Church History Outline

  1. Beginnings to Constantine (4 B.C. – A.D. 325)
    1. First Century (The New Testament Era)
      1. c. 4 B.C. – Birth of Jesus in approximately 4 B.C. in Bethlehem of Judea.
      2. c. A.D. 29 – Beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.
      3. c. 33 – Jesus crucified and resurrected.
      4. c. 33 – Pentecost with the impartation of the Holy Spirit.
      5. 35 – The conversion of the Apostle Paul from Judaism.
        1. Author of thirteen New Testament epistles.
        2. Emphasizes the death and resurrection of Christ as the means of salvation.
      6. c. 41 – Gentiles admitted in fellowship (Acts 15) with James as the head of the Church.
      7. c. 45-c.100 – Writing of the New Testament including the Epistles (c.48-c.100),  Synoptic Gospels (c. 45-70), and the writings of the apostle John (c.85-c.100).
      8. 48 – The beginning of Paul’s three missionary journeys across Europe and Asia Minor – Christianity goes East first. 
      9. 64 – Neronic Persecutions due to blaming Christians for fires in Rome results in the death of thousands of Christians.
      10. c. 67-68 – Peter and Paul are executed.
      11. 66-70 – Destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by Emperor Titus as a result of a Jewish revolt resulted in redefining the structure of Judaism and Antioch becoming the center of Christianity.
      12. 81 – Roman persecution under Diocletian. Jews oust Christians from the synagogues.
      13. c. 85-150 – Writings of apostolic fathers including Clement of Rome, Ignatius, and Polycarp.    
        1. Clement of Rome
        2. Ignatius 
          1. Wrote letters on the way to Rome to encourage churches
          2. Martyrdom in 107
        3. Polycarp (c.69-c.155)
          1. Disciple of the apostle John
          2. Dies as a martyr around the age of 86 while stating the famous words, “Eighty and six years have I served him, and he hath done me no wrong; how then can I blaspheme my king who saved me?”
      14. c. 100 – Death of John the Apostle who was the last living apostle.
        1. Vigorously opposed docetism the idea that Jesus was not fully man.
        2. Closes the apostolic era.
    2. Second Century (The Beginnings of the Fathers)
      1. 100-130 – Christianity represented in various locations including, but not limited to Egypt, Armenia, France, Britain, Iraq, and Iran.
      2. c. 100-c. 165 – Justin Martyr
        1. Key apologist who wrote against Gnosticism.
        2. Writes his first Apology (c. 155) in which he argues that traces of Christian truth can be found in pagan writers and Greek philosophy.
      3. 125 – Christianity officially separate from Judaism
      4. 125 – Spread of Gnosticism
        1. Dualistic religious heresy – matter seen as inherently evil
        2. Salvation through knowledge (gnosis) (Latin scientia) (English knowledge)
        3. God of Old Testament seen as evil. 
        4. Apocryphal Gospels written such as the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Philip, and Infancy Gospel of Thomas. 
      5. c. 130-c. 200 - Irenaeus
        1. Bishop of Lyons
        2. Wrote famous treaty Against Heresies which would become a significant work against Gnosticism
        3. Appeals to Scripture as the rule of faith – accepts the four gospels and sixteen other books as canonical
        4. Does not see a conflict between Scripture and tradition
        5. A disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of the apostle John
      6. 132-35 – Bar Kohba Revolt/ Second Jewish Rebellion results in the destruction Jerusalem    
        1. Judaism moves away from strong Messianic expectations
        2. Much of the Jewish population flees into the Diaspora 
      7. 140 – Marcion’s Canon of Scripture includes Luke and edited an edited version of Paul’s letters removing favorable references to the Jewish people. Orthodoxy would eventually have to respond with their own canon. 
        1. Excommunicated from the Christian Church
        2. Believed Jesus did not have a real body nor a human birth due to the corruption of matter (doceticism)
        3. Believed that there was no connection between the God of the Jews and Christians
      8. c. 150-215 - Clement of Alexandria 
        1. Teacher of Origen    
        2. Like Justin Martyr argued that Christianity brought to fruition the insights of Greek Philosophy
      9. c. 156 – Montanus preaches/prophesies a form of Christianity in Asia Minor called Montanism.
        1. Claimed to receive new prophecies
        2. Early synod condemns Montanism
      10. c.160 – c.225 - Tertullian
        1. First key Latin theologian – considered father of Latin theology 
        2. Was a Montanist for several years before conversion to Orthodoxy
        3. Defended unity of Old and New Testaments against Marcion and laid foundation for the Trinity
        4. Skeptical of the relationship between Christianity and Greek philosophy stating, “What is there in common between Athens and Jerusalem? Between the Academy and the church?”
        5. Attacks Monarchianism the view that one God changes his mode of being
      11. c. 175 – Tatian – wrote the Diatessaron – a harmony of the gospels
      12. c. 175-200 – Apostle’s Creed formulated with the final form in the eighth century
      13. c. 180 – Process of Canonization largely in response to Marcionism – Irenaeus defends the four gospels. Christians concerned with unity during this period. 
      14. 180 – Christianity all across Africa to Carthage and beyond.
      15. c.185-c.254 – Origen
        1. Wrote Contra Celsus, which was a significant work against pagan and Jewish objections to Christianity.
        2. Died from injuries of Decian persecution
        3. Believed in the preexistence of souls
        4. Accepted universalism
        5. Most dominant thinker of his time 
        6. Judged a heretic at the Fifth Ecumenical Council
        7. Helped pave the way for the doctrine of the Trinity
      16. 196 – Controversy between East and West regarding the day to celebrate Easter. 
    3. Third Century (The Era of Apologetics)
      1. c. 200 – The Church recognizes 23 New Testament books as canonical. 
      2. c. 200 - School of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt is a key center for Christian apologetics. 
        1. Adopted an allegorical interpretation of Scripture
        2. Some Alexandrians dabbled in Platonic dualism
        3. Responsible for a number of apologists including Clement of Alexandria and Origen
      3. c. 200 – School of Antioch was a rival of Alexandria
        1. Emphasized a literal interpretation of Scripture and the humanity of Christ in contrast to Alexandria’s emphasis on an allegorical interpretation of Scripture and the deity of Christ
        2. Produced a number of theologians including Theodore of Mopsuestia and Nestorius
      4. c. 200-250 – The reemergence and prominence of Modalism advocated by Sabellius
        1. The idea that there is one person with three modes
        2. Roots in the late second century with Noetus and Praxeas
      5. c. 242 – Manichaeism emerges in Persia – dualistic heresy which denies the humanity of Christ and reappears in centuries to follow
      6. 250 – Decian Persecution
      7. c.250-c.300 – Martyrologies written by which they exalted martyrdom as an ideal of holiness
      8. 273 –Antony of Egypt leaves his home for the desert to pursue a Monastic lifestyle. This would influence the Monastic movement for years to come. 
      9. c. 292 – Diocletian divides Empire into East and West which results in less of Rome’s influence
      10. c.296 – c.373 – Athanasius 
        1. Strong opponent of Arianism and defender of Nicene Orthodoxy
        2. Arguments for the deity of Christ
          1. Only God can save; Jesus saves; therefore, Jesus is God.
          2. Christians commit idolatry if they worship a Jesus who is not fully God.
        3. Athanasius’ Canon lists the present 27 books of the New Testament (367)           
          1. Previously some books were disputed such as Revelation, 2 Peter, Jude, and Hebrews
          2. Books not accepted such as letter of Clement and Didache
    4. Fourth Century (Heresies and Councils)
      1. 303 – Persecution of Diocletian which results in burning of many scriptures and thousands killed
        1. Libelles pacis – certificate given if one sacrifices to emperor and gods
        2. Tratatore – name given to Christians who recanted
        3. Diocletian even forced his Christian wife and daughter to recant 
      2. c.310-c.390 – Apollinaris of Laodicea
        1. Opposed Arius by arguing that Jesus was not totally human stating, “The Word himself has become flesh without having assumed a human mind.”
        2. Criticized at the Council of Constantinople (381) for his overreaction to Arianism.
      3. 311-411 – Donatist Controversy
        1. Question whether lapsi/traditores were allowed back into the Church
        2. Some African Churches, championed by Augustine, believed lapsi were allowed back into fellowship since they believed the pureness and validity of the church     depended upon the person of Jesus Christ 
        3. Donatists, such as Petilian, rejected this idea and believed only that the church could consist only of saints not sinners. 
      4. 312 – Conversion of Constantine
        1. October 28, 312 – battle of Milvian bridge
        2. Had a vision in a dream that he was to conquer by Christ
        3. Went to battle and won
      5. 313 – Edict of Milan
        1. Christianity officially tolerated as a religion by the Roman government
        2. Edict written by Galerius (c.311)
        3. Demonstrated Christianity was a recognized religion by the empire
        4. Christianity has a large influence now.
      6. 320 - Arianism Begins to Emerge
        1. Founder Arius (c.250-c.336)
        2. Believes Jesus is a created being and not God by nature
          1. Accepts that Jesus is fully man, but denies his deity.
          2. Jesus created out of nothing – the firstborn of every creature
        3. Arius’ views would be rejected at the council of Nicea (325) and finally at Constantinople (381) due to the arguments of Athanasius and others. 
      7. 320-5 – Pachomius founds an important monastery at Tabennisi, Egypt. There are many monasteries in the East by this time. 
      8. 324 – Eusebius of Ceasarea writes Church History which was a foundational book for understanding the early Church including the authorship of the Gospels
  2. Nicea to Chalcedon (325-451)
    1. 325 – Council of Nicea
      1. The first key council for the Christian Church
      2. Called by Constantine with a desire to achieve unity in Christendom
      3. Starts in 318 and lasts for several years. 
      4. A response to Arianism (homoiousia – “of like substance”) by affirming orthodoxy (homoousia – “of the same substance”) 
      5. States that Jesus is fully God and equal with the Father “very God of very God”
        1. Raises more questions than it answered: no universal agreement reached
        2. Chalcedon would give final definition
    2. 329-95 – The Cappadocian Fathers
      1. Began speculations on the Trinity through investigation of how they are experienced 
      2. Defended the deity of the Holy Spirit
      3. Noted Theologians
        1. Basil of Caesarea (c.330-79) who wrote extensively on the Trinity and defended the divinity of the Holy Spirit
        2. Gregory of Nazianzus (329-89) wrote the Philokalia which contains extracts from Origen and stressed the humanness of the incarnation in response to Apollinarianism
        3. Gregory of Nyssa (c.330-c.395) was a vigorous defender of the Trinity and the incarnation
    3. 337 - Constantine dies
    4. d. 341 – Eusebius of Nicomedia - Famous Arian bishop who baptized Constantine before his death and promoted Arianism at the Council of Nicea.
    5. 346 – Death of Pachomius, the father of monasticism in the East
    6. 347-420 - Jerome
      1. Translator of the Latin Vulgate (404) which would be the standard Bible of Christendom for over a thousand years
      2. Did not accept the Apocrypha in contrast to Augustine but made a hurried translation of the Apocrypha due to pressure before his death 
    7. c. 350-428 – Theodore of Mopsuestia
      1. Believed in the unity of Christ with two natures
      2. View condemned at Councils of Ephesus (431) and Constantinople (553)
    8. 354-430 – Augustine of Hippo
      1. Perhaps the most influential mind of Christian history
      2. Developed Christian theology as an academic discipline
      3. Wrote City of God in demonstrating Christianity as a credible belief system and its lack of responsibility for the fall of Rome
      4. Helped explain the doctrine of grace, the church and sacraments, and the Trinity
      5. Advocated concept of original sin in contrast to Irenaeus who believed that one is created good but becomes fallen by an act of the will
        1. Believed sin to be a part of our human nature
      6. Had a linear view of history 
    9. c. 375-425 – Pelagian Controversy 
      1. Pelagius was a British monk who believed in the importance of human improvement without the need for divine aid.
      2. Believed humans could save themselves by works 
      3. Augustine responded that humans are fallen by nature and need the grace of God for salvation
      4. The Council of Carthage (418) condemned Pelagianism and accepted Augustine’s view
    10. 378-444 – Cyril of Alexandria
      1. Appointed patriarch in Alexandria in 412.
      2. Produced major statements in response to Nestorius defending the two nature of Christ and opposed him at the Council of Ephesus
    11. 381 – Constantinople Creed helped settle the Trinitarian issue by reaffirming Nicene Orthodoxy and condemning Arianism along with Modalism.
    12. c.390-c.460 – Magonus Sucatus Patricius (known as Patrick) helps advance Christianity in Ireland
    13. 391 – Edict of Theodosius establishes Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire.
    14. Fifth Century (More Heresies)
      1. 430 – Fall of Rome and death of Augustine
      2. c.431 – Controversy with Nestorius (d. 451)
        1. Became patriarch of Constantinople in 428
        2. Huge emphasis on humanity of Christ which seemed to critics to deny divinity
        3. Did not accept Mary as the Theotokos (God-bearer) and condemned as a heretic
        4. Wanted a pure church like the Donatists and did not want lapsed people to have office in the church
      3. 431 - Council at Ephesus
        1. Condemned Nestorius who affirmed two natures and persons in Christ and rejected the Theotokos notion.     
        2. Affirmed Theotokos the notion that Mary was the bearer of Jesus as man and God
        3. Condemned Palagianism also
  3. Chalcedon to the Great Schism (451-1054)
    1. 451 – The Council of Chalcedon
      1. Chalcedon ended up by setting the standard for Orthodox Christianity by answering questions from the council of Nicea and affirming the statements of Nicea, Constantinople, and Ephesus.     
