Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Latourette (1953): Dividing the History of Christianity into Eight Meaningful Periods

To better understanding the Bible and theology, history and culture, ourselves and our world, we may divide history into different periods of time. For centuries Christians, for example, divided history into two primary periods of time: Before Christ (BC) and Anno Domini (AD).

Kenneth Scott Latourette (1884-1968) taught at the Yale University Divinity School from 1921 to 1953. In his two-volume work, A History of Christianity (Peabody, Massachusetts: Prince Press, 1999; originally published by Harper & Brothers, 1953), he divided the years AD into eight distinct periods. Looking at the broad titles he gives these periods, and the years he includes in each, will help us to improve our own understanding of this shared history.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

An Edifying Confession of Sin

As human beings, we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

We may say the same of each church and denominational group of churches: they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

One abiding strength of churches in the Anglican tradition has been, since 1549, their Book of Common Prayer.

One strength of the Book of Common Prayer in use by the Episcopal Church since 1979 is its “Confession of Sin” (p. 360). As Christians, any of us may easily find edifying a daily repetition of this prayer, whether alone or with other members of our family or congregation.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Church Chronology: Years of Growth Despite Persecution (64-313)

64-66 Nero initiates first persecution by the Roman state of Christians, in the city of Rome.
81-96 Domitian, emperor, initiates the second persecution of Christians, also in the city of Rome.
90 Letter of Clement
100 Didache (Teaching of the Twelve): first Christian document outside New Testament to discuss structure of Christian communities.
100s. New form of Christian writing: the apology, a defense of Christian theology and practice against Olympian attacks.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Early Church Chronology

Following the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, in AD 33 (James Ussher), came Pentecost and the beginning of the first Christian church. During the next 40 years, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Christians and churches proclaiming it, spread from Jerusalem to Rome.
As Christians and churches spread, they had to wrestle with this problem: did Olympians (Gentiles) first need to become Jews in order to become Christians? Or, as assemblies, were churches decisively different from synagogues?
Hans Kung, in The Catholic Church: A Short History (New York: Modern Library, 2001; translated by John Bowden), published a chronology of these early years (page xi) with some indications of why Judaism and Christianity eventually separated:

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Islam: Chronology

Source: Esposito, John L (editor). The Oxford History of Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 691-696).

ca 570
Muhammad is born.

Muhammad is called.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Christianity: Chronology

Source: Chadwick, Owen. A History of Christianity (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995, pp. 286-293).

4 BC
Birth of Jesus.

AD 33
Death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.
Pentecost: beginning of the Church.