Introduction to Church History. CHURCH HISTORY I. ANCIENT TO MEDIEVAL: 30-1500 AD. Lecture with some discussion. ASK ANYTHING!. Class Structure?. “Opinions divorced from knowledge are ugly things” Socrates. What is History?.
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CHURCH HISTORY I • ANCIENT TO MEDIEVAL: 30-1500 AD
Lecture with some discussion ASK ANYTHING! Class Structure? “Opinions divorced from knowledge are ugly things” Socrates
What is History? “A systematic written account comprising a chronological record of events and usually including a philosophical explanation of the cause and origin of such events” -Webster’s 3rd edition
How do we study history? • Ordinary • Follows all accepted critical historical rules • Only speaks of horizontal relations “Writing christian history is like talking about a football game in which half the players are invisible. You know God is acting but what you can write about is the human side of the story.” George A. Marsden, Ph. D
Providentialist • Those who see that Jesus Christ is the center of the universe and that the world is going somewhere Human experience is so complex that modern theories cannot adequately explain them. • Can economic theories explain a martyr? • Can socio-economic theories explain the Great • Awakening? John Woodbridge
“It is not enough to have our eyes open and to note well and mark what God does during our lives, but we must profit from ancient histories. In fact, this is why our Lord has wanted us to have some notable judgments left in writing, so that the memory of them would remain forever. And we should not only profit from what is contained in Holy Scripture, but when we hear what is spoken by the histories written by the pagans, we should also have the prudence to apply to ourselves what God has done” John Calvin
Caesar Baronius 1538-1607 Matthias Flacius Illyricus 1520-1575 Magdeburg Centuries EcclesiasticalAnnals
How about Church History? “A study of the rise and progress of the kingdom of heaven upon the earth, for the glory of God and the salvation of the world.” Phillip Schaff
“Church history is the Holy Spirit’s instrument for conveying God’s works, performed in and through His people in the past, to His people in the present” Edward A Panosian
Sources of Church History I. BIBLE Who is the historian of the Bible? 1:1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
1:1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. What is the Bible useful for? 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God  may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Purpose of the stories? 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, To build up the faith!
II. OTHER SOURCES Primary Secondary III. TYPES OF SOURCES A. Written Usually the best • Documents • Acts of Synods or councils • Confessions of faith • Liturgies • Church law (canon law) • Correspondence • Hagiography
B. Unwritten • Art • Monuments • Inscriptions • Greetings
Why Should We Study Church History? • Church History teaches us our heritage. 2. Church History is a corrective. Doctrinal Practical
3. Church History warns us about too close dependence upon and association with civil organizations BALANCE****BALANCE****BALANCE! “Is this vile world a friend of grace to help us on to God?” 4. Church History teaches us about “believing with integrity”
37 Who has spoken and it came to pass,unless the Lord has commanded it?38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most Highthat good and bad come? Lamentations 3:37-38