In this post I will try to give you a very high level view of what I believe is the critical history of the church. Of course, as this study progresses there might be some things I change likely my mind about. As with most everything else I am open to different views and one of them may change my overall concepts (but I kind of doubt it 😉 )
Before I get into the view I will be using I want to give you some idea of other ways church history has been viewed:
Here is a very colorful view showing church history from an orthodox perspective. They show that the orthodox church is the one that has had little change through the ages whereas the Roman Catholic and all its off-shoots have radically changed through the years. They take great pride in saying that they don’t change. Since change is something that human nature seems to generally bristle against this view has some appeal.
Another view similar to the first shows basically the same shape but concentrates on more detail accounts of historic events. This is probably the dominant view of many Christian organizations today.
Here is a high level view, similar to what I will be using, that labels each period in church history based on the most significant events. I suspect that this came from a protestant author in that it deems the period after the reformation as the “modern” age. Some have, among other names, separated this age into modern and post-modern.
Now let’s get on to the view I will be initially focusing on. I will be covering three basic ages of the church. I couldn’t find a fancy graph as above for this view so I will be covering it with bullet items instead:
- The Age of Faith — This period began with the ascension of Christ and ended around 358AD. I have many stories and such to try and understand just what these early Christians thought and believed.
- The Age of Beliefs — This period spanned between 358CE to around 1900CE. This was the period that all of the many man made beliefs about Christ were formulated.
- Age of the Spirit. — This period started around 1900 and continue through to the unforeseeable future.
As I have mentioned before these three ages were formulated by Harvey Cox in his book The Future Of Faith.
Next time I will be fleshing out these three ages in more detail. If you want to see a more detailed view see the book.
Until then I bid you peace…..