2 Church History Ca. 30AD 590 AD 1517 AD Ancient Church History Medieval Church HistoryModern Church HistoryApostolic ChurchThe First Medieval PopeReformation &Counter ReformationApostolic FathersThe Rise of the Holy Roman EmpireRationalism, Revivalism,& DenominationalismChurch CouncilsThe CrusadesRevivalism, Missions,& ModernismGolden Age ofChurch FathersThe Papacy in DeclineThe Pre-Reformers?
3 The Medieval Period Medius - middle Aevium - age 450/500 1000 Years *Death of Augustine*Council of Chalcedon – the doctrine of Christ*Fall of Rome (476)*Leo the Great ( ) – authoritative Pope*Gregory the Great – missionary PopeAevium - age450/5001000 Years*The invention of the printing press (information)*The rise of Nationalism in 15th & 16th Century (security)*The discovery of the Americas in (economic expansion)*The work of Martin Luther in (spiritual revival)1500
4 500 to “The Dark Age”Created by the humanists during the Renaissance of the 15th & 16th centuryBecause of their rediscovery and return to classic Greek & Roman culture – they compared the post Ancient Period with the static traditionalism, unrefined barbarity, and generally unhappy character of the middle age.Is this a fair judgment?Morris Bishop – “We are too vain; we think we are the summit of history.”
7 The Division of these 1000 years The Dark AgeFall of Rome, Barbarian Invasion, Rise of Feudalism*, Spread of Islam, (Carolingians) New wave of invasion, uncertainty – 900’sAs a result of the Barbarian invasion, smaller units gradually developed to control the territories previously ruled by Rome. Large tribal areas were subdivided in small areas and even smaller areas, with a lord and vassals. Great estates were established with servants loyal to the lord living on the estate. Farmers and soldiers were very important. Scholars were not important. This was the period of knights. Peace was the greatest commodity. Christianity was the one unifying factor.The High Middle AgesRise of Nationalism - Rise of cities, castles, cathedrals, innovation & advances, universities,material prosperity, the height of the papacyThe Waning YearsClash between the Popes and nation states, the Babylonian Captivity, the Great Schism, spiritual decline, the plagues
8 The Barbarian Invasion & the Fall of Rome “The Roman Empire was like a declining business, whose program is retrenchment and retreat, whose ventures are desperate, whose employees can only shrug their shoulders and hope that the old enterprise will last out their time.” Morris BishopWhy did Rome fall?Intellectual Answer – the Romans conquered the world with theirRepublican principles, they changed the principles to fit an empire, and the new principles destroyed it.Moral Answer – license, luxury, and sloth, a decline in character & discipline.Rationalist Answer – Christianity, teaching nonresistance, other- worldliness, disarmed the Romans in the face of the barbarians.Pathological Answer – plague and malaria, or even lead poisoning from cooking pots and water pipes.Economic Answer – trade stagnation, low productivity, scarcity of gold and silver.Physical Answer – soil depletion, deforestation, climatic change, drought.
9 The Barbarian Invasion & the Fall of Rome Many of the Barbarian Invaders were already Arian Christians because of missionary work. Many more would be converted and establish the Christianity once again as the dominate religion.The Barbarians, though they appeared to be looters, aspired to settle within the borders of the Roman empire and enjoy the benefits of the Roman civilization.During the 4th thru 8th centuries, western Europe was swept by a series of invasions that brought chaos and upheaval and destroyed education and culture established by Rome. These invaders were either pagan or Arian. They would generally be converted to the Nicene faith. The Papacy and monasticism would be instrumental in preserving the Christian faith and ancient learning.
10 The Huns Migrate WestSource of BarbarianInvasion
15 Asian Christianity Africa Because of a Western bias, much of the Eastern Christianity is ignored.The Persian Church (Iraq/Iran) sent out many missionaries east.The church in India, founded perhaps by Thomas, prospered well into the 1000’s.Asia – the church grew rapidly in China until the late 800’s.By 800, more Christians east of Damascus than west.What happened – persecution and alignment with the stateAfricaRoman Africa – destroyed by Vandals, then Islam, Egyptian Coptic church remainedIn Nubia (Sudan), Christianity prospered until 1000, then disappearedEthiopia has had a continuous Christian church since Apostolic times
16 Why Study the Middle Ages? 1. The true church and Christians didn’t cease to exist in 500 A.D.What of God’s promise to be with the church until the end of the age? Did Christ found the church only to leave it to Antichrist for one thousand years and then reclaim it later?Let us not forget that we know little of the Asian and AfricanChurch. A western bias may have blinded us to the work of Christ in His Church.“Yes, there was life in the medieval Church, a great deal of life. What if this life was corrupted by various diseases? Disease attacks life, not death. After all the Reformation itself was nurtured in the bosom of medieval Rome. Protestantism sprang not from the dissenting movements – the Waldensians, Lollards, the Hussites – but from the parent body, Mother Church, whose pious sons wanted to reform her, but were cast out for their pains. “ Needham
17 Why Study the Middle Ages? 1. The true church and Christians didn’t cease to exist2. The contrast between the Medieval Era & the Modern EraIn Medieval Days – convulsion and confusion hindered the Church. Today peace and prosperity hinders the Church. How is success achieved in either case?3. The darkness found during the Middle Ages will help us appreciate the light we enjoy today.4. Errors that began in the Early church came to fruition during the Middle Ages. Asceticism & Monasticism5. The events of the Middle Ages were God’s preparation for the Reformation
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