Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bakke May 20th Session 3

This afternoon our lecture was on faith and reason, scholasticism etc
We also looked at the six ways different groups wanted reform at the eve of the Reformation:
1. Reform through evangelsim - conversion is the way to reform society. Today - evangelism should be our priority...evangelical churches
2. Erasmus - Education will bring reform. If people have the correct knowledge that will bring reform to the church and change society. If priests just had a bible - today we would say seminaries.
3. Conciliarists - councils (Trent, Piza...) will bring reform - we need more structure and management - present day - we need a strategic plan and set goals...
4. The government assitance model - Henry VIII and in Spain the Inquisition - today Jerry Falwell, MLK...
5. Anabaptists - we need new churches back to the model of the New Testament church (this was during the time where there were state churches) today, Brethren, Mennonites etc
6. Ignatius Loyola let mission reform the church ...the Jesuits went all over the - para-church orgs and mission societies.
Which is right? All of them...
Luther and Calvin used all six - the point there is not one way to bring reform to the church.
We spent the rest of the afternoon discussing how Christianity lost Africa.

Between 500 and 1300 the church didn’t grow – we gained Europe and lost Africa

Here I am going to copy my rough notes:

Northwest coast of Africa down to Eritea – 5000 miles

One fourth of all Christians lived there.

The thesis of some say, Islam destroyed the churches. Ray’s study shows the church self-destructed. Here is his thesis on how:

1. The church in Africa was never indigenous – the Greek controlled the East and Rome controlled the West.

2. With exception of the church in the Nile valley – the churches didn’t have the bible in their own languages. They were forced to use Latin or Greek.

3. The seminary in Alexandria – in the 4th century had a revival of Plato. Platoism – (Constantine was in power) wealth coming, secularization going on – the desert movement happens. Neo-platonic thought – holiness is more important than evangelism – you can’t save society so save yourself – an over emphasis on sanctification – so you are not mission driven – it’s more important to separate yourself from the world and keep yourself. An over emphasis of sanctification will cut the nerve of mission every time. Today American experience on home schooling.

4. The division between Truth church and Grace church – the devastating split in N Africa – 250-258 Rome celebrated it’s 1000 year anniversary. In this 8 year period the senators in Rome were making great speeches. Others talked about the erosion of Roman power. Some saying we are not as great as we used to be because there are those in our midst that refuse to say Caesar is Lord. There is a saying going around that Christ is Lord. Persecutions were not a blanket thing done everywhere. Between 250-258 there were some pretty vicious persecutions. There were Christians that lapsed under persecution. Cyprian was the bishop of Carthage in 250. He had only been a Christian from 246. He fled and wrote pastoral letters to the martyrs. He had grace for those who lasped under the threat of persecution.

Novatia was a Roman traveling around and when he heard he said you cannot do that, what about those that have been martyred if we forgive those that lasped what does that say to those that died – the church split between truth churches and grace churches.

The church split in all these different ways so the church self-destructed. The theology got so complicated. When Islam came through. Islam had a 5 law track – basically believe God and obey these 5 things in fact you don’t have to believe it just do it.

While we make our theology so complicated - Islam comes and makes it simple. Islam came through N Africa and people were fed up with corruption, infighting and complicated theology. We ended the day discussing the patterns we see through history during times of reform.

1 comment:

steven hamilton said...

sounds like a great several sessions. ahhh, sounds dreamy to do all that you are doing rose. as i've read through your wonderful entries, i get a little niggle in the back of my head. we often are the recipients of history as told by the conquerers (as you or one of your classmates observed earlier in the weekend), yet history is not merely that. be careful not to make over-generalizations about this. there are many ways in which history other than that written by the conqueres is unearthed and uncovered. too often we in the West still have our Western glasses through which we view everything, dividing it into neat little piles of non-indigenous East and West...meanwhile God is at work in history just below our historical perceptions. i find this to be especially true in research that i have donje on the spread of christianity in africa and toward the east into asia. one might think that from the perspective of many western history books that everyone in the entire world lived within the roman empire...which would neglect the parthians (who resisted rome) as well as those civilzations in india and china, etc. the apostles and the living word of the good news traveled in all ways, not just with paul to rome and europe. this is just what we have the most historical evidence of.

anyway, i'm totally sounds just fantastic. thank you so much for posting the results and sharing...