Christ is “the way, and the truth, and the life”, but fallen mankind, although made in Christ’s image, is not so pure. Human history—including Church history—is a tapestry woven of three threads: the good, the bad, and the beautiful. This book tells the story of Christendom over two millennia, focusing on what was good, bad, and beautiful in each century.
These three threads run through the heart of every person, revealing the pattern of our individual lives. These very same threads bind together the collective lives of men and make up the fabric of culture and civilization.
No one saw this three-dimensional form more clearly than Benedict XVI. For him, the goodness of the saints and the beauty of art are the only antidote to the dark thread of evil that runs through history. Inspired by this insight, Joseph Pearce presents the past twenty centuries to show how goodness and beauty—stemming from God himself—work to conquer the bad.
"Intricately woven together, superbly informative, and fascinating to read, Joseph Pearce’s book provides a fresh look at the history of the Catholic Church. Unique and Ratzingerian!"
—Dale Ahlquist, President, Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton
“Joseph Pearce's book is history with a tremendous purpose—to remind us that we are called to battle for the good and the beautiful, and that our ‘active service ends when we cross the threshold from time to eternity.’ A unique and concise history of two millennia that is sure to inspire.”
—H. W. Crocker III, Author, Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church
“We look, we look, but with such difficulty do we see the meaning of our lives, because we are lost in the complexity of immediate experience. In order to see and to understand, we need context and perspective, and this is what Joseph Pearce provides, as he traces the hand of divine providence in history and offers us the interpretive key of the good, the bad, and the beautiful.”
—Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop Emeritus of Toronto, Canada
“Today’s historians imagine history as an account through time of persons, nations, races, classes, and religions jockeying for advantage on a vast playing field—the Catholic Church a mere one of many competing political interests. Joseph Pearce provides the corrective: a history that locates the Incarnation and the Church in time, and moves through time into eternity. There are other readings of history, but this is the only correct one.”
—Christopher Check, President, Catholic Answers
“A wonderful account of Christian history from a very unique and compelling lens. Pearce doesn’t gloss over the dark side of Christianity. And yet, this mysterious threefold garland of the good, the bad, and the beautiful withstands the test of time and continues to endure in spite of its own disease, which can only be healed by a divine and human savior: Christ, who leads us into the light and wonder of a new world redeemed in grace.”
—Bishop James Conley, Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska