Month: February 2015

77-The Long Road to Reform 02 file | Play in new windowThis is the second episode in a series titled “The Long Road to Reform.” Before diving into the THE Reformation, we’ll do some review and add not a few details to the story of the Church. We do this because I fear too many of us may have the impression Martin Luther & John Calvin were wild aberrations. That they just sprang up out of nowhere. Many Protestants see the Roman Catholic church as getting progressively more corrupt during the mate middle ages and that Luther was a lone good guy who stood up and said, “Enough!” Many Roman Catholics agree the late medieval Church got a bit off but see what Luther did as a gross over-reaction that took him off the rails. So in this series of podcasts within the larger Church Story, I want to review make sure we understand The Reformation as an inevitable result of a long attempt at reform that had gone on in the Western church for a long time. And of course to do that, we’ll need to go back over some of the ground we’ve already covered. Pope Clement V made his headquarters the French city of Avignon. For the next 70 years, the popes resided there & bent their policies to the advantage of the French throne. The rest of Europe wasn’t real...

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76-The Long Road to Reform 01 file | Play in new windowThis episode is the first of several I’m calling “The Long Road to Reform.” As I mentioned at the end of the last episode, we’ll track the Church’s long march to the Reformation, then pause before picking it up with THE Reformation by doing some episodes tracking Church History into the East. Until recently, most treatments of the History of Christianity have focused almost exclusively on the Church in Europe & what’s often called “Western” Christianity. Mention is made of the Church’s growth into other regions like North Africa, and the Middle & Far East. But it’s barely a nod in that direction. For every 10,000 words devoted to the Church in Europe, 10 are given to the Church of the East. What’s really sad is that this Church has a rich history. We won’t make up for the lack of reporting on the History of the church in these regions here, but we will seek to fill in some of the gaps and give those who are interested some resources for learning more.   Okay, here we go. We embark now on The Long Road to Reform. At the dawn of the 13th C with Innocent III, the papacy reached the zenith of its power. The Dominicans & Franciscans carried the Gospel to all, the new universities were hotbeds of theological enterprise,...

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75-The Witness of Stones file | Play in new windowThis Episode is titled “The Witness of Stones.” I’ve had the privilege of doing a bit of touring in Europe. I’ve visited the cathedral at Cologne, Germany on several occasions. I’ve been to Wartburg Castle where Luther hid out. Mrs. Communion Sanctorum and I did a 2-week tour of Florence & Rome for our 30th Anniversary. We saw lots of churches and cathedrals. No matter what your thoughts about medieval Christianity, you can’t help but be impressed by the art & architecture the period produced. Some modern Christians, especially those of the Evangelical stripe, visit a medieval European cathedral, and come away impressed at the architecture, but mystified and maybe, a few anyway, a bit angry. Mystified on WHY people would go to such extremes to build such an immense and impressive structure. Angry at the massive expense such a structure meant. This episode seeks to explain the why behind medieval cathedrals. Churches in general and cathedrals in particular served two main purposes. First, the building was a place for worship; that worship being centered on the Mass. Second, the church was a place of instruction. The architecture was used as a tool for BOTH of these. In an age when only a small portion of society was literate, church buildings became a kind of “book in stone,” telling God’s story in the...

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