The Church History ABCs

Nichols, Stephen J., and Ned Bustard.  The Church History ABCs: Augustine and twenty-five other heroes of the Faith. Crossway: Weaton, Ill, 2010.

Kids can learn a lot from the history of the Church.  Parents, for that matter could learn a lot, and most Christians today are completely unfamiliar with the history of our spiritual family.  Enter Dr. Stephen Nichols and Ned Bustard's The Church History ABCs: Augustine and twenty-five other heroes of the Faith.  This is a book that teaches both children and parents about 26 characters from Church history.

Nichols writes (and Bustard illustrates) short, fun blurbs about each character as if from that character's own perspective.  The pictures are full of icons and clues about the individuals as well.  For example, Augustine's page reads,
"When I was a young boy, I took some pears that did not belong to me.  I did not want the pears, I just enjoyed doing wrong.  But God loved me and Christ died to forgive all my sin.  Years later when I was serving as a bishop, I wrote two famous books.  And I worked hard to remind the church that God loves us before we love him" (5). 
The picture not only features a cartoon of Augustine, he's also holding a copy of Confessions and he's sitting on a pair.  (Augustine happens to be my four-year-old's favorite story in this book and he can recite this little historical story verbatim.)    In the back is a section with short articles about each person written for adults in a format more like something found in a typical history book.

My family reads one page a night around the dinner table.  We love it.  But in addition to the fun and the lesson in Church history, it has also been amazing to see the practical life lessons my children are picking up on.  We've read the stories of martyrs and missionaries.  The faith of these heroes has been an encouragement to our entire family.

The 26 heroes of the faith (27 technically, with the Wesley brothers) include:  Augustine, Anne Bradstreet, John Calvin, John Donne, Jonathan Edwards, John Foxe, Lady Jane Gray, Hippolytus, Ignatius, Absalom Jones, John Knox, Martin Luther, Monica, John Newton, John Owen, Patrick, Queen Jeanne of Navarre, Bishop Nicholas Ridley, Charles Spurgeon, Tertullian, Zacharias Ursinus, Antonio Vivaldi, John & Charles Wesley, Francis Xavier, Florence Young, and Ulrich Zwingli.    

This is a fun book and a great way to get an introduction to Church history.  I highly recommend it!

*I have no monetary connection to this book.