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The Evolution of Satan
Great article and post on the development of Satan/the Devil in Judeo-Christian thought and theology through the centuries over at isthatinthebible.wordpress.com.
“Princes of Darkness: The Devil’s Many Faces in Scripture and Tradition”
Time-lapse History of Europe and the Middle East in the Last 1000 Years, Emergence, and Divine Sovereignty
I came across this rather interesting time-lapse map of Europe, Western Russia, and present-day Turkey, where you see the dynamic evolution of human history over the course of a millennia which is still going on right now.
(Also, history is so much more kick-ass with music from the movie “Inception” in the background.)
For a little over a year now we have been studying the history of the Christian Church and delving quite a bit into the history of Europe from ancient times, through the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Byzantine Empire, and now into the Reformation, so the vast movements in this map should be familiar to those in our group.
I was never much into history, but if you want to be a serious student of theology, a solid knowledge and foundation in history is invaluable to see how ideas and beliefs began and evolved over time, and how everything fits together. Studying history may radically alter your beliefs even.
Also, in my spare time, I’ve been delving into the science of emergence by reading Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software by Steven Johnson. Here’s an excerpt of the book that I read today that directly relates to history and the map shown above, specifically in terms of information and energy flow as cities, civilizations, and countries grow more and more complex over time.
New Updates: Chapter 16: Perspectives of the True Church (1300 – 1517) – Part I: The Black Death, Purgatory, Indulgences, Jan Hus and the Hussites
New updates can be found here. Lots of new material to go over.
Also, we reached over 1,000 views/hits to this site! Amazing! I’m amazed that people from Russia, England, Norway, and even Saudi Arabia have been checking out this site. I really do hope that Project Augustine and this site will continue to expand and reach more people the world over.
Tonight we had another interesting discussion on various topics. We discussed whether God still sends plagues down to mankind today. For instance, just as people in medieval Europe thought the Black Death was a punishment from God for their sins, in today’s world, can we say the same thing about AIDS being God’s punishment for homosexuality? Many believers still hold onto this belief, even in today’s scientific world. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that this was the case – that God had sent the AIDS epidemic as punishment; how would that effect your understanding of God’s character?
Chapter 16: Perspectives of the True Church (1300 – 1517) – Part I: The Black Death, Purgatory, Nominalists, Lollards, and Hussites
For next Wednesday, March 26, please read the first three sections of Chapter 16: The Church, Death and Purgatory (1300 – 1500); Papal Monarchy Challenged (1300 – 1500); Nominalists, Lollards and Hussites (1300 – 1500).
Please write a summary on one of the following topics:
- Discuss the impact the Black Death had upon the Catholic Church and people’s faith; also discuss the flagellant movement and anti-Semitism that was prevalent during this time.
- Discuss how the industry of Indulgences gained popularity during the time of the Black Death
- Discuss why Purgatory became so prevalent during after the 12th century.
- What was the significance of Council of Konstanz in 1417 with Pope Martin V and the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund? What was the impact of the Conciliarists?
- Discuss the philosophy of William of Ockham and the Nominalists and why they were a threat to papal authority. Also how did printed texts and the printed Bible change the spiritual landscape of Europe during this time?
- Discuss the impact of John Wyclif in the 1370s and his followers the Lollards. What was the impact of the English translation of the Vulgate, and then subsequent translations of the Bible in the other European countries’ native language?
- Discuss the impact of Jan Hus and his Hussites during the 1400s in Prague. What impact did his execution have on the Czech Church and relations with the Catholic Church?
As you can tell, we are on the cusp of the Reformation revolution that is to come full force.
Essays will be posted next week.
New Updates – Chapter 15: Russia: The Third Rome (900 – 1448) – Part 1
Hi everyone, here is the update for Chapter 15 that you can read here.
Topics on the Tartars, Mongols, Kiev, Vikings, and how the Rus’ adopted and accommodated Byzantine culture and the Orthodox faith into their own.
Engineering an Empire – The Byzantines
We just concluded our readings about the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire.
One of my favorite programs that aired on the History Channel was a series titled “Engineering an Empire” hosted by Peter Weller, lecturer of ancient history at Syracuse University – yes, that Peter Weller who starred in “Robocop”, “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai”, and most recently in last year’s “Startrek: Into Darkness”.
Chapter 13: Faith in a New Rome (451 – 900) – Part 1
Hello folks and Happy New Year!
We’ve definitely come a long way since we first embarked on this book last year and hopefully garnered much since then – let’s keep the momentum going throughout this year.
For our next meeting on Thursday, Jan. 9, we’ll cover the first two sections of Chapter 13 that deals with the Byzantine Empire and the Orthodox Church: “A Church to Shape Orthodoxy: Hagia Sophia” and “Byzantine Spirituality: Maximus and the Mystical Tradition”.
We’ll spend the next couple of months dealing with the Orthodox Church that will hopefully lift the veil of obscurity that most evangelical and Western Christians have of it.