Perspectives on the Church
The first few sessions of this course are focused on developing a biblical theology of the Church. This is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.
Resources on the Theology of the Church
The Great Awakening was the product of the Enlightenment and human responsibility. It gave birth to the spread of the Free Churches, as well as opening the door for the Baptists who broke with the Establishment Churches and became communities of conscience.
November 15, 2023
This final week will take us through the interrelated movements of Missions, Youth Ministry, and Church Growth. Our last few minutes will be devoted to the development of the Church in the last 20 years, and how it has been transformed by digital globalization.
Once the documents for this class are created, they will be located here.
Outline of Church History
Below is a rough outline of Church History as it will be presented in this class. For those who have read Church history, these divisions may be a bit different from what you are used to. In trying to fit Church History with the rest of world history, the outline is aligned to significant events in the greater world. Unfortunately, we will have time to deal with a great deal of detail in terms of non-Western Christian traditions, like the Ethiopic Church or the various forms of monophysite Christianity that flourished in Persia and the Middle East in Late Antiquity.
The Young Church (AD 40–300)
From the Day of Pentecost until Constantine made Christianity the preferred religion of the Roman Empire.
The Imperial Churches (AD 300–800)
From the legalization of Christianity through the fall of Rome (450), the rise of Islam, and the emergence of Northern Europe as "Christendom."
Medieval Christendom (800–1450)
From Charlemagne (800) until the development of the moveable type printing press and the Renaissance.
The Renaissance and Reformations (1450–1650)
From moveable type printing until the end of the Religious Wars (1648) and the establishment of a status quo in Europe prior to the Enlightenment.
Enlightenment and Disestablishment (1650–1800)
Rationalism and humanism lead to new ideas concerning the relationship of the Church to society and state. The American colonies represent a new "tolerant" society that disestablishes the Church as an organ of the state.
Revival, Restoration, Missions (1800-1950)
The development of Christian "movements" and renewal groups, as well as the rise of global missions.
The Cold War, new communication technologies, global terrorism, megachurches, and all the various things that have influenced the church during most of our lives.