Month: October 2015

109-Faith in the Age of Reason – Part 1 file | Play in new windowThe Title of this episode, is Faith in the Age of Reason.  Part 01 After the first flush of Reformation excitement died down, the Protestant churches of Europe went into a long period of retrenchment, of digging in both doctrinally & culturally. This period lasted from the late 16th to the later 17th C. and is referred to by church historians as the Age of Confessionalism. But “confession” here isn’t the personal practice of piety in which someone admits error; Confessionalism is the term applied to how the various Protestant groups were increasingly concerned with defining their own beliefs, or confessions, in contrast to everyone else. It resulted in what is sometimes called Protestant Scholasticism. It’s called this because the churches developed technical jargon to describe their doctrinal positions ever more accurately—just as the medieval Roman Catholic scholastics had done 3 Cs before. And don’t forget, it was Roman Scholasticism that helped spark the Reformation in the first place. It was the scholastics devotion to correct theology that highlighted the doctrinal & practical errors many in the Church began to call for reform over. But it was also the tendency of some Scholastics to forsake practical theology in favor of the purely hypothetical that fueled the Reformation’s drive to return the practice of faith to everyday life and made religion the sphere, not...

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108-Overview 03 file | Play in new windowThis episode of CS is the 3rd Overview in the series so far. We’ve spent quite a bit of time tracking the Reformation and need now to give a brief over view & analysis of what we’ve seen as we prepare for launching into the next era of Church History. There’s a well-worn saying in English I’m not sure other languages duplicate. It says that “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” The idea is that the details of something can obscure the bigger picture. You fail to see a forest because all you see are a lot of trees. As we’ve spent many episodes tracking the Reformation & Counter-Reformation, we may be so distracted by the many names, places, dates & movements, that we miss the larger picture and the summary effect of all this on the people of 16th C. Trends from the previous century came to fruition in the 16th that made for a monumental shift in people’s idea of what The Church was. Consider a couple of the things that happened in the 15th C. Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453. The New World was opened to Europe in 1492. Until then, European Christians felt hemmed in by Muslims to the S & E, & by the Atlantic to the W. Missions were conceived of exclusively as...

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107-Reform Around the Edges file | Play in new windowThis episode is titled, “Reform Around the Edges.” Stay tuned to the end of this episode for some important news about the CS 2017 Reformation Tour. It’s difficult living in the Modern World to understand the Late Medieval norm that a State had to have a single religion all its subjects observed. You’d be hard pressed to find a European of the 16th C who didn’t assume this to be the case. About the only group who didn’t see it his way were the Anabaptists. And even among them there were small groups, like the extremists who tried to set up the New Jerusalem at Munster, who did advocate a State Church. Classic Anabaptists wanted religious tolerance, but were most often persecuted for this stance. As we have seen in the story of the Church in Germany & as was hammered out in the Peace of Augsburg, peace was secured by deciding some regions would be Lutheran, others Catholic by the principle of  cujus regis eius religio [coo-yoos regio / ay-oos rel-i-gio] meaning, “Whose realm, whose religion.” Whatever the religion of the ruler of a region determined what the subjects religion. Under Augsburg, people were supposed to be free to relocate to another region if a ruler’s religion didn’t square with their convictions. The many wars of religion that washed over Europe in...

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106-Westward HoHo file | Play in new windowSince last week’s Episode was titled Westward Ho! As we track the expansion of the Faith into the New World w/Spain & Portugal’s immersion, this week as we turn to the other European’s we’ll title this week’s episode, Westward Ho Ho, because I’m tired of saying Part 2. I know it’s lame, but hey, it’s my podcast so I’ll call it what I want. Before we dive into this week’s content, I wanted to say a huge thanks to all those who’ve left comments on the site & the CS FB page. And for those who use iTunes as their portal to CS, thanks for rating the podcast & leaving a review. It those positive reviews on iTunes that go further than anything else, besdies word of mouth, of course, in boosting the podcast. Last week we ended the episode on the expansion of the Faith into the New World by speaking of the Spanish missions on the West Coast. The Spanish were urgent to press north from what would later be called Southern CA, because the Russians were advancing south from their base in Alaska. And as any history buff knows, they’d already established a base at San Francisco. Russians weren’t the only Old World power feared by Spain. The French had New World possessions in Louisiana & French Jesuits were...

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