Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History Summary & Study Guide

Richard M. Hannula
This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Trial and Triumph.
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Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History Summary & Study Guide Description

Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History by Richard M. Hannula.

Richard Hannula's Trial and Triumph, Stories from Church History is a collection of short stories about the lives of more than forty-six figures important to the history of Christianity from the time of Jesus to until 1999, when the book was published. Hannula describes his book as a "family history" for Christians and a reminder to Christians of the Christian heroes that suffered for the Christian faith. Hannula maintains that the book was written not to exalt the people he describes but "the Lord who made them great." The stories in the book are quite short and so are inevitably stylized summaries that describe peoples from many distinct times and places. But Hannula maintains that he has attempted to maintain historical accuracy and that the quotations in the book were drawn from the subjects' writings and speeches themselves. Hannula wrote the book for his children but he also maintains that the book should be a source of inspiration for adult Christians as well.

It is important to note at the outset that Hannula's book is written from the perspective of an orthodox Presbyterian who is heavily influenced by the Reformed tradition within Christian theology. It picks out as heroes many figures that Roman Catholics would not regard as heroes, for instance, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin. It is also heavily tilted towards English and American history, meaning few non-Anglo Christian figures from the later historical periods it reviews. This "family history" is therefore far from comprehensive and the reader should be aware of this upfront.

Trial and Triumph contains six major chapters, each covering a time period that is understood partly thematically. Each chapter contains discussions of at least six important historical figures. Chapter 1, Early Church: Facing Persecution, Fighting Heresy including discussions of the great early martyr Polycarp, Constantine, the Byzantine Emperor who made Christianity legal for the first time, Augustine, the great Christian philosopher who articulated the ideas of original sin and predestination in detail and Patrick, the famed missionary to the Irish.

Chapter 2, Middles Ages, Light from Darkness introduces the important historical figure, Pope Gregory I, the philosopher Anselm and St. Francis of Assisi, the holy Christian monk who founded the Franciscan order. Chapter 3, Reformation, The Gospel Clarified, covers the central early leader and founder of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, the founder of Calvinism, John Calvin and the Scottish reformer, John Knox. Chapter 4, Post-Reformation, Great Courage and Great Awakening, discusses a series of important Christian figures in the 17th and 18th centuries, among them the Protestant Swedish King, Gustavus Adolphus, the widely known Puritan theologian and fiery preacher, John Edwards and John Wesley, the founder of Methodism.

Chapter 5, Modern Missions, The Gospel to the Ends of the Earth, discusses Christians who evangelized the world, including David Livingstone who explored Africa and Hudson Taylor, a missionary to China in the 19th century. Chapter 6, Recent Times, Standing for Christ, covers many contemporary Christian figures, such as Abraham Kuyper, the important Dutch theologian and Prime Minister and C. S. Lewis, the famed English Christian apologist and children's book author.

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