Review for

After reading Churchill's series on World War Two--laden as it is with personal correspondence and burdensome details--his "The Birth of Britain" is a refreshing change.I found all 500 pages to be riveting. Churchill covers English History from pre-Roman days to the beginning of the Tudor dynasty with imagination-capturing prose. Of special interest to me was his treatment of religious themes. For example, he comments on the Palagian controversy that early came to Britains shores:"This doctrine consisted in assigning an undue importance to free will, and cast a consequential slur upon the doctrine of original sin. It thus threatened to deprive mankind, from its very birth, of an essential part of our inheritance."In fact, in reading this book one truth becomes evident: The Christianity that developed in England was always of a different breed than that which developed in the rest of Europe--even though for much of British history it was bound in theory to the same Roman system. This has profound impact on later ecclesiastical history. This is not lost on Churchill, who is at once very forthcoming in his praise of Christianity as a civilizing factor for society, and very critical of the Roman Catholic system and it's effect on medieval England.The author also spends quite some time detailing in very complimentary terms the life and work of Wycliff. On a personal note, I was very pleased to see the paragraphs dedicated to my ancestors, the Comyn clan of Scotland. Theirs is a noble and tragic tale, proving that right does not necessarily make might.The Birth of Britain is an outstanding read, both from a historical and theological perspective.
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