The History of Christianity #15
Our Scripture verse today is Acts 11:26 which reads: "And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
Our quote today is from Henry Gwatkin. He said, "In the whole range of history there is no more striking contrast than that of the Apostolic churches with the heathenism around them. They had shortcomings enough, it is true, and divisions and scandals not a few, for even apostolic times were no golden age of purity and primitive simplicity. Yet we can see that their fullness of life, and hope, and promise for the future, were a new sort of power in the world. Within their own limits they had solved almost by the way the social problem which baffled Rome, and baffles Europe still. They had lifted woman to her rightful place, restored the dignity of labor, abolished beggary, and drawn the sting of slavery. The secret of the revolution is that the selfishness of race and class were forgotten in the Supper of the Lord, and a new basis for society found in love of the visible image of God in men for whom Christ died."
Today, we are discussing "The Church In Jerusalem" (Part 3) from Justo L. Gonzalez's fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).
The Waning of the Jewish Church
Soon persecution grew fiercer and more general. Herod Agrippa, the grandson of Herod the Great, ordered the death of James the brother of John - not to be confused with James the brother of Jesus and head of the community. When this move was well received by his subjects, Herod had Peter arrested, but he escaped. In 62 AD the other James, the brother of Jesus, was killed by order of the high priest, even against the desire and advice of some of the Pharisees.
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