Historical Theology: Church Councils - Nicea 325 A.D.

The Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. is the most well known council for several reasons. The Council at Nicea in 325 A.D. (hereafter Nicea) was the first "ecumenical" council (meaning it was the first council that attempted to represent the leaders and thought of the entire post-apostolic church). Nicea is also very well-known because of its pivotal subject matter (the deity of Christ, the concept of the Trinity, and deity of the Holy Spirit, and the Oneness of God). This subject matter is still pivotal today, and detractors point to Nicea as the time when the mainstream church "invented" these doctrines. (That particular piece of bad history will be examined in further depth later.) This council was also the first instance the government's attempting to influence directly the teaching and practice of the church (using a method other than persecution or an attempt to exterminate). To say that the seeds for what would one day become the Roman Catholic Church were first sown here would not be too much of a stretch either.

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Published on September 1, 2009 at 9:41 pm |

Basic Biblical Timeline (Part 2-NT)

The New Testament came after a period of roughly four hundred years in which there was no word from God. These were very active years, however, historically. The Old Testament ended with the Persians as the dominant power. During the period between the Old and New Testaments the Greeks rose to world-wide dominance. This was the golden age for Greece (think Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Alexander the Great). This Greek dominance affected the New Testament greatly. The books of the New Testament were written in Koine Greek (the common language of the people), and though the apostles/original leaders of the church were former devout Jews, many of the "second-generation believers" were Greeks and Hellenized Jews (Jews by blood, but Greek by lifestyle). Shortly before the beginning of the events of the New Testament the Roman Empire replaced the Greeks as the world power. Thus, Jesus Christ was born into a Roman world.Read more ...

Published on August 25, 2009 at 7:47 pm |

Historical Theology: Church Councils - Intro

We're going to follow a multi-part study of the ancient church councils. There are seven councils (commonly known as the General Councils, Ecumenical Councils, or Catholic Councils) that we will consider ranging in date from 325 A.D. to 787 A.D. There were certainly other councils during that time period, before that period, and since that period, but these seven are generally regarded as the most significant and are accepted by Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox alike. While we certainly do not agree with every single aspect of each of these councils, we can affirm, to a large degree, the major conclusions of all of the seven General Councils.

"Why should I care?" you may ask. In general, we believe that there are many valid reasons that you should care about church history, but these councils are specifically important because of the condemnation of heresy and affirmation of and clarification of specific terminology about biblical teachings (doctrine) that occurred at each of them. As we studies the councils each in more depth, we will see some modern examples of the heresies condemned where they still exist, and we will see the strengths and benefits of the teachings affirmed.

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Published on August 20, 2009 at 1:29 am |

Basic Biblical Timeline (Part 1-OT)

It occurred to me recently that we know so many Bible names and hear so many stories, but it is difficult to put them all in their correct places. This article will not solve all your timeline woes, and the dates I give are not meant to be exact dates of exquisite historical accuracy. I am trying to give you basic ranges that will give you a framework upon which you can build your knowledge a bit at a time.Read more ...

Published on August 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm |


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