A Neat Little ‘Church History’ Aid

Gavin, given, as he is, to a general disdain for everything Christian and especially anything Reformed, calls this a ‘tree of strife‘.  I disagree- I find it quite a helpful handy little guide to the history of the Church in all its manifestations (which, I think, is a good thing: who wants conformity and uniformity- those things are just uninteresting and unnatural) –

click it to enlarge

15 thoughts on “A Neat Little ‘Church History’ Aid

  1. Michael 17 Jan 2011 at 8:17 am

    Actually that tree is wrong, at least as regards pre-Renaissance Christinaity. The early church did not suddenly become ‘Roman’ Catholic. It was first off, Catholic, the broad Church throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. A series of schisms in the 5th century gave birth firstly to the Church of the East, which dominated Asia for a millennium and continues to this day; secondly, after Chalcedon the Oriental Orthodox Communion began a separate existence. It includes the Armenian Apostolic, Syriac Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Eritrean Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox and the Malankara Orthodox Churches. The Oriental Orthodox communion numbers at least 50 million adherents. Then in the 11th century there is the schism between Rome and Constantinople and probably at that stage one can talk of a ‘Roman’ Catholic Church as well as an Eastern Orthodox Church too. From Russian Orthodoxy, came a variety of sects, including Old Believers. The Roman Catholic Church also ‘gave birth’ to the Old Catholic Union of Churches

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    • Jim 17 Jan 2011 at 10:36 am

      i wouldnt be overly concerned about that. its just a general overview. and generally, it’s right. all those other groups did in fact stem from the 4th c. ‘catholic’ church.

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  2. Michael 17 Jan 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Your diagram, Ari, is a bit better but still skews things to a Western slant and false perspective. Those other ‘groups’, Jim, are quite substantial and preserve traditions that we have lost as well as giving quite different cultural slants to Christianity. As I said Oriental Orthodoxy has at least some 50 million adherents, much bigger than some of those Johnny come lately US sects that are showing there. As for the Church of the East for a millennium it was much more widespread than either the Western medieval Church or Eastern Orthodoxy
    http://michaelcardensjottings.blogspot.com/2010/09/lost-christianity-of-asia.html
    Even Eastern Orthodoxy is much more than just Greek and Russian Orthodoxy but is a communion of many different Churches

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    • Jim 17 Jan 2011 at 3:57 pm

      perhaps, but the only true church is the reformed and reforming one… 😉 the rest are all horrible heretics.

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  3. Jedidiah 17 Jan 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Another quibble: putting the Church of Scotland and Presbyterians beneath the Reformed branch seems like a mistake. Seems like it would have been better to put Presbyterians under the Church of England (as Congregationalists are) since it was the short prospect of union with Scotland under England’s Long Parliament that gave birth to Presbyterianism that was distinct from the Church of Scotland.

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    • Jim 17 Jan 2011 at 5:02 pm

      the presbyterians are the direct theological descendants of calvin. they are reformed.

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  4. Michael 17 Jan 2011 at 5:40 pm

    For me, Jim, the only true church is the one that’s gathered around the altar of the Eucharist; no Eucharist, no church. It cuts out all those silly sects in the US but the Copts and Ethiopians and Assyrians and the Old Believers etc are definitely included 🙂

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    • Jim 17 Jan 2011 at 5:42 pm

      ok – i can agree with that- as long as by eucharist you mean lord’s supper and not ‘the sacrifice of the mass’ – which is just gross heresy! ;-p

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  5. Michael 17 Jan 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Without some sense of sacrificial Real Presence, Jim, it ain’t a Eucharist. The lord’s supper just don’t cut it but I wouldn’t call it heresy only deficient 😉

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    • Jim 17 Jan 2011 at 5:47 pm

      LUTHERAN!

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  6. Michael 17 Jan 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Old Martin was mostly a good Catholic boy although he had some odd moments too which I try to overlook 🙂

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    • Jim 17 Jan 2011 at 5:56 pm

      true. like the anglicans, he and his followers are just catholics without a pope.

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  7. Michael 17 Jan 2011 at 8:01 pm

    In the Eastern Churches all priests are called popes. The real title of the Bishop of Rome is Patriarch or Catholicos. He’s the Patriarch of the Churches of the Roman/Latin rite, the Churches of the West.

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  8. […] I commented on a couple of church history charts posted by Jim and Ari. But, since both of those charts were obviously flawed in how they presented the story of […]

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  9. […] response to a scuffle between two ‘family tree’-style representations of church history (I think they’re both wrong because they’re both right.  From my understanding […]

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