Christian History that Matters

I got asked today about writing a book on church history. The idea behind the request is a good one, but this morning I thought I wouldn’t have time for years.

How I underestimate the internet!

My blog is not a megasite, but I do have some followers and am currently averaging about 80 readers a day. With your help, we can write that church history book online.

Why?

Why Another History Book?

I became a Christian in 1982. I devoured popular church history books that I found in libraries and bookstores. After 7 years and reading 5 or 10 full church history books, I had no idea how to find the writings of the "church fathers." I had no idea that we had writings from people who KNEW THE APOSTLES! I certainly didn't know we knew so much about the apostles' churches.

There's no excuse for that. How can so many church history books be written that really don't cover anything important? That don't help resolve any controversies?

It's a good thing to avoid inflammatory statements or purposely offending people out of anger, but come on! Let's at least address the questions that people want to know answers to. There's a certain amount of controversy that cannot be avoided if you want to learn something.

How You Can Help

What I would need from you is two things: questions and complaints.

The person who asked me wanted me to cover non-western Christianity as well. What about the Ethiopian Orthodox Church? What about Thomas’ churches in India?

When I posted an overview of the second century, a reader (Restless Pilgrim) asked me about liturgical issues and provided a couple references.

One of the most popular topics is how we got from the united apostolic churches of the second century, with their holiness, simplicity, and bravery in persecution to what we have today. The Church was small at the beginning of the second century and quite large at the end of the second century. Obviously, it was a time of great power. Many of their practices were different, not only from Protestantism, but from Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy as well. What happened?

I want to cover all of that, one blog post at a time, and compile it into a book later.

Please, please help me with that, especially if you are a regular or long-time reader.

We’re not starting in the next post. We’re starting today. Above, I linked a review of the second century. Please give me feedback there or here. What other things would you like to know from that period of history? What complaints do you have about what I posted?

I would like to take this opportunity to recommend a book. Lies My Teacher Told Me is a book that takes the above approach to American history. As a result, he makes American history interesting, not boring like school textbooks. He tells real stories, and he addresses real issues. He makes Woodrow Wilson a bad guy, a real bad guy. You may not agree, but at least you’ll have something to think about, to chew on, to be interested in.

Changing your perspective on history can change your perspective on everything.

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3 Responses to Christian History that Matters

  1. Buckstop77 says:

    Eagerly awaiting more on this topic.

  2. paulfpavao says:

    This is the kind of thing that can’t be certainly determined. However, every reference to John in the early Christian writings suggests he lived to a ripe old age and was not martyred. John received plenty of persecution in his lifetime for it to be fair to say he drank of the same cup Jesus drank of. That’s my take, anyway.

  3. Jim Riege says:

    Hi Paul,
    I don’t know if this is second-century or late-first-century, but I have been wondering about the death of the apostle John. It is generally believed that he died a natural death, but I’m not so sure. I keep going back to the gospel story of James and John asking the Lord to sit at his side in the Kingdom. The Lord told them that they would drink the same cup he would. Now we know that James was martyred by Herod, but what about John? Was the Lord predicting that he (John) would be martyred, too?

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