We live in a world that tends to value novelty, as is plain from advertisements promoting a product that’s yet again “new and improved.” That which is “old” is considered inferior to that which is “modern.” Yet this attitude becomes dangerous when we devalue or ignore the rich tradition of church history that has led us where we are today. By becoming students of history, we can gain a better understanding of God’s providence through time, are warned of errors not to be repeated, and gain helpful insight from the people of God who have come before us. The following resources, curated by the Ligonier editorial team, can assist you toward that end.
A Survey of Church History, Part 5: 1800–1900 by W. Robert Godfrey
The nineteenth century continues to shape the modern church. Revolutions, awakenings, cults, church divisions, and much more that marked the 1800s have effects that reverberate to this day in the church’s doctrine and life. In this part of the overview series A Survey of Church History, Dr. W. Robert Godfrey considers the key events and figures of the nineteenth-century church, explaining their significance and continuing influence and showing us why we should all be familiar with this era of Christian history.
This important work outlines the differences between revival—movements of the Holy Spirit to bring conversion and spiritual renewal—and revivalism, which is the attempt by human beings to create movements of God through the use of specific means.
Churches, Revolutions, and Empires: 1789–1914 by Ian J. Shaw
This book surveys the history of the church from 1789 to 1914, detailing the key developments in theology and culture that influenced the church. It is a helpful guide to the momentous events of the nineteenth century and how their effects continue to this day.
Princeton Seminary (1812–1929): Its Leaders’ Lives and Works by Gary Steward
From its founding in 1812 to its reorganization in 1929, Princeton Theological Seminary produced effective gospel ministers and provided answers to the many challenges the church faced. This book provides an introduction to the key figures of Princeton Seminary and their writings.
This article is part of the Recommended Resources collection.