Category: Church History

The Decline of Christianity in Europe

The twentieth century was a time of great flux and anxiety in Europe as the supremacy of Christianity in Europe was being challenged by the fronts of biblical criticism, and evolution. When people raise the question of the decline of Christianity among nations or a people group one question that normally arises is, “How is this occurring?” The number one reason this occurs is the local church devalues the role of the Bible. This leads to an unhealthy church that doesn’t reach its surrounding area with the Gospel. Understanding, “What is Truth?” is of great importance for by understanding Truth as coming from God’s Word lays the foundation for understanding justice, morality, ethics, and religion. Dr. Harold J. Berman, professor of law at Harvard University wrote The Interaction of Law and Religion in which he discusses how Western culture has had a massive loss of confidence in law and religion. This has caused a double loss of confidence and a radical separation between the two. Berman concludes that you cannot have workable rules for behavior without religion, because only religion provides an absolute base on which morality and law can be based. He fears that western society is doomed to relativism in law because of the loss of an absolute. How can moral principles be grounded and social organizations legitimized in the absence of a religiously based culture? Cultures...

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The Foundation of Orthodoxy and the Canon

In the world of early Christianity many questions arose regarding what the Faith was and what it meant. As the message of the Gospel began to spread among the Greco-Roman civilization and beyond, the task of clarifying what constituted orthodox doctrine became important. In this research paper, I will discuss some of the heresies that faced the early Church in the first four centuries, as well as the men who had a strong impact on the councils of Nicea, and Chalcedon. Before we dive into the history of how the canon came into being and its central importance to the life of Christians and the Christian Church, we must also consider the role of the Old Testament. The Old Testament has thirty nine books of which the Apostles and early church fathers quoted and believed firmly.  The early church held to a high view of the Old Testament unlike those who later in church history will not. The early Christians believed they were following in the footsteps of a Savior who was not only Jewish but whose message universally called all humanity to repentance and faith in Jesus. In this context the early Church carried the message of Jesus, a message that centered on Jesus who was crucified, risen, and victorious. It was to be through Him that the early Church would rise from the ashes of Roman civilization...

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Friedrich Schleiermacher: Father of Liberal Theology

In this paper on Friedrich Schleiermacher, I will discuss how Friedrich was raised, the schools he attended, and who was influential to the formation of his theology as well as what impact he made on his era as a Pastor, theologian and philosopher. In tracing his background, thought, education, and the influences upon his life my goal is to answer the question, “How did the efforts to defend God or the Scriptures result in the breakdown of or attacks on Christian thought?” Friedrich was born in 1768 in Breslaw, the son of a Prussian Army Chaplain. Early on in his life, his father became a Pietist and became interested in Moravian theology. Friedrich was sent off at the age of fifteen to a boarding school run by the Moravians. The warmth of the Moravians devotions made a great impression upon their young student; especially their belief that true religion is concerned not with outward form, or with doctrines but with an inner, personal experience of Christ.[1] Friedrich enjoyed the devotional nature of the Moravians as he was growing up, but he began to have the feeling that the Moravians would not allow him the intellectual freedom to grow. As a ten year old child Schleiermacher had been unable to sleep, as he was tormented about the Calvinist doctrine of atonement.  During his teens his worries increased, and the Moravians...

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