(RNS) As Christians prepared to mark 500 years since Martin Luther — one of history’s great heretics, or heroes, depending on your point of view — 2016 found them debating theological questions most thought had been settled a millennium ago.
CHR Comment: A helpful summary of theological issues that made headlines, showing that Christians are still quite able and willing to argue about doctrine. Although some might regard this as tragic, one might also note that people argue about things they care about most (which is why religion and politics are often off the menu for family holidays). Ironically, the opening illustration about Luther being either a heretic or hero is going by the wayside as both Roman Catholic and Lutheran leaders discuss the great reformer’s legacy.
Muslim villagers in a Pakistani community are helping to build a church for their Christian neighbors, seeking to show peace and solidarity in a country deeply troubled by religious persecution of minorities.
CHR Comment: Pakistani Christians have too often suffered at the hands of their Muslim neighbors. The peaceful relations in Khaksabad are encouraging to see. Hopefully efforts toward peace can multiply. The church in Khaksabad was destroyed by weather, not by violence.
The story explains that Muslims in Khaksabad behave differently and perhaps believe differently too since one of the persons interviewed expressed that Christians and Muslims have the same God. However, many Christian and Muslim leaders would not agree that they worship the same God since Christians believe that God is triune and Muslims reject the doctrine of the Trinity.
Thanks to those who read and use Church History Review. About a year ago I began searching online for a comprehensive church history site that would engage amateur and professional church historians by offering resources for those doing research or teaching on global church history. Although there are some great sites available, I did not find the kind of site I was looking for so I decided to start a site of my own.
Scope of Content
Church History Review provides a comprehensive collection of links to sites about historic events, texts, and church life today so that readers may explore topics that interest them. The collection is focused on churches in the Trinitarian tradition such as Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and modern Evangelical denominations, as well as independent groups and house churches that worship the Triune God. Recently, I greatly expanded the number of sites for denominational archives and I am always adding links to historical maps and infographics. Readers who discover valuable online resources that I have not yet included are welcome to contact me in the comments feature so that I can expand the site. My long-range goal is to create the most comprehensive and useful church history site on the web. Your contributions toward that goal would be greatly appreciated.
History in Real-Time
Nearly every day I see news reports on church life and I notice that they often lack the deep perspective of history, which helps us understand the place and importance of events in perspective. By gathering and commenting on stories, I am writing church history in “real-time” so I can prepare an annual summary. You can read my first year’s results on the page 2015 Global Events in Church History.
Preaching and Teaching Resources
Any church leader who uses illustrations or examples in their teaching and preaching will find a wealth of recent stories and resources on Church History Review to liven their sermons or bring discussion of current events into their classroom. The site includes a search feature just for this purpose. One can also click on the collection of tags (listed at right) to discover stories of interest. The resource pages listed at the top of the site include links to maps, timelines, and other classroom tools. Explore, learn, and share!
Rev. Edward A. Engelbrecht, STM
Researchers should define Evangelicals by their beliefs, not by their political demographics, the church they attend or what they self-identify as, the NEA and LifeWay Research have determined.
CHR Comment: The researchers began with seventeen statements and narrowed it to four. Oddly, none of the statements of faith are about the Trinity, perhaps assuming that doctrine or trying to accommodate non-creedal groups.