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Church History II - Constantine & the Middle Ages
Transcript of Church History II - Constantine & the Middle Ages
The Church of Ephesus [Rev2:1-7] THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
The Church of Smyrna [Rev2:8-11] THE ERA OF CONSTANTINE
The Church of Pergamos [Rev2:12-17] THE MIDDLE AGES
The Church of Ephesus [Rev2:1-7] THE EARLY CHURCH
The Church of Ephesus [Rev2:1-7] THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION
The Church of Sardis [Rev3:1-6] THE MISSIONARY ERA The Church of Philadelphia
(1789-1914) [Rev3:7-13] Church History by Corey Janz for CH001 THE ERA OF CONSTANTINE (313-590)
The Church of Pergamos [Rev2:12-17] THE MIDDLE AGES taught by
Cisco Gonzalez & Jasmine Alnutt at THE EARLY CHURCH
The Church of Ephesus [Rev2:1-7] (Church History) EMPEROR (C.272-337) (Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus, to be exact) CONSTANTINE "THE GREAT" 312 (Oct28) BATTLE of the MILVIAN BRIDGE Some time shortly thereafter,
Constantine converts to Christianity. Having experienced a vision prior to battle
that led him to call upon
the God of the Christians for success in battle, Constantine comes to view his victory
as proof of the superiority of the Christian religion. Constantine emerges the victor over his rival Maxentius. 313 the EDICT of MILAN This edict,
sanctioned under Constantine, makes Christianity
a legally recognized, free religion. This outcome provides Constantine with rulership over the capital of Rome and undisputed control over the entire west half of the Roman Empire. 324 the Roman Empire Reunited Constantine defeats Emperor Licinius in a civil war; in doing so, Constantine gains sole control of the entire Roman Empire, reuniting it once more. 330 CONSTANTINOPLE a new capital for the Empire After 6 years of
bolstering & building,
a new capital city. Constantinople (originally called Byzantium, and now called Istanbul) becomes "The First Christian City"... ...in the sense that all temples to
Greco-Roman gods are torn down
and no new ones are permitted. Church COUNCILS During the Era of Constantine, much of the Christian Church's crucial doctrine is penned into words during widely attended church councils. Amidst the others, 4 councils stand out as the most promininent, each of them concluding with an important declaration about the nature and person of Jesus Christ: . The Council of NICEA (325) "Christ is Fully God" . The Council of CONSTANTINOPLE (381) "Christ is Fully Man" . The Council of EPHESUS (431) "Christ is a
Unified Person" . The Council of CHALCEDON (451) "Christ is Human & Divine
in one Person." 367 A PUBLICATION of Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria provides the earliest listing on record that provides the complete set of New Testament books as we have them today. This list is affirmed shortly thereafter at
the Council of Hippo (393), and again at
the Council of Carthage (397). 380 EMPEROR THEODOSIUS makes Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire... ...and enforces the Christian Faith
by Imperial Command! "We command that those persons who follow this rule shall embrace the name of Catholic Christians. The rest, however, whom We ajudge demented and insane, shall sustain the infamy of heretical dogmas, their meeting places shall not receive the name of churches, and they shall be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by the retribution of Our own initiative, which We shall assume in accordance with divine judgment." "It is Our Will that all the peoples we rule shall practice that religion which the divine Peter the Apostle transmitted to the Romans. We shall believe in the single Deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, under the concept of equal majesty and of the Holy Trinity. Less than 100 years earlier, Christians were being punished for their faith. Now Christians are punishing others for not believing as they do! St. Augustine of Hippo 387 CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY and is BAPTIZED by Bishop Ambrose of Milan He would become arguably one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time.
- He maps out the concepts of Original Sin and Just War.
- His writings regarding salvation and grace toward the individual have a
major impact on the development of the Protestant Reformation.
- His book CITY OF GOD, which is written shortly after Rome is sacked by the
Visigoths, works to console the Church by retraining its eyes from the
temporal kingdom of man to the steadfast and eternal Kingdom of God. "In this sign,
conquer." THE FALL OF ROME A series of events indicate
the expiry of the Roman Empire 410 Visigoth hordes, led by Alaric, sack Rome. “The Eternal City” had not been invaded by foreigners for 620 years. Its former glory is forever tainted. 452 Attila the Hun advances on Rome. Pope Leo intercepts Attila and his army at a ford on the Po River and requests that Atilla spare the capital. Attila grants Leo’s request and furthermore withdraws out of Italy entirely. But for Leo’s actions (the Emperor did nothing), Rome could well have fallen to the whims of a terrible army. 455: "14 Days Looting" Leo saves the city once again - but this time there are larger consequences. Leo is able to convince King Gaiseric to spare the city from destruction, but the king still grants his Vandal Army a fortnight of looting within the city. 476: The final breath of the Roman Empire It's a pretty unremarkable event: German tribes
have already been controlling the Empire for years,
but the true end comes when Odovacar kills Imperial Commander Orestes,
deposes his son the Emperor Romulus Augustulus,
and puts a stop to the Imperial line of Roman Emperors - which is by this time largely superficial. 440 LEO I (aka The Pope) Becomes the Bishop of Rome Shortly after, Leo lays the theoretical foundation for Papal Primacy.
His wise actions in office serve to bolster his claim to this authority.
The Pope’s identity as The Vicar of Christ
is cemented into the minds of the Catholic Church. CLOVIS I - KING of the FRANKS Converts to Christianity and is Baptized 496 ...& his whole tribe follows his lead!
The Church has a new political ally in the wake of Rome’s destruction.
The Franks will go on to play a key role in the Christianization of Europe... 529 ST.BENEDICT OF NURSIA Establishes a monastery at Monte Cassino (Italy) Here
he writes his
which goes on to
and guidelines of
Western Monasticism. (590-1517)
The Church of Ephesus
[Rev2:18-29] 590-1000: the early middle ages... 590 GREGORY THE GREAT becomes POPE After Pope Pelagius II dies from the Black Plague as it runs rampant through Rome, Gregory is unanimously voted into the Papal seat. Gregory, however, is mortified by the decision - he has no desire for such authority.
...so he flees the city and hides in the forest until he is found and brought back to Rome and there consecrated. While neither his poor health or his loathing of the public spotlight befit him the image of a great leader, and though his theology is arguably poor (he simply perpetuates faulty theology from predecessors before him), Gregory's title as "Great" is not ill-placed: Gregory coins a new title for the Papacy: "Servant of the Servants of God"
...and he lives up to it. He truly loves & serves his subjects with patience & perseverance.
Furthermore, his former political training and clear administrative skill allow him to provide further structure for the Roman Catholic Church. ~717 -718 THE ICONOCLASTIC C O N T R O V E R S Y When Byzantine Emperor Leo III openly shares his distaste for the Christian icons that has been popularized within his kingdom by the Eastern Orthodox Church, it serves to spark the Iconoclastic Movement.
The participants of this movement go to often violent and vandalizing lengths to reduce the gamut of Christian iconography to the traditional symbols of the Cross, the Bible, and the Sacramental elements.
Icon supporters, however, are just as determined to keep their icons around, and the Eastern Orthodox world spirals into turmoil.
