From its modest beginnings in the Near East, the Christian Church evolved to be one of the major social institutions of the world. It began with a handful of followers of Jesus Christ, and today, the number of Christians is around 2.5 billion. The growth of the Christian Church is one of the most remarkable events in human history.
Generations of historians have marveled at the development of the Christian Church. It began as a modest undertaking by Christ’s disciples and appears today as a multi-faceted global enterprise comprising some 30,000 Christian denominations. All of these offer unique understandings of the life of Christ and how the story of his life should be brought to the unbelieving peoples of the world.
Much of the Christian Church’s history may seem to be of minor importance, such as theological debates in the Middle Ages over the true nature of Christ. However, every dispute and controversy played a critical role in the shifts in Christian beliefs and their expression in organized churches.
The intriguing story told in this book, recounted in everyday language, deals head-on with some of the most divisive ideas in humanity’s history. For it is religion that is at the heart of secular society’s organization today, whether it is to separate church and state or to combine the two.
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