Month: April 2015

2015 Podcast Awards

UPDATE: Hardcore History with Dan Carlin won the Education category of the 2015 Podcast Awards last evening. Thanks to all of you who voted for History of the Christian Church. I have no idea “where” we came in in the total voting. But it was an honor just to be in the Top...

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84-Lost file | Play in new windowThis 84th Episode of CS is titled Lost & is a brief review of The Church in the East. I encourage you to go back and listen again to episode 72 – Meanwhile Back in the East, which conveyed a lot of detail about the Eastern Church & how it fared under the Mongols and Muslim Expansion in the Middle Ages. Until that time, Christianity was widespread across a good part of the Middle East, Mesopotamia, Persia, & across Central Asia – reaching all the way to China. The reaction of Muslim rulers to the incipient Mongol affiliation with Christianity meant a systemic persecution of believers in Muslim lands, especially in Egypt, where Christians were regarded as a 5th Column. Then, when the Mongols embraced Islam, entire regions of Christians were eradicated. Still, even with these deprivations, Christianity continued to live on in vast portions of across the East. Let me insert a verbal footnote at this point. Much of what follows comes form the work of Philip Jenkins, whose book The Lost History of Christianity is a stellar review of the Church of the East. I heartily recommend it to all you hardcore history fans. Consider this . . . The news recently reported the attacks by ISIS on Assyrian Christians in Northern Iraq. This is a reprise of 1933, when Muslim...

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83-Easter file | Play in new windowThis special episode of CS posts to the website on Easter Sunday, 2015. I realize many subscribers will hear it at a later time, but since each week’s episode posts early Sunday morning, and this is Resurrection Sunday, a special podcast seemed appropriate. This week, we’ll be taking a look at the place of the celebration of Easter in the Early Church. There’s considerable controversy over the origin of the word Easter as the label that’s come to be attached to the Christian commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ. It’s best to see the word coming from the Germanic languages & the Teutonic goddess of Spring, Eastre. Her festival marked the vernal equinox, & with the arrival of Christianity the holiday morphed to be the anniversary of the resurrection of Christ. Today you’ll occasionally hear someone connect the word Easter to the Canaanite goddess Astarte, the Babylonian Ishtar, or some such other ancient deity. While there may be some etymological connection between the Teutonic Eastre & the Mesopotamian Ishtar, it’s submerged under the mists of time. But for many years before the label “Easter” was attached to the day, the Church referred to it as Pascha, a Greco-Roman word for the Hebrew word for Passover. Let’s not forget that Christianity’s roots lie in Judaism. The Gospel that is the heart of the...

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