Martin Luther Said Some Crazy Things

For many Christians, Martin Luther is a household name. He was a monumental reformer–the father of the Protestant Reformation. Sadly, however, Luther often clashed with his fellow Protestant reformers. The bad blood between Luther and the other reformers set an example of uncivil dialogue and noncooperation between Protestant leaders that continues until this day.

If you ever got on Luther’s bad side, you’d be wise to run for cover. He wrote, “Anger refreshes all my blood, sharpens my mind, and drives away temptations . . . I was born to war with fanatics and devils. Thus my books are very stormy and bellicose.”

Luther scholars are well aware of Luther’s unkind and course tone as well as his penchant to be angry and bull-headed. In addition, name-calling wasn’t beneath him.


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Where Augustine Gets Weird

There is no question that evangelical Christianity owes an enormous debt to Augustine. In fact, there’s wide consensus among historians that next to Jesus and Paul, Augustine is the most influential figure in the history of Christianity.

Famed historian Will Durant said of Augustine, “he is the most authentic, eloquent, and powerful voice of the Age of Faith in Christendom.”

Augustine advocated the use of force against the Donatists, asking “Why . . . should not the church use force in compelling her lost sons to return, if the lost sons compelled others to their destruction?”


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The Crazy Beliefs Of Crazy Moody

He was famously nicknamed “Crazy Moody,” and it’s reported that he reached 100 million people with the gospel, in a day when televangelists, radio preachers, and Al Gore (the Internet, ahem) didn’t exist.

In Moody’s case, he was poorly educated across the board. Yet the hand of God was undeniably upon him.

Interestingly, the first time Moody applied to be a member of a local church, he was denied because he failed an oral exam on Christian doctrine!


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History Can Save Us From Apostacy

More often than not, when I talk to twentysomethings who are seriously contemplating walking away from their faith, the main stumbling block is an intellectual one. My faith didn’t have the deep intellectual roots necessary to flourish outside of a youth group setting. For many twentysomethings, the moment the intellectual credibility of faith is challenged and there’s no immediately satisfying answer, they’re out. This is where a robust understanding and deep study of Church history became my lifeboat.

The faith of my youth had mainly been informed by emotional altar calls and evangelical clichés; neither of these components are inherently wrong, but this culture alone wasn’t enough for me to face an increasingly secular world. Through their writings, ancient Church fathers became like mentors who helped me see that the doubts we wrestle with today are the same questions those who came before us struggled with too. Studying Church history  can help us develop a strong sense of what Dr. Duke calls our “intergenerational self.” Or, as Feiler puts it, we begin to understand that we’re part of something much bigger than ourselves.


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Like Everyone, John Wesley Had Some Weird Ideas

“If there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield and John Wesley.”

~ Charles Spurgeon

Nevertheless, Wesley – like every other servant of God – had feet of clay. And he also held to some strange views. Here are some surprising beliefs that Wesley advocated…


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How Teenagers Shaped History

“Teens are just that way! It’s who they are.”

Well, history is there to prove you wrong. It may be who they are, but it is NOT who they are meant to be.  Teens can be the most energetic, the most passionate, the most powerful people group in the Body of Christ. And Satan knows it.

I’m done watching kids go over the edge. I’m done watching hearts break. I’m done playing tea party in a war zone. Parents, pray for your kids! The Enemy is after them, not just so he can get to them, but so he can get to you!


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How Church History Informs Church Present And Church Future

Knowing our spiritual ancestry puts our sorrows, anxieties and wounds into perspective. Ours is a historical foundation built on the blood of martyrs — Christians willing to live so radically for Jesus they considered it joy to die for Him.  Yet I frequently experience Christians leaving contemporary churches in droves because they don’t have a category for pain.  They believe they are alone, and that sorrow is unique to them.  This is the fruit of a individualistic, self-preoccupied society which has pervaded the Western Church as well as the culture.  When people walk away from faith, it’s sometimes because they are ill-equipped to understand the paradoxical tension between the goodness of God and the reality of pain.  And this is why Church history matters.

P.S. The dropdown menu at the top of the DailyEdify site allows you to find posts by category. One of those categories is “History.” Don’t be shy about using it.


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