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The History of the Christian Church

Pastor Lance Ralston

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The History of the Christian Church
Aug 5, 2018 Lance Ralston
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This is the last of a dozen episodes on Rabban Sauma.Having met with all the dignitaries his embassy on Arghun’s behalf required, Sauma was anxious to return home. The delay caused by the Roman Cardinals failure to appoint a new Pope had lengthened his stay beyond what he’d anticipated. Although no record of it is given, Arghun may have urged Sauma to return by a specific date. So he packed up and started the journey back to Persia. It was April 1288.And remember, accompanying him was the...
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 29, 2018 Lance Ralston
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This is the 11th episode in the story of Rabban Sauma, and we’re closing in on the conclusion.After a month-long tour of the holy sites in and around Paris, Sauma had a final audience with King Philip. He meant it to be the crowning achievement in the royal treatment he’d lavished on the Chinese ambassador.It was held in the upper chapel of Saint-Chapelle where the just completed stained glass windows filled the room with light, giving the room its nick-name – The Jewel Box. Being newly...
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 22, 2018 Lance Ralston
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This is episode 10 in the on-going epic saga of the Chinese Marco Polo – Rabban Sauma.Realizing he couldn’t get anything done in Rome since there was no Pope, and that the dozen cardinals charged with the task of selecting him were competing for the post, Sauma decided to take his request for a military alliance between Christian Europe and Mongol Persia against the Muslims Mamluks in the Middle East, directly to the Kings of France and England.Leaving Rome, he stopped in Genoa on his way...
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 15, 2018 Lance Ralston
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This is Episode 9 in the on-going epic tale of Rabban Sauma.Finally, Sauma has arrived in Europe. After two months aboard ship, his party arrives in Naples. Which is unusual because the trip from Constantinople ought to have taken less than a month. Here again, it’s Sauma’s account that seems to be lacking detail. Being a commercial vessel, most likely they’d used the route to further their business, so had put into port along the way for days at a time.Sauma took some time in Naples to...
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 8, 2018 Lance Ralston
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This is episode 8 in the remarkable tale of a Chinese Marco Polo named Rabban Sauma.Well, it’s taken us 7 episodes to get to the point of Sauma’s story that’s set him as a historical figure we even know about. If it weren’t for what follows, even though he’s already lived a genuinely epic life, he’d be little more than a footnote to his companion Marcos’ story. For it was Marcos, not Sauma who became the Catholicos, the reigning patriarch of the entire Nestorian Church, under the...
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 1, 2018 Lance Ralston
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This is the 7th episode in the on-going saga of Rabban Sauma.Last episode ended with the Mongol Ilkhan Arghun in Persia surrounded by enemies. He had a powerful ally in the Great Khan Khubilai, but Persia and China were too far apart and Khubilai was already locked into his own troubles in his contest with his cousin Khaidu.Arghun had risen to the Ilkhanate in Persia by supplanting his nemesis Ahmad, a pro-Muslim ruler who’d been removed & executed after a short reign. Arghun worried...
The History of the Christian Church
Jun 24, 2018 Lance Ralston
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This is the 6th Episode in the amazing story of a Chinese monk named Rabban Sauma.We ended the last episode with Sauma’s protégé and friend Markos, firmly ensconced in the seat of the Catholicus of the Church of The East.Because we’ve already had 5 episodes in this series spread over 5 weeks, it’s easy for subscribers who listen to each episode when it goes up, to forget the arc of Markos’ story.He showed up at the door of the monk Sauma’s cell in the Fang Mountains of China when he...
The History of the Christian Church
Jun 17, 2018 Lance Ralston
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This is Episode 5 in the on-going saga of Rabban Sauma.We left Markos and Bar Sauma headed to Tabriz, the Mongol Ilkhan’s capital in Persia.By way of recap, “Ilkhan” means “under-khan.”The Mongol realms of the late 13th C were fractured and divided up into warring camps. The Ilkhans of Persia owed allegiance to the Great Khan, Khubilai, whose capital in China would eventually be known as Beijing. Lying between the Ilkhante in Persia and the realm of Khubilai was a Central Asian...
The History of the Christian Church
Jun 10, 2018 Lance Ralston
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This is Episode 4 in the Saga of Rabban Sauma.After their 6 month rest at the oases of Khotan, Bar Sauma & Markos renewed their journey West. Cautious of the fighting taking place between Khubilai Khan and his cousin Khaidu, their guides escorted them around the regions of greatest threat, lengthening the journey by several weeks. They stopped at a Talas, a town in what is today Kyrgyz.500 yrs before, Talas was the scene of one of the most important battles in history. The forces of the...
The History of the Christian Church
Jun 3, 2018 Lance Ralston
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This episode continues our series on the remarkable Rabban Sauma with Part 3.In Part 1, we looked at the opening chapter in Sauma’s life. By way of a quick recap . . .He was the treasured son of an Onggud noble family who from an early age showed a remarkable passion for pursuing the spiritual. Adept in his studies and excelling in piety, by the age 25 he was a member of the Nestorian clergy, a monk-priest. It was the year 1248.Choosing a life of isolation rather than a monastery, he...
The History of the Christian Church
May 27, 2018 Lance Ralston
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This is Part 2 of our series on Rabban Sauma.We begin with a brief review of the political scene into which Rabban Sauma’s story fits.Trade between the Roman Empire and the Far East was established as early as the First Century. But this trade was conducted by intermediaries. No single Western merchant made the entire trek to China, nor vice-versa. Goods traveled a ways from East to West or West to East by local caravans, which deposited them at a market, to be picked up by another caravan...
The History of the Christian Church
May 20, 2018 Lance Ralston
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Rabban Sauma is the title of this Episode, Part 1.So --  there I was, walking through the Genghis Khan exhibit at the Reagan Library, reading the various offerings on the Great Khan and Mongols -  a subject that as a student of history I find fascinating when I came upon an offering that launched an investigation. It spoke of a Nestorian priest who was a Chinese version of the famous Marco Polo. As I read the exhibit’s terse account of Rabban Sauma, I knew I had a new investigation to make....
The History of the Christian Church
Jan 14, 2018 Lance Ralston
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Think I’m on safe ground when I say à Those listening to this are mostly likely students of history. Your knowledge of the past is probably more comprehensive than the average person. And of course, the range of knowledge among subscribers to CS spans the gamut from extensive to, well, not so much. Yet still, more than the average.If asked to make a list of the main thinkers of the past; philosophers, theologians, and such like, of Western tradition, we’d get the usual. Socrates, Plato,...
The History of the Christian Church
Jan 7, 2018 Lance Ralston
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Taken as a whole, leaders demonstrate a wide array of skills and talent. While great leaders often exhibit some consistent marks, there’s simply no set script they follow. No inventory of essential traits all must possess to excel. Indeed, some great leaders demonstrate contradictory traits from each other. One is gregarious, another reserved. Once is upbeat and energetic, another taciturn and subdued.Many of the Church’s great leaders have been brilliant, their intelligence ranking them as...
The History of the Christian Church
Dec 17, 2017 Lance Ralston
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During the early-mid 19th C, an interesting phenomenon spread over the thinking of parts of Western Europe and the US. It was a general negativity about the present, but a strong optimism about the future. In some places, it was almost giddy. The current political and economic situation might be a mess and the number of social ills piling higher. But the Enlightenment’s promise of a bright new day gripped the imagination of thousands. The recent boom in technological progress with things like...
The History of the Christian Church
Dec 10, 2017 Lance Ralston
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In this episode of CS, we’ll take a look at something many of our listeners are familiar with; at least, they think their familiar with it – Evangelicalism. Not a few of them would describe themselves as Evangelicals.  But if pressed to describe what exactly that means, they’d be hard pressed to say. And they have little to know awareness of the historical roots of the movement they are indeed a part of. // So, let’s start off with a little definition of terms.Evangelicalism is a...
The History of the Christian Church
Dec 3, 2017 Lance Ralston
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In this Episode of CS we’ll take a look at a figure of church history anyone who’s done any reading in such has likely encountered – Eusebius of Caesarea. He’s a prominent figure because he’s known as the Father of Church history for his classic work Ecclesiastical History which charts the course of the early church from its inception to the late 3rd C.His history of the Church was originally composed in 10 volumes. He began it during the Great Persecution of 303–313 and completed...
The History of the Christian Church
Nov 26, 2017 Lance Ralston
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In his marvelous one volume book on Church History, Bruce Shelley relates how the World Council of Churches came up with its motto.In 1962, its General Secretary, Willem Hooft, met a delegation of Russian Orthodox leaders in a Leningrad hotel over breakfast. The Russians complained the current WCC motto left out a crucial element of their theology, without which they couldn’t join.  They needed to see some reference to the Trinity, however brief.From discussions with many Protestant groups,...
The History of the Christian Church
Oct 29, 2017 Lance Ralston
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The title of this episode, Part 6 in the Series 500 Yrs, in commemoration of the Half-Millennial anniversary of The Reformation, is “The Way It Was;” a brief look at popular religion of the Middle and Late Middle Ages in Europe.(more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Oct 15, 2017 Lance Ralston
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https://storage.googleapis.com/communio-sanctorum/500Years-Part05.mp3As we come up to the 500 year anniversary of Reformation Day, when Martin Luther tacked his revolutionary list of exceptions to current church practice and belief to the Castle Church door in the German town of Wittenberg, we’re faced with the realization that the Reformation embraced many more people than the popular telling of history enumerates. Many more.(more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Oct 8, 2017 Lance Ralston
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His family name was “Black Earth,” as in the rich, fertile soil around his hometown. In German, Schwartzerdt. His first name was Philipp. He was born in Feb of 1497 at Bretten in SW Germany. His father was an armorer for an important German Count.(more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Oct 1, 2017 Lance Ralston
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By necessity due to time, we ended the last episode in the middle of recounting Luther’s great conversion experience, where he realized the righteousness  God requires isn’t one borne of good works, but is the righteousness of God Himself, which He gives freely to those who put their faith in the atoning work of Christ.(more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Sep 24, 2017 Lance Ralston
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We left off last time with the close of the Diet of Worms where Martin Luther informed the august assembled officials of both civil government & Church, that he’d not recant what he’d either written or said, because his opponents weren’t able to refute him with Scripture.(more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Sep 17, 2017 Lance Ralston
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Since we’re rapidly approaching the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, we begin a short series on it’s beginning.(more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Sep 3, 2017 Lance Ralston
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In Season 1 we spent a little time tracking the Enlightenment’s impact on the Christian Faith. Dual impetuses emerged; one leading to Liberalism, the other to Fundamentalism, which was the reaction of Orthodoxy to the challenges of Liberalism.(more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Aug 27, 2017 Lance Ralston
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Years ago I watched a TV show with fascination as the host, james Burke, started with a single item then over the course of the next hour, showed it’s link to something else, then that to something else, until after a dozen seemingly disconnected links it arrived at some marvel of modern convenience and daily life. The show was called Connections. It’s one of several things that stoked my love of history.(more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Aug 20, 2017 Lance Ralston
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One of the most interesting moments in Church History comes in the conflict over the use of images in Worship. It’s born of the reality that Christianity has its roots in Judaism but had vast appeal among pagan Gentiles. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Aug 13, 2017 Lance Ralston
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One of the features of Church History is the tendency for the theological pendulum to swing to one extreme, then back in the other direction to another. At the risk of being simplistic but in an attempt to keep it brief, let me condense things like this . . . (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Aug 6, 2017 Lance Ralston
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As we’ve seen in other episodes, theologically, the Church spent the 4th & 5th Cs figuring out exactly how to articulate what it believed about the nature of God & Jesus. The main questions it dealt with in the 5th thru 7th Cs, centered on how God saves the lost. Theologians were consumed with properly understanding God’s grace, free will, and the nature of sin. Just what happened in the Fall? Instead of the nature of God, it was the nature of humanity that dominated Church...
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 23, 2017 Lance Ralston
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This episode of CS will be significantly different from our usual fare. Whereas when I give commentary on things, I usually verbally mark it off by giving a caveat and saying I’m offering an opinion. Well, this entire episode is that. Here’s why . . . and hang with me for a bit because it’s going to take a little time to explain. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 16, 2017 Lance Ralston
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We’re going to go forward in time from our last episode nearly a millennium. Last time we talked about the Gnostics and the serious challenge they presented the Early Church. The dualism that lay at the heart of Gnosticism continued to rear its hoary head in the centuries that followed. It was part & parcel of the Zoroastrianism & Manichaeanism rooted in Persia and was the official faith of the Sassanid Empire. Dualistic ideas were so popular, they managed to infiltrate many...
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 9, 2017 Lance Ralston
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For 2nd generation Christians—let’s say, those who came to faith after AD 70, Jesus became less a person they’d personally known, or the friend of a friend—but more of a mysterious agent in a cosmic drama. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 2, 2017 Lance Ralston
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We start a new series here in Season 2 of CS. This time we’ll take a look at some of the notable Heretics & Heresies in Church History. Most of these we covered in Season 1. This time we’ll go a bit deeper. As we do, we just might discover that some of those movements and groups that have been classed as heretical, weren’t. Aberrant maybe, but heretical, not! As has been said; Winners write history. They get to tell the tale. It seems at least some of the reporting of Church officials...
The History of the Christian Church
Jun 25, 2017 Lance Ralston
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We’ve worked our way through 6 of what are known as the 7 Ecumenical Councils of Church History. We’ve examined the Councils and the Creeds they produced. Although, after the First Council in 325 at Nicaea, each subsequent Council claimed that all it was doing was refining the verbiage of the Nicaean Creed. Each claimed it was merely an extension of the ground-breaking work of that first august Council convened by the Emperor Constantine I.It seems fitting then that the last of the 7...
The History of the Christian Church
Jun 18, 2017 Lance Ralston
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Let’s get ready to rumble!Well--It’s not exactly a rumble we’re in for in this episode, so much as a tumble into the rabbit hole of theological wrangling that took place after the Council of Chalcedon that led to the 2nd & 3rd Councils at Constantinople in 553 & 680. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Jun 11, 2017 Lance Ralston
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In 431, the Council of Ephesus dismissed Nestorius’ explanation of the dual nature of Christ in favor of Cyril’s. But that Council was swayed more by circumstance and politics than by sound theology. While Nestorius’ Christology was mis-represented by his critics to be proposing, not just two natures to Jesus, but two persons, Cyril’s Christology put such heavy emphasis on Jesus’ deity, his Christology leaned toward monophysitism; that is, casting Jesus as having a single nature....
