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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

18
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
17
votes
1answer
378 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
647 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. ...
14
votes
6answers
4k views

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 ...
14
votes
1answer
126 views

How did St John of Damascus view Islam?

John of Damascus was one of the first Christian authors to write about the rise of Islam shortly after the time of Muhammad. I am fascinated by this man but I can't seem to find enough info about this ...
14
votes
1answer
143 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" ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

According to evangelicals, before the Reformation, who were Christians if “Catholics are not Christians”?

Every now and then I hear non-Catholic Christians, usually evangelicals, say things along the lines of "Catholics are not Christians" or "the Catholic Church does not teach the true gospel". Unless I ...
13
votes
2answers
609 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
17k views

What is the evidence that suggests that the Apostle Paul was married?

I have heard people say over the years that it is likely that the Apostle Paul had been married at some point, perhaps prior to his conversion. However, there doesn't seem to be any biblical evidence ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What did Jonathan Edwards have to say about the fact that he owned slaves?

I recently learned from a John Piper podcast that Jonathan Edwards owned slaves. Edwards lived in the early and mid 18th century, long before the American Civil War, and passed away decades before ...
12
votes
4answers
516 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
289 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
268 views

What doctrinal changes did the Westminster Confession bring to the Church of Scotland?

After the reforms of the 16th century, the Scots Confession served as the primary confession for the Church of Scotland for just over 80 years. In 1648 it was replaced by the The Humble Advice of the ...
12
votes
1answer
822 views

Does the Nicene Creed condemn Chiliasm?

I've repeatedly seen it asserted that Chiliasm was condemned as a heresy in the fourth century by the Church when it included the phrase "whose Kingdom shall have no end" in the Nicene Creed. However, ...
12
votes
2answers
15k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
384 views

What happened to the wives of priests when celibacy was first instituted in the Catholic church?

Since priests were not originally expected to be celibate, many must have been married when celibacy was first introduced. So what happened to the wives during this time when the institution started? ...
12
votes
2answers
109 views

Dating the sacerdotal hierarchy

What is the earliest generally accepted date for the sacerdotal hierarchy of the Christian Church? My own best guess is that it cannot be much later than the destruction of the Temple, though I ...
10
votes
2answers
829 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
votes
3answers
2k 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?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
308 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
201 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
220 views

Templar and Soldiers of Christ?

I have been hearing a lot about Templars in movies such as Ironclad and games like Assassin's Creed. I did a quick look up on Google about "Templars" and still haven't got any clue on what is it ...
9
votes
2answers
195 views

When, how and why did Mary start to be called “Queen of heaven”?

I have four closely related questions on this topic (if overall this is considered too broad, I'm happy to receive advice as to which questions—if any—would be better off in a separate post): What ...
8
votes
2answers
219 views

Did this phrase “love the sinner but hate the sin” in this form originate in Christianity and who is credited to have first used it?

This article "Are we to love the sinner but hate the sin?" | gotquestions.org says: Many Christians use the cliché “Love the sinner; hate the sin.” This C.SE question Is “hate the sin, love the ...
8
votes
1answer
779 views

Is there scholarly concensus on the historicity of Foxe's Book of Martyrs?

Foxe's Book of Martyrs purports to recount the lives and deaths of many who are regarded as the heroes of the Christian faith, and is revered as a classic within the genre of Christian literature. The ...
8
votes
2answers
174 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Where did the artistic rendering of Jesus originate?

There seems to be a pretty recognizable and consistent artistic image of Jesus Christ, despite the lack of evidence of what he looked like. Where did this initial image originate?
7
votes
5answers
4k views

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, ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
171 views

Why does only one person “teach” during a church meeting?

Consider these scriptures: "And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing ...
7
votes
2answers
205 views

How was slavery in the U.S. justified by Christianity? [closed]

President Barack Obama recently stated that many atrocities were done in the name of Christ. He went on to say that Slavery in the United States was also justified by Christianity. Since he did not ...
7
votes
2answers
163 views

What was the role of Apollos in the early church?

In 1 Corinthians 3:6, Paul wrote: I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. Why did Paul specifically mention Apollos as that is the name of a god in Greek ...
7
votes
1answer
135 views

On what basis did Mary Queen of Scots first reject the Scots Confession?

The history of the Scots Confession seems to have some amusing interludes. Having been drafted in just 4 days by 5 guys all named John, it went on to serve as the primary confession of the Church of ...
7
votes
1answer
534 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
351 views

When did Martin Luther begin to see the church as entirely apostate?

Related to Martin Luther: "Therefore it is not a Christian Church either"? and What was Martin Luthers perspective on the apostasy of the early Christian Church? and Is it true that Luther ...
7
votes
2answers
201 views

Why are there so many First Congregational Churches in the US?

A simple google earth search turns up hundreds of "First Congregational Churches" all over the U.S. What is the significance of this name?
7
votes
1answer
53 views

Are Anabaptists' re-baptisms really conditional baptisms?

Are Anabaptists' re-baptisms really conditional baptisms? By "conditional baptism" I mean one whose formula is something like: "If you are not baptized, I baptize thee… etc." In other words: Do ...
7
votes
4answers
437 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
195 views

How did the phenomenon of “Megachurches” come about?

Megachurches are part of the landscape in a lot of Christendom and have been defined as a Protestant church where average weekend attendance exceeds 2000. How did the phenomenon of megachurches arise? ...
6
votes
4answers
703 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, ...
6
votes
5answers
246 views

Origin of the idea that “demons” and “fallen angels” are the same thing?

Background So I'm studying angels and demons right now, attempting to put together a picture of what the Bible teaches on these topics, and I'm struggling to find anything in the Bible that suggests ...
6
votes
2answers
164 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
318 views

What is the Catholic Church's official position on the Spanish Inquisition?

The Spanish Inquisition seems to have had plenty of support from the Universal Inquisition at the time, but what is the present Vatican's view? Has the Church repudiated the Inquisition?
6
votes
1answer
172 views

What contemporary criticism was given to Belloc's claim that the Protestant Reformation was the work of a few oligarchs? [closed]

I've just returned from the 33rd Conference of the American Chesterton Society with exciting news, apparently Protestantism is a sham inflicted upon us by the corporate elite! Hehehe, well who ...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

What ever happened to the ostiarius?

The ostiarius was a person that guarded the church door to prevent unbaptized people from entering the church during the Eucharist. What ever happened to this role? Relating to this subject, why do ...
6
votes
1answer
240 views

How and when was homosexual practice separated from “homosexuality”?

Many of the recent denominational statements on the topic of human sexuality make a clear distinction between being aware of having same-sex attractions, and engaging in same-sex erotic activity. ...
6
votes
1answer
103 views

Was Zwingli the first to preach lectio continua?

On January 1, 1519, Zwingli preached from Matthew 1:1, beginning the Reformation in Switzerland.* Thereafter he continued to preach linearly through Matthew. This manner of preaching (or reading) ...