Monasticism becomes a settled feature of main-stream Christianity with the development of the Franciscans and Dominicans
Lance RalstonMarch 5, 2021
The early and middle ages development of monasticism; Featuring the Desert Fathers, Benedict of Nursia, Cluny, the Cistercians, and Bernard of Clairvaux
Lance RalstonFebruary 26, 2021
Part 4 and the last of our series on The Crusades
Lance RalstonFebruary 19, 2021
Pseudo Dionysius proposed an extreme mysticism that appealed to many but made a shambles of The Gospel
Lance RalstonJanuary 22, 2021
The Great East-West Schism that rent asunder the Byzantine and Roman church
Lance RalstonJanuary 15, 2021
The Iconoclast Controversy that rocked the Eastern Orthodox Church in the 8th & 9th centuries
Lance RalstonJanuary 9, 2021
This episode deals with numerous schisms, heresies, and aberrant movements of the early Middle Ages
Lance RalstonJanuary 1, 2021
Charlemagne the Great comes to the throne of the Holy Roman Empire
Lance RalstonDecember 18, 2020
The development of standard forms of worship service in the early church
Lance RalstonDecember 4, 2020
What life was like for Christians after the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Lance RalstonNovember 6, 2020
We look at Pseudo-Dionysius and what his teaching did to main difference between Latin & Greek Orthodoxy
Lance RalstonJune 4, 2020
A massive topic, we barely dip our toe into the development of the office of Pope
Lance RalstonMay 28, 2020
The full title of this episode is "Barbarians At the Gates - And Everywhere Else" because that's what happened in the 5th and 6th Centuries across a wide swath of Europe
Lance RalstonMay 21, 2020
The life of St. Patrick is freighted with much legend. What about his story maybe true?
Lance RalstonMay 14, 2020
Following the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, the 6th through 9th Centuries saw a period of spiritual declension
Lance RalstonApril 23, 2020
Part 2 of our look at the massively influential Church Father Augustine of Hippo
Lance RalstonApril 9, 2020
Part 1 of our look at the massively influential Church Father Augustine of Hippo
Lance RalstonApril 2, 2020
Emperor Justinian the Great takes charge of the Empire and Church
Lance RalstonMarch 12, 2020
A brief overview of Eastern Orthodoxy
Lance RalstonMarch 5, 2020
Part 2 of our investigation of The Church in the East.
Lance RalstonFebruary 27, 2020
Recently we’ve seen the focus of attention shift to the East with the Christological controversies of the 4th & 5th Centuries. In this episode, we stay in the East and follow the track of the expansion of the Faith as it moved Eastward. This is…
Lance RalstonFebruary 20, 2020
In this episode, we look at the incredibly contentious debate between Cyril of Alexandria and Nestorius of Constantinople. Buckle up; it's a rough ride.
Lance RalstonFebruary 13, 2020
What caused the Church to draw such exacting language regarding who Jesus was between the early 2nd & mid 5th Cs? That’s the subject of this and the next episode.
Lance RalstonFebruary 6, 2020
It was Leo the Great who saw the Bishop of Rome become what we might call the first real Pope.
Lance RalstonJanuary 30, 2020
In his monumental work on Church History, Philip Schaff wrote, “The Christianizing of the State amounted in great measure to the paganizing and secularizing of the Church.”
Lance RalstonJanuary 23, 2020
His preaching was so good, they called him "Golden-mouth."
Lance RalstonJanuary 16, 2020
By his mid-30’s, Jerome was probably the greatest Christian scholar of his time. He’s one of the greatest figures in the history of Bible translation, spending three decades producing a Latin version that would be the standard for a thousand years.
Lance RalstonJanuary 9, 2020
Who were the hermits, and what moved them to such a radical departure from the lifestyle modeled by Jesus and the Apostles?
Lance RalstonJanuary 2, 2020
The ever-swinging pendulum of history foretells that the forced-upon faith of Emperor Constantius would provoke a pagan reaction. That reaction came immediately after Constantius during the reign of his cousin, Julian the Apostate.
