calvin and missions
  • Calvin on predestination
  • Modern democracy and the Reformation
  • Calvin and Servetus

Issue 13: Jan Amos Comenius: Father of Modern Education

Jean Piaget writes, "Education, according to Comenius, is not merely the training of the child at school or in the home; it is a process affecting man's whole life and the countless social adjustments he must make." This issue of Christian History & Biography introduces the father of Christian Education, a man who amidst exile from his homeland held an inextinguishable hope in the faithfulness of God, the one truth of the Gospel, and the unity of the Church.

  • The life of Comenius
  • Jan Amos Comenius and Rene Descartes
  • The Thirty Years War
  • The imaginative work by Comenius
  • The educational legacy of Comenius

Issue 14: Money in Christian History

Is hoarding "idolatry" as Dietrich Bonhoeffer suggests? Are Christians always required to give when they are able? The careful dance between economics and true faith commenced during the early days of Israel, and today we still field a plethora of questions and offer few answers. Christian History & Biography offers this issue as an historical survey of the Church's theology of money and its usage on individual and institutional levels.

  • A survey of the Bible on money and wealth
  • St. Francis of Assisi on poverty
  • Luther on the use of money
  • The Protestant ethic of prosperity
  • Money and the Reformation

Issue 15: St. Augustine of Hippo

Pope John Paul II describes St. Augustine as "an incomparable man whose children and disciples we all are. . ." His writings still bring readers to rarely-visited levels of theological inquiry and vulnerability. His quasi-Pauline turnabout from a Manichaean apologist to the 5th century defender of Christian orthodoxy inspires reverence for the life-changing gospel, Jesus Christ. Become a child and disciple of this great saint through a stirring issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • Augustine’s life and times
  • The setting of Augustine’s Confessions
  • Augustine on celibacy
  • The City of God
  • John Paul II on Augustine

Issue 16: William Tyndale: Early Reformer & Bible Translator

By order of the Crown in 1537, the British laity received vernacular copies of the Scriptures—an historic event eventually facilitating the English Reformation. One year earlier, the man mostly responsible for translating those Scriptures was executed in accordance with an order from that same king. Open this issue of Christian History & Biography and delve into the famous and ironic life and death of a humble saint: William Tyndale.

  • The life of William Tyndale
  • Tyndale’s theology
  • Tyndale and Gutenberg
  • The origin and growth of the Bible in English
  • Henry VIII

Issue 17: Women in the Early Church

Christianity would not have endured its first century without the extraordinary efforts of women in nearly every ministerial role. As prominent leaders, scholars, financial benefactors and social servants, women carried a substantial load of ecclesiastical burden. This issue of Christian History & Biography introduces you to a number of these influential women and offers you a glimpse at the enormous contributions they have made to the ancient and contemporary Christian Church.

  • Recovering a neglected history
  • Controversy over female leadership
  • Women and heresy
  • The Apostle Paul on women in the church
  • Jesus and women

Issue 18: How Christianity Came To Russia

Why would the Soviet Union, a Bolshevik Communist State, host a millennial celebration of Eastern Orthodox Christian presence on Russian soil? This enlightening issue of Christian History & Biography searches for the answer, delving into the rich and sacred tradition of the Slavic peoples and Eastern Orthodox Christianity (a tradition unknown to most Western Protestants). Wars, legends, czars and mystics are but a few of the many threads that compose this intricately woven tapestry of Christian faith.

  • The history of Russian Christianity
  • Christianity in the Soviet Union
  • Orthodoxy in Russia
  • Eastern Slavic spirituality
  • Freedom and religion

Issue 19: Money in Christian History, Part II

Over the centuries, Christians have been persuaded to "sacrificially" finance massive construction projects, armed military invasions, corrupt ecclesiastical bureaucracies, and all manner of missionary outreaches. Businessmen have held lofty aspirations of "doing great things for God" with their riches, while ascetics have denied themselves comfort towards the maintenance of piety. What does it mean to live and give sacrificially? Christian History & Biography provides several historical answers to this timeless, confusing question.

  • Christian asceticism from the Early Church through the Reformation
  • Puritans and money
  • John Wesley’s lessons on money
  • Wisdom from John Ploughman
  • The charity of women

Issue 20: Charles Finney: American Revivalism

His peculiar revisions of New England Calvinism invited the label of "Pelagian" from colleagues. Charismatic, fiery preaching caused many to question the validity of any appeal to emotion. His leadership of Oberlin College, an institution of social reform, inspired accusations of being a radical. These controversial claims and much more will be uncovered and discussed in Christian History & Biography's look at Charles Finney, the father of American Revivalism.

  • Finney’s personal reflections
  • The nineteenth century backdrop
  • Trans-Atlantic revivalism
  • Finney’s Christian perfection
  • The heritage of Jonathan Edwards

Issue 21: Casper Schwenckfeld: Forgotten Reformer

He tried to walk the middle road. He never thought simplistically or literally. He always concerned himself most with the results of a theological system on the life of individuals and their society as a whole. These statements describe the Silesian reformer, Caspar Schwenckfeld, though they reveal only a small portion of his forgotten legacy. Learn about his background, his theological breakthroughs, his disputes with every 16th century denomination, and his love for the Lord Jesus Christ in this issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • Germanic states before the seventeenth century
  • Schwenckfeld’s aim
  • Casper Schwenckfeld on the Christian life
  • The journey to America
  • Freedom in Pennsylvania

Issue 22: Waldensians: Medieval “Evangelicals”

Founded by Waldo of Lyons, the non-sectarian movement known as the Waldensians has a chaotic history defined by unassailable perseverance in the midst of poverty and war. Their story of radical devotion to the gospel begins well before the Protestant Reformation and is based on three primary elements: adherence to Christ's words, voluntary poverty, and public evangelism. The perilous journey of faith which results is chronicled in this gripping issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • Waldo of Lyons
  • The Waldensians from the twelfth century to the Protestant Reformation
  • The Glorious Return
  • Waldensians in Uruguay and Argentina
  • Waldensians in America

Issue 23: Spiritual Awakenings in North America

Three Great Awakenings on the eastern seaboard mark the spiritual highs of 18th and 19th century American Christianity. Congregations lulled to sleep by dreary, hypocritical leaders were roused by the raw intensity of the Holy Spirit's presence in the words spoken and lives lived by Stoddard, Edwards, Wesley, Asbury, Finney, Whitefield, Frelinghuysen and others. Open this issue of Christian History & Biography to awaken yourself to the empowering Divine presence available to all Christians.

  • Origins of American awakenings in New England
  • After the Great Awakening
  • Francis Asbury and the Methodist circuit riders
  • Charles Finney and the Second Great Awakening
  • Peter Cartwright

Issue 24: Bernard of Clairvaux, Medieval Reformer and Mystic

An abbot in the Cistercian order, Bernard's puritan-esque biblical reliance and work ethic make plain the reasons why Calvin and Luther held him in high esteem. The monastic forerunner of the Reformation, St. Bernard of Clairvaux stressed the love of God as central to any theological undertaking or Christian living. His writing and numerous other contributions to the Church are chronicled in this info-saturated issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • The life and thought of Bernard of Clairvaux
  • Bernard of Clairvaux and Scripture
  • The legacy of Bernard of Clairvaux in John Calvin’s thought
  • Cistercians today
  • Bernard of Clairvaux in a violent historical era

Issue 25: Dwight L. Moody: 19th c. Evangelist

Without higher education, he founded three educational institutions. Without theological training, he reshaped Victorian Christianity. Without radio or television, he reached 100 million people. Meet D. L. Moody, the shoe-salesman-turned-evangelist who took the Gospel from sea to shining sea during the late 19th century. Join Christian History & Biography for a brief look at an extraordinary man of God who valued interdenominational cooperation, lay-person participation, and social reformation as the backbone of Christian ministry.

  • The life of Dwight L. Moody
  • Five questions about Moody’s theology
  • How Moody changed revivalism
  • Moody’s contribution to Christian publishing
  • Moody’s education

Issue 26: William & Catherine Booth: Salvation Army Founders

These are two of the most influential people in the Modern era of Western Christianity. The "Prophet of the Poor," William, brought the gospel to the poverty-stricken districts of Britain in word and deed. The "Army Mother," Catherine, championed the cause for women to open their mouths and their lives to proclaim the gospel. Together, they founded the Salvation Army, an egalitarian organization that has since provided aid for millions of oppressed, rejected and impoverished people in the name of God and for the mission of the gospel.

Christian History & Biography offers this issue as a primer to the life and ministry of William and Catherine Booth, and as an inspiring account of two faithful Christians who held nothing back in their mission to bring Jesus to the people around them.

  • The life of William Booth
  • Catherine Booth and female ministry
  • The rise of The Salvation Army
  • The influence of American revivalists on the Booths
  • Excerpts from the Booths’ writings

Issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church

While the Roman Empire swirled with an exotic mix of religions, Christianity flourished outside the confines of the imperial pantheon. This peripheral existence brought down on Christians a rain of accusations which led to several brutal eras of persecution. New converts expected suffering and martyrdom. Screams from coliseums and arenas permeated the Roman air as believers were slaughtered for their devotion. This issue of Christian History & Biography chronicles the tribulations of these brave men and women to whom we owe the preservation and expansion of Christian faith.

  • The piety of the persecutors
  • Emperor Constantine
  • Views on Christian martyrdom
  • Cyprian’s letter to banished Christians
  • The triumph of Christianity

Issue 28: 100 Most Important Events in Church History

The Christian Faith has been preserved and advanced by hundreds of monumental events, from its inception to the present-day. Wars, councils, creeds, controversies, missions, schisms, reformers, leaders, movements, denominations, translations, writings, orders, edicts and a march on Washington fill this special, expanded issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • The Council of Nicaea
  • The East-West schism
  • Gutenberg produces the first printed Bible
  • The Great Awakening •And much more!

Issue 29: Charles Spurgeon: England's “Prince of Preachers”

"I take my text and make a bee-line to the cross," said Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the Victorian Englishman who reached over 10 million people with his sermons. He was not an original thinker, nor did he claim to be a theologian. Spurgeon preached. He spoke to ordinary men and women in compelling yet commonsensical language. Learn from his strong words, his noble actions, and his lifelong sufferings as recounted in this issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • Spurgeon’s conversion story
  • Spurgeon’s theology
  • Victorian England
  • The Down-Grade controversy
  • Spurgeon’s political influence

Issue 30: Women in the Medieval Church

During the age of Christendom, lay women found one primary outlet through which they could express their spiritual yearnings: monasticism. Women entered orders and convents with well-developed self-identity and bold purpose: to seek the love of Christ. Encounters with a wildly loving God spurred some to isolation and others to action. Read about Julian's visions, Catherine's social service, Joan's bravery, and much more in this enlightening and inspiring issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • Catherine of Siena
  • Religious options for women
  • Life in a medieval village
  • Joan of Arc
  • Mysticism

Issue 31: Golden Age of Hymns

The 18th Century—the age of personal piety—marks the explosion of contemporary hymns in English and American churches. Charles Wesley, renowned poet and Methodist evangelist extraordinaire, wrote 8,989 hymns during his lifetime. Isaac Watts, author of over 1,000 hymns, reformed congregational singing with his educational and entertaining tunes. Through this issue of Christian History & Biography, meet the many famous (and not-so-famous) hymn writers who strove to invigorate Christian worship services with catchy melodies and thoroughly scriptural lyrics.

  • The life of Charles Wesley
  • Eighteenth century English hymnody
  • The story behind the doxology
  • Hymnody and poetry
  • The development of spirituals

Issue 32: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Theologian in Nazi Germany

Eberhard Bethge, his best friend, writes, "As a martyr he testifies to God's 'no'—Christ cannot endorse slave holders in brutal societies. And he testifies to God's 'yes' to people who are victims of false imperial gods." Dietrich Bonhoeffer's actions and writings attest to his beliefs that true grace is costly and true Christianity brings a voice to the voiceless. You will learn the foundations of his Christocentric theology and encounter the many sacrifices he made for the cause of justice in this must-read issue of Christian History & Biography.

By the time of his arrest, Bonhoeffer's life had become an ever-twisting journey in which he had been moved to action by that "view from below." His life took him from a comfortable teaching post at the university to the isolated leadership of a minority opposition within his church and against his government. He moved from the safety of a refuge abroad to the dangerous life of a conspirator. He descended from the privileges of clergy and the respect accorded a noble family to his harsh imprisonment and eventual death as a traitor to his country.

  • Selections from Bonhoeffer’s writings
  • Bonhoeffer’s theology
  • Resisting the Nazis
  • Friends in America at Union Theological Seminary
  • Eberhard Bethge’s reflections on Bonhoeffer

Issue 33: Christianity & the Civil War

What did the Civil War mean to the American nation? To God? What were the effects of America's bloodiest war on the life and growth of the Christian Church? How involved was the Church with abolitionist movements and the Underground Railroad? How widely circulated was the Christian apologetic for slavery? What were the soldiers' responses to the Gospel message and revival? Did these responses vary as the war raged on? Find the answers to these questions and more in this informative and insightful issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • The faith of Abraham Lincoln
  • Religion and politics during the war
  • Anti-slavery pamphlets
  • Christians who supported slavery
  • Civil war revivals

Issue 34: Martin Luther: The Reformer’s Early Years

Topics covered:

  • Luther’s accidental revolution
  • Luther’s childhood
  • Justification by faith
  • The real 95 theses
  • The theology of Martin Luther

Issue 35: Columbus & Christianity in the Americas

"In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He had three ships and left from Spain; He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain."

