To the Ends of the Earth
This is a set of lectures and notes based on the book To The Ends of the Earth published by God with us Publications.
The First Centuries
The first Christians build a faith around communion and union with each other in love and prayer. As they grew in size and admitted gentiles many conflicts arose. The natural structure of civil government was adopted and councils of Bishops met to resolve differences.
The Churches Develop
The faith had to be expressed in words. To make these words most effective Christian preachers grounded their teaching in the local culture. The various cultures in the mediterranian basin became distinct churches with unique expressions of their common faith in Jesus.
Each of these major cultures in turn provided missionaries to spread the word beyond their borders. These missionaries refined the faith further for those they served but kept the basis as a framework for the mission church.
Separate cultures speak different languages and have diverse world views. Conflict ensues. Some of the conflicts could not be resolved and groups of Christians broke away from the main stream.
Attempts at Reunion
Jesus called his followers to be one as He and the Father are one. The schisms hurt Christians on both sides and many worked to heal the rifts. As with all human endevours some look to force others to their point of view while others seek true understanding.
Eastern Churches in the West
The various unions had no impact on the general population until the great immigration of the industrial revolution brought Eastern and Western christians together in America. Living side by side all were now seeing and living with the effects of union between east and west and not all were dealing well with the situation. Conflict arose.
Eastern Churches Today
After living in America for more than one hundred years we are no longer an immigrant church seeking to simply take care of our own. We have an obligation to live and witness our Eastern faith to the west. We have an obligation to respond to trends in our culture from our own tradition. The Eastern way of prayer and spirituality has much to offer modern americans.
This is a printable version of the entire student notes provided for the class. The links below provide short cuts to each lesson. Permission is granted to reprint and distribute for non-profit and educational purposes.