Describe The Rise Of Christianity


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Describe The Rise Of Christianity

  1. 1. Describe the Rise of Christianity And the Changing Status of the Church during the Period of the Roman Empire.
  2. 2. Reading, pp. 141-46 <ul><li>#1c, d, 2g, h, 6, 7 </li></ul><ul><li>How cool is that! </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1c. Paul (no, not McCartney) <ul><li>A Jew from Asia Minor who played the most influential role in the spread of Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>Had been a persecutor of Jesus’ followers (see Acts 8-9) </li></ul><ul><li>Upon conversion from Saul to Paul, Paul spread the Gospel beyond Jewish communities to the Gentiles (non-Jews) </li></ul>
  4. 4. More Paul (see #6) <ul><li>Geography affected his ministry: the entire Mediterranean area offered a compact, central zone from which the Gospel would spread outward, or emanate, from Mesopotamia to Rome </li></ul><ul><li>Paul’s letters to the local churches throughout the region are found in the New Testament </li></ul>
  5. 5. More Paul <ul><li>Note authors’ interpretation at the close of the last paragraph on p. 143: </li></ul><ul><li>“In his writings” </li></ul><ul><li>“idea” </li></ul><ul><li>“Paul promised” </li></ul><ul><li>“followed his teachings” </li></ul><ul><li>“achieve salvation” </li></ul>
  6. 6. More Paul <ul><li>Was martyred in Rome during the reign of Nero. Recall that Nero died in A.D. 68. </li></ul><ul><li>The TEXTBOOK says that Paul added ideas from Greek philosophy (moderation and discipline) to Jesus’ message. I believe that God’s inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word doesn’t need any help from the Greeks. </li></ul><ul><li>Did Greek thinkers like Socrates make fertile the soil to people believing in One, True God? Yes. God uses His Creation for His Purposes. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Effects of Roman Empire <ul><li>Unity of law throughout the empire encouraged development of churches </li></ul><ul><li>Roman roads </li></ul><ul><li>Roman fleets offered safe travel across the seas </li></ul><ul><li>Greek and Latin, languages known throughout the empire, were the languages of early Christian documents </li></ul><ul><li>Persecution was testimony to new converts </li></ul>
  8. 8. 1d. Edict of Milan <ul><li>In A.D. 313, persecution of Christians ended due to this decree of Emperor Constantine </li></ul><ul><li>Granted freedom of worship to all citizens of the Roman Empire </li></ul><ul><li>Theodosius, a later emperor, made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire </li></ul>
  9. 9. 2g. Pope <ul><li>Formerly the bishop of Rome (in the Latin-speaking West) </li></ul><ul><li>Claimed greater authority over other bishops in other areas </li></ul><ul><li>A bishop is a Church leader with responsibility over a particular region </li></ul><ul><li>Highest church official of the Western Roman Empire </li></ul>
  10. 10. 2h. Heresy <ul><li>Beliefs contrary to official church doctrine </li></ul><ul><li>Councils of church leaders met from time to time to discuss teachings of Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>Heretics caused disunity among believers </li></ul>
  11. 11. 7. Emperors threatened by poor Christians not worshipping false gods <ul><li>Can you imagine such a headline in the daily newspaper? The very weakness and shallowness of their own fortitude was due to the frail human origins of their beliefs! </li></ul><ul><li>Christians were disloyal </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting in secret to avoid persecution led to further rumors of their “evil designs” </li></ul><ul><li>Roman societal mores were corrupt, Roman economic affluence was in question, and Roman power abroad was fading so leaders needed a scapegoat </li></ul>
  12. 12. So, how do we respond to our objective? <ul><li>The rise of Christianity during the period of the Roman Empire brought changes to the status of the Church. From persecuted body to official religion, from Paul to Augustine, followers of Jesus kept the faith that God would see them through both good times and bad. </li></ul>
  13. 13. We might add another objective: <ul><li>Appreciate the sovereign work of God in establishing and preserving the gospel message and the body of Christ (the Church). </li></ul><ul><li>What evidences do you see from this brief textbook reading? </li></ul>