Icons win the day in the end, when during the 7th General Council in Nicea Patriarch Tarasius and 350 bishops condemn the entire movement. 774 800 CHARLEMAGNE Charlemagne takes the throne as Emperor of the Franks. Pope Leo III crowns Charlemagne “Emperor of the Holy Empire”. Charlemagne sets up the Holy Christian Empire, restoring much of the ancient glory of the Christian Roman Empire. He provides Medieval Europe with Christendom, a society that resolutely attempts to fuse the Kingdom of God with the kingdoms of man. BREAKING FREE From Temporal Authorities Ever since Clovis' conversion to Christianity, the Church has been in a constant power struggle with the kings and emperors of Europe - but the situation starts to come to a head... Because of the Church's subservient position to the monarch during Charlemagne's reign, the Feudal System that is introduced shortly after his passing assumes the Church's continued subjection to worldly governments as well. As European civilization starts to decline under Feudalism, so too does the Church. Moral decay creeps in, Church Offices are bought & sold for political favours & strategy, and - because he is elected into office by lords and noblemen - even the Pope is seen as more of a political pawn than a spiritual leader! Clearly, change must happen soon! Key people & key events slowly start to fight against the State's stranglehold of the Church... 848 NICHOLAS I Becomes Pope While he certainly uses some illicit and distorted means & messages - like bending historical creeds and councils to create an argument for Papal supremacy and church hierarchy in "The Forged Decretals" - Nicholas works hard to raise the Church's existence up and out of the pits of Feudalism. Crooked Means toward a Noble Goal. 910 BENEDICTINE MONKS
OF CLUNY The Benedictine revival starts with their monasteries and begins with monastic reform, but soon it trains its eyes on the entire Church - with the goal of freeing it from secular control and subjecting it back to Papal Authority. Start a Reform Movement 1059 COLLEGE OF CARDINALS The Church can now elect its own Pope apart from secular interference. IS ESTABLISHED THE HILDEBRAND 1076 1077 Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV retaliates to Hildebrand’s edict by calling a synod of German bishops who attempt to depose him from the papal seat. Hildebrand responds by excommunicating Henry! Henry, in penitent garb, stands barefoot in the snow at Canossa (a castle in Italy where the Pope is staying) and begs forgiveness. Hildebrand eventually absolves him and Henry is welcomed back into the Catholic Church. & HENRY 1075 Pope Gregory VII (aka Hildebrand) issues Dictatus Papae; this edict heavily stresses papal authority and declares not only that the Church is not subject to secular government, but that it even has authority over it.
That is, Hildebrand practically declares war on the European monarchs. 1122 CONCORDAT OF WORMS Hildebrand's tactic of using excommunication as a weapon will catch on as history progresses...
...and eventually become blatant misuse of power. The Secular Government acquiesces and the Catholic Church is finally able to appoint all its own church offices - but only in the presence of the emporor or his representative. By this time, we've entered: (1000-1300) THE HIGH MIDDLE AGES THE GREAT CHURCH SPLIT. 1054 Western Catholicism & Eastern Orthodoxy
officially part ways. After Michael Cerularius, Archbishop of Constantinople,
criticizes Pope Leo IX for using unleavened bread during
Communion, the Pope sends Cardinal Humbert to
Constantinople to try resolve some differences. When the Archbishop refuses to meet with Humbert for months, the Pope has a Bull of Excommunication sent to the Church of Holy Wisdom in Constantinople. (a ‘Bull’ is an official Papal document) Petty squabbles regarding church structure & procedure are driving the Church in the East apart from the Church in the West.
A breaking point finally hits... 1095 THE FIRST CRUSADE starts under the admonition of Pope Urban II, with the purpose of wresting the Holy Land from the Muslims. - Crusaders take Jerusalem 1099 The 6 crusades to follow over the next 200 years are not nearly so successful. In fact, they're more of an immoral scar on the history of the Church than anything else... 1265 -1274 THOMAS AQUINAS Writes SUMMA THEOLOGICA "a summation of theological knowledge" Aquinas' magnum opus, which promotes a very works-based Christian Faith and heavily reinforces the concept of Papal Primacy, still stands as a significant portion of Roman Catholic doctrine. But it hasn't always been
so happily accepted... After Aquinas' death, the Archbishop of Paris tries to get him condemned! His writings are not appreciated during his own time. It is not until 200 years later - during the Protestant Reformation - that the Catholic Church comes to understand how useful Aquinas' writings truly are to it! 1277 1160 LOTARIO DEI CONTI DI SEGNI POPE INNOCENT III becomes Innocent goes on to become one of the most powerful & influential popes in history. His reign clearly demonstrates how authoritative the Catholic Church has become in the European society of the Middle Ages.
Innocent's view of his own office is rather grandiose:
"The successor of Peter is the Vicar of Christ; he has been established as a mediator between God and man, below God but beyond man; less than God but more than man; who shall judge all and be judged by no one."
