Constructing Christianity

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How did the early Christian faith evolve into arguments over doctrine? How did the Church decide it is God’s will to persecute heretics? How did an outlawed Christianity become enmeshed with government? How did baptism and the Eucharist become magical rituals? How did purgatory and worship of relics become part of Christian belief? Why are there so many denominations?
Constructing Christianity reveals the step-by-step process by which Western Christianity developed into what it is today. It accomplishes this formidable task by focusing on 25 biographies taken from the author’s two-volume The Top 100 Most Influential Christians of All Time. That work deals with Christianity throughout the world: East, West, and Oriental. In this book, the focus is on the 25 most important influencers of Western Christianity, with bridges between chapters that clarify the crucial events and the importance of each person’s contribution.
A brief chapter summarizes the time after the Apostles, then follows the 25 biographies: Tertullian, Constantine, Athanasius, Jerome, Augustine, Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Erasmus, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ignatius Loyola, John Knox, James Arminius, Roger Williams, John Wesley, Robert Raikes, William Carey, Friedrich Schleiermacher, John Nelson Darby, Phoebe Palmer, Walter Rauschenbusch, Rudolf Karl Bultmann, William J. Seymour, and Pope John XXIII. The book ends with Lessons from History. “Contents” states the main contribution of each person, which can be viewed through “Look Through the Book.”