Church History Summary

1. The Apostolic Period, AD 30-100.

1.1. Review of the apostles James, Peter,Paul, and John. See Bible


1.2. Missionary expansion in Acts. See Chronology of Acts.

1.3. The NT canon was written. See Bible Survey.

1.4. Persecution was local and sporadic until c. 250. Nero (r.

54-68), Domition (r. 81-90).

1.5. Church organization in the first century

(elder=overseer=P/T, local. See doctrines) was different from the

church which soon developed (overseer over elders).

1.6. Beginning, foundation, documentation, spread of church.

2. The Post-Apostolic Church And The Struggle +For Survival, AD 100-


2.1. Persecutions and the martyr complex. Causes: exclusiveness

in political, religious, social, economic life. Edict of Milan

(Constantine, 313).

2.2. Doctrinal and philosophical controversies.

Ebionites, Gnosticism, Marcion (c. 150), Manichaeism,

Neoplatonism, Montanism (Montanus c. 150), Monarchianism.

2.3. Doctrinal developments. Monarchial bishop, primacy of Rome

in dignity and honor by 250, then in jurisdiction and authority.

Formation of canon (c. 175). Theology proper and Christology

beginning to be thought out and formulated.

2.4. Important persons of this period. Fathers, Apologists,

Polemicists. Clement of Rome (c. 95), Ignatius (d.c. 110),

Polycarp (d.c. 155), Tertullian (c. 150-240), Justin Martyr (c. 100-

166), renaeus (b.c. 120), Cyprian (c. 200-258), Origen (c. 185-


3. The Imperial Church consolidates And Expands, AD 313-590.

3.1. The political scene and some emperors. Constantine

(r. 306-337) legalized Christianity. Theodosius (r. 379-

395) made it illegal to depart Nicene faith.

3.2. Church councils. Nicea in 325, essence and trinity.

Constantinople in 381, restate Nicene and add HS.

Ephesus in 431, Nestorian/Pelagian. Chalcedon in 451, the

Person of Christ.

3.3. Canon of NT was officially closed by end of fourth century.

In the east Athanasius' Easter letter (367) lists all 27 books.

In the West through Jerome and Augustine at two African councils

(Hippo 393, Carthage 397) and then ratified by the Roman bishop.

3.4. Doctrinal developments. Theology proper, Christology,

Anthropology, Donatist.

3.5. Monasticism. Stages: Aceticism, hermit life, cloister

life, orders. Poverty, celibacy, obedience. Misunderstood

priorities in the Christian Way of Life.

3.6. Missions. Migrations of peoples. Ulfilas (c. 311-383) to

Goths. Martin of Tours (c. 316-396) to Burgundians. Clovis,

king of Franks (d.511), to Franks. Soldiers, merchants to British

Isles. Patrick (c. 389-461) to Ireland. Columba (c. 521-597) to


3.7. Important persons. Arius (d.336), Athanasius (c.296-373),

Jerome, (c. 340-419), Augustine (354-430), Eusebius of Caesarea

(c. 260- 340), John Chrysostom (347-407). Leo the Great,

Bishop of Rome from 440-461, preeminence of Roman Bishop as

Peter's successor, administrator, enforced church uniformity,

protected Rome.

4. The Rise Of The Church Empire And Its Missionary Expansion, AD


4.1. The growth of the papacy and its relationship to the Holy

Roman Empire. Leo I (p. 440-461). Gregory the Great (p. 590-

604), true pope in fact, maintained Roman bishop had jurisdiction

over whole church, conflict with Eastern bishops, civil duties,

great doctor of RCC in moral theology. RC Franks (Charles Martel,

689-741, Pepin the Short, 714/15-768, Charlemagne, 742-814.

Charlemagne controlled France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain)

and popes cooperated to defeat the Barbarians and rule Europe.

Charlemagne crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III on 25

December 800. Re- established old Roman Empire in the West.

4.2. Missionary expansion. Islam (Mohammed, 570-632).

Expansion in British Isles resulted in Whitby (663) and Roman

Christianity. Germany (Boniface 680-754).

4.3. Doctrinal controversies. Monotheletic (690),

Saint and Image Worship (787), Filioque (9th), Adoptionism (9th),

Predestinarian (9th), Eucharistic (9th and 11th).

5. Movements Within The Church And Between The church And State, AD 800-


5.1. The Holy Roman Empire. Charlemagne died 814. His son,

Louis the Pious ruled 814-840. Sons of Louis the Pious divided

the kingdom in Treaty of Verdun (843). Charles the Bald (France),

Louis (Germany), Lothair (Central Corridor). Treaty of Mersin

(870). Germany. Otto I (912-973), A German king and emperor of

Saxon dynasty. Crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 962

by Pope John XII. Holy Roman Empire extended from 962-1806.

5.2. Feudalism. System of government based upon land. Manor,

lord, feudal knight, serf, priest. Beneficial to society.

Church entered feudalism.

5.3. Decretals and Transubstantiation. Decretals are papal

letters with the force of law. False decretals were forgeries

used in 9th-11th centuries to strengthen papal

supremacy. Transubstantiation developed by Radbertus in 831.

5.4. Separation of Roman and Greek Church 1054. Began in 330 with


5.5. Monastic reform began in Cluny, Eastern France in 910.

6. Papal Supremacy And The Rise of Scholasticism, AD 1054-


6.1. The rise and fall of papacy. Hildebrand became Pope

Gregory VII in 1073. College of Cardinals, dictatus papae,

Investiture Struggle. Innocent III (p. 1161-1216) was zenith of

papacy. Henry IV (1077), Philip (1200), John (1213) were

goats. Boniface VIII (p. 1274-1303) low point. Clericis

Laicos (1296), unam sanctum (1301).

6.2. The Crusades, 1095-1291. Holy Wars against enemies of cross

to recapture Palestine for Christianity. Seven major crusades.

Religious failure. National changes.

6.3. Scholasticism. An intellectual movement to strengthen

faith by reason through rationalizing theology.

Rationalize, arrange existing content. RCC. Summa

Theologica. Universities c. 1200.

6.4. Sacraments. Developed in twelfth- thirteenth centuries.

Contain and cause grace. Baptism, confirmation, eucharist,

penance, extreme unction, ordination, marriage.

6.5. Monastic reform. Reform, new orders (Dominicans), military


6.6. Lay reform. External forces of reform. Albigenses,


7. Preliminaries To The Reformation, AD 1305-1517.

7.1. Roman Catholic Church. Abuse of authority and power,

Babylonian Captivity (1309- 1377), Great Schism (1378-1417),

decline in clergy and spiritual life.

7.2. The Renaissance and Humanism. The period of accelerated

transition from medieval to modern life in Europe

(fourteenth-sixteenth centuries). Humanism was the rebirth of

classical learning within this transition. Northern (Erasmus)

and Southern (Petrarch). Involved classical learning and

languages, man centered, secular, individualistic world view.

Emphasized confidence in human nature and education,

theological skepticism, natural religion.

7.3. Mysticism. Movement by man to experience presence of

God. Subjective experience without objective authority.

Faith active. Minimized Bible Doctrine.

7.4. Forerunners of Reformation. John Wycliff (1329-1384), Jan

Hus (1373-1415), William Savonarola (1452-1498). Bible the

central force.

7.5. Other factors. National consciousness, printing

press (John of Guttenburg c. 1456), world exploration.

8. The Reformation And The Counter Reformation, AD 1517-1648.

8.1. Causes. Indirect causes were political, economic,

intellectual, moral, social, theological. Direct cause was sale

of indulgences in Germany. Albert of Mainz. Tetzel.

8.2. German. Martin Luther (1483-1546). 95 theses, 31

October 1517 in Wittenberg. Heidelberg, Augsburg, Leipzig,

Worms, Wartburg, Wittenberg, Diets of Speyer, German

Bible. Katherine Von Bora (1525). Strong leader, student,

writer, preacher. Bible, faith, priesthood. Philip Melanchthon

(1497-1560). Theologian. Wrote Lutheran creeds.

8.3. German Swiss. Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531). Priest,

patriot, student. Zurich. Disputations. Second Battle of

Kappel. Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575). Pastor.

8.4. French Swiss. John Calvin (1509-1564). Universities of

Orleans, Bourges, Paris. Lawyer. Basal, Geneva. Student,

thinker, exegete, theologian, writer, teacher. Institutes

(four editions), commentaries. Reformed Theology. TULIP.

Theodore Beza (1519-1605). Good exegete, theologian.

8.5. Anabaptist Tradition. Conrad Grebel (1498-1526), Felix Manz

(1498-1527), George Blaurock (1491-1529), Menno Simons (149601561).

Maligned , three disputations in Zurich, many martyrs. Bible,

faith, believer's baptism, gathered church. Separation of

church and state, many pacifists. Some radicals (Munster). Most


8.6. English Reformation. Lollards, William Tyndale (1494-

1536). Henry VIII (r. 1509-1547) wanted male heir. Edward VI

(ruled 1547- 1553), Book of Common Prayer, 42 Articles. Mary

Tudor (r. 1553-1558), RC, martyrs. Elizabeth (r. 1558-1603),

Settlement of 1559, 39 Articles, Church of Middle Way. Thomas

Cranmer (1489-1556). Church of England. Puritans.

8.7. Roman Catholic Counter Reformation. Internal/external.

Authority of Pope, orthodox, change moral and religious life.

Spain (Ximenes c. 1436-1517). Theologians, reforming orders

(Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola 1491-1556, authorized 1540),

reforming popes (Paul III, p. 1534-1549). Index, inquisition,

writing, anti-Protestant. Council of Trent (1545-1563), official

RC theology and papal authority.

Tod M. Kennedy, 1980*

*Periods 1-4 completed 1979, revised 1980. Periods

5-8 completed 1980. Periods 9-11 to be added at a

later date.



OK! New Christian...What Now? | Bible verse for every letter of the alphabet.| Church History Summary.| The Christian Message.| Election. | Is Hebrews 6 a warning? | Seven Incontestable Questions. | Ironside: Agnosticism. | Issues Of The Heart - J. MacArthur. | Natural Laws and God's Laws. | Possession: The Devil Made Me Do It! | The Preisthood Of All Believers. | Why Jesus? | Knowing Why You Believe - Evidence - Bible. | Discussions With Unbelievers. | Inerrancy. | What Does It Mean To Be A Christian? | First Adam; Then Eve; then what? | What Will People Think? | Perfect For All Time. | Jesus Is Lord. | Spiritual Strength And Power. | The Biblical Calendar Of History. | Studying Your Bible. | Computer Analysis Of The Books Of The Bible. | Early Christianity - Is The Record Sound? | The Bible - The Most Popular Book. | Credentials Of The Bible. | Doomed - to Hell. | Faith And Works In The Plan Of God. | Others Can But You Can't. | Impositions - giving to God and by God. | Why Did Christ Die? | The Successful Christian - #1. | The Successful Christian - #2. | Is It What We Say Or What We Are? | Forty-day Bible Study. | Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation? | How To Overcome Sin - Charles Finney. Death. | Why We Reject This Version. | How Does God Keep His Promises? | Radical Genesis Evangelicals.

 This article is from