Review of Simonetta  Carr,  Church History, Grand  Rapids:  Reformation Heritage Books, 2022.

            Simonetta Carr has written a beautifully produced history of the Church. There are illustrations, time lines, things to think about, and helpful little summaries all through its 270 or so pages, along with a glossary as well as an index at the back. I have always found with general histories that when they deal with areas I think I know something about, I want to correct them, and when they deal with other areas, I accept what is said, albeit sometimes only provisionally. There was less of that uneasy feeling with this book.

            The stance is clearly Reformed, but not without an awareness and indeed grateful acknowledgment of other Christians. Sometimes Mrs Carr is a little soft on her subjects. Henry VIII is criticised but too lightly, and Elizabeth I is implied to be a pragmatist. Karl Barth is treated at a distance, as it were, behind a view that some think he did not believe in the full authority of the Bible. He didn’t! Eastern Orthodoxy could use a few more pages. Also, the Oxford Movement did not initially emphasise chants, vestments, holy water, and statues. That tended to come in the next generation.

In the end, this is a marvellous piece of work. Mrs Carr has homeschooled her eight children. That is another remarkable achievement. Her reading and her experience of teaching are combined here to produce a work which deserves to be in many a Christian household and library. It is thoroughly recommended.

                                                                                                –  Peter Barnes