Why does it matter if Christians know the history of their faith? Well, imagine trying to sustain a marriage with total amnesia, never fully aware of all the past experiences that you and your spouse have shared. Sure, it’s possible sustain such a relationship—and many people whose husbands or wives suffer from dementia valiantly do […][Read More...]
Church History: What Are Some of the Best Books about Church History?
Video courtesy of Christianity.com So now that you’ve spent thirty days looking at the history of Christianity, what’s next? What books or videos can provide you with deeper understanding of how God has worked throughout the past two thousand years? Well, not surprisingly, I’m a bit partial to a certain book and video series known […][Read More...]
Church History: How and When Will God Bring History to an End?
Video courtesy of Christianity.com For more on how Christians have thought about the end of time throughout history, take a look at this book and video series: Rose Guide to End Times Prophecies and Four Views of the End Times. 30 Days through Church History: Day 29[Read More...]
Church History: Why Is Christianity Currently Headed South?
30 Days through Church History: Day 28[Read More...]
Church History: How Did a Christian Politician Help to End the British Slave Trade?
To learn more about William Wilberforce and the end of the British slave trade, read this introduction from Eric Metaxas or this summary from C. Ben Mitchell. 30 Days through Church History: Day 24[Read More...]
Church History: How Christians Settled an Argument About Election
:: Defenestration and Divine Election in Seventeeth-Century Europe :: By the opening years of the seventeenth century, the Reformation had turned European Christianity into a conglomeration of conflicting sects. The Roman Catholic Council of Trent drew a firm line between Catholics and Protestants by declaring that Roman Catholic tradition represents the final authority when it […][Read More...]
Church History: How the Anabaptists Challenged the Place of the State in Matters of Faith
The first wave of Reformers never quite escaped the idea that the church and the government ought somehow to be linked with one another. This arrangement had been around ever since the fourth century A.D., and it wasn’t easy—even for Scripture-saturated, gospel-loving preachers like Luther and Calvin—to see any other way to sustain society. In […][Read More...]
Church History: The Centrality of Preaching in the Ministry of John Calvin
Martin Luther wasn’t the only lawyer who became a leader in the Reformation. In 1534 another lawyer traveled along another rutted road. His life had been shaken in much the same way that Luther’s had been—though not by a storm that drove him to call out to a saint. This lawyer was a Renaissance humanist […][Read More...]
Church History: How a Tract About a King’s Marriage Cost William Tyndale His Life
Video courtesy of Rose Publishing While Martin and Katie Luther were turning Wittenberg into a launching-point for the reformation in Germany, King Henry VIII was launching a very different reformation in England. To learn more about Henry VIII, William Tyndale, and the English Reformation, watch this video; then, listen to this fascinating lecture from my […][Read More...]
Church History: Was Martin Luther Crazy?
For me, this video, entitled “The Insanity of Luther,” from R.C. Sproul is far more than a history lecture. I first watched this lecture in an earlier iteration, on VHS tape at a church in rural Kansas in the summer of 1992. A few months after that, a seven-year theological tribulation began in my life […][Read More...]
Church History: Martin Luther Meets Manic Monday
30 Days through Church History: Day 16 Bonus[Read More...]
Church History: Reformation Day Meets Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Skip the opening minute of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” and enjoy a Martin-Luther-meets-Mary-Poppins-mashup of the history of the Reformation. 30 Days through Church History: Day 16 Bonus[Read More...]
Church History: How Did the Fall of a City and the Invention of a Printing Press Open the Door for Reformation?
Enormous tragedies struck Europe and Asia Minor throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. At one point, three different Roman Catholic bishops each claimed to be the legitimate pope. The Black Death claimed millions of lives. Muslim soldiers conquered Constantinople, the last remaining fragment of the ancient Eastern Empire. In the midst of these tragedies, God […][Read More...]
Church History: Why You Might Want to Avoid the Fourteenth Century in Your Time Travels
Video courtesy of Rose Publishing Someone, somewhere, reading this post could be an inventor—perhaps even someone who could someday invent a time machine. If so, I’d like to offer a simple suggestion. Don’t aim your machine in the direction of fourteenth-century Europe. A move in the direction of the fourteenth or early fifteenth centuries might […][Read More...]
Church History: What Did Francis of Assisi Mean When He Said, “If Necessary Use Words”?
You’ve probably heard the quotation at least a few times, most likely in a sermon encouraging people to live their faith in the world. “‘Preach the gospel at all times,’ Francis of Assisi said. ‘If necessary, use words.’” It’s a heartwarming sentiment with two flaws. First off, St. Francis never said it; second, even if […][Read More...]
Church History: The Fall of the Roman Empire and the Church Planter Whose Planting Didn’t Go According to Plan
Video courtesy of Rose Publishing By the end of the fifth century, the western half of the Roman Empire was crumbling into a conglomeration of barbarian kingdoms. The city of Rome remained central for churches in communion with the Roman church, but Rome wasn’t nearly so central for the new barbarian rulers rising in the […][Read More...]
Church History: What Did the Real St. Patrick Do?
Video courtesy of Rose Publishing The real St. Patrick wasn’t Irish, he never sent a snake to England, and no one has ever even officially declared him a saint. So why do people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Mostly because they like to party and to pinch people who forgot to wear green, I guess. But […][Read More...]
Church History: Who Was Augustine and Why Does He Matter?
As a young man in North Africa, Augustine traded the Christian faith of his mother Monica for the pursuit of personal pleasure and prestige. Despite her son’s descent into deeper rejection of God, Monica never stopped praying for him. And the more Augustine chased after the things he thought would make him happy, the more God […][Read More...]
Church History: How Did Church Councils Clarify What Christians Believed About Jesus?
Video courtesy of Christianity.com It’s one thing to live as a Christian in a world where your faith is persecuted and oppressed. Life may be hard but the boundaries between belief and unbelief are fairly clear. It’s quite another to remain faithful when the name “Christian” is not persecuted but praised and even endowed with […][Read More...]
Church History: What Was the Real St. Nicholas Known For?
Today, St. Nicholas is mostly known as a paunchy old geezer who spends one night each year breaking into people’s houses and stealing cookies before escaping to an Arctic hideaway where enslaved elves do his work for him. Kind of creepy when you think about it. The good news is that none of this was […][Read More...]