The history of the Church from the book of Acts and after

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Was Catholicism the first denomination?

In doing research on Martin Luther, I stumbled upon this article. Which had the following quote: If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ, ...
15
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2answers
714 views

How old is old earth creationism?

The answers to What is the biblical evidence for an old Earth? say that biblical arguments for old Earth creationism are based on the ambiguous words used for describing lengths of time in Genesis. ...
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6answers
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Was tithing 10% required or encouraged by the early church?

I cannot find in the New Testament an obligation on Christians to tithe 10% of their income. Instead I read that it is up the individual to decide: 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV1984) Each man should ...
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2answers
715 views

What is the Biblical and historical basis for Christian pacifism?

My understanding is that early Christians were generally pacifists. Today (at least in the U.S.) Christian pacifists are a bit hard to come by. Many quote Romans 13:1-3 to support Christian ...
15
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1answer
175 views

When in the development of trinitarian doctrine was the word “persons” first applied to God?

In the Bible, the word "persons" is not used in reference to God, nor are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit called "persons." When, in early Christian writings and creeds, was the word "persons" ...
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608 views

When is the first documented case of Christians praying to the dead saints?

When is the first documented case of Christians praying to the dead saints? (A point in comments was brought up that "asking the dead saints" does not mean "praying to the dead saints" as "prayer is ...
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1answer
446 views

What of Augustine's ecclesiology was rejected in the Reformation?

BB Warfield is famous for saying that the Reformation was a triumph of Augustine's soteriology over his ecclesiology. For those who believe that Augustine's ecclesiology was rejected in the ...
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2answers
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From where does the doctrine that there is no time in heaven originate?

I'm quite familiar with the fact that God himself is outside of time, this is very easy to show through scripture. However it seems to be an increasingly popular conception that there is no time in ...
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3answers
252 views

From where does the teaching on women in ministry come? [duplicate]

First off, since I know this may be a somewhat controversial question in today's climate, let me just state that I'm not intending to take any part in that controversy. I'm just asking this question ...
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3answers
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Is Partialism a real heresy?

This YouTube video identifies Partialism as a heresy. It states that Partialism is the heresy wherein The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each described as 1/3 of God. To me, it's a vaguely familiar ...
9
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2answers
241 views

What's the basic premise behind “restorationist” movements?

To the untrained ear, the labels used in Christian circles for some groups of churches as either "reformational" or "restorationist" don't seem that different. If the label "reformed" is a direct ...
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4answers
502 views

Are the theories of Evolution and the Big Bang now binding to Catholics and to be held as true?

On Monday, October 27, 2014, addressing the Pontifical Academy of Sciences , Pope Francis is reported to have said, 'the Big Bang, which nowadays is posited as the origin of the world, does not ...
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4answers
386 views

Did Augustine teach sola fide?

It is popularly taught that the reformers declared five distinctive elements of theology that differentiated them from Rome: salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the ...
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3answers
2k views

How did the cross come to be a symbol for Christianity?

I understand WHY the cross became a symbol for Christianity, but HOW did it become a symbol? How did it start and how did it evolve into the symbol (or symbols since there are many variants) we all ...
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2answers
18k views

What happened to the the practice of women covering their heads?

Why don't more Christian women wear a covering? Most people today might associate the idea with the Old Testament, but references to the custom are actually found in the New Testament too: 1 ...
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2answers
217 views

Why didn't God remove the rainbow?

I am told that the New Testament is the New Covenant. If that is so, why didn't God remove the rainbow that He made for the Jews. If the Old Covenant has gone away, how does the Church explain the ...
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1answer
242 views

How could a seventh century heretic have possessed papal infallibility?

More specifically: How does the Roman Catholic Church reconcile the doctrine of Papal Infallibility with the Sixth Ecumenical Council's pronouncement regarding Pope Honorius? The Sixth Ecumenical ...
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1answer
627 views

Was regular weekly fasting a widespread, formal tradition in the early Church?

In The Story of Christianity,* author Justo Gonzalez offers the following: There were indeed times set aside for sorrow for one's sins, in particular during the two weekly days of fasting, which ...
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2answers
195 views

Did Jacob Arminius and/or the remonstrants believe they were in agreement with John Calvin?

In a comment on another question on this site, a user says that the Remonstrants thought they more faithfully represented Calvin and Augustine's teaching than did those who eventually convened the ...
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2answers
210 views

Hierarchy of Catholicism, government, and papal teaching

The bible teaches that we should submit to our governments in: Romans 13:1-2 (KJV) Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ...
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1answer
125 views

When did the “descent into hell” become part of the Apostles' Creed?

There seems to be much more debate over one clause of the Apostles' Creed than the entire rest of it put together, and that is the "descent into hell" (or "hades"), also known as the "harrowing of ...
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1answer
73 views

What were the scriptural arguments used for modern western racism?

A blight on the modern western church is that the bible has been used by certain people to justify racism--specifically dark-skinned people's inferiority and light-skinned people's superiority. Some ...
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2answers
79 views

Why aren't the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches in communion with each other?

Both the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Church worship the same God and the Blessed Mother Virgin Mary and the Saints and the Holy Trinity. Do language and cultural differences separate them? What ...
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1answer
112 views

Was Emperor St. Justinian an Aphthartodocetist?

Ss. Eutychius of Constantinople and Anastasius of Antioch were deposed and exiled because they openly opposed Emperor St. Justinian's edict in 564 on Aphthartodocetism. On the Hagiography of Eutychius ...
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2answers
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How did the Crusades affect the Pope's power and authority?

