A History of the Church (but whose history??)

I proclaimed when I started posting this study a couple of weeks ago that I would be giving you a history of the church. In studying this topic I was quick to learn that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different versions of the history of the church. If you are a Calvinist your history is quite different than if you are a Catholic or Lutheran and especially an Eastern Orthodox. Everyone looks at history from their own perspective. Some like to concentrate only on the inspiring parts; I will be showing you the warts as well.

The last few weeks I have been collecting various versions of history and will give you a highlight soon. Some versions of history concentrate on Apostolic succession, others almost start their history at the Reformation. If you are a Fundamentalist you might even start in the early twentieth century for that is when your version of Christianity started.  For me the history of the church starts after Christ left this earth and is continuing even now. I do believe that the best years of the church are ahead of it instead of behind. But my version of future history will depend on whether Christians are able to put some things that they currently hold, maybe even doctrine, behind them so that the path going forward can be accomplished. Of course I will explain this further during this study but that should be enough to peak your interest. 🙂

They say that “History belongs to the Victors”. The history I will be giving you here will have a healthy dose of  the defeated as well. I believe that some of the defeated (heretics if you will) have value even though the power struggles of the time deemed them worthless.

I must admit, if you haven’t figured it out already,  my view of the church at least going forward is a progressive one.  I think that Christianity as it stands today is very passive and that is not what Jesus intended his church to be.  Some say that the total purpose of Christ was to die for our sins. If that were the case then the Bible should jump from his birth directly to his death as nothing else really matters. I think an equal purpose was for Jesus to show us how to live. So, of course my history will show what happened to stifle that  idea and how we can overcome the do-nothing Christian mentality going forward.

I hope that even if you don’t agree with everything I have said here that you continue on with me in this study and keep an open mind as to it worthiness. We all want to do what the Lord intended us to do while we are on this earth. That is why we pray that God’s will be done. I will be open to your ideas about that and I hope you will be open to mine.

Ok, five posts getting ready for the study is enough. Next time I will be giving you a macro-view of my version of church history and maybe some brief glimpses of the other versions.

Until then I bid you peace….

Ashamed Not to be a Heretic…

Source:Ashamed Not to be a Heretic: Harry Emerson Fosdick – QuakerQuaker.

“If the day ever comes when men care so little for the basic Christian experiences and revelations of truth that they cease trying to rethink them in more adequate terms, see them in the light of freshly acquired knowledge, and interpret them anew for new days, then Christianity will be finished.”

Here is an interesting post by a Quaker about a Presbyterian minister who was driven from the pulpit by fundamentalists in 1922 due to straying from the established doctrine of the time. He fought the first waves of fundamentalism put forward by William Jennings Brian. Harry Emerson Fosdick went on to become very famous for his sermons and books. Check out his books on Amazon. He still has more than thirty books people continue to buy. I picked up his book entitled “Christianity and Progress” on my e-reader for future reading. I look forward to my introduction to another religious person who was not ashamed to be a heretic.

. His most notable quote from that time was as reported on the post

“They call me a heretic. Well, I am a heretic if conventional orthodoxy is the standard. I should be ashamed to live in this generation and not be a heretic.”