Month: April 2014

36-Did Those Feet? file | Play in new windowThis episode is titled – “Did Those Feet?” Why it bears that title is this . . . Have you ever heard the anthem “Jerusalem”, whose lyrics come from a poem by William Blake? The song was performed by the 1970’s progressive rock Band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer on their album, Brain Salad Surgery. The opening lines are . . . And did those feet in ancient time — Walk upon England’s mountains green? And was the holy Lamb of God — On England’s pleasant pastures seen? A mysterious riddle for those not aware of the ancient legends surrounding Britain’s entrance to the Christian faith. For centuries England prided itself that the church there was founded by Jesus himself. This tale was invoked in British disputes with France over preeminence & in late Protestant claims that Rome had nothing to do with the English church. It’s unclear how much the mystic, artist, and poet William Blake believed the tale, but his question remains famous. In the Council of Basel in 1434, the Council decreed, “The churches of France and Spain must yield in points of antiquity and precedence to that of Britain, as the latter church was founded by Joseph of Arimathea immediately after the passion of Christ.” Uh, huh?!!? Okay, so à We all know this is supposed to be a history...

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35-Overview 1 file | Play in new windowThis episode of CS is the first of what will be several summary reviews of Church history. My plan is to continue on as we have, pausing occasionally to in one episode catch us up in broad strokes on what we’ve covered so far. My hope is to avoid the whole, “Can’t see the forest for the trees” thing. For those listeners where English is a second language, that phrase is an idiom that means the loss of perspective behind too many details. You see, even though the goal of version 2 of CS is to clean up the narrative timeline from that laid down in ver. 1, we’re still needing to bounce around between times & places. It’s just the nature of trying to examine all of church history, instead of its course in one location. Still, I hope to build in each listener a basic sense of historical flow. To that end, stopping every so often to step back and provide a quick summary of the material we’ve covered so far seems appropriate. Once the entire series is finished, and who knows when that will be, I imagine a good quick review of all Church History in general & CS in particular could be obtained by just listening to these Overview episodes. By nature, they’ll be a bit longer than the...

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34-The Great Recession file | Play in new windowThis episode is titled – The Great Recession. I usually leave house-keeping comments for CS to the end of each episode but wanted to begin this by saying a massive thanks to all those who subscribe, listen regularly, and have turned others on to the podcast. Website stats tell us we have a lot of visitors & subscribers. Far more than you faithful ones who’ve checked in on the Facebook page & hit the “like” button. Can I ask those of you who haven’t yet to do so? Then, if you’re one of the many who accesses the podcast via iTunes, you probably know how difficult it can be to find what you’re looking for there. Many thousands of people use iTunes as a portal for their podcast and the search function is hideously inaccurate. So tracking down what you want can be a challenge. What helps people find content on iTunes is reviews. So, if you’re an iTunes user and like CS, you could be a great asset by writing a brief review for the podcast. Thanks ahead of time. You Windows Phone users, CS is now in the Windows Store in the podcast section. Just doe a search for History of the Christian Church. Okay, enough shameless self-promotion . . . Christianity more than proved its vitality by enduring waves of...

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33-Monks file | Play in new windowThis episode of CS is titled – Monks. Back in Episode 18 when we looked at the hermits, we delved into the beginnings of the monastic movement that swept both Eastern & Western Christianity. The hermits were those who left the city to live an ultra-ascetic life of isolation; literally fleeing from the world. Others who longed for the ascetic life could not abide the lack of fellowship and so retreated from the world to live in sequestered communes called monasteries & nunneries. The men were called monks and the women; the feminine form of the same word – nonnus, or nuns. In recent episodes we’ve seen that the ascetic lifestyle of both hermits & monks was considered the ideal expression of devotion to God during the 4th & 5th Centuries. We’re going to spend more time looking at monastery-life now because it proves central to the development of the faith during the Middle Ages, particularly in Western Europe but also in the East. Let’s review from episode 18 the roots of monasticism . . . Leisure time to converse about philosophy with friends was prized highly in the ancient world. It was fashionable for public figures to express a yearning for such intellectual leisure, or “otium” as they called it; but of course, they were much too busy serving their fellow man....

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