A Short History of Christianity by Geoffrey Blainey

By Geoffrey Blainey

A quick historical past of Christianity vividly describes some of the major avid gamers within the religion’s upward push and fall throughout the a while, from Jesus himself to Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, Francis Xavier, John Wesley, or even the Beatles, who claimed to be “more renowned than Jesus.” Blainey takes us into the realm of Christian worshipers in the course of the ages—from housewives to stonemasons—and lines the increase of the critics of Christ and his followers.

Eminently readable, and written with Blainey’s attribute interest and storytelling ability, this publication frequently locations Christianity on the heart of global heritage. Will it stay close to the heart? Blainey’s narrative illustrates that Christianity’s heritage is a much-repeated tale of ups and downs.

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The point was brought home in a series of grievances submitted to the Zurich magistracy at Meilen after the defeat at Kappel, where it was made clear that Zwingli’s close fit of law and gospel was not welcomed by all Christians. In the words of the fourth article, Gracious lords, it is our friendly entreaty and desire that preachers no longer be accepted in our city save those who are peaceable and generally orientated towards peace and quiet . . Eventually, let the preachers in the countryside say only that which is God’s Word expressed in both Testaments.

61 None of this was based on faulty logic. As the first in a long line of Reformed theologians, Zwingli had indeed preached the need to bring the world into conformity with the Word of God, and this necessarily implied transforming the local religious community under “the instruction and guidance of the Spirit” (to use his words). But in truth the parishioners’ idea of freedom had little in common with Zwingli’s theology of Christian freedom, and he was quick to take the side of the council and write against those who were taking reform into their own hands and causing unrest.

In their place the evangelical authorities provided standardized orders of service largely devoid of ritual interplay with the congregation. 88 This reform of ritual provided an early example of the effect a typographical faith such as Protestantism would ultimately have on the anatomy of late medieval Catholicism. 89 Where then was the common man in all of this, the peasants and townsmen who had been so receptive to the early movement? With the rise of the mainstream Lutheran and Zwinglian Protestant paradigm of order, the parishioners returned to their roles as passive members of a universal church and the lay initiative came to an end.

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