      2. Affirmed that Jesus had two natures in contrast to Monophysitism, Apollinarianism, and Nestorianism
      3. Nestorius was in exile and did not show up to the council, but some think that the conclusions of Chalcedon were somewhat Nestorian 
    2. c.480-c.550 – Benedict of Nursia 
      1. Established a monastery in Monte Cassino around 525
      2. Influential in causing many monasteries to grow with his “Rule of Benedict”
      3. Monastic lifestyle consisted of a Rule, manual labor, study, etc. 
      4. Much theology came out of monasteries including many key theologians such as Anselm of Canterbury, Hugh of St Victor, Thomas Aquinas, and Bonaventure
    3. Sixth to Eleventh Centuries (Development in East and West)
      1. 527-65 – Reign of Emperor Justinian in the East
        1. Byzantine theology emerged during this time
        2. Emphasized understanding salvation in terms of deification in contrast to a western legal understanding
      2. c. 555-59 – Council of Toledo introduces the filioque clause to the Nicene Creed which would eventually breed tension with Eastern Christians. 
      3. 664 - Synod of Whitby helps establish the dominance of Roman Christianity in England and ease tension between Northern and Southern Christians over whether they should be faithful to Celtic traditions or Rome. 
      4. c.675-c.749 – Life of St. John of Damascus who helped consolidate Eastern Orthodox theology with his book de fide orthodoxa (“On the Orthodox Faith”). 
    4. 711-78 – Spread of Islam – laid siege periodically to Constantinople but eventually had to withdraw 
    5. 725-842 – Iconoclastic Controversy
      1. Emperor Leo III (717-42) decided to destroy icons since he thought they were barriers to the conversion of Jews and Muslims
      2. Mainly a political issue with some theological ramifications
      3. Pope Gregory III condemns iconoclasm and supports the veneration of images (731)
    6. 787 – Council of Nicea II – condemns iconoclasm which results in the acceptance of the veneration of images in Christianity.  
    7. 800 – Pope Proclaims Charlemagne king of France; however, the beginning of the Holy Roman empire actually starts with Otto I in 962
    8. c. 860 – Cyril and Methodius go as missionaries to the Slavic people and end up converting many of them and inventing an alphabet for them. 
    9. c.988 – Conversion of Russia to Christianity
    10. c.1033-1109 – Anselm of Canterbury 
      1. Famous for his proofs for the existence of God and a rational explanation for Christ’s death on the cross
      2. Produced ontological argument – argument from being – that which nothing greater can be thought
      3. Wrote his famous work Cur Deus Homo – “Why God Became Man”
  4. The Great Schism to the Reformation (1054-1483)
    1. 1054 – Theological Differences between East and West that lead to Split
      1. Filioque
        1. East did not accept the filioque clause “proceeding from the Father and the Son” which was added to the Nicene Creed by the West.
        2. The West emphasized this procession to protect against Arianism 
      2. Political differences between Latin and Greek speakers
      3. Attempts of the Pope to increase authority
      4. Little theological interaction
    2. 1078-1142 – Hugh of St. Victor 
      1. Discussed about the significance, number and nature of the sacraments in his book de sacramentis Christianae fidei (“On the Sacraments of the Christian Faith”)
      2. He argued that sacraments must have a material element
    3. 1079-1142 – Peter Abelard 
      1. French theologian and teacher at the University of Paris
      2. Famous for his emphasis on the subjective aspects of the atonement
    4. 1095-1204 – Series of Crusades by the church at the bidding of Pope Urban II as a result of the concern of the enforcement of Islam in the Holy Land
    5. c.1140 – Peter Lombard goes to the University of Paris to teach and produces Four Books of the Sentences which would influence the writing style of many theologians of the middle ages
    6. 1200-1500 – Scholasticism emerges to dominate in Europe
      1. Two definitions 
        1. An intellectual movement during the Middle Ages with emphasis on the rational justification and presentation of religious beliefs
        2. A method of doing theology
      2. Key scholastic thinkers include Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham
      3. c.1200-c.1350 – dominated by realism as a result of the work of the schola Augustiniana school of thought 
      4. c.1350-c.1500 – dominated by nominalism via the work of the via moderna school of thought
    7. 1215 – Fourth Lateran Council
      1. Roman Catholicism became what it is today – acceptance of the seven sacraments: baptism, communion, confirmation, penance, matrimony, holy orders, and extreme unction
      2. Peter Lombard (c.1168) is the first to list the seven sacraments
    8. c.1225-74 – Thomas Aquinas
      1. One of the most important thinkers of the Middle Ages
      2. Wrote extensively including Summa contra Gentiles which was used as a defense of Christianity against Islam
      3. Later wrote Summa Theologiae in which he attempts to provide a comprehensive view of Christian theology
      4. Produced “five ways” in which he argues for the existence of God
      5. Helped clarify the relation between faith and reason
    9. c.1265-1308 – Duns Scotus
      1. One of the brightest minds in the Middle Ages
      2. Advocate of voluntarism – the divine will takes precedence over the divine intellect
      3. Advocated the immaculate conception of Mary
    10. c.1285-1347 – William of Ockham 
      1. Ockham’s Razor – eliminate all hypothesis that are not essential
      2. Opened door for personal approach to justification since he eliminated the complexities of Aquinas’ “created habit of grace” proceeded justification
      3. Advocate of nominalism – helped via moderna continue
    11. c. 1300-1399 – Hesychasm Controversy
      1. A style of meditation by which participants were supposedly able to see the “divine light”
      2. Advocated by Gregory Palamas (c.1296-1359) among others
      3. Critics thought it did not give a clear distinction between humans and God
      4. Palamas drew a distinction between the divine energies and essence to counter this claim – humans can participate with divine energies but not the divine essence
    12. 1300-1500 – The Domination of Humanism in Europe
      1. A response to imprecision of Scholasticism
      2. Two Basic definitions
        1. Movement devoted to the study of classical languages and literature
        2. A set of ideas
      3. Erasmus of Rotterdam is probably the most notable humanist 
    13. 1337-1453 – Hundred Years War
    14. c. 1450 – Emergence of the Renaissance – a literary and artistic revival in fourteenth and fifteenth century Italy due to:
      1. Intellectual vacuum in Italy
      2. Rich heritage from Roman Empire
      3. Greek-speaking intellectuals came from Constantinople
    15. 1453 – Fall of Constantinople to Muslim armies; however, eventually Islam is kept in check by defeat of the Moors in Spain (c. 1590)
    16. c.1469-1536 – Erasmus of Rotterdam 
      1. Considered most important humanist writer of Renaissance
      2. Helped lay intellectual foundations for Protestantism
      3. Produced first printed text of the Greek New Testament (1516) which resulted in questioning of Catholic interpretations of passages in Scripture 
      4. Emphasized the importance of laity in Christianity
  5. Reformation and Post-Reformation Periods (1483-1750)
    1. 1483-1546 – Martin Luther
      1. Augustinian Monk who nailed ninety-five theses on the Wittenburg Church in Germany.
      2. Disliked abuses in the Catholic Church such as the selling of indulgences, the corruption of the priesthood, the reliance upon works for salvation, etc. 
      3. Believed justification was by faith alone (sola fide)
      4. Wanted to debate John Eck who was a leading Catholic theologian
      5. Excommunicated in December, 1520
      6. Tried to get back into Church, but was not allowed
      7. Wanted to reform the Catholic Church, not start a new Church. 
    2. 1484-1531 – Ulrich Zwingli
      1. Pastor in Zurich, Switzerland which was a stronghold for the Reformation in the early 1520s
      2. Expounded the text of the Bible
      3. Accepted a symbolic view of communion and baptism
      4. Did not have the influence of Luther or Calvin
    3. 1496-1561 – Menno Simons – argued that Jesus was born with a celestial flesh and one receives this celestial flesh during communion
    4. 1497-1560 – Phillip Melanchthon – an early associate of Luther who helped systematize Lutheran doctrine with his Loci Communes and “Apology for the Augsburg Confession.”
    5. c. 1499-c.1543 – Sebastian Franck
      1. True church ceased to exist after the apostles
      2. Luther opposed him by asserting the need for an institutional church
    6. 1504-75 – Heinrich Bullinger – the successor of Zwingli
    7. 1509-64 – John Calvin
      1. A part of the Reformed branch of the Magisterial Reformation
      2. Institutional, social and ethical reform 
      3. Defined the distinctive Protestant concept of forensic justification
      4. Wrote his magnum opus The Institutes of the Christian Religion which would become the standard work on Calvinistic thought 
        1. First edition (1536) 
        2. Final edition (1559)
      5. Geneva was the center of Calvinism religiously and politically
      6. John Knox, a student of Calvin, was the founder of the Presbyterian Church
    8. 1509-47 – Henry VII King of England
      1. Wanted an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon due to her inability to produce a son, but the Catholic Church rejected his attempt
      2. Henry responded by forming his own English Church known as Anglicanism (1534). 
    9. 1511-1553 – Michael Servetus – a key leader of the Unitarians which denied the Trinity
    10. 1517 – Beginning of the Reformation
      1. Magisterial – the Church has to submit to the authority of the state sometimes
        1. Lutheran 
        2. Reformed
      2. Radical – the state has no rights in the Church
        1. Anabaptists
        2. Other Groups including Socinians etc. 
    11. 1519-1605 – Theodore of Beza – Calvinist writer that helped summarize and clarify his teaching in Aristotelian fashion with his Tractationes theologicae (“Theological Treates”)
    12. c.1520 - Anabaptists 
      1. Known as rebaptizers – only accepted believers baptism by immersion
      2. Arose in Zurich around 1520 in the aftermath of Zwingli’s reforms
      3. Only practice those things explicitly taught in Scripture. 
      4. Conrad Grebel (c. 1498-1526) argued that infant baptism, the close link between church and majesty, and the participation of Christians in warfare was     not Biblical 
    13. 1525-62 – Life of Lelio Sozini who was the founder of the Socinian sect
      1. precursors to the Unitarian Universalists
      2. denied the Trinity and the Deity of Christ
    14. 1540 – Establishment of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) for the proclamation of the gospel. 
    15. 1542-1621 – Roberto Bellarmine – Wrote Disputationes de Controversiis Christianae Fidei (“Disputations concerning the controversies of the Christian Faith”) in which he argued in favor of Catholicism against Protestantism
    16. 1543 – Copernicus published his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (“On the revolutions of the heavenly bodies”) which set out a heliocentric view of the solar system in contrast to the Catholic Church’s geocentric view. The interpretation of Biblical passages was the main issue in the debate. 
    17. 1545-63 – Council of Trent 
      1. Part of the Catholic Counter-Reformation
      2. Twofold purpose:
        1. Condemned Lutheranism and other reformers by affirming the Church’s doctrine including transubstantiation, justification by works, the necessity of Church tradition, the authority of Rome, etc. 
        2. Reform itself from within to remove obstacles of scorn
    18. 1546-1595 – Marguerin de la Bigne – wrote Bibliotheca Patrum (“Library of the Fathers”) which defended the continuity between Roman Catholicism and the church fathers
    19. c. 1550-59 – Lutheranism well established in Germany and results in a stalemate with Roman Catholicism in the region – no further expansion results in a concentration on defending Lutheranism academically.
    20. 1559 – Elizabethan Settlement – statement under Elizabeth I that ruled that Anglicanism would be the official Church of England
    21. 1559-1622 – The Period of Orthodoxy
      1. Necessity of each of the Protestant denominations to distinguish themselves from Catholicism and each other
      2. Protestant scholasticism emerges
      3. Lutheranism and Calvinism differed on Predestination
    22. 1582-1637 – Johann Gerhard – helped produce a systematic presentation of Lutheran theology with his Loci communes theologici (“Theological Commonplaces”)
    23. c. 1600-25 – Catholic Church condemns Galileo for stating that the earth revolves around the sun. The Catholic Church would not change their views since it could open the doors for Protestantism
    24. 1611 – James I authorizes the most popular version of the Bible for three hundred years – the King James Version 
    25. 1618-1648 – 30 Years War
      1. Resulted in the Peace of Westphalia which allowed Catholics and Protestants equal rights in the Holy Roman Empire
      2. Ended Reformation and brought in Enlightenment
      3. Secular world in Europe
    26. c. 1650 – Emergence of Quakers
      1. Founded by George Fox (1624-91)
      2. Emphasis on personal, inner salvation
      3. Movement under William Penn to come to Pennsylvania
    27. 1675 – Emergence of Pietism with Jakob Spener’s Pia desideria (“Pious Wishes”)    
