The biggest impression that hits me is the same one that happens every time I read about church history -- one has to be fairly "liberal minded" in one way relative to Christianity to NOT be a Catholic. The story of the Christian church for most of it's history is very much the story of the Catholic Church.
The biggest thing I learned about was "The Great Schism" in 1000 to 1100, where the Orthodox and Roman church split. The disaster of the 4th crusade of 1202 sacking Constantinople was also a revelation to me.
The "turning points" picked were the following:
- The Fall of Jerusalem (70) -- the church pushed out of it's cradle.
- The Council of Nicea (325) -- The origin of the creed most Christians agree with.
- The Council of Chalcedon (451) -- Politics and the Church
- Foundation of the Benedictines (530) -- The importance of monks to the church
- The Coronation of Charlemagne (800) -- Church and State rule Europe
- The Great Schism (1054) -- East and West divide.
- The Diet of Worms (1521) -- Martin Luther and the Reformation
- The English Church Splits (1534) -- The state splits from Rome
- The Founding of the Jesuits (1540) -- The great Catholic missionary movement
- The Conversion of the Wesleys (1738) -- Religion as personal piety
- The French Revolution (1789) -- Secularism turns on religion
- Edinburgh Missionary Conference (1910) -- Roots of ecumenicalism
- Further turning points in the 20th century