Philip Jenkins new book The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia is the sort of historical tour de force that we have come to expect from him. The sub-title tells you what the book is about and I don’t really need to explain much more. Jenkins demonstrates very clearly that Christianity spread through Asia and North Africa far further and for much longer than I had ever grasped. Christians were well known in the Chinese court and the Mongol rulers expressly chose Christians as their advisors. To be honest, if you have read LaTourette’s history of Christian Mission, this book won’t hold many surprises for you. However, if you have only read the standard Church histories, which concentrate on the growth of the Church in the West then this book will be a real eye-opener for you. On balance, I reckon that this isn’t something I would recommend to everyone, but if you fancy yourself as a bit of a church historian, then you really can’t afford to miss out on it.