The Golden Age of Hymns: A Gallery of the Hymn Writers’ Hall of Fame. How Christianity’s Golden Age of Coercion Began December 14, 2016 Captain Cassidy Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! 31:34). Such compromises are discouraging, but, as many have noted, the stark contrast between true disciples and false disciples is becoming well defined. We must correct our drifting and return to the values and practices of the early church, the argument goes. In reality, the early church devoted itself to the same things that we should be devoting ourselves to—the sacraments, the Word of God, fellowship, and prayer (Acts 2:42). As early as the reign of Ard-Ri Cormac the First—the first years of the third century—the Christian faith had penetrated into Ireland. An eternal hopefulness lived in the heart of the great prophets, like a light shining in a dark place, amidst all the scenes of national sin and depression. 1:9). Other Important Hymn Writers. To identify the early church as the golden era and to yearn for its exact replication is misguided and dangerous. Many who embrace New Age beliefs view the Aquarian Age as a Golden Age of spiritual advancement, total equality, and unparalleled achievements for humanity. Or try the seven letters in Revelation. For the early church, just read both of Paul's letters to the Corinthians, with their divisiveness, immorality, and arrogance. Have there been periods in church history filled with amazing men and women accomplishing great things for the Kingdom of God? Evidence of a Golden Age If we are to define a Golden Age of Jewish-Christian interaction as a period of amicable rela- tions, prosperity and mutual creativity, then there is certainly enough evidence to support its application to medieval Spain during the high and late Middle Ages. Second, if these Not-Golden ages were really that bad, if the gospel was almost entirely lost and the Church virtually ceased to function as the people of God, what does that tell us about God's faithfulness and the work of the Spirit over time? The Arch of Constantine borrowed elements from other monuments to show that Constantine was a good emperor just like _____ who represented a golden age. And this highlights one of the problems of the Golden Age mentality: it tends to focus on one, narrow part of the Church. Only a few years later came Michael Jordan. And it's one that I hear from almost all of my students. On the other hand, the golden age of the church is yet to come. We only need to reorient our doctrine and practice according to a particular church era inasmuch as they reflect Scripture. As I’ve just said, we’ve seen God move in some amazing ways in the last fifty years. How was it for them? Absolutely. Comparing the modern church against the early church is like comparing Bill Russell with Michael Jordan. "Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Therefore, we should be patient with Christ’s bride because we know that she will make it to that final day. The Spirit who made the ascended Christ present to them in and through those means is the same Spirit who does so for us today. I’m not saying this generation is perfect, or even great. You don't learn from someone by ignoring their brokenness. Everyone thinks the players they grew up watching represent the golden era of the NBA. & Historical Theology. Pockets of Christians began advocating for the restoration of the Jews to Palestine as early as the 1800s. Why the Pilgrims Really Came to America (Hint, It Wasn't Religious Freedom), All Saints' Day, November 1 - Meaning and History, Church History Matters! The poets who put words in our mouths. Here Are 10 Events You Need to Know. There were wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt. But none of them got it "right," whatever that even means. They recognize the "dark side" of Aquarius as well -- coldness, subsuming individuals for the sake of the group, turning freedoms into mandates or structures, and other possible flaws. David T. Koyzis. Following Wilt were Oscar Robertson, Moses Malone, Julius “Dr. But the Golden Age mentality struggles to see any of the good in this age. It’s almost as though they’ve placed a shining halo on top of their chosen age. 4. Instead, they all wrote about the great challenges and terrible failures of the day. Yes, we should be aware of our failings. Write a review. It has been called by such different names throughout the centuries… Chronicling the NBA in terms of its greatest players also misses the point that each era has its drawbacks. Those who fall away prove themselves to be those for whom Jesus hasn’t prayed (John 17:9) and those who never truly belonged with us (1 John 2:19). The Mirage of “Golden Age” Christianity. Even the name suggests that nothing good really happened during this time. The Golden Age of Muslim culture was best known for its A) attempts to colonize North America. The natural consequence of this well-intended attitude is a disparagement of the modern church. And we should celebrate those people and the times in which they lived. Christianity and Culture, Contemporary Christianity, Seeking the peace and purity of the church should involve a healthy evaluation of church history, but it should never romanticize an era at the expense of denigrating the modern church. There was no golden age. Even at its lowest, the Church is still the Church. But why not? We study church history both to know what to do and to know what not to do. The first Christians dealt with moral failure—sexual immorality (Romans and Corinthians), greed and dishonest gain (Jude), disunity and quarrels (Philippians and James), and laziness (Thessalonians). People romanticize a particular era. 19:8). His historical survey delves into the complexities of the historical record, and along the way, he shows how easy it is to interpret history as a way of justifying … THE "GOLDEN AGE" OF PRE-CHRISTIAN ERINN. It’s not hard to look around and see all the problems and challenges we face. But there are at least five problems with that way of telling the story. Bill Russell, for instance, played for the Boston Celtics beginning in 1956, bringing eleven championships to the franchise in his thirteen-year career. In this video, the Rev. The results are fascinating. & Historical Theology. Since I hear about the Golden Age from almost every student, you'd think that sooner or later I'd run into someone who would identify this age as the golden one. 3:12). The Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins offers a revolutionary view of the history of the Christian church. In the summer of 1949, the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA), a league made up of seventeen teams. But this is a far cry from direct decrees to kill or subdue nonbelievers because of their unbelief. (I’m not saying that we should, of course, just that it wouldn’t be an unreasonable claim.). 