HT 504 HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY II Course Description Spring 2014

Spring 2014
Professor S. Donald Fortson
704 366-5066 (RTS)
[email protected]
Course Description
This general introduction to Christianity in the Reformation and Post-Reformation eras focuses
on the key persons, movements and ideas that have made significant contributions to the history
of the Church. Special attention will be given to exploring how experiences and insights from
the Christian past inform contemporary faith and practice. As an outcome of the course, students
should have a general grasp of Christian history during these periods and a basic knowledge of
the major personalities and ecclesiastical issues of the 16th – 18th C. of Church History in Europe
and Britain.
Required Texts
Dowley, Tim. Editor. Introduction to the History of Christianity. Reprint. Grand Rapids:
Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006 (second edition, 2013).
Fortson, S. Donald. Colonial Presbyterianism: Old Faith in a New Land. Princeton Theological
Monograph Series, Pickwick Publications (Wipf & Stock), 2007.
McGrath, Alister. Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought.
Oxford; Blackwell Publishers, 2001 (second edition, 2012).
Noll, Mark. Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation. Baker Book House, 1991.
Course Requirements
1. Weekly Assignments
A. Reading - Students will have weekly assignment sheets with readings from the
required texts and Scripture that are due by the next class period.
B. Weekly Quiz - At the beginning of each class there will be a short cumulative quiz on
dates from the assignment sheets. The dates will also be included as a part of the final
C. Discussion Questions - Students will write a one-page typed response to the discussion
questions for each assignment. Discussion question responses will be due at the end of
class each week.
2. Biographical Paper Each student will choose an individual from Christian history that lived
during the 16th – 18th Century and write a 12 -15 page (double-spaced, 12 point font) typed paper
on this person. A least one major biography (200 page minimum) on the person should be read.
The paper should be a narrative of the person’s life and contribution to the Church of his/her day
based on the biography read. The paper should conclude with a one-page reflection on insights
from the person’s life that might be useful today. It is not necessary to use footnotes for
summaries of historical information if one is using only one book as the primary source.
However, if there are direct quotations from this one book, page numbers should be indicated. If
one is using multiple sources, footnotes would be proper to indicate the source of specific
information. Include a bibliography page at the end. The paper is due the last day of class.
Choosing a biography
Students are free to select from a wide array of biographies. One may choose a Protestant
reformer, a Christian king or queen, hymn writer, pastor, theologian, missionary or any
significant Christian that lived from the time of Martin Luther up through the end of the 18th
Century. There are many options; use the Dowley text and course lectures to help you make a
good choice. Autobiographies do not qualify for this assignment. Do not use a biography you
have read before; learn about someone new.
Students are welcome to use multiple sources for the biography paper but this is not necessary.
One 200-page biography will fully satisfy the assignment.
Where to look
If you live near a Bible College, Christian University or Seminary, you will find a wealth of
options in these libraries. Public universities and public libraries will also have a few
biographies of famous Christians like Erasmus, Thomas Cranmer, John Wesley or Jonathan
Edwards. If your home church has a library, you may find something there. Also, your pastor
may have a few Christian biographies in a personal library.
Students may also wish to consider purchasing a good biography that would be a useful addition
to their own library. There are many places to look and one should not have a problem locating
an acceptable biography.
3. Final Exam The final examination will include essay questions from the required reading and
lectures. There will also be short-answer sections on important dates, people and ideas. The
final may be taken anytime during the exam periods on campus.
4. Reading Report – This report will indicate the amount of Required Reading that has been
completed during the semester. The Reading Report is due the last day of the exams.
Weekly Quizes and Discussion Questions - 25%
Biographical Paper - 25%
Reading Report - 25%
Final Exam - 25%
MDiv* Student Learning Outcomes
In order to measure the success of the MDiv curriculum, RTS has defined the following as the
intended outcomes of the student learning process. Each course contributes to these overall
outcomes. This rubric shows the contribution of this course to the MDiv outcomes.
*As the MDiv is the core degree at RTS, the MDiv rubric will be used in this syllabus.
Broadly understands and articulates knowledge, both oral
and written, of essential biblical, theological, historical, and
(oral & written)
cultural/global information, including details, concepts, and
Significant knowledge of the original meaning of Scripture.
Also, the concepts for and skill to research further into the
original meaning of Scripture and to apply Scripture to a
variety of modern circumstances. (Includes appropriate use
of original languages and hermeneutics; and integrates
theological, historical, and cultural/global perspectives.)
Reformed Theology
Significant knowledge of Reformed theology and practice,
with emphasis on the Westminster Standards.
Demonstrates a love for the Triune God that aids the
student’s sanctification.
Desire for Worldview
Burning desire to conform all of life to the Word of God.
Winsomely Reformed
Embraces a winsomely Reformed ethos. (Includes an
appropriate ecumenical spirit with other Christians,
especially Evangelicals; a concern to present the Gospel in a
God-honoring manner to non-Christians; and a truth-in-love
attitude in disagreements.)
Ability to preach and teach the meaning of Scripture to both
heart and mind with clarity and enthusiasm.
Knowledgeable of historic and modern Christian-worship
forms; and ability to construct and skill to lead a worship
Ability to shepherd the local congregation: aiding in spiritual
maturity; promoting use of gifts and callings; and
encouraging a concern for non-Christians, both in America
and worldwide.
Course Units
Unit I
Unit II
Unit III
Unit IV
Unity V
Unit VI
Unit VII
Unit IX
Unit X
Understanding the Protestant Reformation
Luther’s Reform of the Church
Zwingli and the Anabaptists
Calvin and the Reformed Tradition
Reformation in England and Scotland
Roman Catholic Reform
English Puritans and Separatists
Pietists and Methodists
Christianity in the New World
Colonial Presbyterians
1. Memorization of dates
2. Development of doctrine
3. Biographical studies
1. Discuss church’s interpretation of
Bible throughout course
2. Differences among Reformers
3. Sola Scriptura in Reformation
1. Calvin and Geneva
2. Reformed tradition in France,
Netherlands, England
3. Presbyterians in colonial America
1. Calvin’s view of Chr. Life
2. Spener and Pietism
3. Zinzendorf and Wesley
4. English Puritan piety
1. Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture
2. Views of Reformers
1. Diff. Branches of Reformation
2. R.C. Reform
3. Emergence of Evangelicalism
4. Great Awakening ecumenism
1. Calvin as a preacher
2. G. Whitefield’s preaching
1. Liturgy in Lutheran, Reformed,
Anabaptist and Anglican Traditions
1. Reformation ecclesiology
2. RC and Moravian missions
3. Preaching in Great Awakening
History of Christianity II
Assignment 1 – February 13
1. Introduction to Hist. of Christianity, pp. 352-65. (293-303, 2nd Edition)
2. Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation, pp. 25-36.
3. Historical Theology, pp. 101-13, 116-23, 146-55 (77-98, 112-23, 2nd Edition)
Dates to Remember:
Thomas a Kempis writes Imitation of Christ
Fall of Constantinople
Guttenburg’s printed Bible
Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel frescoes
Erasmus’ Greek New Testament
Discussion Questions:
1. Should Christians be involved in the Arts? What challenges do Christians face in this arena?
2. How do you respond to this statement: “All truth is God’s truth”? What are the implications
of this idea?
History of Christianity II
Assignment 2 – February 20
1. Introduction to Hist. of Christianity, pp. 366-77, 384-86 (304-14, 318-19).
2. Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation, pp. 59-80, 81-121.
3. Historical Theology, pp. 156-60, 177-90 (124-28, 146-60).
4. Eph. 2:8-9
Romans 1:17; 3:24,28; 5:1
2 Tim. 3:16
1 Tim. 2:1-6
Heb. 10:19-22.
Dates to Remember:
Martin Luther posts 95 Theses
Diet of Worms
Augsburg Confession
Peace of Augsburg
Formula of Concord
Discussion Questions:
1. How would you explain to a Roman Catholic friend Luther’s understanding of justification by
faith alone? What is the role of “good works?”
