Roland Bainton

Recommendation:   2/5

Description of author:   Roland Bainton (1894-1984) was an English church historian.  Specializing in the Reformation, he was the Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale University.

Comments:  This is a very readable overview of church history from the time of the Apostles down to early American history.  It includes many interesting facts, illustrations and anecdotes which make it a pleasure to read.  Bainton seems to be writing especially for young people and also perhaps for adults who have had little or no exposure to church history.  My one concern, generally, regarding this short work is Bainton’s implied ecumenical outlook.  Although he by no means justifies the misdeeds of the Roman Catholic church, he does not criticize their doctrine and, on the contrary, throughout the book considers the Roman Catholic church to be a legitimate branch of Christianity (see especially chapter 18 – ‘Soldiers of the Pope’).