Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Reformation. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 1. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Ch. 1, “Introduction.” Loc. 260-351
God’s revelation takes place in history, in real places, real times, with real people. This is clear in the Old and New Testaments (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 264). The history of God’s activity did not end with the resurrection, but continued through the account of Acts and was not coming to an end when Acts ended abruptly. “Luke had a theological reason for this, for in his view the story he was telling shall not come to an end before the end of all history” (Ibid., Loc. 287). A study of history must involve the church and a study of church history must expect to see God at work. “It is the history of those deeds [of the Holy Spirit] through sinners such as we are” (Ibid., Loc. 292). We study the past to understand our time as well. “Without understanding that past, we are unable to understand ourselves, for in a sense the past still lives in us and influences who we are and how we understand the Christian message” (Ibid., Loc. 310).
In this text, Gonzalez attempts to connect with his time and place in history as well (Ibid., Loc. 324). For instance, he will make note of women’s accomplishments as our society seeks to be more aware of women. He does not expect that the height of Christianity will be in North America. He will attempt to weigh many facets of the data.