When students ask me what they need to do to become good church historians, I always answer -- Read history, any history, as long as it is well-written. So here are five recommendations of new books in 2012 which some might want to think about asking for as presents:Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!
Best new book to make it onto my syllabi:
Robert Louis Wilken, The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity(Yale). I have been a fan of Wilken, a leading Roman Catholic historian of early Christianity, ever since I went to Princeton to hear him give a lecture on the secularisation of modern Christianity. When asked by a member of the audience -- and remember, this is Princeton we are talking about -- to give an example of selling out to the world, he declared (without taking a breath) 'Inclusive language translations of the Bible.' The place descended into uproar.
"Quite magnificent," adds Trueman. Indeed.
He concludes: "This book is a superb tour of the first millennium of the Christian faith, written with his usual learning, wit and clarity. It will be on both my Ancient Church and Medieval syllabi from now on."
[Hat tip to J.M.]