The History of the Christian Church
May 28, 2017 Lance Ralston
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In the last couple episodes we’ve set the scene for the Council of Ephesus in 431. Last time we did biographies of the two main players at the Council, Nestorius and Cyril.We ended with a brief review of their different Christologies; that is, how they viewed the dual nature of Christ as God & Man. Let’s pick it up now with the events leading to the Council. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
May 21, 2017 Lance Ralston
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In the last episode, we introduced the political situation framing the debate that ensued between two church leaders at the Council of Ephesus in 431.Those two leaders were Nestorius, Patriarch of the Capital Church at Constantinople and Cyril, arch-bishop at Alexandria. Let’s get in to the background on these two men so we can better understand the brueha that happened at Ephesus. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
May 14, 2017 Lance Ralston
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Buckle up for this episode, because it’s a rocky ride. We’ve come to the Third Ecumenical Church Council. And for those of you who remember this one from Season 1, you know where in for troubled times. We’re looking at the Council of Ephesus in 431 and the battle between Cyril & Nestorius. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
May 7, 2017 Lance Ralston
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This is part 5 of our series on the Creeds in which we’ll be taking a look at the First Council of Constantinople.In Part 3 we looked at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. While the Church had a lot to deal with in the decades that followed, they didn’t convene another Council for almost 60 yrs. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Apr 30, 2017 Lance Ralston
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This is part 4 of our series on the Creeds.Because most of the creeds were the product of a Council of one kind or another, when dealing with the creeds, we have to talk about the Council. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Apr 23, 2017 Lance Ralston
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With two introductory episodes on the Creeds under our belt, sash, or whatever else you use to hold up your pants, let’s move now to the Council & Creed of Nicaea.What’s referred to as the Nicene Creed is the product of not one, but two councils held about 60 yrs apart. The first was held in the city of Nicaea in 325, the other in Constantinople in 381. The 2 cities are about 140 kms or 86 mls apart. The Nicene Creed may be the most famous in Church history because it addressed the...
The History of the Christian Church
Apr 16, 2017 Lance Ralston
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While we got a good start in our series on the Creeds last episode, it behooves us to back up a bit and do a brief review of what we’re talking about when we look at the Creeds. There are four terms we need to define as sometimes they get confused; creeds, confessions, catechisms, and their relationship to councils. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Apr 9, 2017 Lance Ralston
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In the 150 episodes of Season 1, and now 9 episodes into Season 2 of CS, our review of the History of the Christian Church has only touched on the Creeds incidentally. We’ve mentioned the Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and so on. But we’ve not gone into depth on any of them. There are some students and scholars of Church History who’d consider that a kind of academic crime. To neglect the creeds as we have would be like studying flight without considering the rules of...
The History of the Christian Church
Apr 2, 2017 Lance Ralston
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This episode is a bit different from our usual fare in that it’s devoted to the subject of art in Church History. It’s in no way intended to be a comprehensive review of religious art. We’ll take just a cursory look at the development of art in the early centuries.Much has been written about the philosophy of art. And as anyone who’s taken an art history course in college knows, much debate has ensued over what defines art. It’s not our aim here to enter that fray, but instead of step...
The History of the Christian Church
Mar 19, 2017 Lance Ralston
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As I record  & post this episode, a new movie’s out called Logan. It’s appears to be the last installment for the venerable X-Men character Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman. Logan was an immortal who became the subject of a secret military experiment gone wrong. His skeleton was infused with a fictional metal called adamantium that bears the hardness of a diamond. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Mar 12, 2017 Lance Ralston
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This is part 6 of our series titled The First Centuries, in Season 2 of CS. In the last episode we took a look at the Church Father Irenaeus. This episode we’ll consider Tertullian.That may prompt some to wonder if we’re going to work our way through ALL the church fathers of the Early Church. Uh, no – we won’t. Just a few.While he’s known to history as Tertullian, his full name was Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Mar 5, 2017 Lance Ralston
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The historical record is pretty clear that the Apostle John spent his last years in Western Asia Minor, with the City of Ephesus acting as his headquarters. It seems that during his time there, he ppoured himself into a cadre of capable men who went on to provide outstanding leadership for the church in the midst of difficult trials. Men like Polycarp of Smyrna, Papias & Apolinarius of Hierapolis, & Melito of Sardis. These and others were mentioned by Polycrates, the bishop of Ephesus...
The History of the Christian Church
Feb 26, 2017 Lance Ralston
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Have you noticed that, generally-speaking, Christians like to argue?Maybe we get it from our spiritual ancestors, the Jews. Once while on a tour of Jerusalem at what are called the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount, our Jewish guide told us that a frequent joke among his people was that where there are 2 Jews, there’s 3 opinions.Yeah; it seems controversy has been a part of the history of The Church since its inception. And maybe that’s really more a “human” tendency than something...
The History of the Christian Church
Feb 12, 2017 Lance Ralston
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In part 1 we took a look at some of the sociological reason for persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. Then last time we began a narrative-chronology of the waves of persecution and ended with Antonius Pious.A new approach in dealing with Christians was adopted by Marcus Aurelius who reigned form 161–180. Aurelius is known as a philosopher emperor. He authored a volume on Stoic philosophy titled Meditations. It was really more a series of notes to himself, but it became something of a...
The History of the Christian Church
Feb 5, 2017 Lance Ralston
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This is part 2 in our follow-up series on the first centuries in Church History. We’re concentrating on the persecution Jesus’ followers endured. In part 1, we examined the social & civic reasons for persecution in the Roman Empire.The suspicion of nefarious intent by Christians, fueled by their withdrawal from society due to its tacit connection to paganism, morphed into a suspicion of covert actions Jesus’ followers were taking to subvert society. Why were Christians so secretive if...
The History of the Christian Church
Jan 29, 2017 Lance Ralston
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Welcome BACK to Communion Sanctorum: History of the Christian Church.We ended our summary & overview narrative of Church History after 150 episodes; took a few months break, and are back to it again with more episodes which aim to fill in the massive gaps we left before.This time, we’ll do series that go into detail on specific moments, movements, people, places, and other topics. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Sep 4, 2016 Lance Ralston
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The final episode of Communio Sanctorum. We look briefly at the reaction of some Protestants  to Manifest Destiny. DL Moody, The Holiness Movement, Phoebe Palmer, The Azusa Street Revival.This 150th episode of CS is titled The End.150 episodes! And this is the rebooted v2. We had a hundred episodes in v1 before I started over again in an attempt to clean up the timeline and fill in some gaps. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Aug 28, 2016 Lance Ralston
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Evangelism into FundamentalismThis 149th episode is titled Evangementalism.We’ve spent a couple episodes laying out the genesis of Theological Liberalism, and concluded the last episode with a brief look at the conservative reaction to it of what’s been called Evangelicalism. Evangelicalism was one of the most important movements of the 20th C. The label comes from that which lies at the center of the movement, a devotion to an orthodox and traditional understanding of the Evangel, that is,...
The History of the Christian Church
Aug 21, 2016 Lance Ralston
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The work of the Protestant Liberal theologians Schleiermacher & Ristchl. The Evangelical response.The title of this 148th episode is Liberal v EvangelicalIn our last episode, we considered the philosophical roots of Theological Liberalism. In this episode we’ll name names as we look at the early leaders and innovators or Liberalism.Some years ago in a college Philosophy class, my professor gave his understanding of both faith and reason. After a lengthy description of both, he concluded...
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The History of the Christian Church
Aug 14, 2016 Lance Ralston
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Part 3 in our looks at Theological Liberalism. A summary Biblical Criticism and Liberalism's overall goal in merging reason & faith.The title of this 147th episode is Why So Critical?Two episodes back we introduced the themes that would lead eventually to what’s called by many Theological Liberalism. Last episode we talked a bit about how the church, mostly the Roman Catholic church, pushed back against those themes. In this episode we’ll go further into the birth of liberalism....
The History of the Christian Church
Aug 7, 2016 Lance Ralston
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The Roman Church's response to Modernism in the mid to late 19th Century. Pius IX's development of Papal Infallibility.The title of this 146th episode is Push-BackAs we move to wind up this season of CS, we’ve entered into the modern era in our review of Church history and the emergence of Theological Liberalism. Many historians view The French Revolution as a turning point in the social development of Europe and the Western Civilization. The French Revolution was in many ways, the result of...
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 31, 2016 Lance Ralston
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We examine the impact of the tendency for modernization to foster a creeping secularism in the 19th C.The title of this 145th episode of CS is Liberal.The term “modern” as it relates to the story of history, has been treated differently by dozens of authors, historians and sociologists. Generally speaking, Modernization is the process by which agricultural and rural traditions morph into an industrial, technological and urban milieu that tends to be democratic, pluralistic, socialist,...
