A History Of The True Religion Through Each Hundred Years From 33 A.D. To Date, by Dugger And Dodd
How I came to read this book is a bit of a story. My mother got this book for me as a birthday present, purchasing it from Amazon, as it one the only first edition that she was able to find for sale. Admittedly, this a very obscure book. In Church of God circles, to be sure, this book is somewhat legendary, serving as a classic religious history for seventh-day Christians written by a couple of leaders within the Church of God Seventh Day. Even to this day, fifty years after it was published, it still remains an essential book about Church of God history, and has a very strong pro-pietist worldviest despite being honest that not all Seventh Day believers were pacifist . This book is an example of a situation where the authors have a strong perspective but where the work remains valuable even if the reader has a different one. Of course, the fact that my own perspective is similar to the authors does make this book one I greatly appreciate it, it should be readily admitted.
The contents of this book are exactly as promised. The book is organized by century, and the authors spend a great deal of time pointing out various people who lived in certain remote valleys in the Alps and Balkans who never submitted to the rule of the Roman Catholic Church. As might be imagined, the information about early centuries is considerably more scanty than that for the later centuries, and the information for the period between 1800 and the time of the book’s writing is the most detailed of all, including all of the people named as elders when the Church of God Seventh Day was organized in Salem, West Virginia, including one Herbert W. Armstrong, of Radio and Worldwide Church of God fame. That said, while the information is most clear about the contemporary age, the book does not skimp on earlier centuries, pointing out the Sabbatarian roots of a great deal of Puritan and Pilgrim beliefs as well as the military victories of Sabbath keepers due to divine favor in at least some circumstances, as well as the usual accounts of martyrdom that one would expect from a volume like this one. The book is also highly quotable and makes some serious demands of believers, making it a very worthy volume.
What kind of reader would appreciate this volume? Well, any reader interested in the history of Seventh-Day Christians will find a great deal to appreciate in this volume. Whether one looks at the Vaudois and their mountain redoubts or the Hussites or the Celtic Church or the Paulicians, this book has a lot to offer in terms of describing the way that true Christians hid out while apostasy reigned over much of Christendom, and also how America became the home of many of these people after the exploration of the New World, whether we are talking about the travel of English separatists and Sabbath-men to Rhode Island or Swiss and German and other Central Europe Anabaptists to Pennsylvania, to give but a few examples. The book gives quotable comments about various periods of the Church of God in the Dark Ages, and whether or not you agree with the author’s discussion about the various Church Ages, this book will provide a great deal of worthy information for those who want to get to know an obscure and often neglected part of Christianity better. It is only a shame that this book is not more easily accessible to those who would appreciate it.
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