Monday, August 08, 2005

Book Review - "The Pilgrim Church"

This book has had a huge impact on my life. Since I became a Christian, many years ago, I have always been out of sorts with the majority of Christians around me. This was once very disconcerting to me. Then I read "The Pilgrim Church."

The premise of "The Pilgrim Church" is that history is written by the victors. Those who are the minority seldom have their story told. Through much research E. H. Broadbent has put together a history of the untold story of that part of the church that refused to become part of the world and, instead, chose to live as pilgrims in a strange land.

From the earliest days of Saul (well even the Pharisees of Jesus' day) the minority church has been persectued by the majority and their story has been ignored since all of the church histories have been written by the majority churches. This is a well told account of those who have tried to remain both faithful to God's word and unmixed with the world. This is a story of those whom the established churches have branded as heretics and persecuted and killed.

For me, this book has been a comfort as I slowly come to realize that I have been surrounded by such a huge cloud of witnesses. I am not alone as I try to be true to the revelation of God's word. In a day when it seems like the majority of Christians won't even talk about His word, much less actually read it, I find solace in the courage and resolve of those who have gone before.

It's encouraging to know that there is another side to the story we have been told by the mainstream churches. It is also sad to read of the way the mainstream churches have always treated those who don't follow their dogmas.

"The Pilgrim Church" and "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" are easily the two most inspiring books I have read other than the Bible.

Here are five reviews from Amazon.

a record you won't find elsewhere, December 27, 2002

Reviewer: Sophronikos (USA) - See all my reviews

Broadbent's book falsifies the notion that until the reformation, the church was simply one big happy family with no troubles. Far from that, Broadbent shows that there have always been individuals and groups who strove for a biblical basis for their faith and practice. Often they were persecuted or maligned, sometimes killed, but the record stands. The book is an exciting account of these people, and one which every christian should read.

Most spiritual church history work ever, March 12, 2005

Reviewer: George A. Exley "George Exley" (Rochester NY USA)

I had a pastor friend tell me seven years ago this out of print book changed his life and the manner in which he understood the church. After one year of searching, a book seller in England found me a used copy. I devoured it. Then, Dave Hunt republished it and made it available once again. It is an absolute must to the Christian and much light for a person that is searching for truth. Other than the Bible, I cannot recommend another book higher.

He who doesn't know history is condemned to repeat it., October 24, 2002

Reviewer: a believer "rosyjo" (USA)

I read this book to learn more about the 'other side' of church history...where the heretics weren't really heretics at all--just labeled that way by those who did not agree with them. Similar to how the media works today. I got that history plus a lot more.
It was so interesting to see how so many ideas that seem new today have been lived out over and over through the centuries. Issues in christianity that are controversial today are nothing new. The nice part is that by reading the history one can see how choices worked out repeatedly and consistently through the centuries. As you would pray about what the Lord would have you to do read the book and maybe save yourself some effort and heartache--see how it worked out for others first!

A excelent portrayal of the history of the Church, November 6, 2001

Reviewer: "rc8arnold" (Pflugerville, TX USA)

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Church History. This is one of the foremost authority in Church History along with Phillip Schaf's work. The book looks at church history from the viewpoint of the "underground" Church throughout the last 2000 years up to the early 1920's (Thus it doesn't include Watchman Nee's local churches in China which arose in the early 1920's and 1930's.) This in contrast to the history of the organised Church (ie the Catholic Church, Church of England etc..)
It is well worth having on your bookshelf (after reading it of course).

One of a kind, February 7, 1999

Reviewer: dave addison( "addison" (New York)

A "must read" for anyone interested in the history of authentic Christianity from its earliest days. A history book that will inspire you!


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