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Lesson 28 of 50 - Church History (part six of eight)

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Church History 800-1100,
Charlemagne, Otto,
East-West Schism,
audio .mp3 - Church History 800-1100,
Charlemagne, Otto, East-West Schism,

Church History 900-1100

Church History 1000-1200

Church History 1200

Church History 1300

Church History (part six): The Crusades

1096   First Crusade

    • Pope Urban II launched the crusade to free the holy land and the holy sites from Muslim control
    • Urban used the excuse of bringing military aid to the emperor of Constantinople and to protect pilgrims who were threatened by the more violent and radical Seljuk Turks who had replaced the Arabs in Palestine
    • The crusade advanced quickly:
  • Spring of 1097 arrived at Constantinople
  • Summer of 1097 took Nicaea
  • Fall of 1097 at Antioch and took Antioch in Spring of 1098
  • June 15, 1099 took Jerusalem
  • The crusader conquerors set up a feudal system as they had in Europe and built castles
  • Many crusader kingdoms were set up in the areas they had conquered
  • The Knights Templars came into existence at this time to protect pilgrims and fight the muslims


The Crusades

Purpose: to free the Holy Land from the Muslims




Location and Result



Urban II

Captured Nicea, Antioch, Edessa, Jerusalem
Established a several Crusader kingdoms



Eugene III

Attempt to recapture Edessa in order to have a place to defend a Muslim advance on Jerusalem; it failed.  Saladin recaptured Jerusalem for the Muslims in 1187



Gregory VIII

The “King’s Crusade”; Emperor Frederick I drowned on the way; Philip went home; Richard lost but European pilgrims were given access to Jerusalem



Innocent III

The goal was to take Egypt as a base to attack Jerusalem; Constantinople was taken which made the Eastern church subject to the Western Roman church again from 1204-1261



Nicholas (age 12)

100,000 teens and children were killed or enslaved on the way




Another attempt to take Egypt for a base of operation; crusaders ran short of supplies, turned back but were attacked and defeated.  Result: Eight year peace treaty



Frederick II

Negotiation gave Christians Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth and a road to the sea.



Louis IX

Louis IX of France was taken captive and ransomed for 50,000 times the entire annual revenue of France when he and thousands of his troops were defeated by Egypt



Louis IX

A crusade to defend the remaining crusader kingdoms from Muslim attacks.  The plan was to attack Tunis (north coast of Africa) for a base to attack Egypt which was needed to attack Jerusalem.  When they landed in Africa the army became sick from drinking water, even King Louis died.


1090-1153     Bernard of Clairvaux

  • French Abbot who reformed the monastic order of Cistercian and saved it from extinction. 
  • At the age of 25 Bernard started a monastery at Clairvaux that had 700 monks at his death.  By the end of his life the Cistercian order had added 500 more monasteries.
  • From his monastery he received and advised kings and popes and in his day was the unofficial ruler of Europe.  His spiritual and moral authority set the stage for European culture.
  • The focus of much of his writing concerned devotion to Christ and to Mary
  • He breathed life into the crusades sending men to fight the infidels in the Holy Land while he fought to destroy heresy in Europe
  • Bernard learned of the fall of the Crusader state in the country of Edessa to the Muslims while he was traveling Europe campaigning against a new wave of heretical preaching that rejected the authority Old Testament and the Epistles of the New Testament
  • Bernard soon received authority from the Pope Eugene III, a former student of Bernard’s, to begin preaching a call for the second crusade
  • Bernard believed that victory in the Holy Land would lead to the conversion of the Pagan’s there (Muslims) and usher in the return of the Lord Jesus.
  • Bernard wrote the rule for the Knights Templar
  • Bernard fueled the crusades and set the tone for the attitude of the inquisition

1123   First Lateran Council

  • Also known as Rome Council I
  • It is the 10th Church council
  • Decided that bishops are appointed by Popes

1139   Second Lateran Council

  • Also known as Rome Council II
  • It was an effort to heal the East and West Schism

1147-1149     Second Crusade

    • With the fall of the crusader state in the country of Edessa a second crusade began
    • Edessa provided a buffer between Jerusalem and the Muslims
    • Before the Crusaders left Europe they were convinced to kill the Jews in Germany whom they called “infidels” and God-killers”.  Bernard of Clairvaux stopped the massacre although he had preached against the Jews.
    • Two kings, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, personally led their armies into Asia Minor and were defeated there by the Selijuk Turks
    • Louis VII and Conrad III arrived in Jerusalem with the remnant of the army but the crusade was a failure and set up the fall of Jerusalem to the Muslims

