Many think that studying history is boring. They may equate reading history books to watching grass grow, a mundane task that is nap inducing at best. I’m here to tell you that this does not have to be the case. Learning history can be an eye-opening and exciting experience if the book is engaging. Through my years of reviewing I have had the opportunity to read a number of books on Church history. I recently had the pleasure to dive into a book that held my attention and presented history in a manner that was almost novel like. Timeless: A History of the Catholic Church written by Steve Weidenkopf is one you will want to add to your library and will be one you will come back to for years to come.
Timeless is a single volume, 538 page book. Steve has written a fresh retelling of the history of the Church that is more story like than textbook. It’s an easy-to-read, approachable book for readers of every level. Written in a manner simple enough for the average lay person to understand, the book is meaty enough to be used in a classroom setting and that is what I love about it.
The book is divided into ten chapters or periods as follows:
The Beginning – Pentecost and the Spread of the Gospel
The Empire and the Church
Bright Lights in a Dark Time
Cathedrals and Crusades
The Family Weakens
The Great Divorce
The Great Reform
The Modern Attack
Hope and Mercy
There’s an underlying theme to this book and Steve details it in the introduction. We need to have a Catholic understanding of history. There needs to be the acknowledgement of the birth of a divine being, Jesus Christ, into the timeline of our world. A birth that ultimately brought about our salvation. Without this, history becomes a pointless trudge through time with no goal in sight. We as Catholics know that goal and it is an eternal reward in heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The secular world however attempts to scrub this part of history away in an attempt to diminish the significance of the Catholic Church to the worlds outcome. We must not allow this to happen.
How can we prevent this? Start by reading this book. Educate yourself on the role of the Church from Pentecost onward. Don’t let society infuse you with a doctored account of history. Certainly that history has not been spotless. We have had our mis-steps but that is to be expected ….we are a flawed mankind. Steve Weindenkopf reveals it all. He hides nothing revealing all the bumps and bruises as well as the glory of the Church. What I love about this single volume telling of this very real tale is the approach-ability of the text. Steve has done modern Catholics a great service with this book. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of it.