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Sorry for the delay, but here are the new entries.
This concludes our studies into the Orthodox Church for now, but through this I think we all gained tremendous insight into the history of the Orthodox faith as a whole.
In relation to the history of the Orthodox faith, we are living in interesting times right now as “the Twelve heads of autonomous Orthodox churches, the second-largest family of Christian churches, agreed to hold a summit of bishops, or ecumenical council, in 2016, which will be the first in over 1,200 years” recently.
It will be interesting how the Orthodox Church will respond to what is happening in Russia and the Ukraine right now as well.
In regards to reading MacCulloch, what I personally want to investigate is to see “God’s hand” in the major events of history. Of course, this isn’t MacCulloch’s main concern in this book, however, it’s just a personal spiritual question I have as I study Church history. So far, I’m a bit conflicted as to it being so clear that God is in a sense “micro-managing” everything that happens in history. We can so easily say “The Lord is the Lord of history!” in sermons and books, but I believe that it’s such a naive statement. History is rich and complex, with so many variables and moving parts, that it’s kind of hard to pinpoint and say, “Aha! You see, God was working here” etc.
Next Wednesday, March 12, 2014, we will finish up Chapter 15 and our journey into the history of the Orthodox Church and specifically the Russian Orthodox Church by covering the sections: Muscovy Triumphant (1448 – 1547), Ivan the Terrible and the New Patriarchate (1547 – 98), and From Muscovy to Russia (1598 – 1800).
With these readings, and with all the tensions that has been going on in Kiev, Ukraine currently, I hope we’ve gained a better understanding of its complex history and geopolitical importance throughout Russian history.