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What You Will Find at Church History 101

CH101 attempts to accurately present the data of the early church. How do we know what happened after the New Testament period? We have an enormous amount of documents from the first three centuries written by those who were leaders. It happens that the leaders of the early church were also the educated ones - only 5% of the population in the first few centuries was literate, thus it is amazing that we have so many written sources.

Unfortunately there are many web sites where you can find all kinds of misleading information on the early church. The early church fathers are not easy to read or understand - not easy to read because they tend to be verbose and drone on and on. Many tend to get off on tangents. They are difficult to understand because they discuss issues of the day that are not as clear for us. Like the NT writers sometimes do, they refer to things their readers fully knew but the details have been lost in the sands of time.

We try to present the data without making theological or doctrinal judgements - just the information as clearly as possible.
COMMENTS - QUESTIONS - CRITICISM
There are comment forms on almost every page - we welcome EVERY single serious comment, question or criticism - and we answer almost every single one.

Constantine and the Christian Empire, by Charles Odahl - represents 31 years of research, retracing the steps of Constantine across Europe and the Eastern Empire. The most exhaustive work on Constantine ever published.
Numerous CH101 readers have written to me with questions and critical comments about what I have written regarding Emperor Constantine. There is a significant percentage of conservative Protestants who believe Christianity suffered greatly under Constantine. As a young man I was taught that the Catholic Church started with Constantine and was the beginning of Christianity losing it's way.
One reader expressed it very close to how I learned it as a young man:
"Paul said that the 'mystery of iniquity' was already at work in the church even during his day (2 Thes. 2:7). How much more in the years following the death of Paul and the other Apostles would the 'mystery of iniquity' be working."
While there are some valid points to be made for Christianity losing it's zeal and spiritual power, Constantine gets a bad rap in MY opinion. If you are interested in learning more about Constantine I would highly recommend the text by Charles Odahl (to the right) to better decide if Constantine was a Christian or just a political opportunist. My articles will be edited using Odahl's excellent research:
Emperor Constantine comes to Power
Emperor Constantine and Christian Faith
Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea
Emperor Constantine and Worship of the Sun (Sol Invictus)
Emperor Constantine and Christians in the Military
Emperor Constantine Against the Donatists
If you are interested in knowing how the history of Constantine has been misreported, I highly recommend my book review on DH Williams, "Retrieving the Tradition and Renewing Evangelicalism." Prof. Williams shows how many Reformers misrepresented the history of Constantine by relying on an 8th century forgery for "facts."
Why Does Tertullian Call the Apostle Paul
"The Apostle of the Heretics?
"

Men like Douglas Del Tondo have an established theological position, a dogma, and they look for ANYTHING in the early church writings to bolster their position. Del Tando has either not read enough of the writings he cites OR he is purposefully misleading people. I would like to think it is the former; to purposefully mislead is to lie.
Read the CH101 Reviews of
Flea Market Jesus, by Arthur Farnsley

David Bercot books:
A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs


Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up



The Demands of Christian Tolerance

"Can we disagree, yet remain agreeable? Christians can be the most dogmatic people when Truth demands that we be more humble."

John Gibson asks some probing questions regarding "Truth-seeking" and being tolerant of those who disagree with us.

Culture and Opinion
Paul Marshall's article, "Blasphemy and Free Speech" augments my rebuttal of Prof. Kidd:
Why Are There So Few Muslim Terrorists? Prof. Thomas Kidd answers this, his own rhetorical question. I take him to task for misleading his audience. This whole argument seems less tolerable now in light of the Boston Marathon Bombing and the more recent Mall Massacre in Kenya.


The Trinity in the Early Church
A Critique of "The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity's Self-Inflicted Wound," by Anthony Buzzard and Charles Hunting. Mr. Buzzard is something of a Ebionite Christian (he does not believe in the deity of Jesus and seems to believe that "true" Christians should live by the Old Testament).

ALSO: The evidence of the trinity in the New Testament

Other Topics include:
Discussion on Pacifism and the New Testament
Who Wrote the Letter to the Hebrews in the Bible? Was it Paul?
Why do Christians worship on The Lord's Day rather than on the Jewish Sabbath?
Why did the Reformers reject The Apocrypha?
Did the early "Christian" schools teach universal salvation?
How did Saul have the authority to hunt down Christians?
Why do Christians light candles during worship?
Palestine or Israel?
How did ancient writers refer to the region surrounding the land occupied by Israel? This site is getting attacked by pro-Israeli visitors claiming that our information is inaccurate, some stating that we are purposefully engaging in political propaganda. Read some of these comments/conversations and judge for yourself.

Other Questions
Water Baptism in the Early Church
Wine in the Ancient World
The Early Church Fathers on NT Revelation
The Early Church Fathers on Holiness
The New Testament, Faith, and the Resurrection
The New Testament and Christian tithing

Other Topics of Interest:

1. Early Church History Podcasts
"Grace to You," a study in Ephesians using Watchman Nee, "Sit, Walk, Stand."

"Contemplative Prayer," a series based on the Brother Lawrence classic "The Practice of the Presence of God."

Church History class lectures given at Saint Augustine's College. (unedited)

2. Early Church History Book Reviews
The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life, by Hannah Whitall Smith

How the Christian New Testament Canon was Formed
The NT was NOT dropped from heaven.
The NT was NOT delivered by an angel.
The NT was NOT dug up in a field as golden plates like the Book of Mormon.
The NT was NOT suddenly "discovered" in a clay jar with 27 "books" intact like the Dea Sea Scrolls or the Nag Hammadi texts.
Read "How the New Testament Canon was Formed"


 


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First Century Christian Church History
ist Century Church History
The conversion of the apostle Paul
Early Church History of Galatians
James Just brother of Jesus in the Bible
1st Century Christian Church Struggles
Christian History - conversion Apostle Paul
Palestine - Philo, Josephus, Strabo, Aristotle
Apollos NT Hebrews in Ancient Rome
Apollos NT Hebrews in the Bible
Wine in Bible Alcoholic?
James the Just and Jesus in the Bible
Hellenized Jews First Century Christianity
Hellenized Jews Gentile Christians
Hellenized Jews New Testament
Jews and the conversion of the apostle Paul
Conflict in the Early Christian Church
Palestine vs Israel Zola Levitt Dr. McCall
Palestine in the Bible and the Ancient World
Apollos NT Hebrews in the Bible
Apollos NT Hebrews - Ancient Roman World
Palestine Israel in Ancient Greece Rome
Alcoholic Wine - New Testament
James the Just Paul and Jesus in the NT
First Century Christian Church History Issues
How the New Testament was formed
How the NT Canon was formed or canonized
Questions about Wine in the Ancient World
Wine Alcohol in the Bible - New Testament
Early Church Catechesis - Catechetical Training
Questions regarding Christian Issues
Palestine - Israel Map Ancient World
Apollos Alexandria Hebrews in the Bible
Apollos Paul Corinthians - Bible
James the Just the brother of Jesus
First Century Christian Persecution
1st Century Persecution of Christians
Gnosticism in the 1st Century Early Church
Early Church History of Galations
Early Christianity War and Conflict
Early Christianity Constantine and War
Important Issues in Early Christianity
Palestine Israel in Greek Roman World
Apollos Alexandria Hebrews - Bible
Apollos Paul Corinthians NT