Church History

“Historical knowledge and consciousness are indispensable to the health of the church”

"First, historical knowledge, even if justifiable by its practical uses, is not an end in itself. ...Such disciplines provide needed clarity and direction, and as the companions of the pilgrim save him from much needless wandering. But the pilgrim is not meant only to achieve clarity and a good sense of direction. The pilgrim is meant to attain the fatherland. Second, not just any historical knowledge is worth having." - Conciliar Post

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The Reformation at 500: Luther’s Journey to Worms

St. Peter's Cathedral in Worms, before 1901

It was a warm, sunny autumn Wednesday afternoon when our bus rolled into Worms, Germany—the second-to-last stop on the final day of touring on our 500th anniversary Reformation trip.

The town was decorated almost as if Luther himself were returning.

At the side of the road, we saw signs that read “Solus Christus,” “Sola Gratia,” “Sola Fide” and “Sola Scriptura”—like the placards that city residents might post to salute a winning sports team.

I wish that we had had more time in Worms, although there is not much left to see with regard to the place where Luther stood 500 years ago this month and—in the face of absolute power combined with demonic evil—declared his fidelity and commitment to the Word of God alone.

The Bishop’s Palace, where Holy Roman Emperor Charles V presided over the Diet of Worms, has been gone for more than 300 years. The spot where Luther is believed to have stood is now part of a sizeable park, and it is commemorated by a large pair of bronze shoes. There is a painting of the palace where Luther faced his accusers, along with some other historical markers.

Luther had preached his way through central Germany over the course of two weeks to get to Worms, and the thronging crowds cheered him exuberantly when he arrived. Humanly speaking, the fact that he had the people on his side was one of the factors that saved him.

His friends had cautioned him against going, fearing that he would be the next Jan Hus. The life stories of Luther and Hus are, in fact, intertwined at several key points.

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Patrick of Ireland: The Scripture-Saturated Life

By M.R. Conrad. Reposted from Rooted Thinking.

We’ve all heard of Patrick of Ireland. He lived in the fifth century, wore a halo, and liked picking clovers—the three-leaf kind (four leaf clovers would be heretical). People, the world over, remember him every March 17 by drinking beer and imagining leprechauns afterward. Rainbows and pots of gold could also be involved. The stereotypes get all muddled together. Maybe Patrick was a halo-wearing, beer-drinking leprechaun. Was there even a real Patrick? Do we even know who he was? Well yes, we do. Patrick was a scripture-saturated Celtic Christian who left behind a few writings that give us a glimpse at his work and testimony for Christ.

Who Was Patrick?

Long before the Roman Catholic Church took its current form or even started sainting people, Patrick followed Scripture.1 After being kidnapped as a teenager from his well-to-do family in Britain, he served as a slave in Ireland. There, remembering the gospel he had heard as a child, Patrick was “reborn in God,” his way of describing the biblical teaching of being born again (John 3:3). After a daring escape from his captors, the young man returned to Britain, studied God’s Word, and then answered God’s call to return to the land of his captivity. Patrick recounted this testimony in The Confession of Patrick, showing us today what kind of Christian and missionary he was.

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What We Need to Learn from the Second-Century Apologists

"The apologists affirmed: Christians are model citizens, respectful to Roman authorities, do good, and are not a threat to the empire. Within living memory of the apostles, these Christians learned well the deposit of apostolic teaching: we are, for example, 'to show perfect courtesy toward all people' (Titus 3:2) and to 'Honor the emperor' (1 Pet 2:17)." - Wyatt Graham

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Two Charlies: Darwin vs. Hodge - An imagined interview with Charles Hodge

"Hodge also saw that science low on the ladder of abstraction, based on observing and measuring, is not in conflict with Christian belief—but “science” high on the ladder, with faith in things unseen like macro-evolution, is. Here’s my pretend 1874 interview with Hodge about Darwin. Hodge’s own words form the answers." - Olasky

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Now Thank We All Our God: Don’t Let 2020 Stop Your Thanksgiving

"Now Thank We All Our God... rose to popularity at a strange time in European history, when it seemed there was little for which to be grateful. As the Thirty Years’ War raged through the interior of the continent, plague spread rapidly through communities in ways that now feel eerily familiar." - TGC

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Sacred Desk or Sacred Cow? Perspective on the Pulpit (Part 2)

Read Part 1.

Changing the Pulpit?

We’ve argued that the big wooden pulpit is not an element but a circumstance of worship. Technically we don’t have to use a pulpit for preaching or teaching. Or we could exchange the old pulpit for one that’s newer and portable. But, as the old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In other words, we may change, but we don’t have to change. There should be some benefits or advantages to circumstantial changes in order to warrant such changes.

Below I’d like to suggest a few possible benefits and advantages of making the transition from an older large pulpit to a newer, smaller, and more portable pulpit. Let me quickly add that these proposed benefits and advantages may not apply to every local church’s cultural and ministry context. Wisdom is needed.

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