2:1–7). The dreaded "middle" part of the trilogy. And, to be honest, whenever I hear that many people agreeing on something, I get a little suspicious. Churches in South America, Africa, and Asia have exploded with new conversions, spreading their influence in ways no one would have thought possible even a single generation earlier. If this is the Golden Age of Christianity, we're setting the bar kind of low. A Forgotten Golden Age. This doesn’t make the church any less “spiritual”; rather, it accounts for the intentional shift from the Apostolic foundation-laying stage to the more permanent ordinary age. Visit him at marccortez.com. Tsk! The early Christians faithfully employed the divinely ordained means of grace (v. 42), they shared the gospel with deep fervor, they exhibited tremendous generosity, and so forth. As I said earlier, I find it fascinating that no one ever lists our own age as one of the Golden Ages of the church. This much He has promised. J” Erving, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. But the Golden Age mentality tends to get stuck in that mode, blinded to the amazing things that God is doing in this age. But, as we’ve seen, that’s been true of every generation. Then, in 1959, came Wilt Chamberlain, who would score one hundred points in a single contest in 1962. They want the church to be more “Apostolic.” They want it to be more communal (see Acts 2:44). C. Ecclesiastically, there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. The extraordinary, foundational Apostolic office—with all its accompanying gifts—eventually gave way to a more permanent church structure featuring the simple offices of elder and deacon. Spiritual Movements around the world through the generations have experimented with the concepts of bringing Heaven to Earth. Tsk! At the beginning of the 1980s, two NCAA championship rivals—Magic Johnson and Larry Bird—began their almost two-decade-long NBA rivalry. A Golden Age of religious tolerance? This presupposes there is no golden age of the church, only multiple eras of the church during which the affection of Christ rested on her even in all her mess. There was no “Golden Age.” Or maybe we’d be better off saying that every age is a Golden Age; that is, a time when God is still faithfully working through his people to spread his gospel and display his glory throughout this broken and fallen world. That will be the true golden age—the age when the church triumphant will be made up of only those for whom Jesus prayed and the Great Commission will have ceased (Jer. Paul Westermeyer. Aaron L. Garriott (@AaronGarriott) is managing editor of Tabletalk magazine, resident adjunct professor at Reformation Bible College, and a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. There are at least five problems with the golden age mentality. Roman Catholicism - Roman Catholicism - The golden age of Scholasticism: Philosophy, hitherto concerned almost exclusively with logic and dialectic, had stagnated in the late 12th century. During the late Middle Ages, the Catholic Church flourished — especially under Pope Innocent III. We would do well to reform our piety and practice to better conform to Scripture, which reform perhaps was modeled better by previous generations of Christians. That fascinates me. Does the church have amazing men and women accomplishing great things for the Kingdom of God today? Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. Even the great Reformers of the 16th century struggled with infighting, jealousy, arrogance, and even outright persecution and violence. I often ask my students to give me a quick summary of church history. But these situations aren’t unique to the modern church. New saints and martyrs emerged during the process of expansion, and their miracles and other pious deeds were recorded in hagiographic works. From the slow pace of play in the early decades, to the lack of defense in the 1980s, to the eschewing of set plays in favor of hoisting three-pointers today, the point is that each NBA era has had its share of the good, the bad, and the ugly. This could be the early church, the Reformation, the Puritans, or some other group. 3. They want it to be free of denominationalism and separation. The final separation won’t happen until the consummation of the kingdom. If you didn’t live in North America or Europe, you might well be open to seeing this as one of the Church’s great Golden Ages. I understand the frustration in reading the book of Acts and concluding that the Holy Spirit was more visible in His work in the early church. If we are to lament anything in the modern church, it should be our susceptibility to neglect those ordinary means of building the church in search of something more extraordinary. In many ways, these critics are right—there are many things that the church needs to heed from our earliest forefathers. Or perhaps it is a consequence of being educated at a madrasa. It's a good way to see what they know, and, more importantly, what they think they know. But, whoever it was, they nailed it. Philip Jenkins HarperOne 2009-11-03. In fact, if you were to analyze the history of basketball, it wouldn’t be difficult to divide the NBA into eras based on players whose presence significantly changed the game. The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the Works and Days of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages, Gold being the first and the one during which the Golden Race of humanity (Greek: χρύσεον γένος chrýseon génos) lived. Rev. Each had more than its share of faithful ministers, brilliant theologians, and dedicated missionaries. Constantine, Divine Emperor of the Christian Golden Age offers a radical reassessment of Constantine as an emperor, a pagan, and a Christian. 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