The Church's Story: A Survey of Church History

Spring semester, 2023

Scroll down for older lessons in this study. Need the Zoom link or the CCS video login information? Contact Deanna to have it sent to you.

There will be no lesson Jan. 31 or Feb.1 for Service Day.

Lesson 4 (Feb. 7, 8): Trouble from Within - Heresy

Preparation Readings and Questions for this lesson:

  1. What was most striking to you about Persecution in the Early Church? What stood out to you from the letter of St. Ignatius to the Romans?
  2. Read the following list of passages (Dr. Stanglin will use this list of passages in the video). Which passages strike you? 
  3. What is the overarching concern?

    *The easiest way is follow this link to Bible Gateway and view them all. Or look up just a few!

    Mt. 7:15-20; Mt. 24:23-24; Acts 20:28-35; 1 Cor. 11:23; 1 Cor. 15:3-5; 1 Cor. 16:21; 2 Cor. 11:13; 2 Cor. 12:11-12; 2 Cor. 13:5-6; Gal. 1:8-9; Gal. 6:11-16; Phil. 3:2-3; Phil. 3:17-19; Col. 4:16-18; 2 Thess. 2:1-2, 2 Thess. 2:15; 2 Thess. 3:17; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-9; 2 Tim 4:3-4; 2 Pet. 2:1-3; 2 Pet. 3:14-16; 1 Jn. 4:1-3; 2 Jn. 7-11; Jude 3-4; Rev. 2:6, Rev. 2:14-15; Rev. 2:20; Rev. 2:24

  4. What do you think of when you think of “heresy?” Is it an important factor in the life of the church? What counts as heresy and what does not?
  5. How does our society view the material world as opposed to the spiritual world? What about the body as opposed to the spirit? What does Scripture teach about this?

Link to printable Lesson 4 Handout.

Lesson 4 Handout with answers filled in

The additional reading is Irenaeus, Against Heresies: Preface; Book I ch. 8 paragraph 1; Book I.10:1-2; Book III chapters 3-4. All sections available at https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103.htm.

If you miss class, you can watch Video "Module 4" on the CCS page (contact Deanna if you need the login).

Lesson 3 (Jan. 24, 25): Trouble from Without - Persecution

Preparation Readings and Questions for this lesson:

  1. What was noteworthy or striking to you about Didache? What did you notice about the practice of Baptism? The Lord’s Prayer? The Eucharist? What were the overall messages of this text?
  2. What else did you take away from last week’s lesson on the Apostolic Fathers?
  3. Read Acts 17:1-9. What were Paul and his companions charged with? What kind of charge is that? What group instigated the action against Paul and company? What group was supposedly threatened by their claims?
  4. Read 1 Peter 2:9-12 and 4:1-4. What situations can you imagine that Peter could be speaking to? What does it sound like is happening among Peter’s readers? What is his counsel to them?

Link to printable Lesson 3 Handout.

Lesson 3 Handout with answers filled in

Read Ignatius' Letter to Rome here

If you missed class, watch Video "Module 2" on the CCS page (contact Deanna if you need the login, then watch the video discussion linked above. You can also watch The Tuesday video here.

Lesson 2 (Jan. 17, 18): Apostolic Fathers

Preparation Readings and Questions for this lesson:

  1. What reason for studying church history spoke to you after last week’s class? What do you think you can gain from this study?
  2. Read Phil. 4:1-9. Which elements of this passage are specific to the time/place of writing? Which are applicable to all readers? How can we tell? Make a note of the personal names.
  3. If you wanted to make a timeline of Earliest Christianity, the period of the NT to 311AD, what are some significant events you could put on it?
  4. What are some “central themes” or main messages of the New Testament?

Link to printable Lesson 2 Handout

Lesson 2 Handout with answers filled in

Read Didache here

If you missed class, watch Video "Module 2" on the CCS page (contact Deanna if you need the login, then watch the video discussion linked above. You can also watch The Tuesday video here.

Lesson 1 (Jan. 10, 11): The Importance of Studying Church History

Preparation Readings and Questions for this lesson:

  1. Read these five passages in which Paul uses the word “traditions” - 1 Cor. 11:2, Gal. 1:14, Col. 2:8, and 2 Thess. 2:15 & 3:6 (“traditions” is the literal translation of the
    word rendered “teachings” in the NIV in the last two passages). Are “traditions” good or bad in each of these verses?
  2. What do you think of when you think about “history?” How about “tradition?” In what ways are these positive? Negative?
  3. In what ways are you interested in, or not interested in, studying church history? Why? Do you have objections to studying church history? Why or why not?
  4. What might the study of church history have to offer contemporary Christians and churches?

Link to printable Lesson 1 Handout

Lesson 1 Handout with answers filled in

If you missed class, Watch Video 1 on the CCS page (contact Deanna if you need the login info), then watch the video discussion linked above. You can also watch The Tuesday video here.

Spring 2023 Schedule

Date

Lesson

The Church’s Story: A Survey of Church History

Jan. 10/11

1

The Importance of Studying Church History

Jan. 17/18

2

Apostolic Fathers

Jan. 24/25

3

Trouble from Without: Persecution

Jan. 31 / Feb. 1 – Service Day

Feb. 7/8

4

Trouble from Within: Heresy

Feb. 14/15

5

Christology: The Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople

Feb. 21/22

6

Rise of Islam & Crusades

Feb. 28 / Mar. 1 – Service Day

Mar. 7/8

7

Monasticism

Mar. 14/15 – Off for Spring Break

Mar. 21/22

8

Reformations

Mar. 28/29 – Service Day

Apr. 4/5

9

Arminian Controversy

Apr. 11/12

10

Enlightenment and Skepticism

Apr. 18/19

11

Pietist Revival*

Apr. 25/26 – Service Day

May. 2/3

12

20th Century Developments

May. 9 – Planning Session

*Although we won’t have time to cover it in class, an additional video, “American Restoration Movement (Churches of Christ, Christian Church, Disciples of Christ)” will be available to watch outside of class.

Sources for this Series

Stanglin, Keith. "The Church's Story: A Survey of Church History." Center for Christian Studies, Austin, Tx.  Accessed Dec. 1, 2022 - May 23, 2023.  https://www.christian-studies.org/churchs-story.

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