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 24, 2016 Lance Ralston
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We take a look at what's happening in the Eastern Church during the 17th to 20th Century.The title of this 144th episode is Coping.A quick announcement before we dive in.Go to the sanctorum.us website or the CS FB page and hit the link to the 2017 Reformation Tour we’re doing in March. We have all the info up with prices and dates. So take a look and think about joining us.It’s time once again to lay down our focus on the Western Church to see what’s happening in the East. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 17, 2016 Lance Ralston
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Christianity as a religion becomes a diminishing factor in the political affairs of 19th Century Europe and Latin America.This 143rd episode of CS is titled Coming ApartEurope in the late 19th C was recovering from the Napoleonic Wars. War-weary, the nations longed for a prolonged period of peace in which to take a breath, and consider HOW they were going to rebuild from the devastation recent conflicts has left. A plethora of new economic and political theories were available for them to...
The History of the Christian Church
Jul 10, 2016 Lance Ralston
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The impact of the French Revolution on the Church in France.The title of this 142 episode of CS is “Off with Their Heads.”In this installment of the podcast, we’re going to give a brief review of The French Revolution, which may not seem at first blush to have much to do with Church History. Ahh, but it does. It does for this reason: What we see in The French Revolution is a proto-typical example of the Church, by which the institutional church, not necessarily the Christian Gospel and...
The History of the Christian Church
Jun 26, 2016 Lance Ralston
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We look at the church under the Ottoman Turks after the Fall of Constantinople. We then look at the Ukrainian Uniate Church and the Russian Orthodox Church during the reign of the Romanovs. This 141st, episode is titled, Behind Enemy Lines. Following up their conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the Turks conquered most of the Balkans. They now controlled the former Byzantine Empire and the substantial region of Armenia. They required the Eastern Orthodox patriarchs in Constantinople to obey...
The History of the Christian Church
Jun 19, 2016 Lance Ralston
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We wrap up our review of the Enlightenment effect on the Church in Europe by looking at Scandinavia, The Dutch United Provinces, Geneva, and Italy. This 140th episode is titled Up North, Then South. This will be the last episode where we take a look at Christianity in Europe following the Enlightenment. This narrative is nowhere near exhaustive. It’s more an exhaustING summary of Scandinavia, The Dutch United Provinces, Austria, and Italy. We’ve already looked at Germany, France, and Spain....
The History of the Christian Church
Jun 12, 2016 Lance Ralston
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In this episode we finish off our look at the French Church of the 17th to 18th Centuries, then consider the impact of the German Enlightenment on the church in Germany. This 139th episode is title “Pressed.” In our last episode, we took a look the French church of the 17th C and considered the contest between the Catholic Jansenists & Jesuits. It’s interesting realizing the Jansenists began as a theological movement that looks quite similar to Calvinism. Their theology eventually...
The History of the Christian Church
Jun 5, 2016 Lance Ralston
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We back up a bit in this episode to take a look at what happened in France in the 17th Century with the demise of the Divine Right of Kings. The Title of this 138th Episode is Backing Up. And its titled that because once again we’re backtracking a bit to hop into the story of Church History earlier than where our last few episodes have taken us. We’re focusing this episode on what happened in France during the late 17th & into the 18th C. This period saw a massive struggle between the...
The History of the Christian Church
May 22, 2016 Lance Ralston
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We look at Theological Liberalism and the Social Gospel, as well as a brief glance at the reaction to it of Fundamentalism. In this 137th episode of CS, titled “Then Away,” we give a brief account of the rise of Theological Liberalism. In the previous episodes we charted the revivals that marked the 18th & 19th Cs. Social transformation is a mark of such revivals. But not all those engaged in the betterment of society were motivated by a passion to serve God by serving their fellow man....
