"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Church History



Church history is full of controversies, heresies, and battles for the truth. We must familiarize ourselves with those events if we are to stand faithfully in the present. God has revealed in Scripture all that is necessary for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), and those foundations will never change. A study of church history will reveal that most “innovations” in theology (and sometimes in practice) are simply a re-packaging of old heresies that were rejected by the early church. There are so many interesting people (e.g., Irenaeus, Polycarp, William Tyndale, Martin Luther) and events (e.g., the Council of Nicea, the Reformation) that have helped to shape what Christianity has looked like over the past 2000 years. The following resources will get you started in learning more about Christian History.


BOOKS:


Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius

The 100 Most Important Dates in Church History 

How Christianity Changed the World 

Church History in Plain Language by Bruce L. Shelley

A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot

What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? by Dr. D. James Kennedy

FREE ONLINE BOOKS:

History of the Christian Church by Phillip Schaff

Sketches of Jewish Social Life by Alfed Edersheim

The Writings of the Early Church Fathers

Fox's Book of Martyrs by John Fox

The Writings of Josephus (first century Jewish historian)

AUDIO:

History of the Christian Church
EXCELLENT 15-20 minute podcasts covering key events in church history by Lance Ralston, pastor of Calvary Chapel of Oxnard, in California. Here are the first few:

"It Begins" (Episode 1) by Lance Ralston

"Transitions" (Episode 2) by Lance Ralston

"Strategic" (Episode 3) by Lance Ralston

"Martrys" (Episode 4) by Lance Ralston Episodes 5-150 can be listened to here: Episodes 1-150



BRIEF OVERVIEWS OF SOME IMPORTANT EVENTS & DATES:

70 Titus Destroys Jerusalem

313 The Edict of Milan

325 The First Council of Nicea

367 Athanasius Defines the New Testament

386 Augustine Converts to Christianity

405 Jerome Completes the Vulgate

451 The Council of Chalcedon

540 Benedict Writes His Monastic Rule

988 Vladimir Adopts Christianity

1054 The East-West Schism

1095 Pope Urban II Launches the First Crusade

1272 Thomas Aquinas Concludes His Word on Summa Theologiae

1378 The Great Papal Schism

1456 Gutenberg Produces the First Printed Bible

1517 Luther Posts the 95 Theses

1521 The Diet of Worms

1525 The Anabaptist Movement Begins

1534 The Act of Supremacy

1536 John Calvin Publishes Institutes of the Christian Religion

1545 The Council of Trent Begins

1611 Publication of the King James Bible

1738 John & Charles Wesley Experience Conversions

1740 The Great Awakening Peaks

1962 The Second Vatican Council

Seventy-Five Other Important Events in Church History












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