These lines begin a grade-school poem recited by young Americans across the country. Exploration, trade, and happy sailors comprise the bulk of plotline, teaching children that a "new world" was the object of Columbus' travels. Christian History & Biography provides a more accurate historical recounting of this childhood tale. In this issue, you will learn of Columbus' spiritual calling to explore, encounter heated debates over evangelistic techniques in the new world, and enter a delicate discussion of the relationship between the Cross and the sword.

  • The Native American response to Christianity
  • Christian responses to Columbus
  • Christian missions in America
  • Spanish expansion
  • Notes from Columbus’s journal

Issue 36: William Carey: 19th c. Missionary to India

"Expect great things from God! Attempt great things for God!" Undereducated, under-funded, and underestimated, William Carey overcame a plethora of tribulations and mastered dozens of languages to bring the gospel message to India. Disease plagued his family, poverty never left him, and it was nearly a decade before the Hindi population began to show signs of acceptance—yet his ability to plod ahead and boldly pursue his ministry vision make this issue of Christian History & Biography an informative and inspiring read.

  • The life of William Carey
  • Christianity in India
  • William Carey’s family
  • Carey’s “11 Commandments of Missions”
  • William Carey’s lasting contributions

Issue 37: Worship in the Early Church

Justin Martyr reveals that 2nd century Christian gatherings were not unlike contemporary Christian worship services. Hippolytus' 3rd century Eucharistic prayer has provided a template for the Church's timeless Communion liturgy. Clement of Alexandria wrote hymns to be sung corporately and strongly supported the visual arts in worship. Learn about these and many more Early Church worship practices in a fact-packed issue of Christian History & Biography that will have you reveling in the splendor of church tradition from cover to cover.

  • Early hymnody
  • Historical documents
  • Baptism in third-century Rome
  • Worship spaces
  • Contrasting pagan worship and ritual

Issue 38: George Whitefield: 17th c. Preacher & Revivalist

He was America's first celebrity, our first cultural hero. George Whitefield captivated the ears of almost every colonist during his American tenure as the "Grand Itinerant." His ministry sparked the Great Awakening. His preaching was electrifying and extemporaneous. Despite ill health constantly plaguing him, Whitefield spoke more sermons and reached more listeners than any man before him. This passionate man's life and impact are chronicled for you to read in this issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • Whitefield’s preaching
  • The eighteenth-century revival
  • Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield
  • Cornelius Winter on Whitefield’s death
  • Famous Whitefield quotes

Issue 39: Martin Luther: The Later Years

Not too much is widely known of Luther's life after he sparked the Protestant Reformation in 1517 and attended the Diet of Worms in 1521. And yet his later years merit as much attention as his youth. Luther left several lasting legacies on the Church: congregational singing, hymn-writing, the empowerment of women and the sacrament of marriage are a few among many. Join Christian History & Biography in looking at the achievements, influences and struggles of an old man for the sake of a young Church.

  • Luther’s effect on Christian worship
  • Luther’s preaching
  • The legacy of Martin Luther
  • The story behind Luther’s greatest hymn
  • Creation of the Lutheran Church

Issue 40: The Crusades

Westerners only receive one side of the Crusade stories unless they intentionally seek enlightenment. Christian History & Biography has researched both "invader" and "invaded" perspectives of this multi-century period of religious violence, and the result is a well-rounded recollection and analysis of this sensitive historical era. This issue reveals the motives behind crusading, recognizes the heartache and religious calling felt by Muslims and Christians, and chronicles these historical clashes with one question in mind: Why did this happen?

  • The pilgrimage to Jerusalem
  • Bernard of Clairvaux on the Crusades
  • The Muslim defense
  • Women in the Crusades
  • Effects on Christian warfar

Issue 41: The American Puritans

PPuritanism, as Sydney Ahlstrom wrote, "is an intellectual tradition of great profundity." The Puritans were people on a mission: to create a pure church and a thoroughly Christian society. Often mislabeled as cold and devoid of happiness, true Puritans sought to live life joyfully through work and play, committing all things to the glory of God. One sixteenth-century tract even promotes them as "the hotter sort of Protestants." Open this issue of Christian History & Biography to learn the many great qualities of an underappreciated denomination.

  • The first hundred years in America
  • The Mathers family
  • Puritan preaching
  • Witch hunting in Salem
  • Biographies of five important Puritans

Issue 42: St. Francis of Assisi

Rejecting the notion that upward mobility was the proper course for a young man to pursue, St. Francis of Assisi chose to live in tangible solidarity with his humble Savior. His reckless devotion to the humility of Jesus Christ let him to literal and spiritual nakedness, complete renunciation of social status, and a poverty-stricken life that he willed upon himself. Yet he is revered as one of the greatest of all Christian saints.

Christian History & Biography investigates the life of St. Francis, a man whose devotion to Christ and example of humility deserves our admiration, study, and even imitation.

  • The poverty of St. Francis
  • Possessions and holiness
  • Controversial passages
  • The personality of St. Francis
  • Fractures in the Franciscan order

Issue 43: How We Got Our Bible, Canon to King James

Why was the Gospel of Thomas left outside the canon? What was the relationship between the Canon Muratori, Marcion, Eusebius and Athanasius? Did all of the early church leaders agree on which books should be canonized? When and how were these sacred texts finally translated into English? These questions and many more are addressed in this insightful and informative issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • The King James Version
  • Tyndale’s comfort to persecuted Bible readers
  • Translating Psalm 23
  • The emergence of the New Testament
  • Stores behind the Greek manuscripts

Issue 44: John Chrysostom: Legendary Early Church Preacher

Perhaps the most remarkable yet unknown figure in church history, John Chrysostom lived and died preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. His preaching led to his posthumously assigned surname, Chrysostom: "golden mouth." The same preaching also exiled him twice, the second exile being a 3-year stretch under armed guard which would lead to his death. This issue of Christian History & Biography chronicles these and so many more stories of Chrysostom's bold and compassionate gospel ministry.

  • The life of John Chrysostom
  • Chrysostom’s sermons
  • A sermon on the healing of the paralytic
  • Timeline of Chrysostom’s life
  • John Chrysostom and Roman culture

Issue 45: Camp Meetings & Circuit Riders: Frontier Revivals

The Methodist leadership typically would ask four questions of circuit rider volunteers:

  1. Is this man truly converted?
  2. Does he know and keep our rules?
  3. Can he preach acceptably?
  4. Has he a horse?

Open this issue of Christian History & Biography to learn more about the young, common men who rode themselves to exhaustion while spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Their ministry sparked an American religious revolution that would firmly ground Christianity as a staple of Americanism.

  • Eyewitness accounts
  • The revival at Cane Ridge
  • Revivalist preaching
  • The independent black church
  • On Peter Cartwright’s Autobiography

Issue 46: John Knox & the Scottish Reformation

Woman hater. Fanatic. Ruthless revolutionary. Such charges have been leveled against John Knox in attempts to discard his contributions to the Christian church. He is rarely remembered as an expository preacher, a Scottish reformer, or a courageous prophet. What is his legacy, both negative and positive? What can Christians learn from his teachings? Find the answers to these questions and more inside this enlightening issue of Christian History & Biography.

  • The preaching of John Knox
  • Politics and idolatry
  • The Scots Confession
  • Christian worship in Scotland
  • Church discipline

Issue 47: The Apostle Paul & His Times

Paved roads connected Britons with Arabs. Roman naval patrols deterred Mediterranean piracy, expediting sea passage. Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome grew into affluent cities full of intellectuals and philosophers. Sophisticated, multi-cultural, connected—first century Roman society was perfectly arranged to facilitate the spread of Christianity. Enter Paul of Tarsus. Open this issue of Christian History & Biography and read an investigation of Paul's ministry from a refreshingly cultural and non-theological perspective.

  • Life in a Roman prison
  • Travel in the ancient world
  • Pluralistic challenges to the Gospel
  • The real writer of Romans
  • Important dates in Paul’s life

Issue 48: Thomas Cranmer & the English Reformation

His faith was diplomatic at best: his absolutist devotion to king and country daily competed with his loyalty to God. Yet Thomas Cranmer's propensity toward diplomacy led him to find the via media—middle way—between Catholics and Protestants in an age when compromise equaled a double portion of treason. His ensuing martyrdom sparked the brushfire of English Reformation, and his Book of Common Prayer and 42 Articles facilitated the emergence of Anglican Christianity. Christian History & Biography invites you to read more about this man who chose to act faithfully when faith was on the line.

  • The life of Thomas Cranmer
  • Queen Mary’s persecution of Protestants
  • Destruction of monasteries
  • The martyrdom of Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer
  • The English Reformation

Issue 49: Everyday Faith in the Middle Ages

The Middle Ages—commonly remembered for King Arthur tales, violent crusades, widespread illiteracy and the bubonic plague. Yet so much more is worthy of remembrance. Towering gothic cathedrals faced the east as beacons of hope in this seemingly "dark" era. Stunning artistic masterpieces and eloquent itinerant preachers taught Biblical truths to an illiterate laity. And faithful men and women of every social order sought out divine experiences with untamable intensity. Christian History & Biography offers this issue as an enlightening look at everyday faith in the Middle Ages.

  • The Bible in medieval monasteries
  • Christianity during the Black Death
  • Medieval heresies
  • Cathedrals
  • The life of Margery Kempe

Issue 50: Christianity & the American Revolution

Colonists left England for freedom of religion—now they fought England for freedom on all other counts. Yet, sandwiched between the First and Second Great Awakenings, the American Revolution was still unavoidably religious. Preachers championed "the Cause" from their pulpits, patriots claimed the blessing of God's providence, and the founding fathers led the charge toward a free nation founded upon Judeo-Christian morality. This issue of Christian History & Biography investigates how central Christian faith was to these admirable and uncompromising revolutionaries.

  • Preaching insurrection and rebellion
  • Chaplains in the Continental army
  • Religious beliefs of the Founders
  • Christians against independence
  • Mark Noll on the impact of the Revolution

Issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church

"There was a time when the Son was not," sang Arius, a 4th century Libyan bishop and poster child of early church heresy. Debates covered a wide range of issues, from wealth to wild charismaticism to non-Trinitarianism, but none was more central to preserving the Christian faith than the personhood of Jesus Christ. Discussions of his divinity and humanity were the perpetual theological argument from the apostolic age through the councils of Nicaea and Constantinople. This issue of Christian History & Biography will enlighten you to how the early church combated many early heresies to preserve its identity as followers of a fully divine and fully human Christ.

  • The Council of Nicaea
  • Origin
  • The Montanist controversy
  • The biblical Jesus
  • Athanasius

Issue 52: Hudson Taylor & Missions to China

Earnest prayers and saintly courage define the China Inland Mission founded by Hudson Taylor. Clothed in Chinese garb and armed with Mandarin Bibles, this Spirit-led group injected the gospel into the heart of China's mainland, guiding thousands to the Savior and bringing hope to many who were hopeless. Embark on the journey of Hudson Taylor in this exciting and informative issue of Christian History & Biography that will engage your heart and mind with both the beauty and necessity of gospel mission.

  • History of missions in China
  • Women missionaries
  • Breaking free from missionary control
  • The Boxer Rebellion
  • The influence of the West

Issue 53: William Wilberforce: Fighting the Slave Trade

A rich man, William Wilberforce found himself in a privileged position to help the underprivileged. A political man, he served in Parliament for forty-five years and championed the cause against slavery. A passionate man, his crooked spine and near-blindness could not quench his zeal for the freedom of all people. A persistent man, his abolition proposal finally passed when presented for the twelfth time. This issue of Christian History & Biography is dedicated to Wilberforce and to the many other brave souls who instigated social reform in 19th century England.

  • An introduction to the nineteenth century
  • Lord Shaftesbury and William Gladstone
  • Child labor
  • Prison reform
  • Christian ministry in the inner city

Issue 54: Eastern Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy rarely gets positive press in the West—and it's not hard to see why. Themes of victory and theosis (divinization) take the place of Western theological strongholds like justification. Beliefs crystallize into images rather than ideas, into stories rather than statements. The incomprehensibility of God causes Easterners to celebrate while Westerners grow anxious.

This issue of Christian History & Biography includes both Orthodox and Protestant authors who lend perspective on the Schism, the key similarities and differences between Rome and Constantinople, and the many ways in which the West can learn from the East.

  • Four key differences between the Orthodox and Protestants
  • The first seven ecumenical councils
  • Eastern Orthodox worship
  • An interview with Bartholomew I
  • Attempts at reunion

Issue 55: The Monkey Trial & the Rise of Fundamentalism

Social reform defined 19th century conservative Christian revivalism. When the 20th century rolled around, Christian liberals joined the cause and conservatives were faced with a decision: Do we join forces with these "swashbuckling radicals" or separate from them? Opting for separation, the fundamentalist movement was born. This issue of Christian History & Biography begins with the famous Monkey Trial and investigates the clash between fundamentalism and modernism, between God and reason.

  • The first century of American Christianity
  • Reflections from the press
  • The people and organizations of fundamentalism
  • J. Gresham Machen on liberalism
  • Conservative women

Issue 56: David Livingstone: Missionary-explorer in Africa

A 19th century explorer par excellence, David Livingstone entered Africa with intentions to trail blaze, evangelize, and civilize. He further hoped to eliminate the slave trade on both ocean coasts, a difficult task considering the British kept to the Atlantic. By the end of his life, he was hailed a British national hero for his winding jungle explorations and a failure as a missionary. Unbeknownst to him, his expeditions would glorify One greater than himself in the years to come.

