Brian Cosby's God's Story: A Student's Guide to Church History is an excellent introduction to the good, bad and ugly of Christian history.
In the first chapter, Cosby make an important distinction between the visible and invisible church. The "visible church" often means that much of what happened in church history was the result of unregenerate people having authority and influence in their historical context. But, Cosby reminds the reader that God has always preserved a remnant of faithful followers (invisible church) to Himself.
The following chapters contains basic historical information on each of the major time periods of Christian history. This book is designed to be an overview for students, so there are not a lot of details, but the author still covers all of the major people and ideas that have shaped the Church over time. Cosby consistently presents the information with a theologically reformed worldview and clearly shows how different leaders and ideas have helped or hurt that orthodox view.
Even though the book is targeted toward students, I think it would also be an excellent resource for every Church member, Sunday School teacher, homeschool family...basically anyone who would benefit from understanding how the past has shaped the present state of Christianity. This book is short, fun, to the point, and would be a great springboard for deeper study on a particular person or time period.
For a quick, fun promo of this book, check out the Book Trailer on youtube.com
*Special thanks to Cross Focused Reviews for sharing this book in exchange for my honest opinion.