How did the Crusades affect the Pope's power/authority, during and after the Crusades? The Crusades, from Wikipedia The Crusades were a series of religiously sanctioned military campaigns, called ...
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4answers
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What color was Augustine's skin?

Ok, let me start by saying I don't think more or less of a person because of the color of their skin. I consider racism to be both misguided and a sin. But, when I visualize a person, I like to think ...
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4answers
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Is it true that early Christians were baptised naked?

I was told that people were baptised naked in the early Christian church. Is this true? If so, could you provide references please?
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2answers
394 views

What evidence is there that Peter was a bishop in Rome?

The Encyclopaedia Brittanica says The claims that the church of Rome was founded by Peter or that he served as its first bishop are in dispute and rest on evidence that is not earlier than the ...
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2answers
1k views

Were the medieval popes examined on a toilet-lid-like chair to establish their masculinity?

Is one of the consequences of the Pope Joan story, whether it was true or false, the use of a marble chair with a large, toilet-like hole in its seat? As the picture above shows, it seems that that ...
10
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2answers
391 views

What is the case in favour of adelphopoiesis as a relationship akin to marriage?

I've seen a few things lampooning John Boswell's interpretation of adelphopoiesis as a quasi civil union between men. However, I've not seen much on his side other than it being used by Christian gay ...
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3answers
3k views

Apostle John lived in Ephesus - what sources claim that?

Which earliest sources does Christianity posses that claim that apostle John spent the last years of his life in Ephesus?
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1answer
168 views

When was the word “trinity” first applied to God in Christianity?

The word "trinity" does not occur in the Bible. When, in early Christian writings and creeds, was the word "trinity" first used in reference to God? After that first (known) occurrence, what are ...
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2answers
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Did Origen castrate himself under a literal interpretation of Matthew 19:12?

I was just reading some history on extreme forms of asceticism and monasticism. In passing the subject of Origen it said he had castrated himself. Is this generally considered true by church ...
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1answer
804 views

To whom does Pope Francis confess?

So, Popes sin too. (At least, I assume they do.) Presumably, they confess their sin and do penance. Who hears his confession? Is it an office that rotates, or one individual? And, does the Pope ...
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4answers
813 views

What is “ Origenism”

I ran across this quote in the Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope St. Anastasius I A pontiff who is remembered chiefly for his condemnation of Origenism. A Roman by birth, he became pope in 399, ...
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5answers
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Why was Thomas More canonized?

Thomas More was canonized in 1935 by the Catholic Church. During his chancellorship between 1525-1529 in the campaign against the reformation people were killed and tortured in his name, for example, ...
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1answer
63 views

Did Augustine believe in Purgatory?

Purgatory was one of the doctrines the Reformers reacted most strongly against, though many Reformers claimed Augustine of Hippo as being in agreement with their theology. Did Augustine teach a ...
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4answers
937 views

Does any church follow the Apostolic Tradition of Baptism ‘in the nude’, or was that never the tradition?

The Apostolic Tradition was the work of Hippolytus, written somewhere between 215 and 400 AD. Recent scholars seem to take the later date (source). The whole writing can be found here: Apostolic ...
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2answers
635 views

Who were the intended audience in the Epistle to Romans?

Romans 1:7 (ESV) To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Who were the members of the ...
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1answer
94 views

Are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit explicitly identified as “persons” in any writings directly associated with the Nicene Creed?

Neither version of the Nicene Creed (325 or 381) contains the word "person," in the singular or in the plural. Are there any extant writings that came out of, or are closely associated with, either ...
5
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1answer
233 views

When were the early Christians no longer considered a sect of Judaism?

In Acts 28:22 the group of early Christians is referred to as a sect. Presumably as a sect of the existing Jewish religion. The question is when were the early Christians no longer considered a sect ...
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1answer
1k views

How did Luther view relics, like the 'preserved head of John the Baptist'?

According to wiki  Roman Catholic tradition holds that the head on display in San Silvestro in Capite in Rome is that of John the Baptist, discovered for the second time, as also maintained by ...
4
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1answer
143 views

How did Baptists in the southern US justify slavery as compatible with Christianity?

The wikipedia article on Slavery in the US states: Over the decades and with the growth of slavery throughout the South, Baptist and Methodist ministers gradually changed their messages to ...
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2answers
79 views

When is earliest mention of the Church tradition that Jesus was born in a cave?

The birth of Jesus as recounted by Luke says that: 7 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them ...
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3answers
205 views

Why is “faith” omitted as a doctrinal consideration in TULIP (five point) Calvinism?

Throughout the Bible “faith” coupled with God’s “grace” is essential for salvation. The I in TULIP stands for irresistible “grace”, what role does “faith” hold in Calvinism and why is it isolated ...
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2answers
91 views

By what ordinary methods has God preserved infallibility in the Catholic Church?

The Catholic Church teaches that in order for the saving truths of the faith to be preserved, explained, or observed, Christ endowed his Church with the charism of infallibility.1 It is not uncommon ...
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3answers
197 views

Why do we have to go to organized institutions to practice our beliefs?

I believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. People insist on going to church to express these feelings, beliefs, etc. Why are religious institutions necessary? My personal experiences with Church ...
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2answers
262 views

What was Martin Luthers perspective on the apostasy of the early Christian Church?

Was his belief that their foundation was faulty to begin with or that through time they fell into an apostate state and needed to be reformed back?
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What is the Catholic explanation for the Catholic Church's apparent vacillation on abortion?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that from the very first century, it has always been the perennial teaching of the Church that procured abortion is a very grave moral evil. CCC 2271 ...