Two books on the history of the true church

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backwoodsman
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Two books on the history of the true church

Post by backwoodsman » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:10 am

I just finished reading 'The Torch of the Testimony' by John W. Kennedy (1965), on Steve's recommendation. Earlier this year I read a similar book, 'The Pilgrim Church' by E. H. Broadbent (1931). Both are histories of the true church, those who followed only the Word of God and remained outside formalized religion, from the 1st century onward. Both hammer pretty hard on the spiritual destructiveness of sectarianism, and of falling away from a simple following of the Word into a spiritually dead religious formalism.

To me, the most striking differences between the books are:

(1) 'Pilgrim' is much larger, much more thoroughly researched, and much more detailed, particularly for the 1000 years during which we're told the Catholic Church was essentially unchallenged aside from a few 'heretics' now & then. It turns out, their own records give away a lot more than they intended about those they persecuted during that time.

(2) While Kennedy points out the flaws and mistakes of the reformers, and the fact that many of them joined the Catholic Church in persecuting and murdering true Christians, he still treats the Reformation as though it was a good thing. Broadbent, on the other hand, points out that the Reformation only made things harder for the true church -- now they had not only the Catholics, but also the Protestants, persecuting them and hindering evangelism. He contends that the true church would've been better off without the Reformation, a view I've come to share.

These books are now at the top of my recommended reading list that I think every Christian should read. They give a very different perspective of where we've come from and where we should be going than one gets in typical Christian circles these days. They're different enough that both should be read; but if I had to recommend only one, it would be 'The Pilgrim Church', because of its higher level of research and detail.

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Bud
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Re: Two books on the history of the true church

Post by Bud » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:23 pm

Thanks Backwoodsman for the reviews. Very interested.
Malachi 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard [it,] and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. (NASB) :)

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backwoodsman
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Re: Two books on the history of the true church

Post by backwoodsman » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:37 am


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Bud
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Re: Two books on the history of the true church

Post by Bud » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:14 pm

Cool, I bookmarked the gutenburg link on my blackberry. Couldn't seem to get the downloads right, (not tech savvy) but will be reading the Pilgrim book on my phone till I hopefully get copies of those books at "Powells", they have most stuff. Thanks,
Malachi 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard [it,] and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. (NASB) :)

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