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This weekly podcast provides an informal and informative look at church history. Join us each week as we take a brief break from the present to go exploring the past. Travel back in time as we look at the people, events, and even the places that have shaped the story of Christianity. Each episode offers an easily digestible glimpse of how the eternal, unchangeable God has worked in the church over prior generations and how this can encourage us today. This is our story—our family history.
 
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By God's grace, biblical preaching and theological book publishing are on the rise in the African continent. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Rev. Ken Mbugua joins Dr. Stephen Nichols to share why he is hopeful about the future of the church in Africa. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/church-history-makers…
 
God did not give us His Word so it would be known only by elite scholars. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Rev. Ken Mbugua joins Dr. Stephen Nichols to remember the foundational efforts made during the Reformation to translate the Bible into the languages of everyday people. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.co…
 
Good, gospel-saturated books help us better understand our own hearts, our relationships, and the life of the local church. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Rev. Ken Mbugua joins Dr. Stephen Nichols to discuss five books he would want with him on a deserted island. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/deserted…
 
From his deathbed, John Knox told his wife Margaret, "Go where I cast my first anchor." She immediately opened her Bible to John 17. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols surveys the life and death of the great Scottish Reformer. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/my-first-anchor/ A donor-supp…
 
When we recall the Christians who have suffered for translating God's Word into the language of ordinary people, we should cherish our Bibles all the more. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. John MacArthur joins Dr. Stephen Nichols to speak about the Reformation translator William Tyndale. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesi…
 
What five books would you take with you to a deserted island? On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols is joined by Dr. John MacArthur as he reminds us of important books from the church's past and present. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/deserted-island-with-john-macarthur/ A donor-supported …
 
One hundred years before Martin Luther’s time, Jan Hus began paving the road to church reformation. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols is joined by Dr. John MacArthur to discuss this often overlooked figure from church history. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/a-most-intriguing-figure-wit…
 
The final volume of Right Now Counts Forever features several themes that were central to Dr. R.C. Sproul's life and enduring legacy. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols concludes his study of books we should bring to the beach. Throughout the month of August 2021, you can enter to win a free copy of Right Now Counts…
 
From Edgar Allen Poe to John Bunyan, the written word has been a powerful tool used to chisel the forms of our civilization. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols offers us a glimpse into R.C. Sproul's thoughts on art and literature from the third volume of Right Now Counts Forever. Throughout the month of August 2021,…
 
What is the "big idea" of the Christian life? On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols explores several of Dr. R.C. Sproul's columns from the second volume of the new Right Now Counts Forever collection. Throughout the month of August 2021, you can enter to win a free copy of Right Now Counts Forever, a 4-volume book coll…
 
Through the years, Dr. R.C. Sproul helped us give careful thought to topics ranging from the birth of Jesus to professional football. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols canvasses the first volume of Right Now Counts Forever, a collection of 40 years of theological reflection from Dr. Sproul. Throughout the month of …
 
As Dr. R.C. Sproul said, "What we do today counts forever." On this special episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols is joined by Chris Larson to celebrate Ligonier's 50th anniversary and discuss Right Now Counts Forever, a new landmark resource featuring 40 years of Dr. Sproul's trusted teaching. Read the transcript: https://www…
 
As we were once dead in our trespasses and sin, we needed to be brought from death to life. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols shows how this truth is outlined in John Owen's book The Holy Spirit. Throughout the month of July 2021, you can enter to win a free copy of the Treasures of John Owen Box Set, a 5-volume bo…
 
At the end of his life, John Owen penned his final book, The Glory of Christ. What were the last words this towering figure of the faith wanted to tell us? On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols explores Owen's writings on one of the greatest privileges we have as believers, both in this world and for eternity. Througho…
 
Why should we mortify, or "put to death," our sin? On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols highlights John Owen's book on the new birth and our three-front battle against sin. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/mortification-of-sin-at-the-beach/ Throughout the month of July 2021, you can enter t…
 
At John Owen's funeral, it was said that "the great burden of his life was to see people grow in holiness." On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols speaks with Dr. Sinclair Ferguson on this 17th-century theologian, a man of letters and a man of action. Throughout the month of July 2021, you can enter to win a free copy o…
 
Our God is a merciful God, extending His grace freely to poor, downcast sinners in need. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols discusses A Lifting Up for the Downcast by William Bridge. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/william-bridge-at-the-beach/ Throughout the month of June 2021, you can e…
 
After he began preaching, Thomas Brooks wrote a book to remind us of the devices of Satan--and the "precious remedies" God has given us to combat them. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols takes a look at the next Puritan book we should bring to the beach. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/t…
 
In his book All Things for Good, Thomas Watson calls us to love and trust in the Lord whose ways are above our ways. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols looks at the final parts of Watson's book and the important doctrines they uncover. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/watson-again/ Throug…
 
The Puritans were a people committed to the deep study of the Word of God. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols introduces us to All Things for Good, Thomas Watson's meditation and application of Romans 8:28. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/thomas-watson-at-the-beach/ Throughout the month …
 
Why read the Puritans--and why read them "again and again, as old friends"? On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols speaks with Dr. Sinclair Ferguson on the richness and nourishment he gleans from the old Puritan writers. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/puritans-at-the-beach-with-sinclair-fer…
 
Just three years before Anne Bradstreet's death, this weary Puritan penned verses describing a longing for eternity and escape from the cares of this world. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols reads from his wife's book on Bradstreet, America's first published poet. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhi…
 
Jerome of Prague, like the Reformers who would come a century later, believed that the teachings of the Bible should be directly studied and obeyed by every Christian. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols looks at this 15th-century martyr. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/jerome-of-prague/ …
 
Does Jesus have one will since He is one person? Or does He have two wills because He is truly God and truly man? On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols describes an ancient heresy that was a challenge to Christ's humanity. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/monothelitism/ A donor-supported out…
 
C.H. Spurgeon once said of a man, ";He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God." On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols looks at this man whose "blood is bibline." Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/bibline/ A donor-supported outreach of Ligonier Minist…
 
During World War II, C.S. Lewis addressed the student body at Oxford University to answer the question, "Should we learn in wartime?" On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols looks at how learning in the midst of crisis can be a way to remind us of the divine reality of heaven. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinc…
 
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, one non-conformist, exiled Puritan drew up an important Reformation text, instructing ministers to lead their congregation through the entire Word of God. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols explores the history of Thomas Cartwright and his Middleburg Liturgy. Read the transcript:…
 
Unlike the Great Awakening of the 18th century, the revivalist preaching of the so-called "Second Great Awakening" left many people disillusioned with Christianity. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols takes us to a region in New York that still bears scars from the 19th century. Read the transcript: https://www.5minu…
 
Nearly fifty years ago, R.C. Sproul penned The Symbol, expositing phrases from the Apostles' Creed to articulate truths about our holy God and His work in our lives. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols surveys the purpose, contents, and even humor embedded in Dr. Sproul's first published book. Read the transcript: ht…
 
Founder of a newspaper, a radio program, and several Christian organizations, Carl McIntire was incredibly influential in the 20th-century fundamentalist movement. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols tells the story of this colorful figure. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/the-christian-ad…
 
If we study the Bible without ever considering the collective wisdom of Christians who came before us, we are impoverishing ourselves of a wealth of insight. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols examines J. Gresham Machen's thoughts on reading Scripture in light of church history. Read the transcript: https://www.5min…
 
Although the seminary at Finkenwalde was shut down by the Nazis in 1937, Dietrich Bonhoeffer continued to work and write in order to help Christians understand the life and ministry of the church in this world. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols analyzes Bonhoeffer's classic book Life Together. Read the transcript: …
 
After the national church in Germany endorsed the Nazi party, Dietrich Bonhoeffer began an underground seminary to train ministers to defend the truth of God's Word. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols describes the challenges that this small school faced under Nazi suppression. Read the transcript: https://www.5minu…
 
As his body grew frail and the great city of Rome burned, Augustine laid his hope in "the city that has foundations" (Heb. 11:10). On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols examines Augustine's written masterpiece The City of God. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/augustine-kingdom-without-end/ A…
 
Augustine fervently defended the truth of God's grace against distortions. In fact, his whole life was a testimony to the triumph of grace. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols considers Augustine's famous controversy with Pelagius. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/augustine-the-triumph-of-…
 
As a bishop, Augustine counseled people from all walks of life, including the Roman general Boniface. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols considers how their correspondence gives us great insight into the way Augustine cared for souls. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/augustine-the-bishop-…
 
Augustine was installed as bishop of Hippo Regius when he was 41 years old, and he held this position until his dying day. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols offers a glimpse into what comprised Augustine's service and ministry. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/augustine-bishop/ A donor-s…
 
Augustine had published books before his conversion. But in AD 386, he began a whole new writing career. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols examines several of these early, influential works. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/augustine-teacher/ A donor-supported outreach of Ligonier Minist…
 
At first, Augustine had no real interest in Christianity. Then he heard the preaching of Ambrose. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols examines how the Lord brought about the conversion of this influential figure. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/augustine-a-garden-in-milan/ A donor-support…
 
Augustine the brilliant student went on to become Augustine the teacher, and his fame was on the rise. But something was missing. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols reveals what Augustine was searching for that ultimately led him to Rome. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/augustine-voyage-…
 
Where did the famous church father Augustine come from? On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols paints a picture of Augustine's early life in the North African village of Thagaste. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/augustine-africa/ A donor-supported outreach of Ligonier Ministries. Donate: htt…
 
The writings of Augustine overflow with God's grace and power in the lives of His people. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols begins to closely examine the life of Augustine of Hippo. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/augustine-why/ A donor-supported outreach of Ligonier Ministries. Donate:…
 
King James I was opposed to religious dissenters, fearing they would divide the Church of England. Consequently, the Puritans advocated for a total, 3,000-mile separation. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols describes the tumultuous journey of the Mayflower from England to the New World. Read the transcript: https://…
 
On Christmas Day AD 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as the Holy Roman Emperor. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols explains how this crucial moment directed the shape of Christian civilization for the next 700 years. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/christmas-800/ A donor-supported o…
 
A key witness of the First Great Awakening, Aaron Burr Sr. made a lasting impact on the American colonies in the 18th century. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols traces the life of this notable minister, author, educator, and Princeton University co-founder. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.c…
 
History is being made in Central America as the Lord builds up His church in the biblical doctrines of the historic Christian faith. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Pastor Sugel Michelén joins Dr. Stephen Nichols to discuss the encouraging future of the Spanish-speaking church. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistor…
 
How should we contend for the truth claims of Christianity? On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols continues his discussion of apologetic methods in the 20th century. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/20th-century-apologetics-presuppositions-and-evidence/ A donor-supported outreach of Ligonier…
 
At the start of the 20th century, the church began to face new challenges to Christianity. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols explains several of the methods Christians used to defend their faith in a changing world. Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/20th-century-apologetics-addressing-mod…
 
Though European colonies appeared throughout the New World in the 16th century, the Reformation did not take hold in Latin America for centuries. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Pastor Sugel Michelén joins Dr. Stephen Nichols again to consider how the Spanish Bible finally crossed the Atlantic. Read the transcript: https://www.5minu…
 
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