The Pastor-Historian: Proclaiming 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power

Jeff Robinson | July 18, 2017

We’ve written often about the pastor-theologian or the pastor-scholar, but what of the pastor-historian? What benefits accrue to a congregation whose undershepherd is also a trained researcher of and writer about history? And how crucial is it that those who populate our churches know something of the story of Christ’s church as it has unfolded over the past 2,000 years? How can a pastor help the 21st-century church overcome its penchant for chronological snobbery?

Nick Needham wants his church—and others like it—to be keenly aware of Christ’s work in building his church these past two millennia. Toward this end, Needham—pastor of Inverness Reformed Baptist Church and church history lecturer at Highland Theological College in Scotland—has spent the past two decades authoring a unique multi-volume survey of church history that combines lucid prose with rigorous research and historiography.

The fourth volume of his series, 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power: The Age of Religious Conflict (16th to 18th Centuries), was recently released from Christian Focus, and all are now available in hardcover editions. I asked Needham about the above questions and more.

How important is it for ordinary Christians to know church history? Additionally, how do you achieve a balance between readability (for a broader audience) and sound scholarship (with trusted content)?


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