What were some of the reasons why pagans were suspicious about Christianity?
- * Christianity was misunderstood
- * Accused of sexual immorality and cannibalism
- * Their lifestyles provided sharp contrast to non-Christians
- * Appealed to lower classes
- * Thought to be unpatriotic and guilty of treason
- * Considered theologically absurd
How would you characterize the persecution of Christians in the early church?
- * Came in waves
- * Not all Christians were fearless
- * Some found ways to live through times of persecution (hide or secured a certificate that says you made a sacrifice
- * There were martyrs who confessed Christ and died for the faith
- * Church continued to grow even during persecution
- Was it official Roman policy or was it more sporadic?
- * Sporadic; more by local feeling than by policy
What was the significance of the Decian and Diocletian persecution?
- * Decius (Decian) � �general persecution� against all Christian leaders, against all Christians
- * Diocletian � �Great Persecution� all scriptures were to be surrendered/destroyed, churches destroyed, worship prohibited, clergy were arrested and executed for refusing to sacrifice
How did the apologists help to clear up misconceptions about Christianity?
* They help correct misconceptions based on the ability to understand and speak to non-Christian objections
What were the rationale and the significance of the conversion of Constantine?
- * Constantine appealed to any god who might help him defeat his rival Maxenties
- * Christ appeared to hi in a dream and told him to conquer in His name
- * He issues the Edict of Milan (a letter signed by emperors Constantine I and Licinius that proclaimed religious toleration in the Roman Empire)
- Why do some people question his conviction?
- * People say he pretended to do so because he knew it was politically better to authorize Christianity than to persecute Christians
What was Gnosticism and why was it dangerous for the early Church?
- * Called the first and most dangerous heresy among the early Christians
- * Dualism of spirit (good) and material (evil)
- * Gain salvation-->must be enlightened with special knowledge to enable soul to return to God
- * Belief in demiurge�a good God couldn�t be responsible for the created order
- * Body (material) was evil-->body prompted pursuit of a course of self-indulgence and a divine being could not possess one (Docetism-Jesus only seemed to be real)
- * Salvation-->matter of knowledge; secret passwords and rituals enabled soul to pass through planetary region to return to God
How did Christians utilize the �rules of faith� to combat Gnosticism?
- * Irenaeus used them to combat
- * It was a line of teaching that was in harmony with apostle�s teaching
- * All believers who held to the rule of faith were part of catholic church
What was the significance of bishops in the early church prior to the formation of the New Testament?
- * Maintaining the doctrine passed on to them
- * Ability to determine who did/didn�t belong to the church
- * Had authority b/c many appointed by apostles
What specific dangers did Marcion and Montanus pose to the early Church?
- * Marcion � �Thinline Bible� Cut out Old testament and some of New Testament; first to compile a list of �approved� Christian scriptures
- * Montanus � �Extended Bible� Declared himself to be �the Mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit.� He spoke in 1st person rather than 3rd; proclaimed end times had arrived; no marriage or sex; fasting
How was the New Testament formed?
- * Christian writings (ex: letter of Paul) were recognized as an essential authority in the writings that placed them on same level as Old Testament
- * The Muratorian Fragment lists books being read in Roman Church
- o List includes all NT books except a few and included a few that weren�t included in NT
- * The Gospels were testimonies of Christ�s life and recognized as authoritative; �Memoirs of the Gospel;� 3 or 4 were eyewitness accounts
- * Rejection of these works by church demonstrates the authority of four gospels
- What criteria did the early church use to recognize books as canonical and/or to determine a book as non-canonical?
- * Apostolic authorship
- * Orthodoxy
- * Practicality
How is a Catholic view of tradition and Scripture different from a Protestant view?
- * Catholic-->emphasis on tradition as a means of revelation
- * Protestant-->by faith alone, not tradition
- o Rom. 3:28, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.�
What were the issues that led to the first four ecumenical councils?
* Accusations of misunderstanding the person of Jesus
Which persons were accused of misunderstanding the person of Jesus, and which persons were responsible for correcting them?
- * Arius � �there was a time when Christ was not�
- o Council of Nicea corrected
- * Appollinarius � Jesus couldn�t have a human mind
- o Council of Constantinople corrected
- * Nestorius � the divine and human natures of Christ were essentially separate
- o Council of Ephesus corrected
- * Eutyches � Jesus was more divine than human
- o Council of Chalcedon corrected
What was the outcome of each council?
- * Nicea-->Jesus is Divine
- * Constantinople-->Jesus is Human
- * Ephesus-->Jesus is one person
- * Chalcedon-->Jesus has two natures
What was the significance of each theologian mentioned?
- * Tertullian
- o �Father of Latin Theology�
- * Praxeas
- o �trinity�
- o taught modalistic view of God
- o Father became son-->�Patripassianism�
- * Cyprian
- o The role of bishop became standard/customary because of him
- o �Outside of the Church there is no salvation.�
- * Origen
- o �All truth is God�s truth wherever it may be found.�
- o One of the most prolific writers-->800+ manuscripts
- o Died as a martyr; refused to deny his faith
- * Augustine
- o Donatist Controversy
- * Some Christians renounced the faith and handed over the scriptures
- * Donatus believed that traditores were no longer Christians; such priests were no longer qualified to serve
- o Essential problem with Donatism-->there is only one church�everyone agreed on this
- o Rejected rebaptism and the idea of a pure church on earth
- o Believed force was needed to remove Donatist threat
- o �Non posse non pecarre� means �Not able not to sin (or) only able to sin;� freedom of will means we are free to choose sin and sin is passed down physically
- o �Massa damnata� means �massive damnation�
- o The City of God (and the fall of Rome) � wrote history of world in light of Scripture under thesis that the plan of God couldn�t be set aside by any human sir or disaster
From which theologian do we get the word �Trinity?�
What did Cyprian mean by the statement, �Without the church as mother, one cannot have God as father?�
- * there was an essential equation of the church itself with the community of bishops.
- * Outside of the church, there is no salvation
What did Origen mean by �spoils of the Egyptians� and what was problematic about some of his teachings?
- * the people of God are permitted to make use of the truths of pagan culture and philosophy in the work of theology and biblical interpretation.
- * Christianity as an intellectual level
- * Cannot be dismissed simply as religion for the ignorant
- * Problem: Origen chose to ignore or alter reality to make it fit with his beliefs.
What was the significance of Augustine in the Donatus and Pelagius controversies?
- * Donatus believed that traditores were no longer Christians; such priests (Augustine was a priest before he became bishop) were no longer qualified to serve
- * Pelagius � distinction between Adam and all who follow and original sin and process of salvation (anti-infant baptistm and predestination necessary if any are to be saved)
How did The City of God explain the fall of Rome?
* Augustine wrote history of world in light of Scripture under thesis that the plan of God couldn�t be set aside by any human sir or disaster
What is the irony of church history according to Dr. Chute?
* People are unaware of the main thing God is doing-->calling people to worship him
Why do people seem to not know about church history or ignore it altogether?
- * It is assumed that Christianity is one part history and two parts propaganda�Jesus� followers made more of Him then He intended
- * Christian histories were simply bad history
- * Genuine spirit battle
- * Christians have failed to live up to their own standards
- * Shift between the ways people understand history, as reason replaced the church and the Bible as central means of authority
In what ways is a Christian view of history different than secular history?
- * Christians view history from a Trinitarian perspective
- o Implications of a Christian view of history:
- * History isn�t cyclical
- * Not always progressive
- * Not always clear
- * Not complete
In what ways did Christians value their Jewish heritage?
- * Strong Jewish roots� continued to participate in the religious life of the Jewish people
- o Observe Jewish laws, attend synagogue
- o Read and studied OT
- o Worship matched worship in synagogues
- o Baptism was similar
- * Portions of NT written with Jewish people in mind
What tensions existed between Christians and Jews in the early church?
- * Persecution by Jews
- * Flood of gentile converts to Christian religion
How was the crisis of self-definition resolved?
- * Christianity spread outside Jewish boundaries
- * Conversion of Saul
What are the four reasons why the gospel spread, according to Bruce Shelley?
- * Christians were convinced that Jesus rode from the dead and they shared story with others
- * The Gospel message met the needs of people who wondered if God cared for them or could help them
- * Practical expressions of Christian love won people over to the Christian life
- * Christians often stood firm in times of public persecution