By Alton Gansky
The Church exists this present day in its present shape due to the those that have come earlier than us. Who have been these humans? Staid and dour students? Cultural movers and shakers? How does their contribution to historical past impact us today?
From a consummate storyteller comes this choice of inspiring biographical sketches of people that performed pivotal roles in advancing the dominion of God on the earth. In wealthy prose and spanning twenty centuries of church historical past, those enticing narratives variety from the well known to the vague, highlighting personalities similar to Josephus, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, Galileo, John Calvin, Blaise Pascal, Jonathan Edwards, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, William Wilberforce, G. ok. Chesterton, and so on. Readers will think the earlier come alive and mingle of their minds with the current country of the Church, encouraging and inspiring them to reside their very own religion courageously in our time—and form the Church of the long run.
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Extra info for 60 People Who Shaped the Church. Learning from Sinners, Saints, Rogues, and Heroes
Some sacrificed dearly, like the Anabaptist minister who was executed for baptizing his children, and the misunderstood scientists who not only changed science but changed the way we look at ourselves. And some of these people who shaped the church weren’t even Christians. This book is a collection of sixty people who shaped the church: sinners, saints, rogues, and heroes. I began with a much longer list and agonized over each personality I crossed off. I felt as if I should apologize to each one.
To Christians it made a great deal of difference. It was a line drawn in the sand they could not cross. Eusebius wrote about the torture many early Christians endured in that part of Turkey, describing a type of scourging that stripped the flesh from the body, exposing nerves, blood vessels, and muscle tissue. Those who survived the whipping were forced to lay their raw flesh on broken sea shells. Many were thrown to starved, wild beasts. Polycarp was aware of what awaited those who defied the orders of Rome—what awaited him.
They bound his hands behind his back while Polycarp prayed, thanking God for the honor to die for Christ. They lit the fire and the flames rose—but they didn’t touch his skin. Instead sheets of flame billowed around him like sails on the mast of a ship. Polycarp seemed to change. Instead of his skin becoming charred, he looked like metal in a refinery. It’s difficult to tell from Eusebius’ account just what that means, but the witness took it to be something miraculous. Polycarp would die at last, not by fire but by a sword shoved through the flame and into the bishop’s body.
60 People Who Shaped the Church. Learning from Sinners, Saints, Rogues, and Heroes by Alton Gansky