I began my study of the history of Christianity and the Church because I knew there was a serious gap in my understanding of how we got from the teachings of Jesus to the Christian doctrines and practices of today. I know there are things I don’t know. But I can’t know just what it is that I don’t know until I start to ask questions and conduct research. This is a basic dilemma of life: We don’t know what we don’t know.
This point was brought home to me last week. I had occasion to be on the campus of a large, new Greek Orthodox church. There were no services in progress, but I could see the beautiful building and look through the windows of the worship center to see the elaborate statuary, paintings and icons that are integral to Orthodox worship. I realized that I know almost nothing about the Orthodox Church. So I thought I would research that a bit, and then report here in a blog post.
The first thing I learned is that the Eastern Orthodox Church has a rich and complex history that goes all the way back to the apostles. So now I know of another whole segment of Christian history that I don’t know. That research is going to take considerable time, and I will strive to provide more information on this topic in a future post.
I am sure that as I continue to read and study and ask questions I will find many more areas of Christian history where I need to expand my understanding. This is exciting! There is so much that has been dysfunctional and disappointing in the Church over the years, but there is also much that is inspirational and uplifting as we learn how historical believers have lived out their faith in so many diverse regions, cultures and times.
I pledge to continue to share my findings with all of you. And I hope that many of you will begin your own personal searches into the roots of today’s Christianity.