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Church Fathers
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Selected Chronology of the Church





Know basic facts, centuries, and sequence of all items.  Know exact dates of bolded items. 

(c. = approximate)           


 30 c. AD        Death and Resurrection of Jesus followed by Pentecost, the “birthday” of the Church

  50                  Earliest document of the New Testament (1 Thessalonians) written

  64                  First great persecution of the Christians under the emperor Nero begins; Peter & Paul are martyred; approximate date 1st gospel (Mark or Matthew) written

  70                  Destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple by Roman Armies

  95      c.         Gospel of John completed; Clement's letter to the Corinthians written                                                             

                             100     c.         Last books of NT (probably 2 Peter, 1 John) written.  Patristic period begins

                             110     c.         Letters & Martyrdom of Ignatius of Antioch

                             144                 Marcion is excommunicated by the Church of Rome

                             151     c.         1st Apology of Justin written.  Justin later martyred ca. 165

                             155                 Martyrdom of Polycarp; approximate beginning of Montanism

                             185     c.         Irenaeus writes Against Heresies; Clement takes over the catechetical school at Alexandria to be followed 20 years later by Origen

                             200     c.         Sabellius teaches that Father & Son are the same person (modalism)

                             206                 Tertullian, the first theologian to write in Latin, becomes a Montanist

                             250                 Origen suffers imprisonment & torture in the persecution of Decius

292                 Emperor Diocletian divides Roman Empire into East and West.

                             303                 Great persecution of Diocletian begins lasting in the West till 306 and in the east till 313.

                             313                 Constantine legalizes Christianity & all religions in the Edict of Milan




Know basic facts, centuries, and sequence of all items.  Know exact dates of bolded items.



                             313                 Constantine legalizes Christianity & all religions in the Edict of Milan

325                  First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea condemns Arius, proclaims dogma of Christ's divinity, expands second stanza of Creed.  After the Council, Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, becomes its great champion.

381                 1st (Ecum) Council of Constantinople condemns Apollinaris.  Relying on the Cappadocians, expands 3rd stanza of creed defining the divinity of the Holy Spirit. It thus completes what we call the Nicene Creed.

                             382                 First official list of biblical canon provided by Pope Damasus; local council of Carthage publishes essentially the same list in 397

                             387                 Baptism of Augustine by Ambrose, bishop of Milan

                             430                 Death of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo

                             431                 Ecum. Council of Ephesus, led by St. Cyril of Alexandria, defines Christ as incarnate Word of God and proclaims Mary Theotokos (God-bearer)

                             449                 “Robber Council” of Ephesus approves one nature doctrine of Eutyches

                             451                 Ecum. Council of Chalcedon, following the lead of Pope St. Leo, defines Christ as having both a divine and a human nature in one person

                             476                 Last Western Roman Emperor deposed & the Middle Ages begins in the West; Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) lasts till 1453!

                             529                 (local) 2nd Council of Orange condemned Semi-Pelagianism; St. Benedict establishes his monastery at Monte Cassino, Italy

589                  Filioque begins to be inserted into Nicene Creed throughout Spain following 1st (local) Council of Toledo.  It was not used by Rome till early 11th Cent.

622                  Islam begins with Mohammed's Hegira (flight) from Mecca

                             680                 3rd Ecum. Council of Constantinople affirms that Jesus had a truly human will as well as a truly divine will against the Monothelites

                             726                 Byzantine Emperor launches iconoclasm beginning 120 year controversy

                             756                 Central Italy given to Pope by Pepin, king of the Franks ("the Donation of Pepin").  Pope remains political ruler of these papal states till 1870.

                             787                 2nd Ecum Council of Nicaea vindicates the veneration of images





Know basic facts, centuries, and sequence of all items.  Know exact dates of bolded items.



 867                Photius, patriarch of Constantinople, denounces Latin addition of the filioque to the creed; temporary Photian Schism begins

                             1054               Mutual Excommunications between Patriarch of Constantinople and Pope leads to Great Schism between Catholic (West) & Orthodox (East).  Subsequent councils deemed “ecumenical” by Catholics have no Eastern Orthodox participants

1109               Death of St. Anselm, monk, theologian, and Archbishop of Canterbury

                             1140               St. Bernard, Cistercian abbot of Clairvaux, debates Abelard

                             1160               Death of Peter Lombard, compiler of the Four Books of Sentences, the standard theology textbook until the mid 16th century

1209               Pope Innocent III approves Francis of Assisi's rule for his Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans), the 1st mendicant order.  Dominican rule approved 7 years later.

                             1215               4th (ecum) Lateran Council canonizes the term "transubstantiation" and mandates annual reception of penance and Eucharist

                             1274               2nd (Ecum) Council of Lyons accomplishes temporary reunion of separated Eastern Churches with Rome which was later repudiated by Orthodox; deaths of Aquinas & Bonaventure

                             1277               Local condemnation of some of Aquinas's ideas at Paris and Oxford

                             1308               Beginning of “Babylonian Captivity” of the Papacy in Avignon, France

                             1349               Death of William of Ockham, nominalist theologian

                             1378               Beginning of the “Great Western Schism” (2 and 3 simultaneous claimants to the Papal Office)

1417               Ecum. Council of Constance ends Western Schism, condemns Wyclif and Hus

                             1439               Ecum. Council of Florence formulates decrees of union with separated Eastern churches that were later repudiated by the Orthodox East; also repudiates conciliarism by affirming papal supremacy







Know centuries & basic facts of all items; know exact dates of bolded items


                             1454               Gutenberg invents the printing press

                 1517               5th (ecum.) Lateran Council fails to act decisively against abuses.  Martin Luther posts his 95 theses against the sale of indulgences sparking reformation in Germany

                             1520               Martin Luther, excommunicated by Pope Leo X, refuses to recant

1522               Ulrich Zwingli initiates the stream of Protestantism in Zurich, Switzerland that came to be called the “Reformed” stream (as distinguished from the Lutheran one)

                             1531               The Augsburg Confession,  by Philip Melanchthon, systematizer of Lutheran theology

1540               St. Ignatius of Loyola established the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)

                             1541               John Calvin returns to Geneva to assume long-term supervision of the city

                             1545               Beginning of the Ecumenical Council of Trent

                             1546               Death of Martin Luther

                             1559               Final edition of Calvin's greatest literary work, the  Institutes of the Christian Religion

                             1563               End of the Ecumenical Council of Trent, the official Catholic response to the Protestant Reformation

                             1571               39 Articles of Religion, the most important doctrinal document of Anglicanism

                             1580               Lutheran Orthodoxy defined by the Formula of Concord

                             1610               J. Arminius' followers write the Remonstrance, teaching a Reformed Protestantism without double predestination

                             1619               The Synod of Dort condemns Arminians, defines Calvinist Orthodoxy







                             1640               Cornelius Jansen’s book Augustinus is published sparking the Jansenist movement

                             1670               Blaise Pascal’s Pensées are published posthumously

                             1675               Philip Jacob Spener’s book Desideria popularizes the Pietist movement

                             1695               Deism gets a boost from John Locke's The Reasonableness of Christianity

                             1723               The “Old Catholic” schism begins in Holland fomented by the Jansenist movement

                             1738               Conversion of Anglican pastor John Wesley results in Methodist movement

                             1799               F. Schleiermacher's begins propagating a reinterpreted, “romantic” Christianity

                             1835               David F. Strauss's skeptical Life of Jesus  popularizes “radical” biblical criticism

                             1841               Ludwig Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity launches modern atheism

                             1845               John Henry Newman leaves the Anglican Communion to become a Catholic

                             1854               Pope Pius IX defines the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception

                             1870               Vatican I's Pastor Aeternus defines the Dogma of Papal Infallibility

                             1878               Pope Leo XIII initiates neo-Thomism with encyclical Aeterni Patris

                             1900               Liberal Protestantism  hits high point with Adolf von Harnack's What is Christianity?

                             1907               Modernism condemned by Pope Pius X

                             1909               First tract of the series entitles The Fundamentals is published to counter liberal Protestantism, spawns the Protestant “fundamentalist” movement

                             1918               Karl Barth's Commentary on Romans begins “neo-orthodox” reaction to Liberalism

                             1943               Pius XII “canonizes” Catholic biblical criticism in Divino Afflante Spiritu

                             1962               Pope John XXIII opens the first session of the Second Vatican Council

1965               Pope Paul VI closes the Second Vatican Council

1978               Election of Pope John Paul II



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Christianity Divided

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.


Christianity DividedCatholic . . . Orthodox . . . Protestant.    How did these splits occur within Christianity and what can be done to overcome them?


In this series, historical theologian Marcellino D’Ambrosio tells the story of the people, ideas, and events that led to the divisions that we live with everyday.  It is not a simple story of good guys and bad guys, but a complex story of misunderstanding, passion for God, and human foibles with plenty of fault on all sides.


In talk 1, Dr. D’Ambrosio shows that the split between East and West, Orthodox and Catholic, was not the result of one crisis but of a long process of drifting apart that made mutual understanding and forgiveness difficult. 


In talk 2, Dr. D’Ambrosio examines the state of the Church at the time of the Reformation.  He exposes the abuses that provoked the Reformation and shows why what began as a movement of reform became a cause of fragmentation.  This series is not only fascinating, but hopeful – for it outlines what every Christian can do to contribute to healing and the restoration of unity.


Christianity Divided Audio CD - $18.00       Christianity Divided AT - $18.00


 The Way of a Pilgrim on the Jesus Prayer with excerpts from the Philokalia

Way of a Pilgrim
This classic work of Russian spirituality has charmed countless readers with its tale of a nineteenth-century peasant seeking the truth with simple humility, finding joy and plenty everywhere in life.


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