Christian Beliefs Class – 11/11

Class Audio

Orthodox – The teaching of the Church Fathers (100 AD – 799 AD, Church Fathers to the crowning of Charlemagne)

Important Historical Milestones/Moments:

  • Persecution
    • Nero begins persecution in 64 AD in Rome, Rome burns and blames it on the Christians, Paul and Peter martyred in Rome.
    • 250-312 AD, various Roman emperors (Decius, Valerian, Diocletian) institutionalized Roman religion and killed Christians who would not receive government issued certificates proving they sacrificed to idols
  • Christianization of Roman Empire – Constantine united the empire and made Christianity a legitimate religion in 313 AD (Edict of Milan) and soon after the official religion of the Christian empire.
  • Founding of the Monastic order – Christians discontent with the institutionalized religion and pursue an isolated spirituality (ex. St. Antony)
  • Fall and Revival of Western Roman Empire –
    • Alaric the Visigoth sacks Rome in 410 AD, but saves the churches and sacred vessels.
    • Sacking of Rome in 452 AD by Attila the Hun – the Bishop of Rome, Leo interceded on behalf of the people of Rome, saved the city.
    • Sacking of Rome in 455 AD by Gaiseric the King of the Vandals, Leo again interceded.
    • Roman Emperor defeated in 476 AD by Germanic leader Odoacer, beginnings of German rulers in Rome.
    • Gregory the Great, bishop and pope of Rome, takes military control over Rome during the Lombard invasion of rome (595 AD).
    • Charlemagne crowned King of the Holy Roman Empire in 779 AD.
  • Rise of Islam – After 100 years of the founding of Islam by Mohammad (Marked by the conquest of Medina (622 AD), Islam takes over the Middle East, Persia, Northern Africa and is stopped in Europe at the Battles of Tours by Charles Martel (732 AD), many major Christian cities fall to the Islamic Empire (Jerusalem, Antioch, Damascus, Alexandria).

Contribution to Christian Theology:

  • Formation of the Biblical Canon (100-400), and the beginnings of beliefs concerning the nature of revelation.
    • Muratorian Canon (200)
    • New Testament by Origen (250)

Very early on the churches started gathering the letters and books written by the Apostles down and putting them into codices. Very few books were disputed (ex. James, 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, Jude, Hebrews)

  • Seven Major Ecumenical Church Councils which addressed various theological issues within the early church that are essential*[1] to the Christian Faith:

[1] The first four councils are held to by both the East and the Western churches, but the latter three councils were debating issues past the Chalcedonian Creed which the West did not see as problematic)

 

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