An engaging flyover of church history for young teens.
God’s Story: A Student’s Guide to Church History by Brian Cosby. Christian Focus Publications, 2014. 138 pages.
Reading Level: Teen, ages 12-15
Recommended for: ages 12-15
Where did TULIP come from and why do we remember Augustine? All of these, and many more questions are answered in Brian Cosby’s slim volume on church history. In his introduction, Cosby asks –and answers— the question “why study church history?” With this settled, he launches into a chronological overview spanning the Old Testament church to modern day evangelicalism.
With engaging vignettes starting most chapters, God’s Story is easy reading. Cosby relates facts yet maintains a conversational tone complete with occasional exclamation marks. His love of history is evident, and he shows how much of history is repeated —the same doctrinal errors resurfacing under different names.
Throughout God’s Story, Cosby points out controversial sticking points young believers may encounter among nonbelievers and skeptics. In addition, scriptural references help explain doctrines and point readers to the Bible in order to dig deeper. His treatment of other religions, including Islam and Mormonism, is brief. While Cosby quickly points out holes and inaccuracies, his focus is on church history, not world religions.
As an overview of church history, God’s Story is a valuable resource for middle grade readers. Chapters are easy and accessible. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter will be helpful for parents or teachers. With the reformation on the eve of 500 years —why not learn a little church history together as a family? God’s Story could be an excellent starting point.