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Good Beginner Level Book about Christianity

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  • Good Beginner Level Book about Christianity

    Good afternoon everyone! I was curious if anyone had a suggestion for a good book about the history and principals of Protestantism? It would be best that this book be directed towards beginners in level of knowledge on this topic.I have done a couple Google searches and came up empty handed. I may not be looking in the right place but I couldn't even find a Protestantism for Dummies book. I thought they had books for everything, they do have a book about the Reformation. This book is for me, I am almost in my 30s and a capable reader but if a child's book is a good option please feel free to chime in I won't be offended, I am knowledgeable but want to start reading more about it, any suggestions would be helpful. God bless and best regards.

  • #2
    Hi Mike, there are a few books that I'm thinking might be your cup of tea (if I'm understanding what you're after, that is).

    First off though, the "Reformation" IS the beginning of the history of Protestantism. IOW, that's where the Protestant faith officially began. A truly great read (a page turner that was voted best book of the year, BTW), is Dr. RC Sproul's, Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification. And while the title makes it sound more like a theology than a history of the Reformation, it really takes a very historical approach as it looks into why the Reformation happened, as well, what needed to be, "reformed".

    There is, of course, John Calvin's, Institutes of the Christian Religion, which defines what the Protestant faith is better and more thoroughly than any other book ever has, but it is anything but "easy reading". You can read it if you care to however online for free, here.

    For a pure and extremely interesting history of the Reformation, you might also try reading volumes VI - VIII of Schaff's, History of the Christian Church, which can be found online for free here.

    You might also want to read through the Westminster Confession of the Faith which can be found here, as well it's Shorter Catechism (which can be found here), and its Larger Catechism (which can be found here).

    For a short, concise, easy to read and understand theology of Protestant beliefs, I will also recommend three modern books. 1) Dr. JI Packer's Concise Theology 2) Dr. Sproul's, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, and/or 3) Dr. Sproul's, Everyone's a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology

    I hope that list proves to be at least somewhat helpful to you!

    Yours in Christ,
    David
    Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

    "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

    "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

    "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

    "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by ad.mike2016 View Post
      Good afternoon everyone! I was curious if anyone had a suggestion for a good book about the history and principals of Protestantism? It would be best that this book be directed towards beginners in level of knowledge on this topic.I have done a couple Google searches and came up empty handed. I may not be looking in the right place but I couldn't even find a Protestantism for Dummies book. I thought they had books for everything, they do have a book about the Reformation. This book is for me, I am almost in my 30s and a capable reader but if a child's book is a good option please feel free to chime in I won't be offended, I am knowledgeable but want to start reading more about it, any suggestions would be helpful. God bless and best regards.
      I recommend a 3 part documentary: Amazing Grace - The History and Theology of Calvinism -Christforums

      The Documentary covers some of the major historical debates and turning points that lead to the great schism. I think this 3 part video will not only be entertaining but also provide an overview that may deepen your interests in other areas of study.

      God bless,
      William
      Comment>

      • #4
        WOW, that's quite a line-up William. Thanks :)
        Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

        "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

        "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

        "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

        "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
        Comment>

        • #5
          You have a few heavy recommendations above, so I will offer a few of books, which are both "beginner" lever, and won't break your toes if you where drop them. ;) These are not systematics books, yet they are, in some ways better at getting to heart of what Christianity truly is.

          Basic Christianity by John Stott

          Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

          Knowing God by J.I. Packer

          The God Who is There by Francis Schaeffer

          The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther

          The Prodigal God by Tim Keller



          Comment>

          • #6
            Agreeing with you Brian, that is a "must read" list of books for any Christian.
            Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

            "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

            "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

            "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

            "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by St_Worm2 View Post
              Agreeing with you Brian, that is a "must read" list of books for any Christian.
              The Bondage of the Will might be seen by some as dealing with a peripheral issue, but its content, IMO, goes right to the heart of the problem, and knowing the problem really helps one see that Christ, and His work on behalf of sinners like me, is the only possible solution. Sin and our bondage because of it makes Christianity necessary.
              Last edited by thatbrian; 08-27-2016, 07:11 PM.
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by thatbrian View Post
                ...knowing the problem really helps one see that Christ, and His work on behalf of sinners like me, is the only possible solution.
                Amen, I could not agree more :)

                Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                Comment>
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