Month: August 2015

101-And to the South file | Play in new windowThis episode of CS is titled, “And to the South . . . ” as we take a break from our review of the Reformation in Europe to get caught up with what’s happening with the Church in Africa. In many, maybe most popular treatments of Church history, the emphasis is on what’s going on in Europe. I mean, that’s what most church-based Christian history courses and many western colleges & seminaries focus on. We’ve already devoted several podcasts to the Church in the East, both the Eastern or Greek Orthodox church, as well as what’s called “The Church IN the East,” or the Syrian, sometimes referred to as the Nestorian Church. We’ll soon be jumping the Atlantic to take a look at the Church in the New World. But before we do, we need to shift our gaze south to Africa. As we’ve saw in much earlier episodes, North Africa was one of the formative cradles of Christianity. That’s where Tertullian, Cyprian & Augustine, 3 of the great Latin Fathers of the faith kicked it. The Church at Alexandria was 1 of the 4 main churches in the early centuries. Egypt was highly influential in defining what the Faith looked like throughout much of Christendom because of men like Antony & Pachomios; the “desert fathers.” Their strict asceticism can be credited with...

Read More

100-CS Anniversary file | Play in new windowThis is the 100th episode of CS. Because this is something of a milestone for the podcast, we’re taking a break from our usual episodic fare for something very different. For those listeners who subscribe only for the historical narrative, you’ll want to skip this one altogether because we won’t be looking at Church History at all in this episode. This Century mark for CS will be about the podcast itself. A few weeks back I posted a query, asking who might be interested in an episode that was a more personal look at CS & the host. There were enough positive replies that it made doing this reasonable. I remember listening to my first podcast series some years back; Mike Duncan’s index-level podcast, The History of Rome. About a dozen episodes in, I began to look for Duncan’s cryptic personal comments, rare as they were. Then as the series progressed, he’d share a few more details about himself. Though the content on Rome was sterling, it was the personal comments & his dry wit that kept me interested à & in an odd way, seemed to personalize the information so that it wasn’t just a dry academic pursuit. Maybe some prefer the personal element of a podcast be left out. I suspect they are the exception, not the rule. So, this being...

Read More


There are two wonderful resources I want to let the CS audience know about. Go check out Pritchard Websites  and Reformation Tours. Pritchard Websites has recently become the new home for CS and Mike has done a stellar job of managing the transition. Reformation Tours offers great tours of...

Read More

99-In the Low Countries file | Play in new windowThis episode is titled “In the Low Countries.” Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg are referred to as “the Low Countries.” The get this name because laying along the coast NW of Germany & NE of France, they are at or slightly below sea level. That and there’s not really much in the way of mountains. There are some low hills, but for the most part the region today called Benelux is pretty flat. During the Reformation, as in most of northern Europe, Protestantism in the low countries gained adherents early on. In 1523, in Antwerp, the first 2 Protestant martyrs were burned. From that point on, there’s solid evidence Protestantism made headway across the region. But the political situation there hitched the advance of Protestantism to a long and bitter struggle for independence. Near the mouth of the Rhine River, there was a region known as the Seventeen Provinces, in what today is the Netherlands, Belgium, & Luxembourg. These territories were part of eh holdings of the Hapsburgs. Charles V inherited them from his father. Charles was born and raised in the region, so he was well-liked by the people, and under his rule the Seventeen Provinces grew closer together. But that political unity was in reality fragile since each province held to its unique identity, traditions, and ruling nobles. Cultural unity was...

Read More

98-Cracks file | Play in new windowThis episode is titled “Cracks.” One of the great concerns of the Roman Church at the outset of the Reformation was just how far the Reformation would go, not so much in terms of variance in Doctrines, although that also was a concern. What Rome worried over was just how many different groups the Faith would split into. After all, division wasn’t something completely new. There’d already been a major division in the Church between East & West a half century before. And in the East, the Church was already fragmented into dozens of splinter groups across Central Asia. But up till the Reformation, the Western Church had managed to keep new & reform movements from splitting off. Most had eventually been subsumed back into the larger reach of the Church structure. The Reformation brought an end to that as now there were groups that defined themselves, not by the Roman Church, but by more local and national churches and movements. It didn’t take long till even some of the early Reformers began to worry about how far the break from Rome would go. For the cracks that had formed in the Faith kept spreading, like a knick on a car windshield sends out just a tiny crack at first, but keeps spreading. The Reformation ended up spinning out dozens; of groups, some...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Subscribe To

Communio Sanctorum



Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates providing insights into the history of the Christian Church.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest