Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano once said “History never really says goodbye. History says, ‘See you later.’ Well it depends on what history we want to welcome. Its either mistakes or victories of the past that will be knocking at our doors. However we can anticipate the comeback when we look at history. Christians should study church history. Here’s 7 ways to learn church history without breaking the bank. Of course, nothing can beat having a seminary training about church history and I highly encourage you to do so. However, for those who can’t go to a seminary or even buy a book in church history, this list can be a good place to know about this important subject:
1. Get church history in your inbox – Christian History Institute offers a daily It Happened Today sort of a”this day in history” thing simply by subscribing to their e-mail list (scroll down to the bottom till you find the subscribe box.)
Christianity.com offers an e-mail newsletter which you can choose on either daily or weekly church history. Click here to subscribe and scroll down to click the church history newsletter offer.
Also you can check out Christianity Today’s Church History which gives you free weekly e-mails simply by subscribing.
2. Click on your favorite social media – Who says you can’t find anything worthwhile on Facebook. Go to Church History FB Page to read quote cards and history tidbits which you can easily share with your friends.
3. Listen to a podcast – Aside from the cool Cranberries intro, this weekly podcast on church history hosted by Dr. Stephen Nichols takes a slice of church history and discusses how God works to events, people and places and how it’s relevant to our time. 5 Minutes of Church History is non technical in approach and because it’s brief, you can easily tuck it to your podcast listening list.
Another podcast that is like Dr. Stephen Nichols is Christian History Almanac. Presented by 1571, this daily podcast is 5 minutes hosted by Dr. Dan van Voorhis. Aside from the stories, every episode ends with a cool prose and poetry.
Scotland’s Forgotten History is also under 5 minute which tackles as the title suggest and how Scotland’s history ties up with it’s church history.
However, if you want a more lengthy (15 minutes or so), go check Today in Church His-Story It’s a weekly peek to the halls of history hosted by Dr. Andrew Smith. If you head to their website you’ll see past episodes that will invigorate your knowledge about church history.
This Week in Church History is produced by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary that explores people, movements and events that shaped Christianity over the 7 days of this week in the history of the Church. Hosted by Dr. John Mark Yeats and Dr. Michael McMullen, their conversations adds insights to defining moments in church history.
Another lengthy and worth checking out is Church History Matters podcast.
For kids who wants to learn about important figures of church history, they can check out a podcast from Rebel Alliance Media. Click here for the latest episode of Fathers of Faith for Covenant Kids.
Now for some hardcore stuff….
4. Watch lectures over Youtube – Ryan Reeves church history lectures are superb. If you check his Youtube channel, you’ll see his 64 k subscribers and some of his 20-30 minute videos had been viewed 500 k times. Very impressive. His videos consist of pictures and notes for viewers to catch the important words, names and events. The audio and images are great. Ryan Reeves Historical Theology for Everyone is a must watch!
Lastly, this seminar series by Berean Baptist Church of Queensland is a must watch if you want to know about Baptist History.
5. Listen to a church Sunday school or teaching session – Tommy Nelson of Denton Bible Church, gives a series simply titled Church History, in engaging and exciting way, considering the dread of studying historical stuff. The audio quality is good and you can feel the churchy setting to were this series is given.
Recently, Covenant Media Foundation made some of their MP3 free for download. This includes Pastor Steve Wilkins History of the Church.
Moving to Sermon Audio, I would like to recommend two Sunday School series that tackles church history. First is from Brian Borgman,pastor of Grace Community Church Nevada, A Survey of Church History . Love the audio quality and how Borgman articulate the teachings which are not intimidating.
Next is from Dr. James White Church History Series . If you know James White, his debates and podcast, you’ll find this at par from what he dishes out. The audio quality is not that good but if you like what you hear and like White you’ll gonna stick around for this series.
Lastly, an Anglican church from Canada, St. Peter’s Fireside has a teaching session called Equip and Build, which explores Christianity to nurture the growth of a Christian. They have a category on Church History that you might like.
6. Download a Seminary app – Reformed Theological Seminary has an app that you can download in various app stores for free. The lecturer is Dr. S. Donald Fortson and you can access these lectures on i-Tunes U from your i-phone and i-Pad.
7. Sign up on an online course – Capitol Hill Baptist has a core seminar on church history titled Hades Ģates Won’t Prevail that you can download the handouts and manuscripts.
Now for some seminary level courses (which is still free!)
FTC (For The Church) Institute offers Church History 1 course that has 3 study options: individuals at their own pace, take your group or cohort.
You also can check out audio lectures of Ancient and Mediaval History and Reformation and Modern History courses at Covenant Theological Seminary. You have to create an account to access the complete course with downloadable MP3, transcript and study guides. You can check other seminaries that has church history courses by clicking here.
8. Dowload e-books on Church History – If your’re not into the audio and video lectures, you can download free e-books on church history. A simple search on Mogernism.com yields some books that you can check out. If you want church history with a Presbyterian perspective, go over to Log College Press and you’ll find tons of books on the subject.
9. Check out these blogs – A collaboration of Thomas Kidd and Justin Taylor of The Gospel Coalition is definitely a read. Evangelical History focuses on some of the interesting events in this side of Christianity.
Blog of Dan by Dan Green from the UK has free handouts from their Sunday evening teachings. Scroll down to get to the Know Your Church History section.
So thats my list, so what’s yours? Kindly comment in the comment section on what should be added on the list. By the way, I would like to thank Dead Men Community, TCB Family and the Baptist Review Facebook Groups for giving me some of what has been included on the list. It really helped me to write this article and gave me ways to self-study Church History.