Lance RalstonDecember 26, 2019
As the Church grew with more congregations being formed, the need for some organization became apparent. So for administrative purposes, the church-world was divided into provinces with centers at Rome in the West & in the East, four headquarters; Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem & Constantinople.
Lance RalstonDecember 19, 2019
When the Church was being hammered by persecution prior to Constantine, Christians had a more imminent threat to deal with. But now that persecution was lifted, secondary issues moved to the foreground.
Lance RalstonDecember 12, 2019
Luke’s account in the Books of Acts recounts a time span of about 30 yrs & roughly narrates the spread of the Faith from Jerusalem to Rome. The next narrative doesn’t come till the writings of the Christian historian Eusebius in the 4th C. What…
Lance RalstonDecember 5, 2019
One of the things modern Christians want to know is how close their church is to the primitive church of the 1st & 2nd Cs. Congregations and entire movements claim their particular expression of the Faith is closest to the original. So, what were early…
Lance RalstonNovember 28, 2019
Some Christians, under the threat of death, capitulated to the pressure, burned the required pinch of incense and spoke fealty to Caesar. They took the libelli and went about their business. Once persecution eased, these capitulators repented their weakness and applied for readmission to the…
Lance RalstonNovember 23, 2019
By the dawn of the 3rd C, each local congregation, in the larger cities at least, had a lead-elder who functioned as what today we’d call a senior pastor, but known in that time as a bishop. This bishop was assisted by a close group…
Lance RalstonNovember 17, 2019
That group of guys known as the Early Church Fathers for the most part were pastors. They were leaders of churches who had a pastoral concern for both the Faith & their people. The later 1st through 3rd Cs saw the Church expand around the…
Lance RalstonSeptember 18, 2019
In his first epistle, the Apostle Peter urged Jesus’ followers to always be ready to give a defense, an apologia, of their faith to anyone who asked. That word meaning an articulate, reasoned position. It was used of the arguments lawyers carried into court to…
Lance RalstonSeptember 11, 2019
Anyone who embarks on a study of church history and starts at the beginning will soon run in to a pile of church leaders known as the Church Fathers. They’re often divided into the Ante-Nicean and Post-Nicean Fathers; meaning the church leaders who lived ante-before…
Lance RalstonSeptember 4, 2019
Tertullian, pastor of the church of Carthage in North Africa, addressed unbelievers at the beginning of the 3rd C, saying à “We are but of yesterday, and yet we already fill your cities, islands, camps, your palace, senate and forum; we have left to you…
Lance RalstonAugust 28, 2019
This week's episode is titled “Buy One, Get One Free.” In the last episode we touched briefly at a heretic named Marcion. He was one of the first to introduce a false teaching that would evolve into a major challenge to the emerging Christian Faith;…
Lance RalstonAugust 21, 2019
The history of the Christian Faith & Church inevitably has to deal with the importance of Books. From its earliest days the Faith has been intimately linked to the Scriptures. At first, Scripture was the Hebrew Bible or what is known today as the Old…
Lance RalstonAugust 14, 2019
This 4th Episode is titled, “Martyrs.” Modern marketing tactics first produced, and now feed contemporary culture's obsession for “the latest thing.” The slogan & label "New & Improved" is a frequent feature in packaging. The opposite was the case in 1st Century Rome.
Lance RalstonAugust 7, 2019
This week’s episode is titled "Strategic." We ended the last episode with a look at the different perspectives of 1st & 2nd Generation Christians. The debate centered on what role the Jewish law held for Jesus’ followers. Culturally-immersed 1st Generation Jewish believers tended to cleave…
Lance RalstonJuly 31, 2019
This episode of CS is titled – “Transitions” We ended the previous episode with Jesus on the cross just outside the walls of Jerusalem late Friday afternoon. The Jewish leaders & Romans thought that was the last of the enigmatic trouble-maker from Galilee. For that…
Lance RalstonJuly 24, 2019
This 1st episode of CS is titled, “It Begins.” The best place to start is at the beginning. But with Church History, where is that? Where do we begin? Most MODERN Christians would probably start with Jesus. That seems pretty straight-forward. But where would the…
Lance RalstonJuly 17, 2019