1100   University of Oxford Founded

1100   Notre Dame de Paris is built

1176   Peter Waldo founds the Waldensians

  • 1140-1215
  • A Wealthy merchant who read translations of the Gospel and experienced a spiritual conversion in 1176
  • Imitating St. Alexis Waldo left his family, gave his goods to the poor and took a vow of poverty.
  • Many followed his example in Lyons.
  • He became an itinerant preacher and vigorously campaigned against the worldliness of the Church.
  • He organized his followers into two classes: the Perfect and the Friends (or, Believers)
  • He translated the Latin Bible into the languages of people. 
  • Pope Alexander III approved his lifestyle at the Third Lateran Council in 1179, but forbid him to preach without local approval.
  • They were known as the “Poor Men of Lyons” and lived poor to condemn the churches wealth.
  • Waldo ignored Alexander III and continued to preach and was condemned as a heretic.
  • This group has survived into modern times in Europe, North and South America.
  • The Waldensian church as a modern membership of about 35,000.

1179   Third Lateran Council

  • Rome Council III
  • 12th Church Council
  • To enforce Ecclesiastical discipline
  • Declared all usury (regardless of interest rate) forbidden.  (Thus the Christian was not required to repay debts to the Jews.
  • 2 Waldenses appeared to seek approval.  They gave the pope a translation of their Bible for approval.  The council mocked them and called them simple.  When asked if they believed in the persons of the Trinity the Waldenses said “Yes.”  When asked if they believed “in the Mother of Christ.”  They also said “Yes.”  The whole committee burst out laughing at the ignorance because it was not proper to believe “in” Mary but to believe “on” her.  The Waldenses were excommunicated.

1189   Third Crusade

  • Was a failure
  • Three kings left with their armies: Richard of England, Philip II of France and the elderly Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Frederick I
  • Emperor Frederick accidentally drowned on the way to Palestine
  • Philip II of France went home after a quarrel with Richard of England.
  • Richard continued to fight but was unsuccessful in recapturing Jerusalem but did get the pilgrims access to Jerusalem.

1212   The Children’s Crusade

  • Children from France and Germany led by two boys not yet in their teens named Stephen and Nicholas
  • They marched across southern Europe to Italy
  • The logic was the purity of their lives would bring more success than their parents had due to the sinful condition of the adults.
  • Many perished and the rest were sold as slaves into Egypt before they arrived

1215   Fourth Crusade

  • An attempt to capture Egypt as a base to attack Jerusalem failed

1189-1216     Innocent III

  • Pope unanimously elected while still a deacon
  • Strengthened his political power with every opportunity
  • Defeated King John of England who refused to accept Innocent’s nomination of a church man.
  • He imposed an interdict (“to exclude from certain church offices, sacraments and privileges”) on England and threatened a crusade.
  • In 1213 England agreed to become the possession of the pope and pay an annual tribute.
  • The pope then ruled England for many years

1000’s            Scholasticism

  • Up until the time of the pope’s absolute power education took place in monasteries.  The pope supported the founding of universities.
  • In these universities debates were carried on which reawakened intellectual life in Europe and helped expand the vocabulary and depth of Christian thought. 
  • An example:  Discussion revolved around the meaning of Jesus words “This is my body, this is my blood.”  A student named Berengar said that a real and true change takes place in these elements but the change is spiritual.  Lanfranc and other theologians debated him saying it was an actual change although the “accidents” (touch, taste, sight and smell) of the bread and wine remain the same.  Lafranc won the debate and the term “transubstantiation” took on Lanfranc’s definition.  Berengar was condemned and forced to disown his views.
  • Scholasticism was an age when the church controlled all education and they carried on their thinking against the background of what had gone before (classical philosophy of ancient Greece, the Bible and the teaching of the early Christian writers.)
  • The great schoolmen: Anselm, Peter Abelard, Hugh of St Victor, Peter Lombard, Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus
  • This movement put logic into faith.  They organized the faith into a system.
  • The men of scholasticism did not necessarily believe the same thing but instead thought and reasoned the same way.
  • The theology that interested these men was basically philosophical.
  • These men desired to confirm all that they had been taught.  They made no original contribution to exegesis and biblical theology.
  • They wanted to organize the doctrines  in an orderly system called “summa theologiae”
  • They went to the extreme of introducing into their discussions every imaginable question.  These questions, if answered, would do no good except to satisfy a prurient curiosity.
  • Anselm gives the best example of treatises on distinct subjects such as the existence of God, the necessity of the Incarnation, and the fall of the devil.
  • Peter the Lombard produced the most clear
  • Thomas Aquinas the most complete and finished systematic bodies of divinity.
  • They began with the principle that faith precedes knowledge.  As Anselm said, “I believe that I may understand; I do not understand that I may believe.” And quoted Isaiah 7:9, “If you will not believe, you surely shall not be established.”

