Turning Points—in Church History

24 05 2012

Study Material. — is being prepared, and is available, for the average Joe or Josephine, to take a quick overview (by concentrating upon some of the Major Turning Points) of 2000 years of Christian activity:

TURNING POINTS:

UNDER CHRIST’S PRESENT REIGN

The book Turning Points, by historian Mark Noll has been the primary book from which the studies have been prepared. Indeed, Mark has chosen the following as Turning Points worth focussing upon:

The Fall of Jerusalem

70 AD

The Church Pushed out on its own

1

The Council of Nicaea

325

Realities of Empire

2

The Council of Chalcedon

451

Doctrine, Politics, and Life in the Word

3

Benedict’s Rule

530

The Monastic Rescue of the Church

4

The Coronation of Charlemagne

800

The Culmination of Christendom

5

The Great Schism of East and West

1054

Division Between East and West

6

The Diet of Worms

1521

The Reformation: Protestantism

7

The English Reformation

1534

A New Europe

8

The Founding of the Jesuits

1540

Catholic reform & global Outreach

9

The Conversion of the Wesley’s

1738

The New Piety

10

The French Revolution

1789

Discontents of the Modern West

11

The Edinburgh Missionary Conference

1910

A Faith For All the World

12

Further Turning Points of the 20th Century

to 2000

Pentecostalism/Communism etc.

 

 


[1] Mark A. Noll, Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, Baker Books/IVP, 1997.  

Book Reviews

Advertisements




基督死了。 基督上升。 基督再将来。

2 05 2009

基督死了。 基督上升。 基督再将来。

그리스도는 죽었다. 그리스도는 일어난다. 그리스도는 다시 올 것이다.

Christ Died. Christ is Risen. Christ Will Come Again.

Le Christ est mort. Le Christ est levé. Le Christ viendra encore.

O Χριστός πέθανε. Ο Χριστός αναστήθηκε. Ο Χριστός θα έρθει πάλι.

Christ è morto. Christ è aumentato. Christ verrà ancora.

Cristo murió. Se levanta Cristo. Cristo vendrá otra vez.

Christus stierf. Christus is toegenomen. Christus zal opnieuw komen.

Christ starb. Christ wird gestiegen. Christ kommt wieder.

キリストは死んだ。 キリストは上がる。 キリストは再度来る。
Христос умерло. Христос поднято. Христос будет приходить снова.
Christ morreu. Christ é levantado. Christ virá outra vez.
Well, no matter how you say it, the wonderful exclamation of life, hope, faith and the love which lies at the heart of creation, is such stunning, all encompassing truth, that the simple words – at the heart of the gospel sound out across the nations. 
Of course, Christ, or the Messiah is none other than Jesus of Nazareth. More than a prophet. More than a political King. More than a servant. He is the Man, in whom God himself has come among us, and now shares in the life of humanity, eternally. All this, in order that we may gain our bearings, through him, as our sin is forgiven, our lives reconciled to God, and our place in the eternal family secured.
Praise to the Lord.




Karl Barth – God in the History of His Deeds, on mp3

29 04 2009

Karl Barth: Great Theologian:

“evangelical theology is concerned with Immanuel, ‘God with us’… a happy science!”

The much-loved, much-studied, and much-criticised theologian, Karl Barth is not with us, bodily, for he is now, with the Risen Lord Jesus.

Karl has departed from his participation in this world—where sin and death are present. But, if you are interested, you can still … ha! read his books (this post was originally about an MP3 lecture in English. But it is no longer at that URL.  I am sorry to say, I can’t direct you to listen to him.  Oh well. If anyone knows where it went, please let me know!)

I—did—love the accent … as he spoke in English!

So instead of listening to a quote, why not read a little of his writing…

“The truth of the knowledge that Christ in his revelation has the power of the Creator, depends upon it being the acknowledgment of a fact and  not an arbitrary combination. Where this power is experienced, there is literally nothing to combine, creation and revelation are not two truths to be held side by side, compared with each other and put into touch with each other, but the one reality of Jesus Christ, as the Revealer with the power of the Creator.  And in that case this power of the Creator cannot be thought of as one specially related and limited to revelation. Augustine, therefore is right when he lets even the angels, and Luther therefore, is right when he lets even the broody hen, be created  by the Word. ” (p. 511-512, CD, Volume 1. Part 1)





Reality not Idols

25 03 2009

Yes, there is such a thing as reality. It is knowing Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, ascended as the LORD OF ALL CREATION, and reigning over your life this moment.  That is it! 

We play too many games with our images of what we think life should be. This is paying homage to an ‘image.

Another word for an image, is an ‘idol’.

It does not have to be made of wood or stone. It can just be an idea in our head about how we think life should unfold, turn out.

Having met the risen Jesus, one of the friends he had, said, ‘Little children, keep yourself from idols’

The reality of Jesus christ, faithful friend, holy Lord, will not let you down, but will stretch you to live truthfully. This is constant, and difficult, and interfering with of our willful autonomy – but it is graciously good and wholly redeeming. Believe me.

So then, let us look to the Living Christ. He is the great reality,. He is life. Idols cannot act. They are silly superstition. So many people have them. Not just primitives either. It can be the intellectual sensible folks, who are most idolatrous.  

Read Isaiah 45.

 20 ¶ Assemble yourselves and come together, draw near, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge–those who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save.

 21 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is no one besides me.

 22 Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

 23 By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: “To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”

 24 Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; all who were incensed against him shall come to him and be ashamed.

 25 In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory.

 46:1 ¶ Bel bows down, Nebo stoops, their idols are on beasts and cattle; these things you carry are loaded as burdens on weary animals.

 2 They stoop, they bow down together; they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity.

 3 Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb;

 4 even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.

 5 ¶ To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, as though we were alike?

 6 Those who lavish gold from the purse, and weigh out silver in the scales–they hire a goldsmith, who makes it into a god; then they fall down and worship!

 7 They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it, they set it in its place, and it stands there; it cannot move from its place. If one cries out to it, it does not answer or save anyone from trouble.

 8 Remember this and consider, recall it to mind, you transgressors,

 9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me,

 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My purpose shall stand, and I will fulfill my intention,”

 11 calling a bird of prey from the east, the man for my purpose from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have planned, and I will do it.

 12 Listen to me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from deliverance:

 13 I bring near my deliverance, it is not far off, and my salvation will not tarry; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory.

….

Now folks. let me ask you are you trusting in an idol?

Let your heart and mind answer. Is your hop in an image, or in the Living God?

remember…. an idol, is an image….

so many people have an image of life, and how they think it should go….

so are you an idol worshipper…. or do your know the risen Christ Jesus, and his Father.

He said of Jesus, who is the only one never to have idols…. ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased’. … Here is the cracking breakthrough…. That is his Word to you, as you are baptised into Jesus. Wow!  Go, pleased with me? Wow!





And the Rock was Christ

17 05 2007

One of the most important things ever said, was: “And the rock was Christ”.

These words appear in a letter sent to people, living in the port of Corinth. It was sent by the Apostle Paul to the early Christian church; this group of believers, had been founded by the Risen Jesus Christ, through the ministry of the Apostle Paul, around about 51-53 AD. Paul spent 18 months there, while he lived with, and worked as a tentmaker, alongside 2 Jews, Priscilla and Aquila (see Acts 18:1-18).

“And the rock was Christ”: The words are most important, because of what they means now, and what they refer back to. They hark back to the rock, which, strangely supplied Israel, God’s people, with water, during their years in the wilderness (about 1250 BC; or 1400 BC according to traditional scholars).

This is part of Paul’s letter:

I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness. (1Corinthians 10:1-5).

What is this? They drank from the supernatural Rock, which followed them? How does a rock follow a group of people? (Exegetes must deal with the text).

One passage worth reading to get the background is Numbers 20:2-13

Now there was no water for the congregation; and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people contended with Moses, and said, “Would that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! Why have you brought the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle? And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink.” Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tent of meeting, and fell on their faces. And the glory of the LORD appeared to them, and the LORD said to Moses, “Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water; so you shall bring water out of the rock for them; so you shall give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel contended with the LORD, and he showed himself holy among them.

“And the rock was Christ”? Numerous other references can be found in the Old Testament, which show that traditionally, God was referred to as The Rock.

  • “The Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he (Deuteronomy 32:4).
  • “But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked; you waxed fat, you grew thick, you became sleek; then he forsook God who made him, and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation (Deuteronomy 32:15)
  • He said, “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence (2Samuel 22:2-3).
  • “For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? (2Samuel 22:32).
  • “The LORD lives; and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation (2Samuel 22:47),…

Putting it together:

“And the rock was Christ”? Paul is equating this rock, with Jesus, the Christ. He is not saying that a man was with them, back there.  But he is saying, that this One, this Christ, was present throughout the Old Testament.

Now we know that Jesus of Nazareth, was born of Mary, as a baby. And that he was a true human being. He was NOT God stuffed into a skin, like air into a paper bag. He was truly a human being. No one really thought any differently of him. We also know that he was the Christ (or Messiah). This was the mystery of his personhood, revealed to Peter, by the God and Father of Jesus Christ – our Father in heaven (see Matthew 16:16-17).  This revelation has flowed out into the world.

The once very angry Saul, was met by the Risen Jesus Christ while Paul travelled the road to Damascus. This was a stunning confrontation. Saul had thought that Jesus, the man from Nazareth, was just plain dead. He had also thought that the early Christians were blasphemous. He was out to arrest them. But, he himself, was … arrested by Christ. He was faced with the facts. Jesus, the Nazarene, was the Messiah, (which means “the Christ”).

Saul’s life was radically altered.
 His somewhat pessimistic outlook was replaced by a strange new hope.
 His name was soon changed to be Paul.
 His character was changed too. He had seen what life was all about.
 He was no longer on the road to destroy Christians.
 He was on the road, to take part in a world-changing matter:

The resurrection of Jesus as Victor over death, in this world (not just the next!)

Paul’s new task, and new joy, was to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things. Creation had a future. The mystery of creation was that it had a servant nation – Israel. And a rock had been with them all their days. And the rock was Christ.

Commenting, on this passage, Geoffrey Bingham says:

“I found it remarkable that not one commentator has even questioned Paul’s statement, nor found it extraordinary”.

He goes on to explain what Paul does here:

‘Paul takes the word ‘Christ’ and projects it back to the time when Israel was in the desert. We may say that Paul was using the term ‘Christ’ to show that in his being as Word and Son he was present in Israel.’ (G. C. Bingham, Christ and the Triune Glory NCPI, p. 43).

Do you know the plan of the mystery? It was hidden for ages. It has now been revealed, and is being revealed. The wisdom of God in its rich variety, is now being made known to the world, through the church!

Jesus was the one who ‘came down from heaven’ (John 6:38; 58). Prior to his coming he was not a fleshy man, but a person nevertheless. Indeed he was the Divine Person, the Eternal Word, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Living Christ, the Son of God.

“The Christ”, had been with God, at Creation. He had been with Israel in their journey. Israel knew that Moses struck a rock for water to flow for the people. (‘And the rock was Christ’). At this point in history, Christ helped Moses. He was the spiritual food. He was the supply of Living Water, in the wilderness. He was the Word, speaking to their hearts. He appeared and spoke to the hearts of the first believers, who knew: And ‘the Word became flesh’ and lived among us. And we have seen his glory. His resurrection from death is grand; his suffering on the cross was essential, that our sis be forgiven, and that we be reconciled to God, our Father.

Rock Solid – that is what God’s gift to us, is, in Jesus Christ. He is moveable, in that he goes with us, always. He is secure and stable for the human race, in that his Cross is founded deeply within the purpose of creation, securing eternal life, and gushing forth rivers of living water – to drink, as human beings.

“And the rock was Christ”. Remarkable words. Remarkable truth. Remarkable future.








%d bloggers like this: