Welcome to Communio Sanctorum 91


Communion Sanctorum – The History of the Christian Church is a short-format podcast on the history of the Christian church from the 1st Century to the present. They release weekly.

It began out of my desire to find a Church History podcast similar to Mike Duncan’s excellent The History of Rome, that is, short episodes that can be easily absorbed while doing chores, working out, going for a run, or listening to on the way to and from work. My search online revealed a few church history courses that were an hour or more in length and had a classroom-feel. A few were engaging while others quickly became tedious. Since necessity is the mother of invention, I decided to go ahead and give podcasting a try.

Subscribers are encouraged to “like” the CS Facebook page and keep an eye there for announcements.

Lance


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91 thoughts on “Welcome to Communio Sanctorum

  • Tyler

    Probably a little late now, but what would be cool is to add just a very slight background music, something like roman style or to match the time period of what you are teaching on. Just faintly in the background, it would add to the atmosphere a bit. Even something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoXj4BEuODA . Just playing softly in the background as you talk.

  • Melody

    I just wanted to thank you for teaching these lessons on church history. I find myself pondering different points, long after I’ve listened to a podcast. It was suggested by a young friend of mine. He is 21, and a committed Christian. I was very blessed to know there are still young men out there that can get excited about what can be a very dry subject. Once I started listening, I couldn’t wait for the next opportunity to listen in. I even listened to the eleven episodes I had remaining all in one weekend! I was traveling a lot, and it was the perfect thing to have playing as I drove hundreds of miles.
    I am very much looking forward to your return, and pray that you are being blessed today!

  • Steve LaForge

    I Love your church history podcasts. I think it is so important for all believers
    To know the rights and wrongs in this area, it should empower us to live a better life for the Lord. In addition
    It should make all of us realize, that we as believers, should be standing on Christ and him only.
    Doing so, will empower us to love.

    Ps, I look forward to every new release.

    Blessings from western Canada.

    • Lance

      Thanks Steve.
      My schedule lately has been rather hectic as we have some new things popping here at the church. I really enjoy studying for the podcast, so will try to come out with a new episode each week – but sometimes . . .

  • Greg Webb

    Lance, I just recently found your podcast on the History of the Christian Church and am enjoying it immensely! Please keep up the good work.

  • Jay Lam

    As a fellow lover of history, I’m grateful for you and for this podcast out there. It has been very illuminating and encouraged me to read up more about the history of our faith. If there’s anything I’ve taken away so far from listening, it’s that there’s nothing new when it comes the debates, heresies, etc. – something important for us to learn. Keep it up! God bless.

  • susie pressley

    Lance, Thanks so very much for the incredible amount of work you’ve put into these podcasts. I appreciate so much your generous and respectful attitude toward all Christian faith traditions. I’ve listened to every podcast and eagerly await more. God bless you and your family this Christmas season.

  • Michael

    Great job on the podcast Lance! I appreciate all of the work you put in. I actually found your podcast after listening to the History of Rome podcast. I loved the format of the podcast, but when I got to the first century Rome, I found myself wondering, “What was going on with the church at this time?” I hoped that maybe someone else had made a Church History podcast, and then I discovered Communio Santorum! I’m learning some interesting things that I didn’t know before. I am hoping to share this with some of my non-christian friends who could benefit from it.

  • Russ

    Lance,
    I recently saw a striking documentary on Luther that got me thinking about my lack of knowledge on church history. I came across your podcast in iTunes and decided to give it a try. I am 27 episodes in and greatly enjoy it. I listen on my commute and spare time, but I try not to listen to more than a few in a row, so that I can digest and consider them. Your comments on the end of the Western Empire in light of Gibbon’s book were particularly interesting and the description of the society/culture of the time was disquietingly familiar. I particularly appreciate your realistic approach tempered by Scripture when talking about some giants of the faith who had the same failings of us all. I know that a great deal of work goes into the podcasts, but I thank you for the effort. I am getting a great deal out of it and hope to catch up soon.
    Russ

  • Debbie

    Lance,
    Thank you! Thank you for taking the time to put these together. I’ve had so many questions about the span of time between the early church and now. This podcast has been wonderful and has answered a lot of them. I’ve looked forward to every lesson and can’t wait for more. 🙂 it’s so nice to listen while I’m getting ready in the morning or making dinner and has made for some great conversation. I appreciate that you are just presenting history as it was and not trying to be favorable to one group or another.

    Thank you again for putting this incredible resource together.

    God’s best to you!

    Debbie

    • Lance Post author

      Debbie,
      What a delight to hear that the podcast is doign EXACTLY what I hoped it would. Thanks for the kind words.
      Lance

  • Sam

    Lance,
    I started listening a few weeks ago and have truly enjoyed learning about the early church. It is the perfect format and depth to help me understand the transformations and transitions of the early Christian church. I really appreciate your dedication and commitment of time that you give to this podcast. As I tell my kids, if you don’t know history you are destined to repeat it. My prayers go out to you and your family and congregation. May God bless all that you do.
    Sam from Texas

  • Martin Holland

    Hi Lance, really enjoying your podcast, I am up to about the 30th episode and looking forward to sticking with it. I am part of a Welsh Presbyterian church that has a wonderful history but, as is most of the denomination, has been declining or years. It seems to me that to face our future with faith we must trust God and also understand our history. Thank you for the great work you do, please keep it going!

  • Anne

    I just wanted to let you know that I just discovered you a few weeks ago on iTunes and I’m loving this podcast. I listen to it with my 8-year-old son. He requests it whenever we get in the car. As a lover of history and avid reader of “Christian History & Biography” magazine, this has been a delight. We’ve only listened to the latest 10 or so episodes, so now I need to go download from the beginning so my boy doesn’t have his history in reverse order in his head.

    • Lance Post author

      Dear Anne –
      Thank you for the kind encouragement.
      Excellent – get ’em started young in loving & learning history.
      Am teaching a world history class to 30, 9th & 10th graders starting in a couple weeks.
      Looking forward to replacing their “skulls full of mush” with some solid history.
      Lance

  • Jim

    Hi Lance and thank you. My wife and I discovered these podcast a few weeks ago and love them. We are learning so much every time we listen. Our 15 year ols son just downloaded some of the podcast to listen to while he runs. It helps us in our bible studies and faith perspective. We appreciate the fairness that you address the tough parts of our history. Thanks again and PLEASE keep up the good work.

  • Daniel Bourque

    Lance, I can’t thank you enough for your time and effort. Your putting
    these podcasts together for those of us who enjoy listening has been a real blessing.
    I’m anxious to hear them once again when you begin again in November.
    I listen to them back to back at work. I’m not sure how I’ll handle waiting for
    them week to week. Your podcasts have helped fill in the blanks, enlightening
    us on how it was that we got to where we are. I’ve always have enjoyed
    learning about the history of the church but never read more than a few books
    here and there about the reformation. You’ve rekindled that desire to learn more.
    If you could recommend some good resources to compliment your podcast I
    would be most appreciative. I copied a name you mentioned on a few episodes,
    Bruce Shelley, “Church History In Plain Language.” Thanks again.

    • Lance Post author

      dbourque – Thank you so much for the kind & encouraging comments.

      While there are some comprehensive multi-volume works, that format tends to lend to a rather dry review of history. I really like Shelley’s book for a solid 1 volume work. His style is engaging; more like story-telling; but he brings in some really good theological review as well.

      There are some other period piece works that have gold in them but are difficult to recommend because they often come from fairly liberal scholars that slant the work to fit their presuppositions. Sorting out what’s legit history and their spin can be a challenge. What I find with them is reading their take, then having to go and do some more digging to find out what’s truth & what’s opinion. So can’t really recommend those guys.

      Stick with “Church History in Plain Language” = boring title – great book.

      Lance

  • Jason

    Hey Lance, just wanted to thank you so much for this podcast. Its exactly what I was looking for after listening to Duncan’s History of Rome podcast. Like you, as soon as I was done with that podcast, I got online to see if there was something like it, but based on the history of the church. I was so happy to find yours.

    I know you put a lot of work into this project, and I’m so appreciative of that. If I may, I do have a couple critiques/suggestions. I’m a nondenominational Christian who has a heavy interest in Christian philosophy and apologetics, so I agree with many of the more theological points you make, but I think that the podcast could probably benefited with a bit more objectivity. I shared this podcast in a number of subreddits on Reddit because I was so excited by it, but because the podcast has a bit of a Protestant bent to it, it sort of rubbed at least one Orthodox Christian the wrong way. At the time I hadn’t gotten too far into the series, so didn’t know if he was being overly critical, or if he had a point, but eventually I could see what he was talking about. As a fellow Protestant, I totally agreed with things you pointed out, but could see how this Orthodox person was offended. A bit more objectivity on denominational/doctrinal lines I think could have avoided any wrong rubbing. Dropping the theological angle altogether would probably be beneficial to non-theists looking for a history of Christianity podcast, but I realize that as a pastor that’d probably be asking too much. I imagine from your perspective this is an opportunity to spread the Gospel message as it is to inform people about the history of Christianity.

    I also have the same critique about the political views that occasionally enter the show. It seems to me that a show on history ought to stick to just the history, and leave personal political views to another show. Personally, I’m pretty apolitical, but I know a number Christians who lean liberal (and even anarchistic) who would find the show, if not offensive, at least not their cup of tea, which would be a shame because the show is so good that they’d be missing out. I’m on podcast 67 currently, and the whole The Change portion of the podcast has me sort of confused. I understand that you’re trying to express how Christianity has changed our culture for the better, and from an apologetical point of view I totally get it, but it seems so different from the show that came before it…a show that was about the actual history of the church, that it almost feels like I’m listening to a different podcast. Anyways, objectivity was a critique I had about Duncan’s podcast as well. I think for the most part he was very objective with his treatment of history, but I always felt that there was a slight sort of disparagement concerning Christians and Christianity. He kept it at bay most of the time, but every now and then it felt like it crept in. Later when he created a thread on Reddit where people could ask him anything he admitted to someone that Hume was his favorite philosopher and that sort of explained a few things about the podcast.

    Anyways, just some thoughts. I hope I haven’t come off as whiny or anything. This is honestly one of the best podcasts I’ve ever had the appreciation of listening to, and if I lived in your area I’d definitely be going to your church.

    God bless!

    • Lance Post author

      Dear Jason,
      I so appreciate your thoughtful & well-articulated comments. It’s good input. And I WILL consider it.

      Yes – you’re dead-on! As a pastor it’s really hard to NOT make personal comments from my own theological convictions. As Spurgeon said when criticized for the use of humor in the pulpit, “If you only knew how much I hold back.” I hear what you’re saying, but from my perspective, in light of all the remarks I’d LIKE to say, my comments are few & far between. And Jason, may I say this–while I really DO want the podcast to be a fair treatment of the history, I see these infrequent personal comments on the theology or politics as making the podcast MORE personal. Let me explain . . .

      I agree with your assessment of Duncan & THoR exactly. I too was a bit bummed by his general disparaging of the Faith, But did you notice how when he actually got to that Early church, his remarks seemed a bit more generous – as though maybe for the Apostolic Era he held some respect for those guys? But when the Church went political, he went back to his previous posture? It sure sounded that way to me. I was able to set that as Duncan’s baseline – knowing that was his general disposition, so just factored it into his otherwise stellar job of presenting the story. What I always enjoyed were the little personal comments he’d make; things that clued us in a bit to who Mike Duncan was. His dry humor, and remarks about his own life and how that impacted the show were fun because I really did want to know more about Mike Duncan.

      So Jason – What I’m hoping, is that people of other positions theologically & politically will have the “relational maturity” to recognize that I really am trying to tell a straight and unbiased narrative storyline for Church History, and the few personal comments / opinions I share are more to give people a sense of who I am & how I see the things we’re covering. They’re free to disagree with me. I know many will. But if they get angry and stop listening? Isn’t that the very kind of silly intolerance & closed-mindedness that’s done such massive damage to the Church and is killing us right now?

      Hey, how about this? What if I explained all this on the podcast, as I have here?

      Jason, I again thank you for your encouragement and suggestions. You can see that I already have considered them and will continue to do so as I redo the series. But I’d really like to hear back from you on this. What do you think?

      Lance

  • Jason

    Hello Lance,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply to my comment! Very helpful. I know a bit more where you’re coming from now.

    And yes, I totally agree with you that people ought to demonstrate maturity when it comes to areas they may not find agreement on, but I also know that there are a lot of people out there who have thin skin, and like to look for offence. Generally speaking you can’t do much about those types of people, but (and I guess I’m just being selfish here) I WANT them to hear your podcast because I think that knowledge of where our faith has been, where it has come from, can help us truly understand why we believe what we believe. That’s ammunition against those who would come against the faith, and I believe knowledge like that is also personally faith building.

    So yes, I LOVE the idea of you explaining where you’re coming from on this in the podcast. It helped me, and I’m sure it’d help others.

    Thanks again!

  • Jen

    Hi Lance,

    THanks for your podcasts! I’ve been using them as revision in studying for my upcoming Early Church History exam (which is tomorrow). I’ve listened to podcasts 1-21 in the last few weeks, but wanted to listen to them again before tomorrow. I thought I’d downloaded them all onto my phone, but turns out I hadnt. Now when I try to listen to them, I’m getting an error message. It seems I can’t access podcasts 7-21 anymore.

    I noticed here, that you’re updating them. But is there any chance of leaving the old ones up so I can still listen to them, and maybe have a better chance of passing tomorrow’s exam?

    Thanks so much!

    Jen

  • James

    Hi Lance,

    I would just like to say how much I have enjoyed listening to your podcasts. They have given me a better understanding of how we have evolved as a family in Christ. Thanks.

    James in Tennessee

  • Scott

    Lance, the podcast is amazing. I love reading and learning and just recently was turned on to the Church fathers which had me dig a little deeper and ultimately ran across your podcast. Amazing stuff! With time to read being limited in a hectic life it is still nice to get nuggets throughout the day to keep my mind engaged when slow times at work having me do the mundane. With that said it was just a few weeks ago that I found this podcast and was disheartened when I made it to somewhere in the 20th episodes and the first 50 were taken down. I am not sure what all is entailed in the production of a podcast but was wondering if there was anyway possible to be able to listen to the first 50?

    I appreciate the podcast and look forward to hearing from you.

    • Lance Post author

      Dear Sisherrill,
      Thanks for the kind words.
      I looked into it and turns out there’s no workable way to access the episodes that have been taken down.
      Lance

  • Anne Gibbs

    Please look up how to pronounce proper names. I know you are not claiming to be more than a lay person in terms of learning history with the rest of us, but you could add more credibility. There are times when I am left scratching my head wondering who or where or what you mean. Just a few examples: Adoniram (Judson), Azores, Coligny, Vallois, Seljuk. And papacy is pronounced pay’pacy, not papp’acy.

    • Lance Post author

      Dear Anne –
      Yeah, I know I butcher some of the names, especially anything French.
      Thanks for the correction on how to pronounce “papacy.”
      That was simply a bone-head mistake on my part.
      Lance

    • Brian Francisco

      Anne, you could do to be a little kinder in your comments. “For example, but you could add more credibility” isn’t the only means of wording your comment which you could have used to exress your point.

      • Lance Post author

        Brian,
        Thanks for your comment to Anne.
        Her comment motivated me to be more careful.
        As the podcast has become more listened to, there are folk who are far more knowledgeable on specific topics & periods covered.
        I appreciate the corrections they suggest when I’ve made a factual error.
        I’ve known for a while I’m mis-pronouncing some names of people & places. I’ve attempted to find the correct pronunciation, but sometimes find an anglicized form of a name or am given a flat out wrong sounding. Them there are names I thought I knew how to pronounce and only discovered later I was in error.

  • Scott Zittritsch

    Hi,
    I wanted to thank you for creating this podcast. I love how this has strengthened my faith. I feel this is not only the history of the “church” but it is my history. The history of a community that I belong too. It reminds me that I belong to a Church that will never be destroyed by any man, and that no matter my trials, others have gone before me.

    Thank You!

  • Mark

    Been really enjoying the podcasts. Finished episodes 51 thru 100 during the great Midwest snowstorm last weekend (most of it while shoveling for three days). Now I am going back and picking up 1 – 50.

    Mark – Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • Sallie Powell

    Have you wandered through Audible.com in The Great Courses area? The one on Religion has several that have titles coinciding with your podcast titles. They, of course, run up to 17 hours, more or less. I had to smile when I remembered your podcasts. I’m quite sure you didn’t miss anything notable in your “short but sweets.” Keep up the good work. I left The Great Courses behind and downloaded Herodotus’ one volume unabridged The Persian Wars. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment.

    • Lance Post author

      I have several of The Great Courses in all kinds of other topics, but none of religion or church history because I haven’t been real keen on the authors who did them.

  • Gene

    Hello Lance…greetings from Northern NJ, just west of New York City. So glad I found your podcast. I love learning about church history and your podcast is perfectly digestible in small parts and clearly delivered in a way everyone can understand. So…thanks so much! The vast majority of the church is illiterate when it comes to church history…because the church doesn’t teach it! I appreciate your work greatly. Consider me a regular listener!

    Regards and best wishes,

    Gene

  • Chris Valentine

    I also wanted to chime in about enjoying the podcast. I’m a Roman Catholic from Massachusetts. I’ve only gotten as far as the episode on Nestorius (have not listened to any of the old episodes), and I’d like to offer my opinions, both pro and con.

    Pro:
    – Doing a very good job of keeping up the “history of x” format of a narrative story that is informative, focused, and lighthearted. Between this, History of Byzantium, History of the Crusades, History of Philosophy, and Duncan’s new Revolutions Podcast, I’ve always got something to listen to in the car.
    – Very exhaustive information about the intricacies of many of the debates so far (though I’m eager to see if you distinguish between Miaphytism and Monophytism in the coming episodes; don’t spoil it for me). In particular, your treatment of Nestorius and the ambiguity over whether or not his position was heretical is more than most offer.
    – Up front about your biases, without hiding them. I don’t expect any historian to be unbiased; if they were, then they probably wouldn’t care enough about the subject in the first place to study it. Of course, it helps that, as Christians, our biases are (at least at this point in the podcast) not too far from each other.

    Con:
    – Objectivity. I’m not referring to theological objectivity here, especially given my last ‘pro.’ I would not expect you to treat all the various theological issues that arise as equally valid. Rather, my concern is that the personal descriptions in the podcast tend towards an uncritical eye on the Church fathers, it seems, except insofar as they might deviate from Orthodoxy (either their contemporary Orthodoxy or what is likely yours). For example, take Pope Leo, to whom you credit chasing off Attila the Hun. Now, as a Catholic, I’m certainly a fan of Leo, but to mention the Attila episode without mentioning that there were quite likely other concerns that drove off Attila (disease, logistics, internal strife, etc.) is somewhat unfair. Or how Athanasius (also a fan) is presented in an extremely favorably light, while his opponent Eusebius of Nicomedia comes across as a stock ‘evil advisor’ movie villain.
    I find these tendencies concerning because you specifically stated that you’re trying for a ‘modern’ style of history, rather than a ‘pre-modern’ or ‘post-modern’ style. However, casting the protagonists as heroes and the antagonists as villains really makes the narrative sound more like a pre-modern historiography or hagiography. Even while I probably concur with your assessment of these individuals at the end of the day, I find it concerning because I know that, some episodes down the line, our biases will line up less and less.
    If I were so bold as to offer a suggestion (and I am), I would say that it might be better to remove the narrative to another degree of separation. For example, rather than saying that “Eusebius was a schemer,” say that “Eusebius was seen as a schemer by many of his contemporaries and later historians” – perhaps something less wordy would be better, but I hope you get the drift. Not quite as far as Mike Duncan cautioning, every time an Empress Dowager is plotting, that this might be the classic ‘evil stepmother trope’ in history (but, in all fairness, Livia probably was behind it all), but acknowledging that there could be room for uncertainty.

    Let me close by saying that, even though I wrote more about my one con than my three pros, thats more due to my critical nature than any imbalance in quality in the podcast, and I still enjoy the podcast very much and I look forward to future episodes.

    • Lance Post author

      Chris, Thank you so much for you kind and thoughtful feedback. What was especially rewarding reading your suggestion is how dead on it was. Really. That was a great comment and one I will endeavor to keep in sight as I record future episodes. Hopefully your input will make CS even more effective (& accurate).

      Lance

      • Chris Valentine

        Lance,

        Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad that you appreciate the commentary and that I may be of some use to the success of the podcast. I continue to look forward to future episodes.

  • Paul Barnett

    What a great resource carefully researched well presented very instructive and enlightening. Thanks so much for this.

  • Wayne

    I just found this website and the podcasts seem like an amazing resource that I would like to get into. Only one problem. When I tried to subscribe to the podcast using the RSS feed link, it only includes the 10 most recent podcasts and there appears to be no way to get the first ones without downloading them manually. Is there another option I’m missing? (I don’t use iTunes.)

  • Eric Leach

    I just recently found your podcast and am enjoying it tremendously. I have been looking for a good resource like this on church history for years and am delighted to find this one. I do have a question for you. You mentioned that one of the things that Origen defended Christians on was their refusal to serve in the military. I think Tertullian was also very much against Christians in the military. How did we get from there to where we are now? I have studied the religious war of the 17th century to some extent and its obvious from that and even from the religious riots earlier that somewhere along the line nonviolence got dropped as a Christian principle. How did that change in attitude come about?

    • Lance Post author

      Dear Eric,
      Thanks for the kindness.

      Regarding your inquiry; good question. The answer could be a very long monograph, and deserves that. I’m sure some have done so at length and so I suggest you do a web-search for such. But let me offer a much briefer reply here & now.

      It’s my understanding from that the Early Church drew people from all walks of life as it bridged over from the Jewish world into the Gentile realm. While it appealed mostly to the poorer classes, it in fact gained converts form a fairly broad spectrum of the societies that made up the Greco-Roman World. And it didn’t take long to branch out beyond those borders into the East, well beyond the reach of “Western” society & civilization. We track the Eastern expansion of the Faith in the podcast.
      As it spread, it saw people from all walks of life converted, including soldiers. There’s anecdotal evidence some of the Roman legions of the 3rd Century had large numbers of Christians in them. One of Marcus Aurelius’ most loyal legions was purported to be “Christian” (The 12th Fulminata – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legio_XII_Fulminata) In any case, the point is that if the Early Church considered the Faith to be equivalent to pacifism, then as soon as people converted, they’d have needed to quit the army. There’s just no evidence of this. Some much later historians (Gibbons) like to blame the Church & Faith for the demise of Rome, but they don’t blame that on a mass exodus form the Legions.

      At the same time, there WAS a flavor & strain of pacifism in the Church from early on, as exemplified by some of the Church Fathers, like Origen. You mentioned Tertullian as well.
      But be careful Eric, both those guys are regarded by many conservative scholars today as being aberrant in some (Origen = many?) of their positions.

      Let me make this brief; it was Augustine who spent some serious time laying out the “just war scenario” as a theological position. The thing many later students fail to grasp is the difference there is between the interpersonal relational ethics we’re to use one on one and the God-ordained duty of the State to protect it’s citizens form evil within or without. When Jesus said we weren’t to resit an evil doer so that if they struck our left check we were to turn to them the right, He did not mean national governments were to adopt this practice. And I don’t think Jesus meant a father was to let an adult abuser beat up that father’s 5 year old daughter.

      Pacifism as a strict rule of non-violence seems to be up-ended (note the pun) by Jesus’ passionate & clearly somewhat-violent clearing of the temple using a whip and over-turning tables.

      But Eric, I’m with you if what you’re concerned about is the linkage of The Faith, or let’s be more precise, “Christendom” with some political ideology – whatever label it goes by. Chauvinism loves to wrap itself in a religious garb & the love of country is often mistaken for the love of God. It isn;t just Modern Evangelical Americans who’ve done this. The French did it, the Brits did it, the Greeks did it. Many have.

      Not sure that answers you question, but hopefully sheds a little ought on what could be a very long discussion.

      • Eric Leach

        That helps a bit. It does seem, based on Romans 13 and other passages, that there is a legitimate role for the State/military/police. I’m from Texas originally where self-defence is as big of a doctrine as salvation by grace. More than half of my friends have concealed carry permits. I can see the roots of that view in the militant Puritan movements and the militias of New England. But as I look at things historically, it seems that the church was at it’s best when it did not try defend itself physically. Contrast the early church up to the 3rd century with the church in the west in the 17th century to see what I mean. Spiritual battles should be fought with spiritual weapons. The hard part is then how should someone in authority who is a Christian conduct themselves? Obviously this is something that theologians have been wrestling with for a while. The answer to the question about how Christians should react to threats or violence or whatever seems to be it depends. People always want hard and fast answers that they should do every time and that doesn’t seem to be how God works. Jesus overturned the tables in the temple and drove the moneychangers out with a whip but he rebuked Peter for using the sword. He passed through the crowd in Nazareth without lifting a finger. I am coming to the belief that we act of a place fear is when fall into sin. When we have to courage to honor God no matter the situation we may die but God will be glorified. That courage includes protecting those under us. Thanks for indulging me in this lengthy theological/historical discussion.

        • Lance Post author

          Eric, Keep thinking Biblically about all this and everything else and you’ll be well served. You show that you are concerned to do just that and that you have a good mind that can weight the issue prudently. What more can we desire than that, my friend?

  • Karin

    Fantastic! I was looking for a course on christian church history that was easy to understand and not boring. The podcast format works perfectly for my drive to and from work. You have provided the perfect mix of history, narrative and perspective while leaving the long lists of dates and names for future study. Very much like the peace part of war and peace. God bless.

    What are your recommendations for additional studies beyond the podcasts? Not boring history books please

    • Lance Post author

      Karin, Thank you for the kind words.
      Are you looking for more church history podcasts?
      If so, try “The History of the Papacy” by Stephen Guerra.
      Sadly, there really wasn’t anything when I decided to do Communio Sanctorum, that’s why I did it. 🙂
      There’s a few now, but besides Guerra’s podcast, I can’t really suggest anything.
      If you want a different kind of style Bible study – History mash-up – try my friend Brett Heaston’s “Message to Kings” podcast.

      If you are interested in a fun book – Church History in Plain Language by Shelley is outstanding.
      Lance

  • Sara Miller

    Hi Lance,

    Would you mind please telling me which hymns and songs you spliced together to make your intro music? Thank you Brother! I so much appreicate CS!

    Regards, Sara

    • Lance Post author

      Sara,
      There’s 5 pieces:
      1) Gregorian Chant – Puer natus Est Nobis
      2) Palestrina – Missa Papae Marcelli
      3) Handel – Hallalujah Chorus
      4) Mozart – Dies Ire from The Requiem
      5) Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons

  • Gregory Foster

    Lance,

    I just discovered your podcast this week. I was a History major at university, and I also fell in love with podcasts through the work of Mike Duncan, Lars Brownworth, and more recently Robin Pierson (I’m sure you’ve probably been listening to “The History of Byzantium”; if not, you should be!).

    Earlier this year, I was renewed in the Spirit after a long period of my life away from the grace of God. I started wondering if anyone had done a “History of Christianity” podcast, and I found your site!

    I’m only through the first few episodes, and I’m personally most interested in what happened in that 300-400 year period between the Resurrection of Christ and the ecumenical councils, but I have to say that I’m really enjoying the podcast. Great work! Thank you for sharing this with “the Internet”.

    On the topic of bias: as a Bible believer, I think it would have been disingenuous for you to not affirm your belief in the Gospel. If that bias makes you lose a few listeners, that’s unfortunate, but perhaps unavoidable.

    Keep up the good work! Thank you!

    • Lance Post author

      Gregory,
      Thanks for the comments & encouragement.

      Gregory – I am of exactly the same mind; that I need & ought to share with listeners where my personal convictions lie. I know that some listeners will be put off by that & stop listening because my views conflict with theirs. I recently got a pretty nasty review on iTunes form a guy who docked me for giving a “religious” report rather than “historical.” Some people only want to hear something that already agrees with them. That’s fine if that’s the way they want to go. It’s my opinion that makes for a very small world. Learning to engage in conversation in a respectful manner with others of differing views is essential to the Gospel permeating a culture.
      I absolutely believe in the superiority of the Gospel to all other philosophies or faiths. So I’m not afraid of engaging others in discussion. Truth will prevail.
      Lance

  • Matthew

    Lance:

    Just discovered your podcast last week and am really enjoying it. I grew up in a small independent Baptist church in Mississippi that really shied away from church history, so a lot of this stuff is very new to me even though I’ve been a believer for a while. Do you have a recommendation for an accessible book to read supplemental to your podcast? Keep up the good work and God bless.

    • Lance Post author

      Matthew,
      Thank you for the kindness.

      One of my fave 1-volume works is the easy to read Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley.

  • Ray Smith

    I am enjoying the podcasts. Up to about #20 so far. I admire the work you’ve put into this massive undertaking. One small criticism – I wish you had used a variety of music for the intro and endings. I am burnt out on hearing “Bless the Lord”, especially as a skeptic. Thanks.

    • Lance Post author

      Thanks Ray.
      Those 5 songs in the intro were picked for the mash-up because they’re representative of the history of Church music. As a skeptic, I’m guessing you’re not aware that that last song was kind of the main “praise chorus” being used in churches when the intro was produced. I understand you’re burnt out on it, but it’s the intro and opening music for a podcast needs to stay consistent as it’s thematic. Just fast forward.
      🙂 Lance

  • David Pérez

    Thank you for this you do . Excellent podcast! I really enjoy it. Is so easy to understand when English is your second language. I was thinking , is there a podcast that the theme is only Christian controversies. Thanks again an can’t wait for the Spanish version ! Blessings bro

    • Lance Post author

      David,
      I have given some thought to doing a Spanish version of this. WE have a Spanish congregation at our church and the pastor could easily produce the content in Spanish.
      I’m not aware of a podcast devoted specifically to controversies in the faith. There are plenty of podcasts & blogs that occasionally deal with them.
      Lance

  • Chris Green

    Enjoying your podcasts. I live in London. They are excellent Thank you.
    Interested in joining your tour in 2017.
    God Bless
    Chris Green.

