The Study of Christian history and Christian practices, from my perspective, is imperative in the journey of any seminarian. Every major event of today has its roots in the history of our society and the history of the world. In the same way, Christian practices have their roots in the both the history and the historical practices of the Christian church. Our readings the Context Matters portal course and specifically the practices of the Christian church, are important for this same reason If we are to understand the “why” of why we do things we must look at how they have been done before and how they have been practiced in the past.
The practices of the church or the practice of “doing” church have changed many times over the two-thousand years of the history of the Christian Church. It is well known that the first century Christian church met in homes and worshiped together as small family centric groups with several families participating. This model of church held true with some added administrative structures for over three hundred years. This model of Christian practices saw Christianity spread across the known world in spite of deliberate and often violent persecution at the hands of the local governments.
When Christianity became a recognized and approved religion during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the practices of Christianity began to change and evolve. Theological debate had been myriad during these first three centuries, and continues to this day, but the change in practices was slow in coming until Constantine changed the course of history and the Christian church.
We have studied and read about these practices and histories during the Context Matters course and it is clear that many wonderful things have been done in the practices of “doing” church. It is also equally important to note that many terrible things have been done in the name of...