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22

Nobody in ancient times could have imagined that the earth was billions of years old, so you won't see any explicit attempts to reconcile the Genesis creation stories with an old earth. However, the early Christians did see discrepancies that made them question how literally the creation stories should be understood. Second century Christian apologist ...


21

The word catholic means 'universal' and by that definition, yes, in fact the 'catholic' church is definitionally the first orthodox church. (In contrast, the Gnostics and others were heterodox.) The problem today is that most people see 'catholic' and assume it is the Roman Catholic Church. While Roman Catholics often do not like to hear those two terms ...


20

The evidence for Paul being married is fairly scant. He writes in 1 Corinthians 9:5: "Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas?" The implication could be made that Paul was complaining about leaving some wife behind. In Galatians 1:14, Paul says: "I was advancing ...


16

The clear and correct answer is simply: God's will. God ensured that it happened. Now, suppose one rephrased the question as: how could one explain the survival of Christianity in purely athiest terms -- with no mention of God whatsoever -- what is the closest approximation one could do? Measuring love in units of sacrifice. There's something ...


14

The word tithe itself comes from the Old English teogoþa, meaning "tenth" - so technically, tithing is the giving of a tenth by definition. But of course that's not what you're asking! The idea of giving a tenth comes from the Old Testament: Leviticus 27:30-33 (MSG): "A tenth of the land's produce, whether grain from the ground or fruit from the ...


14

Quick answer: Yes, nude baptism was practiced in Ancient times. From A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities p 160 ed W Smith & S Cheetam (1875) A comparison of all the evidence leads to the conclusion that the catechumens entered the font in a state of absolute nakedness. See particularly St Cyril, Hieros. Myst. Catech. ii ad init; St Ambrose, Serm. ...


14

Disclaimer #1: This answer is, in no way, intended to undercut or replace Affable Geek’s very well presented (and fun) overview of denominational history...or any of the other answers. This is simply an attempt to “flesh out” the Catholic Church’s claim to fame - namely Apostolic/Magisterial Succession – by presenting a very brief paper trail of Patristic ...


13

On a historical note, as with Pope Joan story, this too never happened. These the two myths became connected in a well circulated rumor which what eye-witnesses to medieval papal coronations believed they were watching. The result was the often repeated report of a public rite always seen by others, never by the narrator. If Pope Joan story is not true, ...


13

It seems virtually undisputed that Theophilus of Antioch (d. 183) is your man. He wrote in Greek: [God's creations on the first three days--light, sky, and vegetation--] are types of the Trinity, of God, and His Word, and His wisdom. And the fourth [day, the creation of the moon and stars,] is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, ...


12

No, he did not address the issue of slavery in any published works. We know this because of a recently published paper revealing an unpublished draft letter by Edwards that does deal with slavery. It is described by the paper author thus: It is the only known instance of Edwards writing, however abstrusely, about slavery. Also it discloses differing ...


12

The chair was real, but its actual function is different from what the legend says. And actually, it seems to have been three chairs: one "commode"-type seat, and two porphyry "pierced" chairs. Read on for more. In Misconceptions About the Middle Ages (page 66-7; ed. Harris and Grigsby), a description is given of the chairs' function in papal coronations: ...


12

Augustine of Hippo is basically universally credited with the coinage of the phrase. It is an idea which can easily be supported by the Bible, but he was the first to say it in a form close to its present proverbial form. He probably didn't think he was coining a cliche, since it was neatly hidden away in a letter to a convent. This blog has a summary of the ...


11

I like this question because it forces us to read the Westminster Confession in its context, and not just as a settled statement of belief. In summary, the two confessions are in continuity, but the earlier Scots Confession was more permissive. Especially, it did not exclude the option of episcopal polity, or of royal power over the Church. The Westminster ...


11

Update: The short answer: No; it seems that partialism is not a "real," historically defined heresy. Explanation: Before writing this post, I checked the applicable titles from among my usual textual sources -- a variety of historic theological works that are now in the public domain and available online. When that yielded no references to "partialism," I ...


11

No, there is not general agreement as to the exact historical accuracy of John Foxe's work. The majority of events are considered to be historical and widely accepted to be based on good sources such as eyewitness records, however doubt is often cast on the retelling aspect. The primary accusation brought against Foxe's Book of Martyrs (originally titled ...


11

The Nicene Creed is a long-standing tradition in Christianity, and "defines the mainstream definition of Christianity for most Christians". It has been independently accepted by the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran (pdf link), and plenty of Protestant churches. Joshua Christian seems to have presented a fanciful (or at least misleading) view of the ...


11

The earliest may not be easy to find, but I'll put a marker down. St Ephraim the Syrian, who died in 373, prayed: Ye victorious martyrs who endured torments gladly for the sake of the God and Saviour; ye who have boldness of speech towards the Lord Himself; ye saints, intercede for us who are timid and sinful men, full of sloth, that the grace of Christ ...


10

Luther clearly thought all relics were ridiculous nonsense and evidences of a very degraded sense of spiriituality.  “It is claimed that the head of St. John the Baptist is in Rome, although all histories show that the Saracens opened John’s grave and burned everything to powder. Yet the pope is not ashamed of his lies. So with reference to other relics ...


10

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has an official policy of not accepting any tithing from winnings having to do with gambling, this includes the lottery. Their position on gambling can be found here. For those that don't want additional information/links the position is this: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opposed to ...


10

Revelation 1:9 explicitly states that John was on the island of Patmos when he wrote revelation: I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. That he would have been exiled there is common: "Early ...


10

Popes confess to another priest, like any other priest. Pope Francis' long-standing confessor is a Croatian Franciscan priest in Argentina, Fr Berislav Ostojic. People get to choose their own confessor whom they are comfortable with and trust to give good advice. The Pope is no different to anyone else. I'm not sure that confession can be conducted by ...


10

This has been debated, so no one knows for sure. The consensus of the scholars seems to be that this was a malicious rumor about him, possibly started by Demetrios, the Bishop of Alexandria, a prosecutor of Origen. John McGuckin's Westminster Handbook to Origen states that someone who interpreted the Gospels so allegorically would be unlikely to have ...


10

You may find a book that shows his writing about the followers of Islam On Heresies (see 101) by St. John of Damascus . The writing of St. John of Damascus basically runs like this: (Actually he does not really say that much in depth, or from argumentation from scripture but still it is interesting) He mentions Mohammed and his book He pokes fun at the ...


9

Most early Eastern theologians didn't believe in witches (technically, neither did Western theologians, as is evidenced by Canon Episcopi), but most common folk did. Without getting into the confounded history of witch-burning, it is generally held that theologians prior to the 10th century did not believe in witches. The 9th century Canon Episcopi that I ...


9

The First Baptist Church of Orange Park in Orange Park, FL refused a $600,000 donation of lottery winnings from one of it's members back in 2008.


9

To reform is to change what already is there, and to restore is to return to its original state. It probably depends which congregation within Christianity you're asking. Some protestants may consider themselves restorationists, and others reformational. Other Christians use the term and eschew the "Protestant" label. For example, Latter-day Saints ...


9

There are many covenants which are recorded in the Bible. Some are made by people, some are made by God, and some are made between God and people. The terms Old Testament (Covenant) and New Testament (Covenant) are general terms which are referring to two specific covenants. The Old Testament is a term which refers to the Mosaic Covenant which was between ...


9

I don't know for sure who the Pope meant, since he did not give very many clues, but I think he was referring to Antonio Rosmini-Serbati (1797-1855). His writings criticising the church were placed on the Index during his lifetime, but he was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007. The biography fits the way that Pope Francis describes events, with the ...


8

The Biblical pacifist argument is usually founded in the Sermon on the Mount, which is held to prohibit any kind of violence (going beyond the law of Moses): But I tell you, "Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matthew 5:39, NIV) "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor ...



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