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





Europe’s Past Is Today’s Hope

6 10 2009

Europe continues to be a difficult place for the gospel to take fresh root, and to make real headway. Only today, I received a request for support for a missionary couple, as they endeavour to take the Word of truth into … Italy. Ha – just think… the Apostle Paul wrote his great letter of truth, concerning the world, and life, and the future, to … the church in Rome. We should read Paul’s Letter to the Romans often!

What a strange thing human history can seem to be. One of the most unusual days, and perhaps disappointing in terms of unwise use of power, was when Charlemagne, was crowned by the Pope, as leader of the ‘Holy Roman Empire’, on Christmas Day, 800 AD. In a short Church History lesson (2009), I wrote the following:

Charlemagne crowned by Leo III

On Christmas Day, 800 AD, in Rome, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as emperor. This signified a shift in power structure, for the church in Rome, in relation to the all of the Kings of Europe.  In theory, church and state were now in harmonious interplay. How did a Pope ever come to crown a world ruler? Can you have a Holy Roman Empire?

Fast forward. Another Gregory, Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085), instituted reforms, which ultimately led to the papacy emerging in the 12th and 13th centuries, as the most powerful office in Europe.

Fast Forward: By 1409, there was one Italian Pope, Urban, in Rome, another French one, Clement from Avignon,. But neither stood down, as of necessity, a third Pope, Alexander V, was elected. Three Popes. And one was preaching a crusade against another and selling indulgences to pay for it.

In World History, many Christian leaders, (if not all to some extent) have really failed in their specific calling to continue to announce the good news of the gospel to the world. Some have become too theologically clever, and too politically careful, or manipulative, to be able to really bear witness to Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world, through his death and resurrection. Nevertheless, Jesus ever remains Lord of all current affairs, of life itself, of death, and of creation, with its future in his hands! This is an amazing claim.

I was heartened, therefore to read this article in Christianity Today, concerning the current Pope, and his recent words. It is good to be a person, who, in spite of many obstacles, and when often being misunderstood, does not give up in one’s calling to proclaim the good news for the human race. check out this article:

Europe’s Past Is Today’s Hope | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction.

I hope you are not giving up, on your calling, or compromising it, wherever that may be!








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