I looked so hard for this book! It was nearly impossible to find, but I finally found it here, listed for sale all the way at the bottom of the page. It is soooo good, particularly for children and visual learners like myself. (And, yes, my Sunday School class did enjoy it!)
(Note 2/2014: This book now seems to be unavailable for purchase brand new, and can only be found on used book sites. If you are able to find an inexpensive copy online, you have found a treasure!)
2000 Years of Christianity is an artistic history of the Catholic Church, the engaging text written by the late Dr. Warren Carroll (Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord…) accompanying the fold-out pages of artwork by Gloria Thomas, from a series of paintings she made to celebrate the turn of the millennium. This is the kind of book that gives me goose bumps: The pageantry! The glory! The goodness of God! Two millennia is a long time, but the words and pictures bring each century to life and make it seem real, connecting it with the life of the Church today. You will be changed, I think, as I was by this book: you will see God’s hand at work in the world in a deeper way, and come to an even stronger faith that He is with you today as you do His work in your life.
My favorite story in this book is from the Sixth Century. Having been Christian for about 200 years, what was left of the Roman Empire was ruled from Constantinople (in modern-day Turkey) by the Emperor Justinian. His wife Theodora, who belonged to a sect that did not believe that Christ had a human nature, wanted to take over the Church by replacing the Pope with a man that believed as she did. Theodora had the money and power to do such a thing–and she easily found a scheming man named Vigilius who would take her 700 pounds of gold and accept his election to the papacy once the threat of the imperial army had forced the hands of the papal electors. But Christ had promised that the gates of Hell will not prevail against his Church; and the now-Pope Vigilius experienced a complete change of heart. Refusing to change the Church’s teachings no matter what the Empress thought, he stood fast to the truth for the rest of his life. What a miracle!
Read this book. Fall in love all over again with God and His Church.