Open this issue of Christian History & Biography to encounter a man who was a failed missionary, a lost explorer, and one of the monumental figures of the 1800s.

  • Livingstone as scientist
  • Missionary explorers
  • Henry Stanley and Livingstone
  • Livingstone’s family life
  • Western missionaries after Livingstone

Issue 57: Converting the Empire: Early Church Evangelism

By the year 300 A.D.—without publicized campaigns or an explicit evangelistic strategy—Christianity had made its way quietly and effectively in an environment not wholly unlike that of the 21st century, post-Christian West. It was, in some respects, an empire within an Empire. So, how did it grow so large that one emperor felt threatened enough to persecute it mercilessly, yet another was intrigued enough to adopt its faith?

This issue of Christian History & Biography offers an assortment of articles about the various things that everyday Christians did to bring the name of Jesus Christ to the attention of pagans.

  • Responding to strange accusations
  • The context of the empire
  • Early Christian martyrs
  • Competing religions
  • Little-known early evangelists

Issue 58: The Rise of Pentecostalism

Perhaps the most significant development in twentieth-century Christianity, Pentecostalism has grown from a few hundred members to 650 million worldwide—the largest Christian denomination after Catholicism. This issue of Christian History & Biography does not attempt to give the full, global picture; rather, you will read about the origins of Pentecostalism, encounter leading figures from its early years, and learn the many theological beliefs and charismatic experiences that have separated this sensational movement from the rest of Evangelicalism.

  • The Azusa Street revival
  • The Oneness movement
  • Latinos and Pentecostalism
  • Aimee Semple McPherson
  • Debates over sanctification


Issue 59: Life & Times of Jesus of Nazareth

The search for the "historical Jesus" rarely has been friendly to the biblical witness, choosing to side with critical reason over divine revelation. This argument over Jesus' identity has been raging for centuries—Who was Jesus of Nazareth, and is he the "Christ of faith?"

Christian History & Biography builds a foundation for answering this very question by investigating the various dimensions of daily life in first-century Palestine. This issue offers well-researched material on literary genres, social hierarchies, racial divisions, political corruption, false messiahs, travel and more from the time of Jesus.

  • History in the four Gospels
  • Ethnic and religious tension in the Middle East
  • Travel in first-century Palestine
  • Fishing in Galilee
  • Life at the synagogue

Issue 60: How the Irish Were Saved

Entering a land known for powerful druids, nomadic magicians, and widespread paganism, St. Patrick brought the Gospel of peace to a historically barbaric land. His mystical yet ascetic understanding of Christianity attracted the cult-following inhabitants of Ireland's rolling hills and led to a devout monastic tradition that still lives on today. This issue of Christian History & Biography lifts the mist and fog of myth and fable that surround ancient Celtic faith and allows this beautiful tradition to become visible once again.

  • Patrick the saint
  • The theology of Celtic Christianity
  • Early Celtic leaders
  • The history of “Be Thou My Vision”
  • The Viking invasion

Issue 61: A History of the Second Coming

While many theological discussions are reserved for the upper rooms of ivory towers, eschatology finds its way into everyday conversations of everyday people. Differing views of the end times have been cause for dialogue, evangelism, celebration, anger, and even bloodshed because these are matters of thought for the masses. As believers, we fervently anticipate the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ—on this point we all agree. How, when, and why will He come back? Christian History & Biography lends perspective to the full breadth of this question (and its answer) with an issue devoted to the history of Christian eschatology.

  • Historic millennialism
  • Medieval apocalypse
  • Luther and Calvinon the doctrine of the last things
  • American Christianity and Jonathan Edwards
  • Dispensationalism

Issue 62: Bound for Canaan: Africans in America

The story of African-American Christians before the Civil War is the story of the Gospel's power to free. It is the story of a faith that finally overwhelmed whips, shackles, and southern law; faith that persevered in spite of illiteracy, superstition, and cowardice; faith that endured even northern courts and "Bible Christianity." It is the story of how the Gospel took root in the lives of African-Americans and gave them hope and courage in tragic conditions—and gave them freedom.

This issue of Christian History & Biography covers the struggle of both free and slave Christians from the perspectives of White and African-American scholars and historians.

  • Black Christianity before the Civil War
  • The Nat Turner rebellion
  • Abolitionism
  • Black Methodists
  • The Baptist denomination

Issue 64: Anthony & the Desert Fathers: Extreme Faith

Rarely known for its monastic elements, the Nicene Age boasts the emergence of the prototypical Christian ascetic: St. Antony. Committed to Scripture and discipline, Antony established obedience and simplicity as primary Christian virtues. But was that enough? Could solitude stand on its own, or did it serve a greater purpose? Antony, and the "desert fathers" who would follow his brave example, lived the answer to these questions.

This issue of Christian History & Biography takes an in-depth look at the Egyptian desert beginnings of Christian monasticism and asceticism in the 4th century.

  • Antony of the Desert
  • The urban life of early monks
  • The life of Jerome
  • The theology of the desert fathers
  • Skirmishes with demons

Issue 65: Ten Influential Christians of the 20th Century

Billy Graham, William Seymour, Mother Teresa, Karl Barth, C. S. Lewis, John XXIII, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, John Paul II, John R. Mott and Martin Luther King, Jr. This list contains pastors, evangelists, social workers, Popes, revolutionaries, scholars, writers, theologians, professors and leaders. These ten individuals have offered much to the global Church, and we of the 21st century are grateful.

Christian History & Biography offers this issue in recognition of such devoted Christian leaders whose ministries have impacted millions in the West and around the world.

  • Billy Graham
  • William Seymour
  • Mother Teresa
  • Karl Barth
  • C.S. Lewis
  • John XXIII
  • Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
  • John Paul II
  • John R. Mott
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

Issue 66: How the West was Really Won

Mark Galli, Christianity Today Senior Managing Editor, writes, "The topic—Christianity in the American West—is as big as the region, and as diverse. There is no overarching narrative... no single figure... Local heroes and local stories dominate the West."

This issue of Christian History & Biography recounts the neglected story of Christianity and the settling of the American West. Inside it are diary entries, biographical anecdotes, and intriguing articles that capture the courage and ruggedness of Christian faith in the West.

  • Preachers in the West
  • Christianity and the California gold rush
  • The Whitman Massacre
  • The life of Sheldon Jackson
  • The early years of Mormonism

Issue 67: St. Augustine: Sinner, Bishop, Saint

He was a brilliant theologian whose mind raged over a vast array of issues with incomparable depth and dexterity. He was a regal bishop, an ecclesiastical authority, who refined the teachings of the church. And he was a fallen human being who struggled with common weaknesses: sex, vanity, self-recriminations, anger and depression.

Christian History & Biography offers this issue as an informed look at the everyday life of St. Augustine. History has built him into an untouchable thinker and a legendary mind, but he was first and foremost a man—a human who was seeking the living God.

  • Augustine’s five most distinctive teachings
  • The Confessions
  • Contemporary critics
  • The early years of Augustine
  • Augustine and Pelagianism

Issue 68: Jan Hus: Incendiary Preacher of Prague

With the papal schism commanding so much of the Catholic Church's attention, many vocal dissenters during the early 15th century were silenced by a fiery death. Jan Hus was one of these dissenters. An ardent reformer and a passionate preacher, Jan was outspoken in his disdain for the sale of indulgences, the Eucharistic disparity between clergy and laity, and the conduct of priests in general. Christian History & Biography offers this issue as a look at the life and death of Jan Hus: his supporters, his enemies, and his fireproof legacy that would last long after his body burned away.

  • Jan Hus’s zeal for Reform
  • The legacy of Hus among Czech Christians
  • The shared ideas of Wyclif and Luther
  • Jan Hus and the popes
  • Preaching and Reform

Issue 69: The Wesleys: Founders of Methodism

A friend from Oxford, John Gambold, said of the Wesleys, "could I describe one of them, I should describe both." Such is the story of John and Charles. They walked interweaving paths of ministry, calling, talents and passions which led them to found a denomination together. Their commitment to worship, piety and evangelism sparked revivals of religion on the British mainland and in the American colonies.

But how were John and Charles prepared for this massive ministry undertaking? Christian History & Biography offers some answers. In this issue, you will learn about their family lives, parents, romantic pursuits, and schooling. They were ordinary men, but they were giants as well.

  • The Wesleys in America
  • Marriage and family
  • The disagreement over holiness
  • The Wesleys and the expansion of print media
  • The development of Methodism

Issue 70: Dante's Guide to Heaven and Hell

Before Dante's 3-part Comedy, a book had never been written with such eschatological imagination or morbid illustration. Inferno explores the bowels of hell, those places only intended for Satan himself; Purgatorio follows the partially sanctified believer through seven levels of repentance for seven deadly sins; Paradiso reveals the true end of humans as unity, righteousness, and love before the throne of God Almighty.

Christian History & Biography invites you to open your mind to the creativity of Dante, the author whose beginnings, struggles, and triumphs you will learn about as you read this colorful and information-rich issue.

  • Dante’s theology
  • Divine imagination
  • Purgatory
  • The translation of Dante’s works
  • Dante’s lesser-known works

Issue 71: The French Huguenots and the Wars of Religion

On August 24, 1572, King Charles IX ordered the assassination of Gaspard de Coligny, the leader of the Protestant Huguenot movement. His decree sent the country into an uproar and would cost thousands more Protestants their lives. What would bring the king to give such an order? Did Charles come to this decision himself, or was he coerced? How connected were religious affiliation and political power during this time in France?

This issue of Christian History & Biography investigates the political maneuverings and religious resentments that led to the gruesome massacre of over 10,000 Protestants in 16th century France.

  • The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
  • Reforming doctrine and restructuring Christian life
  • John Calvin’s Prefatory Address •Pierre Viret, the forgotten Reformer
  • Sébastien Fath on pluralism and evangelicalism in contemporary France

Issue 72: How We Got Our History

What lies behind the scenes of Christian history? Who were our most influential historians? When and where did they live? Who was their immediate audience? What were their political agendas, personal worldviews, and theological biases? These questions open the door to historiography, the investigation into how history has been written.

This unique issue of Christian History & Biography embarks on such an investigation, offering you an informative look at many of the great historians from the Roman, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern eras.

  • Eusebius
  • Bede and the history of the church in England
  • Medieval churches
  • Renaissance scholarship and the papacy
  • Philip Schaff, father of American church history

Issue 73: Thomas Aquinas: Greatest Medieval Theologian

The Medieval Church was in disrepair. Theological inquiry had not been undertaken for centuries. The best and brightest of Europe were off battling the Saracens or seeking wealth and repentance on Holy Land Crusades. Enter Thomas Aquinas—the sharpest mind of his time and the man who would lay the groundwork for a lasting theological legacy in the Western Church.

Open this issue of Christian History & Biography and meet St. Thomas, a man whose writing shaped the religion of the West and proved that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.

  • Encountering Aristotle
  • The end of his writing career
  • Aquinas and higher education
  • Benedictines, Franciscans, and Dominicans
  • Aquinas on government, law, and economics

Issue 74: Christians & Muslims

A 1,300-year history riddled with wars, persecutions, and intolerance has left Christians and Muslims wary of conversation and skeptical of long-lasting peace. Tremors of 9/11 still reverberate in our minds as we try to ascertain if differences exist between love and tolerance, between justice and compassion. Who are these people we Christians are often so willing to lash out against? What is the history behind these two global religions? Do we make appropriate assumptions about Islam, or do we perpetuate misconceptions and false stereotypes?

This issue directly or indirectly addresses these questions as it chronicles the different interactions between Christians and Muslims throughout the centuries.

  • The prophecy of Muhammad
  • Secrets of Islam’s success and spread
  • The Crusades
  • The Battle of Tours
  • Jihad

Issue 75: G.K. Chesterton: Prolific Writer & Apologist

Really get to know G.K. Chesterton, from his birth through his spiritual journey, to his essays, his unique theology, and even his popular Father Brown detective novels. You'll thoroughly explore Chesterton's life, his work, and his impact on our world today. Plus, you'll enjoy the photos, colorful caricatures, and timeline of his life.

  • Chesterton’s spiritual journey
  • Chesterton on the working class in Britain
  • The intellectual contemporaries of Chesterton
  • Chesterton’s spiritual journey
  • Published works in addition to Orthodoxy

Issue 76: The Christian Face of the Scientific Revolution

Christianity and science have a complex relationship. From the days of Plato, a chasm has existed between faith and scientific inquiry, between the supernatural and natural. But was Plato accurate? Are the things of science and the things of God incompatible? For Copernicus, Galileo, Brahe and Newton, there was only one answer: No.

These men were a few among many in the early Modern era who labored to know God by investigating the inner workings of the universe. They were convinced that when they peered through their lenses, worked out their equations, or conducted their experiments, they were gaining a privileged insight into God's glory, in all of its macroscopic and microscopic detail.

This issue of Christian History & Biography reveals the spiritual foundations of their scientific explorations, and it provides an intriguing glimpse into the minds of God-fearing scientists.

  • Galileo and the Roman Catholic Church
  • Johannes Kepler
  • The Reformers and Copernicus
  • Blaise Pascal on math and physics, faith and revelation
  • Isaac Newton on theology and science

Issue 78: J.R.R. Tolkien & Lord of the Rings

Explore the world of J.R.R. Tolkien—a Christian author in a modern time and place shadowed by war. Learn how his work is a response to the condition of his times, and how the great novelist developed creatively through his interaction with his children—at times his only audience.

  • Clyde S. Kilby on Tolkien
  • Tolkien’s philology
  • J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis
  • Sacramental imagination
  • Good and evil

Issue 79: African Apostles: Black Evangelists in Africa

The challenges of 19th century African Christianity surrounded a central question of missions: When ought the missionary labor be handed over to the convert? North American missionaries brought the Gospel into the heart of Africa and began churches throughout the continent, but they were reluctant to yield power to indigenous leaders when they rose up. Then came men who whose passion and leadership could not be stifled.

Christian History & Biography presents the African Apostles: Resilient, mission-oriented men who overcame the pressure of racial stereotyping to lead an emerging indigenous church. Their prophetic callings and visions triggered an explosion of Gospel ministry across sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Henry Venn’s mission in Africa
  • Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first Anglican bishop in Africa
  • Converting from Islam
  • Second generation African Christians
  • West Africa's Aladura churches

Issue 80: The First Bible Teachers

Unfortunately, some of the least-known figures of Christian history are the early church fathers (and mothers!). In this issue we meet such larger-than-life Bible teachers as Iranaeus, Origen, Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory of Nyssa. Peering over their shoulders, we see the rich, quirky, inspiring ways they drew life from the Book that was the center of their lives.

  • Irenaeus on the Old Testament
  • Habits of highly effective Bible readers
  • Origen’s allegories
  • The Cappadocian Fathers and the Trinity
  • The Church Fathers on Scripture

Issue 81: John Newton: Author of “Amazing Grace”

After years of running, searching, and falling, amazing grace finally caught up with John Newton. Leaving the lucrative slave-trade behind, he devoted his life to ministering to the lowly, the overlooked, and the ordinary in his Olney parish, and he was both friend and mentor to a young William Wilberforce—the man who would end the greatest oppression in England.

This issue of Christian History & Biography recounts the life and legacy of John Newton, a man who willingly shared with others the grace that saved his wretched soul.

  • John Newton’s life and times
  • The friendship of William Cowper
  • England’s evangelical underground
  • The story behind the Jesus fish
  • Newton’s letters

Issue 82: Phoebe Palmer: Mother of the Holiness Movement

Phoebe Palmer was the most influential woman in mid-19th-century America's fastest-growing Christian group—the Methodists. She mothered the American holiness movement, from which emerged new holiness and eventually Pentecostal denominations, missions, camp meetings, works of social reform, and female ministry. Find out how the death of a beloved child transformed this wife and mother into a social reformer and preacher who sparked a revival that brought nearly a million people into the church!

  • Phoebe Palmer and religious revival
  • Leaders of the holiness movement
  • The holiness movement across denominational barriers
  • The Da Vinci Code
  • Women preachers in the holiness movement

Issue 83: Mary in the Imagination of the Church

"Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." In that moment of humble obedience, an obscure Jewish girl became the instrument of divine grace triggering two millennia of reverence. Meet the flesh-and-blood woman God chose as the vessel of the Incarnation. Meet the scholars, priests, and poets who for centuries have fulfilled the prophecy of our Lord's mother that "all generations will call me blessed."

  • Timothy George on a Protestant Mary
  • The nativity story and tradition
  • Mary’s life during Jesus’ childhood
  • Mary at the cross
  • Martin Luther on the nativity

Issue 84: Pilgrims & Exiles: Amish, Mennonites, & Brethren

For centuries, the Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren have spurned prosperity and suffered persecution to follow Christ and their convictions. Learn about these conscientious objectors to modernity and the theological views that drive their unique way of life. Written by Amish, Brethren, and Mennonite authors, the articles in this issue give special insight into these often-misunderstood Christians.

  • America’s Anabaptists
  • William Penn
  • The Brethren love feast
  • Modernity and the Anabaptist movement
  • David Brainerd

Issue 85: The Council of Nicaea: Debating Jesus’ Divinity

In 325 A.D., Emperor Constantine called together Christian bishops from across the empire to the city of Nicaea for a council that would have an immeasurable impact on the subsequent development of Christian theology. At the Council of Nicaea, bishops debated Jesus' divinity and produced the Nicene Creed, still recited by churches today. Learn about the issues that gave rise to this great council and the debates that followed it with this issue of Christian History & Biography!

  • How Arianism almost won
  • The road to Nicaea
  • Key players at Nicaea
  • Athanasius and orthodoxy
  • The aftermath of Nicaea

Issue 86: George MacDonald: Writer Who Inspired C.S. Lewis

Meet the Victorian poet, pastor, and storyteller who touched those he knew and inspired Christian writers like C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton. Learn about his life, times, and work in this issue of Christian History & Biography!

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth on Christian experience •George MacDonald's sermons
  • George MacDonald’s use of fiction
  • Victorian Christianity
  • The faith of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and John Bunyan

Issue 87: Christianity in India: A Faith of Many Colors

For the Indian people, the gospel is no ordinary or abstract message: it is an emancipatory declaration spurring societal transformation and the unity of high and low, rich and poor, touchable and untouchable. But how can the gospel transform, yet not destroy, culture? With what magnitude can it shake an oppressive societal system while maintaining appropriate cultural sensitivity? This colorful issue of Christian History & Biography thoroughly investigates these questions in the context of India's blossoming Christian faith.

  • The social context of India
  • First missionaries to India
  • Indian philosophy
  • "Untouchable" Christians
  • Indigenous Christian movements

Issue 88: C. S. Lewis: Pointing People to Reality

The creator of Narnia and other imaginary worlds spent his life pointing people to Reality. You will be enlightened and encouraged as you learn more about the life and work of C.S. Lewis in this issue of Christian History & Biography!

  • Douglas Gresham on his friend, C. S. Lewis
  • C. S. Lewis and philosophy
  • The literary time traveler
  • C. S. Lewis on the proper Christian response to war
  • Imagination and theological training

Issue 89: Richard Baxter & the English Puritans

With so many Puritans to choose from, why turn the spotlight on Richard Baxter?

Many reasons: Baxter lived through so much of the Puritan era—from 1616 to 1691. He wrote what by many standards is the best record of it, from a personal standpoint, in his autobiography. He was one of the top Puritan leaders of his day, the most successful Puritan pastor, and the most prolific Puritan writer.

From Baxter it is not a far leap into the wide spectrum of opinions, personalities, and experiences that make up English Puritanism as a whole, including one of its abiding characteristics: the belief that all real theology is practical theology. The Puritans were certainly not without their faults, but as Dr. J.I. Packer told us, in all of their diversity and adversity, their triumphs and setbacks, two very deep concerns emerge: how to be holy and how to be human.

  • J. I. Packer on the Puritans
  • Richard Baxter as model pastor
  • The origin of the Puritan work ethic
  • William Perkins: the C. S. Lewis of the Puritan movement
  • John Geree’s 1646 tract on Puritanism

Issue 90: Adoniram & Ann Judson: American Mission Pioneers

Two attractive young people from small-town New England became the poster children of a cause that soon swept through the nation: Missions.

It's hard for us to imagine today that missionaries could have such an effect. But, as William Hutchison argued in his book Errand to the World, the fact was that these pioneers symbolized something vital to America's identity since the days of the Puritans—a new beginning, an adventure in the wilderness, a calling to be a light to the world.

  • Adoniram Judson as a missionary
  • Mission in 19th century Burma
  • Early missions movements in America
  • The music of missions
  • The legacy of the Judsons

Issue 91: Michelangelo: Art for Faith’s Sake

Michelangelo, the great master, the paragon of Western art, was more than a solitary creative genius. He was a man wholly devoted to God, his calling, and his friends. In this issue you will learn about Michelangelo's deep faith demonstrated in his life and depicted in his art. In the larger context you will discover the role that art played during this era of rebirth and reform.

This issue of Christian History & Biography provides an opportunity for you to ponder how art could reflect and impact the worship practices and beliefs of Christians in our day.

  • The frescoes in the Sistine Chapel
  • Themes of Christ’s death in Michelangelo’s works
  • Rebirth and reform in Renaissance Italy
  • Bruce Herman on Fra Angelico
  • Justification depicted in living color

Issue 92: America’s 20th Century Evangelical Awakening

In the first half of the 20th century, in the midst of heated controversies between "fundamentalists" and "modernists," a vibrant movement emerged within evangelicalism. These "New Evangelicals" promoted active engagement in the culture, the application of Christian truth to society's problems, and the spread of biblical, historic Christianity throughout the world.

In this issue you will discover the Christian leaders and organizations that helped define the worldwide movement that now claims at least 70 million adults in the United States alone.

  • Fundamentalism in early 20th century America
  • Billy Graham’s crusades
  • The parachurch phenomenon
  • The new evangelical conscience
  • Youth for Christ

Issue 93: St. Benedict & Western Monasticisms

In the midst of our frenetic, fragmented modern culture, many Christians are finding something they long for in the simple ideals of the pioneering sixth-century monk Benedict of Nursia and the movement he sparked.

The monastic movement began as a desire among lay people for a more intense, disciplined way of living the Christian life. St. Benedict (480–547) wrote a guidebook for the monks in his monasteries that eventually became the standard for monastic life in the West. In the centuries following, monasteries thrived with Benedict's Rule as their foundation and influenced European culture in ways far beyond what those first humble monks dreamed.

In this issue, you will discover the story of these counter-cultural Benedictines and have the opportunity to consider how you might apply their ideals to your own life in the rough and tumble 21st century.

  • The influence of Benedict
  • Monasticism during Charlemagne’s reign
  • Contemporary monasticism
  • William Wilberforce and John Newton
  • Richard Foster on Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Issue 94: Building the City of God in a Crumbling World

Faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

In this issue, Christian History & Biography offers you a selection of articles focused on building the City of God—living in love—in a crumbling world. As we confront the major issues of our time and seek to love all people in all circumstances, Augustine's writings, Chrysostom's preaching, Catherine's compassion, Kivengere's joy, Lutuli's devotion to justice, and many more examples from our history will guide us and inspire us.

  • The fall of Rome
  • John Chrysostom
  • Abraham Kuyper on Christ
  • Encounters with Islam
  • Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, and Bucer on the role of government

Issue 95: The Gospel According to J.S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was certainly one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time. Today's Bach festivals, concerts, recordings and biographies testify to his immense worldwide popularity. Few realize, however, that Bach was firmly rooted in a musical tradition begun by Martin Luther two centuries earlier. In fact, Bach composed most of his music for Sunday morning church services.

In this issue you will learn about Bach's faith and its expression in his music, the early Lutheran music tradition from which he came, and how Bach's music continues to proclaim the Christian story. Finally, you are invited to reflect on how we could incorporate Bach's music into today's worship services.

  • Bach’s Lutheran faith
  • Sermons that sing
  • Bach’s music in Japan
  • Lutheran hymnody and J. S. Bach
  • Christ’s suffering in Bach’s hymnody

Issue 96: The Gnostic Hunger for Secret Knowledge

The Gnostics called themselves "enlightened." The early church called them heretics.

In recent years the early church has become a subject of public debate and an enormous amount of confusion. Gone are the days when the average Christian can get away with not knowing about the Gnostics, the early church's Rule of Faith, or how the biblical canon developed.

In this issue the editors lay out the basic facts that will help you evaluate and respond to this dizzying array of wild theories and popular books that promote additional gospels, early church conspiracies, and the rediscovery of the true Christian faith. You will learn who the Gnostics really were and why the early church called them heretics, how the early Christians could tell the apostolic message from the counterfeits, and why the New Testament has only four gospels.

  • The emergence of Gnosticism
  • The writings of Irenaeus against Gnosticism
  • Christian belief before the creeds
  • The rejection of the Gnostic gospels
  • Modern instances of Gnosticism in the church

Issue 97: The Holy Land

Sometimes we forget that Israel is more than a playground of biblical tourist attractions or a battleground between Jews and Muslims. In the Byzantine era, 300 years before the Muslim conquest, the birthplace of Christ bloomed into a center of Christian worship, pilgrimage, and monasticism. Those Christians preserved the Biblical sites and carried on the legacy of the early church.

  • The fall of Jerusalem in A. D. 70
  • Monastic Christians in Palestine
  • The Holy Land during the Byzantine Era
  • The Battle over Christ’s tomb
  • The history of Christianity during Persian and Muslim persecution

Issue 98: Christianity in China

Chinese churches have been bursting with new life for decades despite numerous limitations. It's impossible to understand the dynamic growth—and unique challenges—of Chinese Christianity today without looking back at the events of the last century. And when we do, we find a remarkable story of endurance and innovation, courage and creativity, intense suffering and transformative action. The Chinese church has been like bamboo, that ubiquitous Chinese symbol of strength, flexibility, and perseverance—growing even in the midst of harsh conditions, bending but not breaking in the wind.

  • The emergence and growth of the house-church movement
  • Christian intellectuals in China
  • China in the 20th century
  • Missionaries in China
  • Worship under the political constraint of communism

Issue 99: Faith & the American Presidency

Throughout the 2008 presidential campaigns, the religious beliefs and associations of presidential candidates have been at the forefront of public discussion. The importance that Americans place on the faith of their leaders is nothing new in American history, as this issue of Christian History & Biography shows.

In this issue, the editors selected six representative moments in American history—speeches, foreign policy decisions, and in one case an election—when the religious perspective of the president intersected with national and political issues in a significant and influential way. These events are windows. They reveal something about the personal faith of each of these presidents, and how each understood the relationship between that faith and their presidential duties. They also reveal the important, complex role religion has played in the American political scene since the earliest days of the republic.

  • Civil Religion in America
  • George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address
  • Harry Truman on the Nation of Israel
  • Ronald Reagan’s controversial “Evil Empire” speech on the Soviet Union


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