Some of us are going through Sketches from Church History by S M Houghton one small chapter at a time. (By the way, the book has pictures.) Aiding us in this study is the work book by Rebecca Frawley. Both are Banner of Truth books.
Now we are at
Chapter 3 Constantine the Great
Some keywords/names to remember/key ideas from this chapter are:
- Constantine professed Christianity. Stopped persecution (Edict of Milan AD 313). Christian Sunday recognised as a day of rest. Emperor became ruler of the church.
- On the one hand there was relief from persecution. But on the other hand, worldliness crept into the church.
- Arius of Alexandria (Egypt) declared that Jesus was not divine and that He was a created being.
- Athanasius, also of Alexandria, wrote ‘On the Incarnation of the Word of God’ in response to Arian error.
- Also in response to the heresy of Arius, under Constantine, the general council of the Church at Nicea (Bithynia) met in 325 AD. They adopted the Nicene Creed.
- Julian the Apostate became emperor. He wrote against Christianity and reversed many of Constantine’s measures.
- Later emperors brought back Constantine’s arrangements. They also forbade divination.
- Emperor Gratian (375-383 AD) refused the title Pontifix Maximus (or ‘Chief Priest’). The old religion of Rome was called Pagan or the religion of the peasants.