2. What is the meaning of the phrase, “priesthood of believers?” Is every Christian his or her
own priest?
History of Christianity II
Assignment 3 – February 27
1. Introduction to Hist. of Christianity, pp. 378-9, 401-5, 504-6 (314-15, 326-27, 334-337).
2. Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation, pp. 37-58.
3. Historical Theology, pp.195-99, 203-05 (164-75).
4. Col. 2:11-12
1 Cor. 1:16 ; 7:14; 11:23-29
Acts 16:31-33; 18:8
John 14:26; 16:8-15
Dates to Remember:
Ulrich Zwingli comes to Zurich
Anabaptist movement begins
Marburg Colloquy
Memo Simons baptized as Anabaptist
Discussion Questions:
1. What part of the Anabaptist vision are you attracted to? Why?
2. With so many Protestant differences over the sacraments, how can we demonstrate unity in
History of Christianity II
Assignment 4 – March 6
1. Introduction to History of Christianity, pp. 380-83 (306-7, 316-18).
2. Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation pp. 123-64.
3. Historical Theology, pp.168-72, 199, 205-13 (133-37, 175-81).
4. Acts 4:28; 13:48
Rom. 8:29
Eph. 1:4; 2:1-10
Dates to Remember:
First edition, John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion
Heidelberg Catechism
St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
Edict of Nantes
Synod of Dordt
Discussion Questions:
1. Is the doctrine of predestination a comforting or disturbing doctrine to you? Why?
2. Do you consider church discipline a mark of the true church? Explain your answer.
History of Christianity II
Assignment 5 – March 13
1. Introduction to History of Christianity, pp. 386-87, 390-400 (319-22, 324-25, 329-33).
2. Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation, pp. 211-227.
3. 1 Pet. 1:1-9; 3:13-18; 4:12-19
Dates to Remember:
Act of Supremacy, Henry VIII
Thomas Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer
John Knox returns to Scotland
Thirty-Nine Articles
Discussion Questions:
1. Is a Prayer Book helpful for Christian worship today? Why or why not?
2. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a state Protestant Church?
History of Christianity II
Assignment 6 – March 27
1. Introduction to History of Christianity, pp. 410-34, 466-73 (341-58, 361-65).
2. Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation, pp. 165-210.
3. Historical Theology, pp. 163, 172-74, 183-84, 190-95, 239-40, 312-19 (130-31, 133-34, 15253, 159-65, 245-52).
4. Romans 12
Dates to Remember:
Ignatius Loyola and Jesuits
Council of Trent convenes
Francis Xavier’s mission to Japan
Discussion Questions:
1. What is your evaluation of the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation and what do you think
we can learn from it?
2. What is your perspective on Evangelical / Catholic dialogue and cooperation on social issues?
History of Christianity II
Assignment 7 – April 3
1. Intro to History of Christianity, pp. 388-89, 392-93, 406-09, 500-03 (323, 338-40, 359-60).
2. Historical Theology, pp. 174-175 (134).
3. John 4:20-24
Phil. 3:2,3
Col. 3:12-17
Dates to Remember:
John Smyth baptizes the first English Baptists
King James Bible
Westminster Assembly begins
John Bunyan writes Pilgrim’s Progress
William Carey sails for India
Discussion Questions:
1. How important is it for Christian worship to conform to the norms of Scripture?
2. In what areas do evangelical churches need to be “purified” today?
History of Christianity II
Assignment 8 – April 10
1. Introduction to Hist. of Christianity, pp. 444-61, 482-84 (382-84, 392-405).
2. Historical Theology, pp. 175-76 (135-36).
3. Matt. 28:19,20
Rom. 12:1
Eph. 1:4
1 Pet. 1:15,16
Dates to Remember:
Jacob Spener writes Pia Desideria
Isaac Watts publishes Hymns and Spiritual Songs
First Moravian missionaries
John and Charles Wesley’s evangelical conversions
Francis Asbury comes to America
Discussion Questions:
1. Has Christianity in America lost its holiness? What’s wrong?
2. How important is evangelism and world missions for the life of the church? Explain.
History of Christianity II
Assignment 9 – April 17
1. Introduction to History of Christianity, pp. 485-99, 508-17 (406-19, 426-38).
2. Historical Theology, pp. 214-29, 270-73, 297-98, 305-06 (182-90, 210-12, 233-34, 239-41).
3. 1 Tim. 1:5-11
2 Tim. 3:16,17
2 Tim. 4:1-4
Dates to Remember:
Kant publishes Critique of Pure Reason
French Revolution begins
Friederich Schleiermacher’s Lectures on Religion
Discussion Questions:
1. How would you answer a non-Christian who asked you why you believe the Bible is unique
compared to any other religious book?
2. How has the Enlightenment had an impact on Christianity?
History of Christianity II
Assignment 10 – April 24
1. Introduction to History of Christianity, pp.473-80 (376-82).
2. Colonial Presbyterianism, pp. 1-112.
Dates to Remember:
Mayflower Compact
Harvard College founded
Cambridge Platform
Francis Makemie comes to America
Discussion Questions:
1. How realistic was the Puritan vision for the New World?
2. Should American believers emphasize the Christian heritage of our forefathers? Why or why
History of Christianity II
Assignment 11 – May 8
1. Introduction to History of Christianity, pp. 436-44 (386-92)
2. Colonial Presbyterianism, pp. 113-218.
3. Historical Theology, pp. 216-218 (139).
Dates to Remember:
First Presbytery meets in Philadelphia
Adopting Act
Great Awakening peaks
1st Presbyterian General Assembly
Discussion Questions:
1. Is ecclesiastical compromise a necessity for the peace of the church? Why or why not?
2. If the U.S. experienced another “awakening” in the 21st C., what would it look like?
RTS-Charlotte History of Christianity II
Review for Final Exam
A. Know all dates in all Assignments and review text pp. 352 – 517.
B. Review the “blue blocks” – biographical sketches – matching questions on exam
C. Be prepared to write a one-page essay on the following:
1. How did Luther understand the place of “tradition”?
2. What kinds of corruption were prevalent in the 16th C. Roman Catholic Church?
3. How did the Renaissance help pave the way for the Protestant Reformation?
4. Why is Erasmus important for any study of the 16th C.?
5. What topics did Luther address in the three treatises of 1520?
6. What happened at the Diet of Worms in 1521?
7. Describe the contributions of Philip Melancthon to the Lutheran reform.
8. Describe Zwingli’s ministry in Zurich.
9. What happened at the Marburg Colloquy?
10. Who were the Anabaptists and what did the Schleitheim Confession teach?
11. What were the contributions of Menno Simons to the Anabaptist movement?
12. How did Calvin reform the city of Geneva?
13. What was the historical setting of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre?
14. What were the concerns of Jacob Arminius and how did the Synod of Dordt respond?
15. Describe the 1534 Act of Supremacy and the 1539 Six Articles Act.
16. What were Thomas Cranmer’s contributions to the English Reformation?
17. How was the Protestant cause furthered in England under Edward VI?
18. What was accomplished in the Elizabethan Settlement?
19. How did John Knox reform the church in Scotland?
20. What were some of the major decisions of the Council of Trent?
21. Discuss the goals of the Elizabethan Puritan movement?
22. What were Jacob Spener’s proposals for reforming the Lutheran Church?
23. What were the key emphases of John Wesley’s ministry?
24. How did the Enlightenment challenge Christianity?
25. What was the Puritan vision for the New World?
26. What happened in the Adopting Act of 1729?
History of Christianity II
Reading Report
Please state the percentage of the Required Reading that you have completed.
McGrath, Historical Theology
Dowley, Introduction to the History of Christianity
Fortson, Colonial Presbyterianism
Noll, Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation
Church History Surveys
Bainton, Roland. Christendom: A Short History of Christianity and its Impact on
Western Civilization. 2 Vols. New York: Harper and Row, 1966
Chadwick Henry, and Owen Chadwick, gen. eds. Oxford History of the Christian
Church. Multi-volume set. NY: Oxford University Press, 1977.
Dowley, Tim, ed. Eerdman's Handbook to the History of Christianity. Reprint.
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1978.
Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity. 2 vols. NY: Harper and Row, 1984.
Latourette, Kenneth Scott. A History of Christianity. Revised ed. 2 Vols. NewYork:
Harper and Row, 1975.
__________ A History of the Expansion of Christianity. 7 vols. in 8. NY: Scribner, 18821910.
Jedin, Hubert and John Dolan, eds. History of the Church. 10 vols. NY: Seabury,1979.
Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church. 8 vols. Reprint. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
Walker, Williston. A History of the Christian Church. 3rd ed. New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1970.
History of Doctrine
Berkhof, Louis. The History of Christian Doctrines. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House,
Reprint 1976.
Bettenson, Henry. Documents of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University
Press, 1967.
Cunningham, William. Historical Theology. London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1960.
H. Cunliffe-Jones. A History of Christian Doctrine. T&T Clark.
Gonzalez, Justo. A History of Christian Thought. 3 Vols. reprint ed., Nashville:
Abingdon Press, 1992.
Harnack, Adolf. History of Dogma. 4 vols. Reprint. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1976.
__________. Outlines of the History of Dogma. Boston: Beacon Press, 1957.
Lane, Exploring Christian Thought. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984
Lohse, Bernhard. A Short History of Christian Doctrine From the First Century to the
Present. Trans. F. Ernest Stoeffler. Rev. Ed. Phil.: Fortress Press, 1985
McGrath, Alister. Historical Theology. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher, 2001
Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan. The Christian Tradition. 5 Vols. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1971-89.
Seeberg, Reinhold. History of Doctrines. Reprint. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977.
Tillich, Paul. A History of Christian Thought. New York: Harper and Row, 1968.
Bromiley, Geoffrey. Historical Theology An Introduction. Grand Rapids: William
B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978.
Forell, George W. ed. Christian Social Teachings. Minneapolis: Augsburg
Publishing House, 1971.
Leith, John. Creeds of the Churches. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1977.
McGrath, Alister. ed. The Christian Theology Reader. Cambridge: Blackwell
Publishers, 1995
Schaff, Philip. Creeds of Christendom. 3 Vols. reprint ed., Grand Rapids: Baker
Book House, 1993.
Encyclopedias , Handbooks and Dictionaries
Beinert, Wolfgang and Francis Schussler Fiorenza. Handbook of Catholic
Theology. New York : The crossroad Publishing Co., 1995
Brauer, Jerald C. ed. The Westminster Dictionary of Church History. Philadelphia:
Westminster, 1971.Church. Reprint. Oxford University Press, 1990.
Cross, F.L. and E. A. Livingstone ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church,
Oxford Univ. Press.
Douglas, J.D., ed. The New International Dictionary of Church History. Grand
Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.
Edwards, Paul, ed. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 8 vols. NY: Macmillan, 1967.
Elwell, Walter. ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984.
Ferguson, Sinclair B.; Wright, David F.; and Packer, J.I., ed. New Dictionary of
Theology. Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, 1988.
Harrison, Everett F., ed. Baker's Dictionary of Theology. Reprint., Grand Rapids:
Baker Book House, 1981.
Hart, Trevor. The Dictionary of Historical Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000
Hastings, James, ed. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. 12 vols. NY: Scribners, 190834. Reprint. Scribners, 1961
Jackson, Samuel M. ed.The New Schaff - Herzog Encyclopedia of Religion, 12 vols.
New York: Funk and Wagnalls Co., 1908-1914
McClintock, J. and Strong, J., ed. Cyclopedia of Biblical Theological and
Ecclesiastical Literature. 10 vols. New York: Harper & Bros., 1867-87.
McDonald, William J., ed. The New Catholic Encyclopedia. 15 vols. NY: McGraw-Hill,
Muller, Richard A. Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms. Grand Rapids:
Baker Book House, 1985.
Richardson, Alan and Bowen, John, eds. The Westminster Dictionary of Christian
Theology. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1983.