This course, The Cloud of Witnesses, covers the period of Augustine (Early Church Fathers) to John Calvin (The Reformation).
Church History is the contemplation of:
- all those forces, influences, factors, and external situations that have moved the church first this way and then that.
- the forces that compelled the church to change its direction, to alter its beliefs, to revise its traditions.
- the myriad little changes that the church has had to make in a wide variety of areas in order to continue to function effectively in a rapidly changing world.
But church history is also the contemplation of those basic tenets of faith, those fundamental and bedrock concepts without which the church could not be the church.
Through church history we can come to a detailed understanding of that which is basic, that which is central, that which is unchanging. For it is only these that have survived the tests of history; it is only these that have continued unchanged through the centuries of the church’s existence.
Among these bedrock values is the belief in a transcendent and immanent God, a God who is both totally other yet a God who is with us, walks with us, shares our life with us.
Thus the study of church history is fundamentally the contemplation of the lives and times of individual persons. Our theology, our faith, the reality of God is nothing if it is not lived out in the lives of ordinary people.
The persons chosen for considerations in this series were quite ordinary people: Augustine, Gregory, Leo, the early monks and nuns, those enraptured by the crusading spirit, Aquinas, Erasmus, Huss, Wycliffe, Joan, Savonarola, Gerard – all these people too commenced their life of faith as do you and I. And even the giant – Luther and Calvin – struggled long and hard to discover God’s will for their lives.
So Church History is a window on the world of faith, a window through which we can look at ourselves.
Participants who sign up for this course are required to read in advance the 8 booklets, attend the weekend course and complete the assignment before the due date.
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3 hours each day, 6pm-9pm
25-26 Sept & 2-3 Oct 2021
Ms Aileen Khoo