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I encourage you to listen to my church history podcast Triumphs and Tragedies. I’m not a historian by any stretch, and I’m afraid the podcast is more than rough around the edges. It was simply my attempt to give a quick roller coaster ride through twenty centuries of church history so that we can make better sense of where we are by understanding where we’ve come from.
One of the things you’ll gather is not only the history of the Catholic Church, but through that lens, a good overview of European history from the Roman Empire to the present day. The Catholic Church is the only institution from that time period that still not only survives, but thrives. Think about it!
Series - Blog - BreadBox - Media - PlayerFM
The series is available on my blog and at BreadBox Media, PlayerFM and my iTunes channel. It’s not perfect and I’d do a lot differently if I were doing it again, but its a worthy effort. Give it a try!
One of the interesting things that has come out of my research for the series is a 500 year pattern. I know we tend to impose patterns on things where they may not exist, but think about this pattern within church history.
Years - Roman - Period - Church - Persecution
The first five hundred years is the Roman period. The church grows, goes through persecution, then is established and the fortunes of the church rise as the Roman Empire slowly crumbles.
The second 500 years are the Dark Ages. Europe drifts into chaos, anarchy and lawlessness. The barbarian tribes invade, but St Benedict establishes monasticism in the East while the Celtic church is flourishing and sending out missionaries from the West. The hierarchy and papacy disintegrates into an ongoing war between what are essentially Italian crime families.
Years - Flourishing - Christendom - Monasticism - Blossoms
The third 500 years sees the great flourishing of Christendom. Monasticism blossoms, learning expands, universities are...
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It had only one fault, it was useless.