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Christian History Home > 2007


The Gospel According to J.S. Bach: Did You Know?
A Musical Vocabulary for Budding Bach Fans

Gnosticism Unmasked

Gnostics: Did You Know?
Interesting and Little Known Facts about the Gnostics

The Christian History & Biography Timeline
The Unfolding Faith
A bird's eye view of the early church, the emergence of the Gnostics, and the development of the biblical canon.

The Heresy that Wouldn't Die
Though Gnostic sects faded in the early church, Gnostic ideas have had a long shelf life.

Taught by the Apostles
What is the truth about Jesus? Ask those who knew his earliest followers, said Irenaeus.

The Earliest Mere Christianity
Before creeds, even before an official New Testament, there was the Rule of Faith.

The Gnostic Christ

The Secret is Out
The discovery of the Nag Hammadi collection brought ancient Gnostic writings to light.

In the Know
The Gnostics believed that knowledge is the key to salvation--for a select few.

Defining the Faith
Gnosticism emerged during a time when Christians faced an identity crisis.

Roots Matter
Defending the faith in today's cultural climate means not only knowing our Bible but also knowing our history.

From the Editor
It Only Takes a Spark (to keep a heresy going)

No Other Gospel
Despite the appearance of Gnostic "gospels," the early church decided that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were without rival.

One God, One Christ, One Salvation
Irenaeus the "peacemaker" was the early church's best warrior against Gnostic heresy.

Freedom and Faith
Bach still speaks to the church today.

Bach & the Bible
His underlining and marginal comments give us a window into his personal faith.

Sermons that Sing
As part of his century's lengthy worship services, Bach's music reinforced and deepened the proclamation of the Word.

What Language Shall I Borrow?
When Bach wanted to express the depths of Christ's suffering, he used the words and melodies of well-known hymns.

Grace Notes
Luther's example inspired Christian composers to fill the church with the finest music they could create.

The Gospel Truth
Luther believed that music has the power to teach Christian doctrine. He put this belief into practice with his catechism hymns.

Singing the Word of God
Protestant reformer Martin Luther planted the seed that grew into a rich musical tradition culminating in Bach.

The Christian History & Biography Timeline
Johann Sebastion Bach

To the Glory of God Alone
Fueled by his Lutheran faith, J. S. Bach devoted his life to creating music for refreshment, proclamation, and praise.

A Joyful Noise

Caffeine and Counterpoint
The coffee craze unleashed Bach's whimsy.

Bach in Japan
With the help of conductor Masaaki Suzuki, Bach's music is bringing the message of Christian hope to a secular nation.

Love Amidst the Brokenness
The fall of Rome was the 9/11 of the ancient world; Alaric, its Osama bin Laden. As the "eternal city" crumbled, Augustine of Hippo pointed Christians to the City of God—the eternal church on pilgrimage through a world that is not our home.

Christian History & Biography Celebrates 25 Years

The Starving Body of Christ
We live in a world of vast economic injustice, crippling poverty, and wealthy churches. So did "golden-mothed" preacher John Chrysostom.

Contagious Compassion
Deadly epidemics and social traumas haunt the news and test the limits of our kindness and courage. How should Christians respond, when the church itself is so divided? Perhaps we need another Catherine of Siena.

Setting the Captives Free
Oppressed women around the globe await those willing to carry on the legacy of Pandita Ramabai.

On Earth as It Is in Heaven
What is the role of the government? Can we build a Christian society in this world? Protestant Reformers Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Bucer, and John Calvin all grappled with those questions—and came up with different answers.

The Lord of Consciences
Those who fight for religious freedom today stand in a long line of Christian predecessors, including Baptist leader Thomas Helwys.

Following Jesus in the Dark
The difficult choices of Dietrich Bonhoeffer show that, in extreme circumstances, the path to peace may not always be paved with clear ethical answers.

God's Image in Color
Racism continues to stain society and challenge the church's commitment to a color-blind gospel. Albert Lutuli's peaceful pursuit of justice in South Africa pointed a way forward for the generations to come.

Encounters with Islam
Few issues have more serious implications for Christian witness and global politics today than Christian-Muslim relations. We can learn much from Arab Christian apologist John of Damascus, eloquent Assyrian Church leader Patriarch Timothy 1, and tireless Protestant missionary Samuel Zwemer.

The Postmodern Maze
Abraham Kuyper reminds us that only Christ can bring wholeness to our fragmented age.

Costly Love, Radical Forgiveness
What made African bishop Festo Kivengere rejoice in the face of monstrous evil?

A Devoted Life: From the Editor - Rediscovering Benedict

"You have not labored in vain"
After a crushing political defeat, William Wilberforce nearly gave up his fight to abolish the slave trade. But a life-changing letter from John Newton sent this Daniel back into the lion's den.

Radical Christians
Alone or in community, early monks and nuns sought to follow Christ in a whole-hearted and vividly countercultural way.

Unceasing Prayer in an Uncertain World
As the peace and unity of Europe collapsed, the monastery of Cluny pointed a new way forward.

Faith of Our Mothers
The history of the church would have looked very different without these famous moms.

A Devoted Life: Did You Know?
Interesting and little-known facts about Benedictine monasticism.

A Devoted Life: Christian History Timeline
From its roots in the early Eastern church, through the Benedictine centuries, to the birth of new kinds of religious orders in the Middle Ages

The Original Do, Re, Mi
Julie Andrews made it popular, but the real musical genius behind this singing aid was a medieval monk.

The Blessing of Benedict
The "Father of Western Monasticism" spent his life teaching spiritual beginners about kindness, community, and prayer.

Converting Europe
For centuries, monks were at the center of the Western missionary enterprise.

Illuminating Europe
Under Charlemagne's influence, the monasteries shaped the future of Western education, trade, and even handwriting.

Re-Monking the Church
Many Catholics and Protestants are looking back to Benedict for the community and spiritual intensity they can't find in modern culture.

Praying in the New World

Grace is in the Details
An 18th-century book gave Richard Foster new eyes for the present moment. The ordinary had never looked so extraordinary.

A Life of Listening
Benedict's Rule became the gold standard of monastic life.

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