He teaches Europe to view the Pope as a world ruler, and then he rules with an iron fist, through threats of excommunication & interdiction (ie, removing an entire region out of church favour). He also organizes two Crusades - one against the Turks (#4 of 7) and one against the heretical Albigenses of southern France. 1300-1517:
The Decline of the Middle Ages POWER STRUGGLE the continues As the Decline of the Middle Ages progresses, it becomes clear that secular governments are unsatisfied with the Pope's firm grasp of power over the people of Europe. As a sense of nationalism starts to emerge within certain regions of the continent, monarchs are able to start chipping away at the Church's preeminent authority.
Indications of this evolving climate in Europe are clearly seen during the papal reign of 1296 1300 1303 Boniface issues a law that prevents clergy from being taxed; however, King Edward I of England & King Philip the Fair of France defy it so strongly that the Pope actually backs down from the edict! Boniface bolsters his favour with the masses with his Year of Jubilee (ie, visit the churches of St. Peter & St. Paul in Rome within the year to receive a full pardon of sins). His confidence renewed, the Pope tries to reimpose his law in France & reassert his authority over King Philip. This only serves to conjure up further rebellion from the French... POPE BONIFACE VIII The Pope is kidnapped by French troops; after several days of imprisonment, Boniface is rescued. Utterly shocked & humiliated, the elderly Pope (86 years of age) passes away within weeks of the incident. . ROME . AVIGNON 1305 BABYLONIAN of the Church (-1376) CAPTIVITY the A Frenchman is elected into the
Papal seat by the College of
Cardinals. He never steps foot
in Rome, but decides instead
to move the Papacy to
Avignon, France - where
he can remain accessible
to the French King! Pope Gregory XI
Rome. 1376: 1372 JOHN WYCLIF RECEIVES HIS DOCTORATE AT OXFORD Wyclif goes on to radically preach for reform within the Church. In doing so, he peels back the rich outer layer of the Church to reveal the spiritual bankruptcy within: His teachings heavily influence later reformers like John Hus and Martin Luther. "Christ is truth, the pope is the principle of falsehood. Christ lived in poverty, the pope labours for worldly magnificence. Christ refused temporal dominion, the pope seeks it." Wyclif emphasizes the freedom of man by faith, and goes on to question much of the Church's practices, measuring them against the plumb line of the Scriptures. While he is later silenced and condemned by the Church, he somehow avoids martyrdom and lives out his remaining days at a parish in Lutterworth. Essentially, Wyclif becomes a Protestant before the Protestant Reformation. 1377- -1416 THE GREAT SCHISM 2 Popes claim the right
to the Papal Seat! 1 in Avignon. 1 in Rome. The Babylonian Captivity
of the Church newly ended,
another crisis emerges: at 1 point, there are 3 Popes staking their claim to St. Peter's spiritual authority! (...or perhaps his power & wealth?) 1414 THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE clears up the Great Schism ...but this council is different! Rather than assembling the traditional council of bishops, a number of nations sends representatives, who help decide who truly ought to be Pope. 1417 The council convinces 1 Pope to step aside; the other 2 are deposed. A new Pope is elected: Martin V. The matter is decided & the Church has unity once more! Another very significant fact resounds out of this event, however: NATIONS have emerged, and their influence and loyalties are strengthening greatly. In order to combat this newly perceived power of nationality, the new Pope Martin V promptly denies the validity of the entire council (other than the 1 action of his election, of course). He must retain the utter supremacy of the Church's authority over society! 1438 JOHANN GUTENBERG invents the Printing Press. This invention enables the printing of texts with unprecedented speed & efficiency. It is widely considered to rank amongst
the most important inventions in history. 1456 GUTENBERG PRINTS THE LATIN VULGATE What had previously cost a year's wages (ie, a hand-written Bible) can now be produced in movable print for a fraction of the cost (& time)! This invention proves to be perfect timing for, and a crucial lynchpin to
THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION.