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32 pages
Jun 2010
Crossway Books

The Church History ABCs: Augustine and 25 Other Heroes of the Faith

by Stephen J. Nichols

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The Church History ABCs may be represented as juvenile literature, but do not be fooled. This is one of those wonderful books that doesn’t fit any genre and is for all ages. You will laugh, become engrossed, long to know more and head for your computer to do research, wonder at the intricacy and humor of the illustrations, and wish the sequel was all ready published. Yes, The Church History ABCs does start with the well-know Augustine – not designated a saint, and sitting on a pear (turn to the additional information at the back of the book for further explanations of such things as Augustine and his pear). It then goes on to tell of several well-known Christian historical characters, each with his or her conundrum illustration, such as John Newton, Patrick (again, no saint), and the Wesleys. There are also several not-so-well-known ones, such as one of my favorite historical Christians, Queen Jeanne of Navarre, who bravely worked for the Reformation; and Zacharius Ursinus, a 16th century God-led genius and scholar. Because it is presented in alphabet format, there are twenty-six in all.

Christian research professor and prolific author Stephen Nichols presents The Church History ABCs as an intriguing almanac, using love of subject, scholarship, and a happy sense of humor. In the few interesting words he allots to each person, Nichols portrays personality, just enough information to whet your curiosity, and joy in being a Christian brother to such folk. His Introduction states, “In fact, this story hasn’t even ended yet. Someday you will be adding your own story to it” (p. 4). Graphic artist and children’s book illustrator Ned Bustard combines many items, including photos, maps, and music, with his wide-eyed portraiture to give his modern, steeped-in-history graphics a storytelling life of their own. How many uses can one book have? This one has several: family-time reading, leading into devotions; interest catching reader for elementary students; picture book to be read to savvy non-readers; home-schooling text; Christian school library volume (or any library, for that matter); and, reference book for group devotions, sermons, students, and those others who just can’t get enough learning.

Buy this book! You will love it! -- Donna Eggett,

Book Jacket:

Dramatically converted on the stormy seas, a slave-trader-turned-abolitionist penned the best-loved hymn of the Christian faith. A church father was arrested and martyred for teaching the truth about Christ’s incarnation. Captured by pirates and shipped off to Ireland, a priest baptized thousands of pagans, from paupers to princes. Now who ever said church history was boring?

The Church History ABCs is a fun way for kids to learn about great figures in Christian history. Twenty-six heroes of the faith march through the alphabet, boldly telling their stories in language children can understand. This wide range of characters—men and women from across the centuries, from all over the globe—reflects the breadth of church history and reminds children that these great figures of the past were living, breathing people who lived and died for the glory of God.