Friday, January 15, 2010

Ancient Christianity in Turkey

America Magazine
The strange thing about studying early Christianity in Turkey is that there are not a lot of Christians left in Turkey, the lands that were home to so much of the earliest growth and development of Christianity and the location of all seven of the first Ecumenical Councils. As we discuss how Christianity displaced, person by person, century by century, the pagan gods that predominated the Mediterranean Basin prior to the rise of Christianity, we reflect in our course on how it could even take place at all. How could a mission started by Paul, John, Barnabas, Peter, Timothy, Priscilla, Lydia and others have any success? We focus a lot on the movement of the Holy Spirit, on the experience of Jesus Christ. The ancients were not looking for gods, necessarily, but they were looking for hope and salvation. If the conversion of these lands and people is a sign of God's powerful work, what does it mean when these lands converted by the Christians are no longer Christian lands?

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