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UPDATE: Chapter 25: Culture Wars (1960 – Present) – Part II: Doctrine of Hell in 20th century and the Orthodox Church after the Soviet Union

Russian church

Russian Orthodox Church has enjoyed a resurgence since the end of atheist Soviet Communist rule in 1991. (Reuters)

This will be our next to last submissions on MacCulloch’s Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years: two essays on the relevancy of the doctrine of hell in churches today and how the Orthodox Church has changed after the collapse of communism in Russia after 1991.

In our last entry for this series, coming next month, we will reflect on how a knowledge of Church history has impacted our understanding of the Christian faith.

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Chapter 17: A House Divided (1517 – 1660) – Part I – Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli

 

For next week we will cover the first two sections of Chapter 17A Door in Wittenberg and The Farmers’ War and Zwingli.

 

Lucas Cranach d.Ä., Martin Luther

Martin Luther (1483 – 1546), by Lucas Cranach, 1529

 

We will be going into the heart of the Protestant Reformation by focusing on Martin Luther in Germany (or the Holy Roman Empire I should say specifically because the state of Germany didn’t exist during this time) and Huldrych Zwingli of the Swiss Confederacy.

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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?

 

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Why study Thomas Aquinas?

In Chapter 12 of Prof. MacCulloch’s book, he went over one of the great “doctors” of the Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas.

In this clip, Dr.Simon Oliver from the University of Nottingham discusses why he devotes so much attention to the medieval Dominican theologian, Thomas Aquinas (1225-74); he argues that when someone today comes to grips with his thought, that learning experience trains one to think theologically.

Also added a link to the “Resources” Page for the University of Nottingham’s youtube channel. Great talks with professors about Christian theology, philosophy, church history, and religion.