Church History: 800-900
The Holy Roman Empire was born.
The holy anointed the profane and established the church again as both a political and spiritual power.
When conquering a people the emperor forced baptisms at the end of a sword…and that political marriage of the sacred and secular would continue for hundreds of years.
The ramifications of that marriage would be both the best and worst things that happened to the church.
You can’t understand church history in general, (and the Reformation in particular) without a grasp of those consequences.
The theological debates in this century began with a debate on a variation of the doctrine of adoptionism.
This centered around the two natures of Christ…and making a distinction between the sonship of his human and divine natures.
They evidently had a lot of time on their hands in those days…
The filioque controversy continued to rage and widen the split between the East and West.
Photios led this challenge to the West and indeed, challenged Rome’s claim to authority over the whole of Christendom.
A monk named Radbertus wrote a treatise called “On The Body and Blood of the Lord” that declared when the elements of the Lord’s Supper are properly consecrated they are transformed into the body and blood of the Lord.
While it would take until 1215 for Rome to make this the official doctrine of the church, this was the beginning of that process.
Gottschalk, upon studying Augustine,believed he found the doctrine of double predestination in those writings.
Condemned by one church council and affirmed by another, Gottschalk was eventually condemned as a heretic and died in prison.
His work was foundational to later Reformed thought on the matter, though he was superseded by his source, Augustine.
His main contribution today is as proof that the doctrine was not an invention of the 16th century Reformers.
Names you should know…
John Scotus Erigena: Philosopher and theologian.
Nicholas I: Pope and reformer of church morals.