1225-1274     Thomas Aquinas                                                                                             

    • Thomas Aquinas was considered in his own day a dangerous innovator                    
    • His work is said to be a lake with many streams flowing into it and from it but that his work by itself is no water source.                                                      
    • He was original in the way he pulled together all the previous teaching and the rigorous way in which he explored question after question.                     
    • Aquinas would quote everyone who had gone before, pool together all their ideas and then and only then would he produce his view.
  • These men were no fools.  They were rigorous, complex, and had great thinking capacity.  They belong to the intellectual giants of humanity
  • The Problems:                                                                                                          
  • They were often attempting the impossible.                                             
  • Much of their work was devoted to reconciling what can not be reconciled.
  • They recognized the church fathers’ writings as infallible
  • They force Greek philosophy to fit scriptural study.  Often one or the other must change to fit.  In this case you no longer have philosophy nor scripture.                                                                           
  • They were operating with out-dated concepts.  Many of the questions that they wrestled with have turned out to be pseudo-questions in the light of our scientific view of the world.  The questions they asked had theological bearing but their preoccupation with them hindered the hearing of the scriptural message.

1200’s   Universities

  • A boy could begin his university education at the age of 12.  They only needed to know Latin.
  • The privilege of lecturing in theology was not granted until a man was 35.
  • Universities had 3,000-4,000 students.
  • Two orders of monks developed at this time for both political and intellectual control of these universities for the pope:     
  • Franciscans – founded by Francis of Assisi in 1209.  They held to traditional views, to Augustines’ theology and Plato’s philosophy.
  • Dominicans – founded by Dominic in 1216.  They emphasized the use of reason.  Thomas Aquinas combined Greek rationalism and Christian doctrine to explain Chatholic philosophy.

1215   Fourth Lateran Council (Council of Rome IV)

  • 13th Church Council, Rome Council IV
  • The bidding of Innocent III.  He dominated the council
  • The focus was on heretics at home in Europe and abroad in the Holy Land
  • There were seventy papal decrees that came from this council:
  • Canon 1: Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus or “Outside the Chruch there is no salvation” and transubstantiation is mentioned
  • Canon 3-4: Established the basis of the Inquisition – “Catholics who have taken the cross to exterminate heretics shall enjoy the indulgences and privileges granted to those who fight for the Holy Land.”
  • Canon 5: Papal Primacy – the bishop of Rome is first followed by the bishop of Constantinople (Catholics had a bishop there after the fourth crusade), Alexandria, Antioch then Jerusalem
  • Canon 13: Forbid the establishment of new religious orders
  • Canon 21: Confession at least once a year, partake of Eucharist at Easter
  • Canon 51: Clandestine marriages forbidden.  A “Clandestine” marriage was one that took place outside the home church parish or outside of church control.
  • Canon 68: Jews and Muslims had to wear a special dress to distinguish them from Christians nor can they leave their houses during four days of Easter.  Jews forbidden from holding public office
  • The fifth crusade was decreed and organized
  • The crusade of 1217 was scheduled

1216   Dominicans Founded

  • Received the papal sanction in 1216
  • They began with approval from scholars, princes and popes
  • Later they became idle,  insolent and ignorant
  • They were the salvation of Western Christianity in an era that had been overrun with Crusades and awful heresies.
  • They supplied the universities and scholastic theology with some of the greatest minds.
  • The founder, Dominic, was has been called a bright light and an ecclesiastical statesman.  He was cold, systematic and a master disciplinarian.  Dominic’s life’s work was to strengthen the church.
  • The Franciscan Order was founded in 1223 and was identical to the Dominicans in purpose and historical development.  Their founder was Francis.  Francis was described as unpretentious, gentle with a great personality.  His life work was to move among the people saving the souls of men.  Contrary to Dominic who wanted to strengthen the church, Francis sought to carry the ministries of the Gospel to the masses.
  • Features and vows:

Absolute poverty
Devoted to practical activities in society
Lay brotherhoods which were men who continued their lives but  were bound by oath to practice the virtues of the Gospel.
Became teachers in the universities
The first monastic bodies to vow allegiance directly to the pope.  No bishop, abbot intervened between them.  They became the pope’s bodyguard and organized support.  They made it their job to preach the supremacy of the pope.

1245   Lyons Council I

  • 14th Church Council
  • Settle quarrel with the pope and the emperor
  • They prosecuted and deposed emperor Frederick II.

1265-1321     Dante

    • An Italian poet wrote Divine Comedy which describes Dante’s journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise guided by the Roman poet Virgil

1274   Lyons Council II

  • 15th Church Council
  • Attempt to unite East and West.  The East was represented by an imposing delegation.
  • Attended by 500 bishops and 1,000 other ecclesiastical leaders.
  • Reaffirmed that the Spirit procedes from the Son.
  • Repeated the prohibition of the institution of new monastic orders

1311   Vienne Council

  • 16th Church Council
  • The key topic of discussion was the disbanding and suppressing the Knights Templar
    • The Knights Templar were the Knights of the Temple
    • Founded in 1119 to protect pilgrims and to defend the Holy Land from Muslims
    • The Knights Templar had outlived their purpose
    • Beginning around 1307 the King and the Pope began to have these knights arrested including their grand master
    • The Inquisition was set into motion in 1308.  They were charged with false charges such as heresy, spitting upon the cross, worshipping an idol of Mohammed, along with sodomy, kissing the posterior parts and navel of fellow knights.  Also of meeting with the devil and female demons.  There were 127 total charges.
    • Under the strain of prolonged torture many of the knights assent to these charges and admitted denying Christ.
    • The king, the pope, the Dominican order, the University of Paris, and the French episcopacy was against them.
    • Many renounced their confessions as they burned.
    • In Paris 36 died under torture, 54 died in one burning, 100’s died in prison.  This spread throughout Europe where the pope ordered trials in Germany, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and England.  Papal inquisitors went into all these countries.
    • At the council of Vienne the majority were in favor of a new, fair trial but the king insisted that the order of the knights be abolished. 
    • This order of knights was abolished on March 22, 1312.

Locations in Church History

1300-1400     Mysticism

  • Mysticism is described as “the perception of God through experience.” 
  • Its advocates say such an experience is reached by humility and penance more than through the path of speculation. 
  • It is the contemplative life followed with action.
  • This contemplation is the knowledge of John 17:3, “This is life eternal, to know Thee and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.”
  • One of the early mystics, John Gerson, helped balance out experience with truth and feelings with reality:
  • As coins are tested for hardness, weight, color, shape and stamping, so visions are to be tested by the humility and honesty of those who profess to have them and their readiness to teach and be taught.
  • He agreed with the monk’s teaching when asked to look at an image of Christ, “I do not want to see Christ on the earth.  I am contented to wait till I see him in heaven.”
  • According to Job 33:14, “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not,”  he developed the principle that if visions reveal what is already in the Scriptures, then they are false, for God does not repeat himself.  People have itching ears for revelations because they do not study the Bible. 
  • Warned against the revelations of women, as women are more open to deception than men.
  • He taught that the scriptures are the Church’s rule and guide to the end of the world.
  • It was the age of the decline of scholastic method, the scandals of Avignon court and the papal schism when mysticism began to develop.
  • It began in Germany and was widespread among the Dominicans.
  • The people North of the Alps began to draw attention to the value of the inner religious life and God’s immediate communications to the soul
  • They were called the fFriends of God, the Brothers of the Common Life.
  • The little books called the “German Theology” and “Imitation of Christ” were the finest of their works.
  • Their leading names were:
  • Meister Eckart, d. 1327
  • John Tauler, d. 1361                                 
  • Henry Suso, d. 1366                 
  • John Ruysbroeck, d. 1381                      
  • Gerrit Groote, d. 1384              
  • Thomas a Kempis, d. 1471
  • They formed groups, but had no formal organization
  • They did no have universal expression but agreed on the pure heart and union with God.
  • It was a life of devotion, not outward, formal practice of religious rules.
  • It was an experience more than assent to intellectual tenets of faith.
  • The element of intuition has a large place
  • Mysticism had risen earlier in the middle ages and would appear again in the 1600’s as French quietism (Madame Guyon, Fenelon).
  • For example, Echart sought the loss of our being in the ocean of the Godhead.
  • Ruysbroeck sought the impact t of the divine nature upon our nature at its innermost point, kindling with divine love as fire kindles.
  • Tauler described it as the undisturbed peace of the soul.
  • Bernard expressed it as passionate and rapturous love for Jesus, but in the end he felt it was not possible to reach it in this world.
  • This was the antithesis of the theology of the Schoolman.  Where Scholasticism had beaten a dusty highway for years, the mystics moved in the private, moist, shady pathways.
  • The German mysticism emphasized above all dogmas the necessity of the new birth.
  • Although church councils have not quoted from them the fruit of the German mystics was Luther, Melanchthon and the reformation
  • The dangers:
    • In seeking to hear the voice of God in their hearts ran the huge risk of considering the conscious, cultural standards and imagination for revelation from God.
    • It magnified individualism and their own emotions and desires without considering that everyone feels the same way

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