This is a sweeping and brilliant history of the early Christian Church. While Freeman has done no real original research, he has a comprehensive command of the recent scholarly literature in English and synthesizes the results in a way that is comprehensible to the layman without seeming to dumb it down. He has a knack for explaining complex fourth century controversies concerning the scriptural validity of the doctrine of the Trinity or the dual nature of Christ in a way that it keeps them interesting and at the same time shows why they seemed of such vital importance. The central thesis that the tradition of intellectual inquiry cultivated by the Greeks was largely suppressed by the emerging Christian Church is convincingly argued. This is about as good as sophisticated history written for the lay audience can be. Highly recommended
Describes the first alliance of church and state in the fourth century, marked by the Roman emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity, and how this decision irrevocably compromised the Roman Empire's intellectual tradition of rationalism.