Want a good, 46-word overview of church his-tory? Here's one from former U.S. Senate chaplain Richard Halverson:
"The church began as a fellowship of men and women centered on Jesus Christ. It went to Greece and became a philosophy. It went to Rome and became an institution. It went to Europe and became a culture. It came to America and became an enterprise."
When you derive your paycheck from Christian enterprise, as pastors and Leadership editors do, are you "marketing Christ"? The late Dr. Halverson's perspective helps bring clarity.
Every age makes its unique contribution—and wrestles with its prevailing temptations. The church of the third and fourth centuries majored on philosophical issues (the godhead is composed of exactly how many persons, natures, and wills?), which resulted in doctrinal precision and creeds that remain helpful today. But it also resulted in well-meaning Christians being banished because they used imprecise terms to describe the mysteries ...1