Flashcards in Church History Mid-Term Deck (49)
Define what "Catholic Christianity" means. Who was the first person to use it?
1. Universal Christianity. Catholic Christianity represents more than an organization but a spiritual vision, conviction that all the Christians would be in one body
2. Ignatius was the first to use the term Catholic
Define the men who were called "apologists."
Apologists answered critics like Celsus and other opponents of Christianity. The word comes from Greek and means "defense" such as a lawyer gives at a trial.
Explain the Roman policy of religious tolerance. Why were the Jews an exception? How were the Christians eventually treated by Rome and why?
1. Rome’s policy: tolerant of other religions so long as they paid homage to Caesar.
2. The Jews were monotheistic and would rather revolt and shed blood than acknowledge any other God. They were given a unique toleration.
3. The Christians were treated as Jews at first, but when the separation between Judaism and Christianity became obvious, Christians were persecuted. After all, they were even more active in proselytizing than the Jews.
The Christians didn't "follow the crowd" in many ways, refusing to participate in many social events. What are some events they rejected and why?
1. Denial of the Greek and Roman deities that they had for every aspect of life. They rejected the gods and didn't participate in their practices.
2. They didn't enter didn't attend or support the Gladiatorial entertainment because it promoted death and the participants may be Christians.
What excuse did Emperor Nero use to persecute the Christians? What was probably his motive?
1. He blamed the Christians for the fire that broke out in Rome that burned for six days and nights.
2. The rumor circulated that Nero himself caused the city to be set on fire. To turn hatred away from himself he accused the Christians for setting the fire.
The early Christian church was accused that their gatherings were full of sexual orgies and cannibalism. Explain where this idea might have come from.
1. Christians were accused of sexual sins. The charges come from the fact that one Christian meeting was called the Agape - the Love Feast - and from the custom of the "holy kiss" of peace the Christians gave to one another.
2. The charge of cannibalism probably started because the Lord's Supper was practiced in secret. The heathen did not know that happened in these closed meetings, but they heard that somebody was being eaten. (Jesus - this is my body and my blood)
Explain why Christians were being accused of Atheism.
The charge arose from the fact that many within the empire could not understand an imageless worship. Monotheism held no attraction for such people. As a result they blamed Christians for insulting the gods of the state.
What were the three fundamental reasons utilized as a rationale for the inclusion of a book in the canon?
1. A self-evidencing quality, exercising power on the lives of people who read them;
2. Because they were used frequently in Christian worship;
3. Apostolicity, written by an apostle or one who had known the apostles personally.
What were the two groups designated by Paul for leadership in the local churches he founded?
1. One group was called "elders" or "presbyters"
2. The other was known as "deacons."
By the late second century, who became the unchallenged leader in church affairs?
The most violent persecution that the church had yet faced in A.D 250 by Emperor Decius created what conflict in the Church? How did the Church attempt to resolve this? (key words: readmit, confessor, martyr, Cyprian, penance)
Due to many Christians denial of faith in order to live, when Decius was killed, they sought to be reemitted into the Church because "outside the church there is no salvation". The debate was whether the bishops had the power to forgive the sin of apostasy and allow those guilty to be again a part of the Church. Because Martyrs and confessors were greatly admired, some said that confessors had a special power from God. The Holy Spirit had ordained them extraordinary so that they had the power to absolve men of their sins. Cyprian, the Bishop of Carthage, confronted those who held that belief. However, in the favor of a system of readmission, a sacrifice was to be given depending on the degree of the sin. Therefore a graded system of penance was created. The proposal was only temporarily defeated and did not die. It reappeared years later in the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Treasury of Merit and the practice of indulgences.
What are the three levels of meaning in the Bible?
1. The literal sense
2. The moral application to the soul
3. The allegorical or spiritual sense, which refers to the mysteries of the Christian faith.
Describe the events leading to the conversion of Constantine. What convinced him of the "power of Christ and the superiority of the Christian religion"?
1. The deterioration of the tetrarchy; the battle with Maxentius; battle Milvian bridge; fight for control of the Empire
2. In a dream, he saw a cross in the sky and the words, "in this sign conquer." This convinced him to advance. When on October 28th, 312 he achieved his brilliant victory of the troops of Maxentius, he looked upon his success as proof of the power of Christ and the superiority of the Christian religion.
Though the advantages of a Christian emperor were real enough, what "price" did the Church pay?
1. Constantine ruled Christian bishops as he did his civil servants.
2. He demanded unconditional obedience to official pronouncements, even when they interfered with church matters.
3. The church was no longer composed primarily of convinced believers but many were politically ambitious, religiously disinterested and still half-rooted in paganism.
What did Emperor Theodosius do in 380 A.D.?
He made belief in Christianity a matter of imperial command.
Describe the beliefs of Arius concerning the Trinity.
(Not God, Not Eternal)
1. The word (who assumed flesh in Jesus Christ) was not the true God. Jesus had an entirely different nature from God.
2. Jesus was not eternal or omnipotent. He was a created being.
Who was Athanasius and what had he contributed to the Council of Nicea?
1. Who: Advisor to Alexander, opponent of Arius at the council, became the bishop of Alexandria.
2. Contribution: Victorious at the council of Nicea; defended orthodoxy with "homoousios."
Who were the Semi0Arians and what did they believe about Christ?
1. A moderate group who broke away from the strict Arians and attempted to give a new interpretation to the "one substance" statement.
2. They defended the use of homoios, meaning "similar," to describe the Word's relation to the Father.
Athanasius defined the relationship between the Father and the Son as homoousios. How is this different from the Semi-Arian designation of homoiousios?
Homoousios = Jesus has the same substance as the Father; Homoiousios = Jesus has a similar substance to the Father (but different).
Name and describe the heresy condemned by the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D.
2. The Word (the Son) inhabited a human body; but there was no human soul (Christ had one nature, divine/human).
Who was Nestorius and what was his view of Christ?
1. Preacher at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople
2. Nestorius emphasized the humanity of Christ by a "conjunction" or merging of wills rather than that of essential "union."
Who was Eutyches and what was his view of Christ?
1. Spiritual leader of a monastery near Constantinople
2. Monophysitism, which combined the divine and human natures together so that the human was absorbed into the divine.
"Christ in the Major Councils": List the short summary statements provided by Shelley for the following major church councils.
1. Nicaea = Christ is fully divine
2. Constantinople = Christ is fully human
3. Ephesus = Christ is a unified person
4. Chalcedon = Christ is human and divine in one person
Who is regarded as the first monk?
How did Constantine's conversion influence Christianity and why did this motivate some to become monks?
1. There was a decline in Christian commitment. The stalwart believers whom Diocletian killed were replaced by a mixed multitude of half-converted pagans. Once Christians had laid down their lives for the truth; now they slaughtered each other to secure the prizes of the church. = Compromise / inauthenticity.
2. Monks tried to escape from compromise in the Church.
What did the monks protest and what danger did their protest cause?
His protest of a corrupt institution led him into the dangers of a pronounced individualism.
What was the threefold vow of monks who aimed for the "imitation of Christ"?
Poverty, chastity, obedience
Who provided the constitution for Western monasticism?
Benedict of Norcia
List some of the pros and cons of monasticism.
Pros: Saved and preserved good manuscripts of the Bible. Promoted discipline and work-ethic.
Cons: Promoted a works -based / asceticism mentality. Often promoted wrong ideas.