I have to admit that The 40 Most Influential Christians Who Shaped What We Believe Today by Daryl Aaron was probably one of my least favorite books of all time! It usually doesn’t take me long to get through a book, but this one seemed to take forever!
Aaron takes a look at 40 Christians throughout history – starting with Clement of Rome and ending with Carl F.H. Henry – and gives a brief synopsis of how they became Christians and how they influenced Christianity. Obviously, there isn’t enough space to write about all of the men (and women) who have influenced Christianity! But I am not sure that he chose the ones who really were the most influential. There definitely seemed to be some key names missing that even the average person would know! But that’s a personal opinion, I guess.
Aaron does do a good job of leading one through history – transitioning smoothly from chapter to chapter. But the theology in each chapter seems to be more appropriate for a theology student rather than for someone just looking for a little information on the history of Christianity.
The book reads very much like a theological research paper, so it may be just the book for someone who likes to read research papers! But for the average reader, I would say that it is rather dry and difficult to get through. I think Aaron obviously did his research, but I will probably not be reading anything else by him any time soon.
*This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.