#BookReview: Turning Points In American Church History by Elesha J. Coffman

Well Documented Examination Of Oft-Ignored Periods Of History As They Relate To The American Church. Coffman makes it clear in the introduction of this book that she is setting out to examine 12 events/ periods of history that had what she believes is the greatest impact on the American Church over the course of its history – from the earliest days of Christianity in the land now called the “United States of America” through today. While some are rather obvious and typical, others – including her in-depth analysis of the Pentacostal style of worship – are less so. The writing style is nearly conversational academic – still clearly academic in nature, but not such that you have to be an academic (and particularly an academic in her given field) to understand, and Coffman covers pretty well the entire history and most all angles of the given moment for the chapter at hand. Other interesting writing choices are including a period worship song and a period prayer to highlight her overall points about the period in question. Overall an interesting look at a lot of history that even this amateur historian wasn’t completely aware of, the book still invites the reader to decide for themselves if Coffman really got the 12 most pivotal events, or why the reader believes other events should have been discussed instead, making it fairly rare in its overall tone and “aftertaste”. Truly an interesting book for anyone remotely interested in its subject or combination of subjects. Very much recommended.

This review of Turning Points In American Church History by Elesha J. Coffman was originally written on February 7, 2024.