May 292014

ReformationsdenkmalGenf1The first millennium of church history ended with little of interest to most.

Theological developments were at a minimum as the church turned to political and liturgical concerns.

What I thought might have been of interest was that it has long been believed that there was an outbreak of “millennial madness” as the year 1000 approached.

Some groups, equating the year 1000 with the thousand years mentioned in Revelation, were sure the Second Coming was at hand and gave away their possessions, joined monasteries…and were fervently disappointed when February 1001 rolled around.

There is debate over that now…most of the sources that speak of such events are from 500 years later.

History is only as accurate as it’s source material, and the closer the sources to the time of the events recorded the better.

Because of that, we take the reports of “millennial madness” with a grain of salt.

The century following the new millennium was a different story…much of importance here.

In 1054 the split between the Eastern and Western branches of the church become permanent and continues to this day.

Roman Catholicism under Pope Leo IX excommunicated the Patriarch of Constantinople of the “filioque issue” and the long simmering split was final.

The RCC had other issues…between 1044-1046 three different men claimed to be the pope at the same time…kind of makes a mess of apostolic succession.

The practice of granting (paid for) “indulgences” took hold in this century and would lead to even more schisms in a few hundred years.

The theological rationale behind indulgences was this…since only one drop of the blood of Jesus was enough to atone for the sins of the whole world…and he bled more than one drop…there is now a storehouse of inexhaustible virtue that the Pope can tap and offer to those who perform the required actions. This ability to confer the stored merits of Christ (and Mary) to the living penitent was also extended to the dead in purgatory… for a price.

Indulgences were what fueled the Crusades, which began in 1095.

In 1009 the Muslims took Jerusalem and destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Pope promised a full indulgence, complete pardon…to those who would help take it (and other holy places) back.

An estimated 300,000 took him up on his offer…and Christiandom retook Jerusalem, Clermont, Nicaea, and Antioch.

They retook them more brutally than they had been taken…pillaging, plundering, and massacring their way though the Holy Land in the name of Jesus.

Modern historians have radically different takes on these events…they are worth your study.

The name you should know from this period…Anselm.

Big name…

Anselm is the theologian who laid the groundwork for the doctrine of substitutionary atonement.

This is the the most commonly held view today among Protestants, but that was not the case before Anselm…this doctrine was 1100 years in the making and wasn’t fully articulated until the 1500’s.

Read here for more ways that the church has understood the work of Christ on the cross.

Anselm also argued that faith and reason were not in opposition to each other, but that faith informed reason.

He also was the earliest prominent exemplar of “scholasticism”, a thought movement that would greatly impact Christian learning up to the sixteenth century.

  108 Responses to “Church History: 900-1100”

  1. Love the article.
    One drop of blood? Think of what charismatics can do with all of that unclaimed redemption power… that is way better than unclaimed mantles.

  2. Thanks, BD…these articles don’t exactly set the blogosphere on fire, but I hope they have some value.

  3. Schism

    I would say there is a fair amount to engage.

  4. these articles have overwhelmed me with how little I know…

  5. it confuses me that they would go kill people to be pardoned of their sins…..sinning more…..because it will be washed away as well? or not counted at all as sin?

  6. I’m with you filbertz

  7. Dusty,

    The bottom line is that they didn’t consider it sin to kill a heathen in “holy war”…and that concept has plagued us many times since then.

  8. how did they decide witch of the three popes was The Pope?

  9. so man sent them to fight and kill and not God?

  10. For me, the takeaway when I first studied this time period years ago was how limited my tradition of understanding the atonement was.
    I believe that penal, substitutionary atonement is true…but it’s not the whole truth.
    The cross defies the limits of singular purpose.

  11. The emperor at the time appointed a pope…thus taking authority over the church.
    Huge political move and a whole chapter of history unto itself.

  12. Thanks, Michael.

    Especially for the “theories of the atonement” link.

  13. some may disagree, but I am glad you give us a little at a time to digest…thought as Dixie Dread pointed out it is packed with info.

  14. Lutherans usually say “Yes!” to all the major thoughts on the atonement. They are all spoken of directly or alluded to somewhere in the scripture.

  15. Dusty,

    As I read the New Testament, victory comes through death, not conquest.
    That’s a simplistic answer to your question, but the best one I have.
    The Crusades were as much about shoring up the authority of the Pope and filling pockets as any religious agenda.

  16. jtk,

    Thank you for reading!

  17. The other takeaway (and the one I catch the most flack for pointing out) is that many of the hills we die on today took centuries to develop.
    That’s why I’m willing to hear out those who have a different take on a particular doctrine than the one my tradition holds…the word of God is a deep well that is always revealing more of who God is and His ways with men.

  18. On the other hand, I could get as much response if I wrote an article on “Edible Plants of the Northwest”…people just don’t care much about history.
    I’ll write about it anyway…

  19. Dusty says:
    May 29, 2014 at 10:19 am
    .”how did they decide witch of the three popes was The Pope?”

    I picked up “Catholicism for Dummies” at Borders one day……being both cheap, and apparently the audience for such a book.

    As I thumbed through it, being woefully ignorant of most things Roman Catholic (and it’s a big portion of my “mission field”), one of the gems from that book stated something to the effect that, despite the decision being incorrect (they picked the wrong pope?), the real Pope acquiesced and therefore it was the correct decision, because the Pope is that powerful…..

    And Martin Luther was a crappy monk to being with.

    My jaw dropped open, and I walked away painfully chuckling.

  20. “The bottom line is that they didn’t consider it sin to kill a heathen in “holy war”…and that concept has plagued us many times since then.”

    yeah, that little clause in the commandments and when Jesus quoted it where it said, “thou shalt not kill, except…”


  21. Actually the commandment is you will not murder … minor detail.

  22. Just got home from Church (today is Ascension) and read Michael’s article. Michael, you really do a good job with these things.

    Obviously, for us Orthodox, the year 1054 is huge. If you have been reading world religion news recently, you may have noticed that the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch (of Constantinople) went to Jerusalem with Pope Francis and said some stuff about how the reunion of the EO and RC is on the horizon. Don’t believe him.

    Patriarch Bartholomew just speaks for his own See, not for the rest of Orthodoxy which has no intention of reuniting with the Catholics. The Pope always regards us as charming, exotic, backward and stubborn little brothers who just need to swallow our pride and come home to Papa. We see the RCC as predators with bad theology and worse praxis, especially after Vatican II.

    Regarding the Crusades, the Muslims were closing in on the sparse remains of the old Byzantine Empire and the Emperor sent a letter to the West asking for some help. He had in mind the medieval equivalent of the Navy Seals and instead got a huge mob of unruly peasants on pilgrimage, hoping to get a free ticket to heaven.

    The Muslims won and now Hagia Sophia, the most beautiful church in the world, is in the hands of the Muslims who are planning to convert it from its current usage as a museum into a mosque, may God forgive them.

  23. Tried posting this once before but it didn’t post for some reason so I’ll try one more time.

    Michael, I recently came across a little write up for this soon to be released book. I thought it might be of interest to you or some of the others here.

  24. The funny thing about the Crusade – I think there were 11 of them over 200 – 300 yrs. The Christians won only one. Not very bright, were they?

  25. Xenia,

    Thank you!
    I write them and sit nervously waiting for you to fill in the blanks… 🙂

  26. Michael,
    As a guy who had once wanted to be a history teacher, I love your writing and articles!

    keep up the good work, those who want to learn will bookmark these and I see a new series for you to publish in the near future ! =)

  27. Don’t forget the baptism of Russia in the year 988!

  28. “you will not murder”

    oh, well , then that changes everything since “murder” is premeditated
    …but then so is war

    so it changes everything since it wouldn’t be a family member, except if they went rogue and disobeyed God
    …but then there’s that pesky Cain & Abel story

    so it’s ok since it would be effectively a stranger
    …except Jesus told us to love our enemies and our neighbors

    so, in the end, it’s exactly the same, “don’t effin’ kill anyone ya dipsh*t!”

  29. “dipsh*t” is from a little known Aramaic scroll hidden in the Vatican, shown to Netanyahu by Pope Francis last week

  30. Thank you for the kind words, G…I hope the articles cause people to study further on their own.
    Blogs are too short for this kind of stuff…

  31. Why is there no outcry whatsoever about the Muslim holy wars and their conquests of North Africa and the Middle East? Why are Christians so happy crucified on the cross of the crusades as if the slaughter of innocents was akin to the holocaust and not one peep about the muslim conquests? Does anyone understand that on a scale other than simply Western liberal bias in the academy?

  32. “Don’t forget the baptism of Russia in the year 988!”

    That’s your specialty…fill us in.

  33. BD,

    That’s a really good question…

  34. If G-man is a pacifist then he has a bit of a point. However, a pacifist in SoCal is lacking a bit in moral authority. It would look more compelling in Sudan or Israel even.

  35. “oh, well , then that changes everything since “murder” is premeditated
    …but then so is war”

    Nope – murder is a legal term. So, did you hire someone to kill last night’s hamburger?

    “so, in the end, it’s exactly the same, “don’t effin’ kill anyone ya dipsh*t!””

    But you have said in the past that you would kill to protect your wife – have you given up on that one? Are you saying that a Christian cannot be a policeman or a soldier?

  36. Will my phone work? All posts from my computer aren’t showing up.

  37. “a pacifist in SoCal is lacking a bit in moral authority.”

    a pacifist lacks no moral authority anywhere on the planet, Dread

  38. Ah, the phone works. Michael & Dusty, I don’ t know if my posts from my computer are stuck in the spam filter or if they’re getting lost somewhere else in cyberspace.

  39. don’t effin’ kill anyone ya dipsh*t!

    :: go live it ::

  40. If they are stuck in the spam filter, you can delete all of them except for the first one with the link to a book on Amazon.

  41. KevinH,

    I’ll check…

  42. back to context & discussion, like the pesky thing of slaughtering heathens “in the name of Christ”…

  43. It’s kind of a typical story, where a pagan king wants to unify his realm under one religion.

    The legend goes like this: Prince Vladimir (the Great) investigated the various religions. He sent emissaries out to see worship services first hand. The emissaries reported back that the Muslims prohibited alcohol, so that was unacceptable to the Russians. They found the Catholic services uninspiring. They like Judaism except the Jews had no homeland so appeared to have been scorned by God. When they emissaries attended Liturgy at Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, they “couldn’t tell if they were on earth or in heaven.” (Actually, I had the same experience myself 13 years ago.) Like me, Vladimir chose Orthodoxy and had all his people baptized.

    Ironically, while this is called “The Baptism of Russia” it all happened in what is now Ukraine.

  44. KevinH,

    I rescued it…you went straight to spam for some reason.

  45. I love Jesus, yes I do!
    I love Jesus, how about you!?
    Well then take that!

    whack! Thud… (cue SFX of head bouncing down the cobblestones)

    Crusader wipes his sword on his cross emblazoned tunic.

    :: scene ::

  46. Xenia,

    Well done!
    Thank you for that…it’s an important piece to this era and this series.

  47. Thanks, Michael. Thought I was a blessed subtraction for a moment. I’ll re-post the book link one more time here just to keep it current.

  48. jtk,

    That’s why I try to build these articles from numerous sources…the only group I let speak for itself is the EO. 🙂

  49. I had a delightful time reading of “Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Olga”

  50. Pacifism as a theology primarily developed among the anabaptist. The Reformation rested upon the benevolence of political rulers who wanted the financial drain to Rome to cease. Without the protection of the city states of Europe and the preoccupation of Rome with other aggressors the Reformation would likely have been subdued and delayed.

    The anabaptists and their desire for radical reform were hindered in that both Rome and the Reformers saw them as threat and put them to the sword. Lacking any political umbrella they developed a theological and moral umbrella. They championed the idea that true faith cannot be coerced. They consistently applied it by refusing the resort to the protection of segmenting their lives. Thus they refused the military or the magistrate roles in public life. They were content to allow evil to be restrained only by God.

    They won the day ultimately and they are IMO the reason that coercion as a means of conversion collapsed. Thus ole G-man can be a pacifist. But here in America we have layers of insulation from having to pay the cost, all of us.

    Just tweaking you G-dude.

  51. It’s pretty awesome. In the year 1988, Russian Christians celebrated 1000 years of Orthodoxy. When I stand in church with my fellow parishioners, most of whom are of Russian descent, I am reminded that these people and their ancestors have been practicing the exact same form of Christianity for 1000 years. Very few other groups can say this. Even Roman Catholicism has undergone significant changes over the years (esp. since Vat 2).

  52. Looks like my original link in #23 worked better than the one I just posted in #47. Guess it’s just one of those days getting things to work right. 🙂

  53. G-man can be a pacifist because Jesus commands and empowers him to be so

    just setting an example for you BD

  54. Pretty soon I won’t have too much to say about these history articles because nothing new is going to happen in Ortholandia. Geographical boundaries will change, there will be wars and Commie take-overs but after the Schism of 1054, the East continues on pretty much unchanged.

    Lots of exciting things will be happening in the West, though.

  55. Speaking of coercion … I am not sure the baptism of Russia quite counts as that. Sounds more like a tribe converting by covenant but there is the lack of real faith in the mix there. So the EO and the Catholics agree in the realm of sacramental salvation? I won’t speak for them.

  56. Does a pacifist ever call the cops if he thinks the bad guy may get beaten or killed by the cops?

    Babs, “They won the day ultimately and they are IMO the reason that coercion as a means of conversion collapsed. ”

    Where did you ever get that idea. I know of many Jews who were forced to convert at the barrel of a gun in WWII – South America has a huge population of Catholics who were former Jews in Europe … well, at least their descendants since many have died off of old age.

  57. Dread, in the year 988 there was still only One Church, the East/West schism hadn’t happened yet. We do believe a person receives salvation at baptism. Whether they can keep it of not, that depends on them. It took many years to fully Christianize the Russian people but on the whole, Orthodox Christianity seemed to suit the Russian psyche.

  58. BD,

    I’m going to spend considerable time on the Anabaptists…

  59. ( |o )====::: …
    I am fine for you to espouse that though I do not buy it. Anyone who still believes judgment is a just and true doctrine has a basis for restraining evil through violence. And anyone who believes Jesus dealt with Israel in 70AD cannot really argue for pacifism.

    Process theology and the belief that God ONLY acts through persuasion in history and universalist can consistently ascribe to pacifism.

    As for me and MLD (I think I am safe here) we are pretty sure that evil will have to be crushed to prevent it from prevailing. But the discussion goes on….

    I once lost a job (at 27) because I wouldn’t carry a gun and told them I would not kill to protect their money. So they sent me away… So I got a small piece of it in me.

  60. I do see that I made a distinction between EO and RC up in my #43.

    While it was still the One Church until 1054, there existed from early days Greek and Latin flavors.

  61. MLD

    Sticking by my guns on that claim 😉 that idea of coercion has collapsed in Christendom as a means of conversion. Don’t make me have to hit you…

  62. “I once lost a job (at 27) because I wouldn’t carry a gun and told them I would not kill to protect their money. So they sent me away… So I got a small piece of it in me”

    Love to learn that about you!

    Water it, let it grow, Dread.

  63. Xenia,
    Could that one Patriarch lead his one See to reunite with the RCC – or is there an EO hit team that would take him out first?

  64. “And anyone who believes Jesus dealt with Israel in 70AD cannot really argue for pacifism.”

    -Jesus is God, the rest of us are not.

    “Process theology and the belief that God ONLY acts through persuasion in history and universalist can consistently ascribe to pacifism. ”

    – please clarify, thx

  65. I’ll throw this out there.
    I think doctrine is still progressing and expanding.
    For an example…N.T. Wrights eschatological views were utterly foreign to me a few years ago…but they have greatly expanded and clarified my own.
    They haven’t supplanted what I already believed, they have enlightened and grown my understanding on those matters.
    I still think he’s wrong on justification, but I’m extremely grateful for his thought anyway.

  66. Xenia,

    The more that these articles turn to the West, the more important it is that you show us the differences between East and West.
    It becomes way too parochial otherwise…

  67. ( |o )====:::
    Process theology developed via Teilhard de Chardin and got a foothold in America via John Cobb and David Ray Griffin at Clermont. They hold an evolutionary view of God, you know God is in process. The general idea is that God never uses force but on ‘persuasion’ to change anyone or anything. Thus a pacifist approach to worldview… this is all pretty much generalizing but the seed is there.

    Universalist with their view of God redeeming all have no need for judgment no need to deal with evil via such things as crushing the head of a serpent. The metaphor is useful but the imagery is not.

    Pacifism works if you never have to confront evil with deadly force.

    Hope that helps

  68. Could that one Patriarch lead his one See to reunite with the RCC – or is there an EO hit team that would take him out first?<<<

    If he decided to reunite with the RC, it would just effect his own See and he would be anathematized by all the rest, I suspect. Or deposed and a sensible Patriarch put in office. His behavior has caused a lot of anger to be generated in his direction. Most Orthodox have no desire to morph with the Catholics. Those who do want to see a reunification do not seem to have a good handle on the serious differences between the EO and RC. There's a lot more to it than just the Filioque and Purgatory.

    This is the kind of stuff we talk about on EO forums and blogs all the day long. I can tell you that outside of a few Greeks (who lean towards the liberal side of the EO spectrum) the current EP is regarded with considerable suspicion.

  69. Sorry … Claremont University

  70. For those schooled in Process Theology , they would have wanted me to mention Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne but of course I have been ahead of myself all day and need to let this thread develop around the themes presented.

    Notably Schism and Crusades…

    Xenia tells us why we should care about the Schism most beautifully. So Xenia what do you think we most need to know about the history surrounding the break? I suspect you do not like summaries and I know you have done this stuff before but history bears repeating if it is worth repeating.

  71. Dread,
    I’ll look into it.
    I already embrace a view that is near to what you describe as “process theology”, one by Rabbi Brad Artson, heard him speak and give an overview of his book “God of Becoming and Relationship: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology”.

    He described the concept of God’s working with us much like a GPS which initially delivers a path to a goal, and then if we deviate or take liberties he still guides us, but there will be a still small voice that says “recalculating…” 😉

  72. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s Jurisdiction, his See, includes the Greek parishes in the USA and probably all of the western hemisphere. If it weren’t for this modest multitude, he would have hardly anyone at all because there are very few Orthodox Christians in Turkey. So any whack-a-doodle move on his part would have serious repercussions in the rest of Ortholandia.

  73. Process Theology = the moldable God.

  74. hardly.
    more like a flexible individual and people who partner with God on the outcomes

  75. In Process Theology … well, God is limited and ‘process’ is greater than God. Yes I consider that those who assent to it are children of a lesser God.

  76. Except of course the ( |o )====:::

  77. I prefer my outcome depend on the sure word of Jesus and not on me. I don’t want him to be flexible.

    I will take his promises over my partnership any day. Just think, it it really involved me holding up my end of the deal, I couldn’t sleep at night – not just anxiety, but the thought of sinning in my dreams.

    Nope, not for me

  78. Dread, the Schism, in retrospect, seems inevitable.

    The Roman Empire was falling apart, especially in the West. Emperor Diocletion made a geographical division, East and West, for ease of administration. The Western Empire (Rome) was eventually overrun by Germanic tribes while the Eastern Empire continued to thrive. The East was richer and had a larger, better educated, more urbane population. Constantinople was the biggest, most sophisticated city on earth at one time. The civil government and the Church got along pretty well and (more or less) jointly ruled the Empire. The Emperor and the Patriarch had a synergistic relationship.

    In the West, darkness fell. The lights went out all over Europe. Pax Romana, with its safe roads and waterways was a dim memory as brigands and pirates prevented easy travel between East and West. The Greeks quit reading Latin and the Latins quit reading Greek as communication between East and West declined. St. Augustine, for example, couldn’t read Greek very well, as he says himself in his Confessions. Because he did not read the Eastern Fathers, he came up with some distinct ideas of his own which eventually formed the basis of Reformation theology, I think I can safely say. Same is true for Anselm. No one in the Eastern Church had ideas like Anselm had. The East developed a more mystical form of Christianity.

    The Italian Peninsula was decimated by barbaric invasions. There was no Roman emperor after Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD, leaving the Pope the only one with any authority. At this time, the Pope of Rome was considered to be one of the five historic Patriarchs, the other four being Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem. He had by far the largest territory. He was considered to be the “first among equals,” just like the EP is today. Not infallible, not supreme, just the bishop who got to sit at the head of the table with one vote. By and by the Pope began to see himself as all-authoritative, not first among equals but first, period. The other four Patriarchs resisted this idea, of course.

    The problem with the Filioque clause is was not that it was erroneous (which it is) but that the Pope thought he could change the Nicene Creed unilaterally, that he had supreme authority and all the other bishops had to abide by his decisions. Papal infallibility was not a Roman doctrine yet but the seeds of it were being planted. You can see what a monstrosity the papacy became, even if individual Popes were decent Christians.

    So, the Orthodox East still has the remaining four Patriarchates, with Moscow added as the fifth. (After Constantinople was conquered by the Turks, Moscow began calling itself the Third Rome.)

    Most ordinary Christians were not even aware that anything important happened in 1054 but when the Crusaders (Latin Christians) arrived at Constantinople, they were very derisive of “Greek Christians” and subsequent events, especially the Fourth Crusade where the Latins plundered Constantinople and installed Catholic clergy, made the schism a reality among ordinary people as well as the hierarchy.

    As time went on, the philosophical differences between the two churches widened. To greatly over simplify, Orthodoxy sees the salvation arena as a hospital whereas the Catholic Church (and her offspring) tend to see it as a courtroom. (Sorry for the broad brush.)

  79. Xenia,

    That was golden. Thank you. I will cut and save and use.

  80. I believe in having a synergistic relationship with God but it’s always with the assumption that He is omnipotent / omniscient / omnipresent / unchanging.

    There is nothing greater than God, neither process, necessity or logic.

  81. “a flexible individual and people” doesn’t mean God is flexible, rather that humans are flexible. God is able to deal with our constant deviations and resetting our individual GPS and He still is glorified in it all.

  82. I have a synergistic relationship with God also. I provide the sin and rebellion and he takes care of the rest.

  83. I am surprised it took them till 1095 to go on the offense against the Muslim world.
    Here is a map of the Muslim conquests from 622 to 750 AD.
    If I had been in charge the wars would have started a lot sooner.

  84. “Anselm also argued that faith and reason were not in opposition to each other, but that faith informed reason.”

    I’d flip that one around. Reason informs faith.

    G said, “God self-limits”

    I think you are right about that…as well as your other comments about the true nature of God. Well put.

  85. Dread said, “Claremont University”

    LOL. That brings back some memories. Visited a buddy there in college. Went to frat party. Befriended a nice looking co-ed…unfortunately her boyfriend was at the party, too, and didn’t like that very much.

    Unfortunately for him and his buddies…I was a 5’11” 185lb. brawler bench pressing 350lbs. with a chip on my shoulder the size of Bob Grenier. Turns out one guy can take up to 5 guys. I did get kicked and punched and scratched, my glass broken, my shirt ripped off my body…but the 5 of them got their arses kicked by the time I was done with them LOL.

    That’s my memory of Claremont University 🙂

  86. One of the major criticisms that Eastern Christianity has against Western Christianity is their over-reliance on human reason.

  87. Dread, I am guessing not all the students at Claremont were on board with the Pacificism…at least not that evening 😉

  88. back from doc’s…have to return in about 2 weeks…says foot is healing fine.

  89. That is a scary map Derek…I would hate to see one from 2014.

  90. Xenia,
    One of my favorite Luther quotes on reason – although he was fighting a different ‘reason;’ battle

    “Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom … Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.”
    Martin Luther, Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142-148″

    Luther has a way of painting a picture with his words. 😉

  91. Dusty – good news about the foot.


    This map could look a lot worse if they had not been opposed for so long by the Crusaders
    I for one am glad they were stopped at Vienna and ejected from Spain.

  93. I know a church is just a building, but do you think that after the building had been used for bad, that God will ever bless the good that is attempted there? I’m thinking of the church in my old neighborhood. It was used as a night club/bar for several years, then for good girls gone bad …but within weeks of those vans showing up…. it is now a church again with several outreaches already in progress…Is God really reclaiming it? I hope so!!

  94. Thank you MLD!! 🙂

  95. that is one thing my daughter noticed right away when she went to Bosnia, was they were so dedicated to their religion. Stopping to pray in the middle of the street when the bell chimed….she realized how much she took her faith for granted and it changed her….made her bolder for Christ. In one class at the university the first day the teacher made some off hand comment about christians, and my daughter stood up and said I am one of those Christians!

  96. again it’s just me talking to myself…can’t go outside and have fun like yall….sigh…

  97. Dusty, it has been raining here since yesterday. I am just hanging out and reading my new copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary.
    Here are two good quotes from it so far:

    There came, in darkling night passing, a shadow walking.


    Much must he endure of sweet and bitter, who long time here in these days of trouble enjoyeth life in the world!

    I like the fact that he uses KJV language throughout….it gives it a very poetic ring.

  98. Derek, it does have a poetic ring. thanks for sharing….

  99. Love how you are able to condense such a rich complex history Michael.

    You really do a great job.

    The banking industry came out of the crusades; there is a whole another story about the Knights Templar that could be told.

  100. Wow! God must be confused according to the G man’s posts. Gives the commandment not to kill to the Israelites, but then commands them to slaughter everyone in Canaan, including women and children. And then gets pissed because they don’t. Jesus himself told the disciples on the night of His betrayal to make sure they had a sword. If not, to sell their clothes if necessary to obtain one. So God is schizophrenic, has Alzheimer’s, dementia? How do you rationalize this away? How about the “#bring back our girls” campaign? As followers of Christ we should just say I guess you can just have them? It’s okay that you want to force them into Islam and rape them? Rape and kill all you want God will judge you? If it’s your god doing the judging, I sure don’t want to be judged by him. With your god who knows what you’ll get. My God is unchanging, and has always used mankind to judge other men for their evil deeds.. He expects that I take a stand for righteousness. If at all possible, peacefully. But he does not expect me to passively stand by and do nothing when other human beings are raping and killing people. So, according to your view, apparently we should just ask those nice men to return the girls please. That’s naive. Or willful ignorance. Take your pick.

  101. my posts clearly state my stand that I am a pacifist.

    “That’s naive. Or willful ignorance.”


    I practice the same ethic that Jesus and His followers chose, pacifism.

    Please feel free to live your life the way you believe Jesus wants you to do so, but I choose freely to dissuade anyone who thinks the followers of Jesus are to be spreading the gospel by violence

  102. I had a long diatribe nevermind I dont want to cause any more main. Just goes to show what a spiritual whore I am, I get that, daily, and twice on Sundays.

  103. Main is pain sorry my tech failed Basically I am saying that the Gov will give their person experience.

  104. @#103

    I once heard that they were told to get a sword because back in those times in those places there was always the danger of encountering wild animals. A sword would have been some protection from them.

  105. Jacques Ellul said that many of the unChristian practices of the Church through history have come in through Islam. (this is second-hand, so I may have got it wrong) What do others think? Were the Pope’s promises of a heavenly veterans gold card imported from Islam?

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