  • John Wright

    Hello loving the podcast. Great level of detail. Your delivery is top rate. Thanks for the time and effort that you have put in this.
    What is your definition of worship?
    Does it just happen in church when we are signing?

    • Lance Post author

      Thanks John.

      John, In a larger sense, Worship ought to be ALL we do. If we were created for God’s pleasure and to glorify Him, then ideally, we’d worship with all we do and say. Let’s call that Worship with a big W.
      That focused time when we turn our thought fully & intentionally on God alone, to the exclusion of all other thoughts and speak either directly to our about Him let’s call “worship” small w.

  • Etienne Omnès

    35 podcasts later, i was persuaded to leave a comment.

    I’m french, and I listen your podcast every day. At this rate of listening, I should probably have finished in two weeks. You wanted to hear how wide was the “communio sanctorum family” well, it has crossed Atlantic, even in non-english speaking countries!

    We need church history in France evangelical christianity, I’m so grieved to see brothers and sister learn about it from Jehovah’s Witness or Da Vinci Code… We have a rich tradition, and your podcast underline it very well. I’m currently conversing with catholic apologets and your comments on the ascension of papacy, yet not really new for me, help me very much to separate the wrong from right about the subject of church history.

    I have an immense interest in the early church, and desire deeply to know more about medieval christianity (wich is never taught except “blabla filthy catholics etc..”). I was surprised to learn recently how deeply the Lord has worked on His church even in medieval times! I think that your podcast will enlarge my vision.

    May you be blessed in the Lord,
    Brotherly,

    Etienne

    • Lance Post author

      Dear Etienne,
      Thank you so very much for your kind remarks.
      And let me apologize for the horrible way I butcher French pronunciations!
      I do tolerably well with Spanish, but French proves to be difficult for my un-cultured tongue.
      Lance

      • Etienne Omnès

        No problem with your accent, it’s totally normal to translate english translations of french, even if it’s funny sometimes. The last time I sent an e-mail to an american apologet, he said that there was some “infelicities” (didn’t know that word) in my expression, so we are equal on this domain, don’t be afraid 😉

        I’m currently on the crusades, and listen some interesting things, which make me think about something else: I have often noticed how often in the united states churches you like to use the word “crusades” like in “campus crusades” or whatever… I have to confess to you: as a “frankish” christian, this disturbs me a lot. I’m not talking about you in particular but about a trend you have to use this particular word with no shame.

        In France the seculars are leading, with their despising views on the crusade and 1/6th of the population are muslims. That mean that in our country, the official story of the crusades are usually darkened, so maybe that the shame we feel as french christians on the crusades come frome this.

        Yet. As you remarkably well explain: crusades were not health-journeys: you don’t hide that the result of the first crusade was bloody bath until the ankle, plus rape and child-smashing. Here is my point: the most part of these monsters were frankish. That means: french. As a french christian, we are not only talking about ancestors in faith, we talk also about ancestors in blood.

        I was nearly weeping of guilt when you narrated the story of the fall of Jerusalem, and I was praying: “Forgive us o Lord, because their blood are on MY hands.” I’m still about to cry when I think enough of these issues.

        That’s why, when I see that americans use that word and symbolic freely like a holy and laudable thing, I simply don’t understand. How and why do you use this symbolic with so few precautions? I know this is maybe not your personal position, but maybe as an american you can explain it to me. Maybe it’s because your nation was not a crusader one?

        Maybe we can continue this conversation by e-mails.

        • Lance Post author

          Etienne,
          In modern vernacular here in the States, the word ‘crusade’ is used often in ways with no association to the Crusades of the Middle Ages. Sometimes people describe others who’ve gone a ‘crusade’ against this or that social ill. Or there is a ‘crusade’ for some positive change that’s needed. So the word can be either positive or negative based on its context. Etienne, modern Americans are by and large abysmally lacking in historical sophistication. So much so that most of them see little connection between the modern use of the word ‘crusade’ and the Crusades of the Middle Ages.
          Lance

  • Hesed Lagud

    Lance,

    I’m a brand new listener! I recently subscribed to your show via iTunes this past weekend, and I am so grateful to have found what I was looking for. I appreciate your ministry through CS and look forward to finishing your re-booted edition. All the best!

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • Kevin

    Good job, Pastor Lance. I have benefitted immensely from your hard work on this wonderful podcast! Cheers from Vanderhoof, British Columbia, Canada.