Oct 31

DavidCalhounAncient and Medieval Church History  (35 lectures)★★★★ and Reformation and Modern Church History (37 lectures) ★★★★★, by Dr. David Calhoun

These lectures were downloaded off of the Covenant Seminary website, and can be obtained for free. The series is excellent, and taught by one of the giants of church history, David Calhoun. Ancient and Medieval church history was excellent, but a bit too brief. The Reformation and Modern church history lectures also could have been much longer, yet were delightfully informative, even for someone quite aware of history of the church. David is a masterful lecturer, and holds one’s attention without difficulty. He does take some interesting viewpoints, such as coming down a bit soft on Kierkegaard and Karl Barth. This is in spite him admitting that he felt that Francis Schaeffer (who was one of his teachers at L’Abri) was one of the greatest theologians of all time. Dr. Calhoun is known as the historian of Princeton Seminary, having written the definitive history of that institution. His insights on American Christianity are fascinating and instructive. He will take you through the most interesting vignettes of church history, including recommending fishing books. For being free, there is no reason to not download and listen to Dr. Calhoun lectures—you will be ably instructed by a true master theologian, historian, and teacher.

 

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2 Responses to “Church History Lecture Series”

  1. Onkel Dennis says:

    One of the questions that I ask of church history accounts is whether they are warmed-over Vatican history or do they include the sizable but neglected history of what church historian Benjamin G. Wilkinson calls the “wilderness church” and Broadbent calls the “pilgrim church” – the church of apostolic descent that did not recognize the authority of the Papacy over them. This would include the vast Church of the East (old “Syrian” church) and also the important early role of the church in Glastonbury, England, where the first church outside Jerusalem was founded, ca 34 AD. It would also include the work of three apostles in England (Simon Zealotes, Paul, and Philip), and might even include some recent historical finds, such as the rest of the book of Acts, as recounted in the little book, The Last Chapter of Acts. It is overdue for the more complete and accurate account of the church in the past to be told.

  2. Calhoun is mostly a Presbyterian/Reformed historian, and his greatest work was in American Christianity, especially at Princeton Seminary. I think I said that clearly in the review. This lecture series was given at Covenant Seminary, and being introductory, is naturally going to be a very superficial surgery of the first 1500 years of Christianity.
    There is always good reason to exclude extra-canonical artifacts such as “The Last Chapter of Acts”. Not having read it, I won’t argue for it’s specific authenticity, but see no good reason to do go searching for it. Bart Ehrman has done much work resurrecting lost gospels, which uniformly are gnostic in their orientation. I am not convinced of Wilkinson’s thesis, and find him oftentimes extrapolating facts or just plain wrong. Not being a church historian, you might bring up the Wilkinson argument with Dane Waterman or other church history friends of yours.

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