The History of the Christian Church
May 15, 2016 Lance Ralston
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This 136th episode of CS is titled, Yet Again. Before we dive in, I want to give a hearty thanks to all those of you who nominated CS for the 2016 Podcast Awards. As I record this, I’m not sure where we came in, in the nomination process & whether or not we’ll be included in the general voting this year. They’ve changed the rules a bit this year & I’m not certain how things will sort out. If CS makes the final cut, I’ll let you know here on the podcast, the sanctorum.us site...
The History of the Christian Church
May 8, 2016 Lance Ralston
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This 135th episode of CS is titled, A Second Awakening. We ended our last episode with the dour spiritual condition of both the United States and Europe at the end of the 18th C. I mentioned Dr. J Edwin Orr a couple episodes back. He was the 20th C’s foremost expert on Revival and Spiritual renewal. While he could speak with eloquence on literally dozens of Revivals, one of his favorite subjects was what’s come to be known as the Second Great Awakening. Before it began, there were many who...
The History of the Christian Church
May 1, 2016 Lance Ralston
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This is episode 134-Decline. Following the Great Awakening, which produced a deep-seated sense of Faith in so many Americans prior to the Revolutionary War, as the new nation organized itself around its new national identity, it realized something unique was taking place. A genuine religious pluralism had taken root. That was very different from the centuries of conflict that marked the Europe they or their ancestors came from. There are several reasons for the religious pluralism of the United...
The History of the Christian Church
Apr 24, 2016 Lance Ralston
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This 133rd episode of CS is titled Awakening. It’s time again for the Podcast Awards. Voting is only from April 15-30, 2016. The rules are a bit different this year, which I won’t bore you with. But please note if you want to nominate CS, you have to do so no later than April 30th. You can only nominate once and one show per category. CS will be in the Society & Culture category. The only podcasts that will make it to the finals are those who receive enough nominations. Then, once that...
The History of the Christian Church
Apr 21, 2016 Lance Ralston
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This, the 132nd episode of CS is titled, Colonies. Two announcements before we dive in. 1) For those who’ve expressed interest in the CS Reformation Tour in March of 2017, we’ll have the airfare portion of the trip nailed down soon, hopefully by the end of April. As soon as we rates, we’ll tell you here and on both the sanctorum.us site and the Facebook page. 2) The 2016 Podcast Awards are taking nominations for your favorite podcasts. If you want to vote for CS, head over to...
The History of the Christian Church
Apr 10, 2016 Lance Ralston
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This episode of CS is titled, Results. Now that we’ve come through the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment & considered many but not all of the movements and luminaries of this period, it’s time to hold a brief review of the results of what took place in Europe and the New World following all this turmoil. Once we embark in the next Era of Church History, we’ll find ourselves in the weeds of so many movements that we’re going to have to back up and take it in an even more...
The History of the Christian Church
Mar 20, 2016 Lance Ralston
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This episode is titled, Kant. At the conclusion of episode 125 – The Rationalist Option Part 2, I said we’d return later to the subject of the philosophy of the Enlightenment to consider its impact on theology & Church History. We’ll do that in this episode. In that episode the past philosopher we considered was the empiricist David Hume, whose skepticism went so far as to suggest that the common sense notion of cause and effect was an illusion. Hume said that all we can says is what...
The History of the Christian Church
Mar 13, 2016 Lance Ralston
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The title of this episode is Moravians and Wesley. We took a look at Pietism in an earlier episode. Pietism was a reaction to the dry dogmatism of Protestant Scholasticism and the reductionist rationalism of Enlightenment philosophers. It aimed to renew a living faith in a living Christ. As a movement, it was led in the 17th C by Philip Jakob Spener & August Francke [frank -uh]. (more…)
The History of the Christian Church
Mar 6, 2016 Lance Ralston
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In this episode, we’ll take a brief look at what came to be called Spiritualism. Coming out of the 16th C, the, what seemed to many at the time, endless debates on doctrine & dogma, the intolerance of Christians toward one another, and the lack of any apparent movement toward resolving the mess, moved many across Europe and the New World to seek refuge in a more of a religious sentiment, than a faith with clearly defined beliefs. Another factor that led to this movement was the burgeoning...