Come Awake is launching a new series on church history!
The exploration of the movements, motivations, and patterns of those who came before can help us better understand where we came from, and the trajectory of where we are headed.
As believers (or non-believers), we have a lot to learn from the growth and development (and often, tragedy and confusion) of the people of Jesus Christ.
You may be thinking, “I hated history in school, and I thought I would be done with it forever!” as you proceed to close your browser window and unsubscribe from Come Awake forever.
I’m in the same boat as you are. History is by no means a topic of interest to me (I’m an engineer/scientist). In fact, it has taken me a grueling eleven months to read a mere 128 pages of the primary text I have been studying for this series (hopefully I can pick up the pace soon). But I wouldn’t put myself through this torture unless I thought it was worth it.
I realized last year that the context by which I understood my faith, and by extension, the way I perceived God to be working in my life, was severely limited to specific Christian movements of the past 200 years. In my mind, it was as if Christ had ascended to heaven, the apostles spread the Gospel in Europe and Asia Minor, and then suddenly the churches and ministries I am a part of had sprung to life soon after!
In reality, the Christian movement was a tumultuous path consisting of the Holy Spirit moving in the hearts of diverse people, along unique currents of theology and practice, on six continents, over the course of 2000 years, to bring me the opportunities I was given to hear the Gospel, grow in community, and proclaim Christ to others.
I saw the need to better understand that 2000-year context in order to avoid repeating the mistakes made by different iterations of the Church through history, as well as to project a trajectory of where the Holy Spirit is moving the Church, so that I may be best aligned with God’s vision.
The style of this series will be very different from the standard content on Come Awake. Most of my research was drawn from Church History in Plain Language, by the late Bruce Shelley, a former senior professor of church history and historical theology at Denver Seminary. Shelley sought to bring the 2000-year story of the Church to the average modern reader, and has done so spectacularly.
In addition to his work, I’ll also be consulting other books by both Christian and non-Christian historians, as well as Internet sources.
Together, we will gain a deeper understanding of the historical context behind an anomalous character (Jesus), whose seemingly insignificant presence has since radically impacted the lives of billions of people over thousands of years, as well as explore the evolution and growth of this unexpected movement!