      1. Disliked the emphasis on doctrine, preferred a “living faith” with emphasis on personal Bible study etc.
      2. Branched in different directions including Nikolas Ludwig Graf von Zinzendorf and John Wesley
    28. 1694-1784 - Writers of the French Revolution
      1. Denis Diderot (1713-84) – writer during the French Revolution who wrote Treaty on Tolerance in which he argued Deism should have not allowed religion to survive due to its archaic and discredited notions
      2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) – criticized the doctrine of original sin as impeding the progress of civilization
      3. Voltaire (1694-1778) – demonstrated in his Candide the difficulties of believing in a theistic God as a result of natural evil
    29. 1698-92 – John Locke writes his Letters Concerning Toleration in which he argued for religious toleration
      1. Arguments: 
        1. Impossible for the state to adjudicate between competing religious claims
        2. Legal enforcement of religion would not lead to the desired result of religion
        3. Results of imposing uniformity are far worse than allowing diversity
      2. Would have huge effect on the emergence of the United States
      3. Wrote Reasonableness of Christianity (1695) in which he argued that the beliefs of Christianity were rational and open to investigation
    30. 1700-60 – Nikolas Ludwig Graf von Zinzendorf 
      1. Emphasized religion of the heart based on a personal relationship with Jesus
      2. F. D. E. Schleiermacher and John Wesley would use his views
    31. 1703-58 – Jonathan Edwards – revivalist preacher and theologian in Massachusetts who helped spawn the Great Awakening which would lead to the questioning of the established religious hierarchy and fuel the American Revolution.
    32. 1703-91 – John Wesley
      1. Founded Methodist movement within the Church of England
      2. Realized need for a living faith with a conversion experience in 1738 where he felt his heart “strangely warmed”
    33. 1711-1776 – David Hume
      1. Scottish philosopher who rejected the credibility of the belief in miracles
      2. Wrote Essay on Miracles (1748) in which he argued that there is no modern day example of a miracle by which to correlate with the New Testament witness 
    34. 1714-70 – George Whitfield – preached during the Great Awakening around the colonies sometimes to crowds up to 8,000. 
    35. 1720-80 – The Enlightenment begins 
      1. A movement to dispel old myths with the power of human reason
      2. Deism emerged – the idea that God is the Creator of the universe but does not intervene to perform miracles
      3. Protestantism received the effects of the Enlightenment more quickly
      4. Les Philosophes – the writers of the French Enlightenment
      5. Discrepancy between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith
    36. 1724-1804 – Immanuel Kant
      1. Famous philosopher who synthesized pure rationalism and pure empiricism
      2. Wrote his famous book Critique of Pure Reason (1781)
    37. 1729-81 – Gotthold Ephraim Lessing – representative of the German Enlightenment who called into question the rationality of certain Christian claims such as the credibility of believing in miracles such as the resurrection.
  6. Modern Christianity (1750-Present)
    1. c. 1750-1800 – Emergence of Puritanism
      1. A form of Reformed Protestantism which emphasized spiritual application and experience
      2. Leading theologians include William Perkins (1558-1602), William Ames (1576-1633), John Owen (1618-83), and Richard Baxter (1615-91)    
      3. Large influence on the New World through theologians such as Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) who helped spawn the Great Awakening
    2. 1768-1834 – F. D. E. Schleiermacher – one of the chief proponents of Romanticism
      1. Reaction against the rationalism of the Enlightenment 
      2. Emphasized the mysteries of human existence with human imagination, emotions, and feelings 
      3. Schleiermacher argued in The Christian Faith (1821) that Christianity was a matter of “self-consciousness” and a feeling of “absolute dependence.” 
    3. 1774 – Quebec Act – established Catholicism for the French-speakers in Canada which fueled American suspicion of the English attempts to do the same.  
    4. 1776 – Declaration of Independence
    5. 1789 - French Revolution
      1. end of the Monarchy and the establishment of a secular republic
      2. Christianity in a fragile position – armies took over parts of Italy and the Pope had to flee
    6. 1813-73 – David Livingston – missionary who went to Africa (1840) and opened its interior to the gospel
    7. 1818-83 – Karl Marx – Founder of Marxism
      1. A correct understanding of humans begins with material production
      2. God is simply a projection of man’s imagination
      3. Religion results from social and economic alienation – opium of the masses
    8. 1832-1905 – Hudson Taylor who was a missionary to China 
    9. 1859 - Charles Darwin publishes his Origin of Species by which he argues for his theory of evolution
    10. 1873-1929 – Charles Fox Parham – early thinker who emphasized speaking in tongues and the baptism of the Holy Spirit which would influence the Azusa Street Mission. 
    11. 1875-1965 – Albert Schweitzer – famous for his work calling into question the presuppositions of the “quest for the historical Jesus.”
    12. 1884-1976 – Rudolph Bultmann – famous for his program of “demythologization” of the New Testament in which he argued that history was not fundamental to Christian proclamation
    13. 1884 – Establishment of Presbyterian missions in Korea – today 30% is Christian
    14. 1886-1968 – Karl Barth – the founder of neo-orthodoxy
      1. Rejected liberal Protestantism due to its overly optimistic view of humanity in light of World War I.
      2. Wrote Church Dogmatics (1936-69) in which he stressed the importance of taking seriously the revelation of God through Scripture
      3. Accepted the resurrection of Jesus as a historical event beyond critical inquiry
    15. 1886-1965 – Paul Tillich – one of the leaders of Liberal Protestantism
      1. The realization that Christianity needs reconstruction as a result of the changing world – faith in human experience. 
      2. Desired for theology to establish a conversation between human culture and Christian faith
      3. Liberal Protestantism reached zenith in American in the 1970s and 80s.
    16. c. 1890-1900 – The Emergence of Modernism 
      1. School of Catholic theologians who were skeptical of some of the traditional beliefs of the Church especially regarding Christology and soteriology
      2. Wanted to come to terms with the Enlightenment
      3. Thinkers include Alfred Loisy (1857-1940) and George Tyrrell (1861-1909)
      4. Also included Protestants such as Hastings Rashdall (1858-1924) who interpreted Christ’s atonement as an example of the love of God 
      5. World War I and II prohibited the advancement of it until the 60s
    17. c. 1900 – Emergence of Evangelicalism – roots in 18th Century
      1. A trans-denominational movement with emphasis on the authority of Scripture, the uniqueness of redemption through Christ, the need for personal conversion, and the urgency of evangelism.
      2. Distinct from fundamentalism in acceptance of responsible Biblical criticism, emphasis on key fundamentals of the faith, and lack of an isolationist movement
      3. Notable Theologians include Carl F. H. Henry (b. 1913), James I. Packer (b. 1926), and Clark Pinnock (b. 1939)
    18. 1906-8 – Emergence of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement with the Azusa Street revival
      1. Emphasis on spiritual gifts especially speaking in tongues
      2. A number of Pentecostal groupings including the Assemblies of God trace their roots to Azusa
    19. 1918-Present – Billy Graham- influential evangelist from North Carolina who preached the gospel to hundreds of millions of people
    20. 1922-Present – John Hick – argues for a pluralist approach to other religions in his book God and the Universe of Faiths (1973) by which one focuses on God and sees the similarities between these other religions as valid ways to reach God. 
    21. 1950-60 – Explosion of Christianity in Africa – approximately 200 million Christians by 1980
    22. 1962-5 – Second Vatican Council
      1. Discussed the nature and role of the church and sacraments and considered by some to have let “a breath of fresh air” in the church
      2. Allowed the mass to be spoken according to the native tongues, accepts Protestants as “separated brethren,” etc.
    23. 1964 – Joseph Washington publishes his book Black Religion in which he argues for the distinctiveness of black religion in North America and the need for integration of Black theology into mainstream Protestantism.
    24. c. 1970 – Emergence of Postmodernism
      1. General cultural ideology that rejects absolutes or fixed certainties and emphasizes pluralism and divergence 
      2. Collapse of confidence in the certainty of truth
      3. Deconstruction – identity and intentions of the author of the text are irrelevant – all interpretations are equally valid
      4. Postmodern Thinkers
        1. Ferdinand de Saussure argued for the arbitrariness of language
        2. Other Postmodern thinkers include Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Jean Baudrillard who argue the same
    25. 1970 – James Cone writes Black Theology of Literature (1970) in which he appealed to the notion of God as concerned for the oppressed. 
    26. 1971 – Peruvian theologian Gustav Gutierrez writes his Theology of Liberation (1971) in which he provides a definitive explanation of “liberation theology” for South America especially with emphasis on a critical reflection on practice based on God’s word.
    27. 1973 – The emergence of feminism with Mary Daly’s writing of Beyond God the Father in which she argues that the male understanding of God and redemption is incapable of salvation. 
    28. c. 1974 – Postliberalism
      1. Associated with the Yale Divinity School
      2. Emphasis on the community with a rejection of universal foundations of knowledge or experience
      3. Emphasizes how communities shape thoughts
      4. George Lindbeck Nature of Doctrine (1984) – argues against a universal human experience which exists apart from human language and experience
      5. Morality is to identify with the moral vision of a community
    29. 1998 – The Jesus Film is seen by more than 5 billion people worldwide
    30. 2006 – Christians continue to receive persecution worldwide


  • Allister McGrath, Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1998.
  • H. Wayne House, Charts on Church History.