If you think history is boring, take about three minutes and scan through 131 Christians Everyone Should Know. Zero in on an article, and you may find you can’t read just one! These sketches have been put together by the editors of Christian History magazine, who have an impressive track record for making history come alive every month for their readers. Note the diversity in this volume: Menno Simons, a pacifist, and the Roman emperor Constantine, a general. Leaders of the Reformation—Luther, Calvin, Zwingli—and the Counter-Reformation—Ignatius Loyola and Teresa of Avila. Men and women. Teenagers such as Joan of Arc, and aged saints like Polycarp.
History isn’t just dates, statistics, and grand social movements. It’s people—people from many callings:
Each personality sketch includes a timeline that gives the historical context in which that person lived. The book also contains a topical index that will help you find illustrations for teaching and preaching. Some time spent with 131 Christians Everyone Should Know will forever enlarge your view of “the church as we see her spread through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners” (C. S. Lewis)—a spectacle that will inspire you to deeper thought and greater faithfulness.
“He concluded that faith is the precondition of knowledge (credo ut intelligam, ‘I believe in order to understand’). He didn’t despise reason; in fact he employed it in all his writings. He simply believed knowledge cannot lead to faith, and knowledge gained outside of faith is untrustworthy.” (Page 28)
“In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity,’” (Page 87)
“Arminian theology: Christ died for all (not just the elect) and individuals can resist grace and even lose salvation.” (Page 42)
“He taught that original sin eradicated free will in people. Only by God’s initiative can anyone begin to have faith and thus experience assurance of salvation.” (Page 39)
“Of his fame, Moody admitted, ‘I know perfectly well that, wherever I go and preach, there are many better preachers … than I am; all that I can say about it is that the Lord uses me.’” (Page 71)