Friday, November 5, 2010

On This Day in Christian History - Book Review

Robert J. Morgan's book On This Day in Christian History recently came in the mail from Thomas Nelson publishers. The copyright page says this book is copyrighted in 1997 and was previously released as On This Day. I assume that this has been reworked (graphics etc.) and was just released under this new title this year. This book provides quick devotional style snapshots of events from Christian history that occurred on each day of the year.

Morgan explains the need for such a work in the Preface of this book, "With no history, there is no heritage. And with no heritage from the past, there is no legacy for the future." He goes on to say, "This is one of the reasons I am providing this armchair tour of the chronicles of Christianity in a devotional format - to inspire, amuse, challenge, and deepen the soul with two thousand years of anecdotes from an alphabet of characters from Ambrose to Zinzendorf. Each story is told on the date it occurred."

This sort of work is not new for Morgan as he has also authored a number of other works in a similar format. It is a devotional style work which is not meant to give you a daily Scripture devotional. This book should not be used in place of daily Scripture reading and meditation. It only gives an interesting story of an event from Christian history. Each page is listed by the date at the top and offers a somewhat related Scripture verse at the bottom.

A work of this type cannot provide exhaustive detail about the background or history of each day's character or event. It can, however, provide you with an impetus for a more detailed search later in the day. That is the primary benefit of this type of work. If you're a busy person who just doesn't have time to do any in-depth reading on the subject of Christian history then this sort of book is for you.

This book does include a topical index at the end but does not give a full index of names, dates, places etc. That sort of an index would be really helpful but also be very large and unpractical for this style of a book. You are bound to find good illustrations for sermons and lesson here though. The topical index can help you in that endeavor! I can't think of a better illustration than a story that is actually true. The entries are never more than one page and because of that may make an interesting introduction for every week in Sunday school. It will provide factual information about something interesting that all Christians should know and bring up other related discussion topics. The average Christian does not have that much knowledge about Christian history in general. This book will aid in filling that gap.

All in all this book will provide you with interesting tidbits about Christian history that you didn't know before and interesting quick discussion material for that run in with a friend. It will help expand your mind and keep you from spending a lot of time to do it. You will find inspiring, amusing, thought provoking, stories that will make you want to read ahead.

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