Recently I was given the chance to teach some church history to our church’s college students. Not being even close to a church history expert, I relied heavily on Capitol Hill Baptist Church’s free resources on the topic and Dr. Bruce Shelley’s Church History in Plain Language. Then, taking CHBC’s prepared lesson I attempted to apply it as much as possible to our culture of Christian assumption—where it’s just normal to claim faith in Jesus.
The reign of Constantine and the following ~150 years apply strikingly well to our current environment of assuming the gospel. The lesson covered Constantine’s rise to power, Ambrose of Milan, Jerome, Augustine of Hippo, and the Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon. It was a real joy to consider the questions asked by the church at this time (312-451 AD) and to ask similar questions for the 21st century.
Two main themes emerged from our discussion:
- God faithfully preserves His people through both persecution and the temptations of power. Local churches make up God’s “plan A” to put Christ on display.
- Church history is family history. However joyous or embarrassing certain episodes of church history may be, we cannot escape our family lineage.
Give the lesson a listen at the link below. I welcome any feedback.