Rev. Chris Richard
Master of Christian History
This course work on Christian History was one of two courses I have been taking over the past twenty weeks, and I believe that I have learned a great deal of information; most of which I did not know beforehand. I found many things new and exciting and others new and disappointing.
I was really surprised in what I read in the first lesson of how the Roman Empire was the start of the spread of the Christian gospel; no other ancient empire has ever been able to unite with each other, until the rise of Rome. My heritage is Roman; it was fascinating to learn some of their history. I really enjoyed lesson two when the qualities, work, and character of Jesus Christ was discussed. His personality was not separated from all of the work that He did. He is the only one on earth that had nothing to hide and was always faithful and kind to humanity, even at the sacrifice of his own life. His ministry and everything He accomplished before He was crucified is extraordinary. All of the miracles that He did really revealed His glory and power. Jesus' greatness was especially shown when He was resurrected three days after dying on the cross. I also learned that Jesus gave the Christian message to the Jews first. He wanted them to spread the Good News all around the world and with them doing so He gave them the Holy Spirit to empower them while they spread the word of God. I have never realized that Judaism was the beginning of Christianity.
I was very disappointed when I read lesson seven in which it was discussed that the Romans persecuted the Christians because they thought that they were a secret society. The Romans destroyed all the Christian Churches, meetings were shut down, and those who confessed they were Christians were thrown into prison, and so many were killed. The Romans also stated that there was no such thing as private religion. It didn't seem fair to me that the Romans did not adopt a mindset regarding freedom of Religion. We are very privileged to live in a country today where such a freedom is granted. Many Societies have come so far since the Roman Empire ruled the "world."
I enjoyed reading about the best of the Church fathers. There were many Church fathers, but I think Augustine was the greatest. He was the creator of the Christian historiography that is still used today. Pope Gregory I played another major role in Christian History. While he was bishop of Rome, the greatest accomplishment he made was the expansion of papal power. He did this so that he could assert the spiritual supremacy of the Roman bishop, among other goals. Once this was accomplished, Christian Churches were transformed from being ancient to medieval. All bishops who came after Pope Gregory I followed in his foot steps. Pope Gregory's accomplishments shaped the Church into the middle ages.
I really enjoyed this course on Christian history. I like how the literature was explained in a detailed, yet a simple way. I'm looking forward to starting the next course.
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