sketches from church history
Using the links below you can listen to many short biographies of heroes of the faith throughout church history, or listen to lectures online from Covenant Theological seminary. These give glimpses into the way the Lord has been building His church by saving people through the centuries.
We have an unbroken Biblical link with the past in that our faith is the same precious faith as that which is recorded in the Bible. We also have a historical link. We can work back from today and find believers in every century. Think of it; new religions, like Mormonism, can only be traced back to a man in the 19th Century. Before Joseph Smith lived it was unknown anywhere. He invented it and tried to tie it to the Bible, but the early church saints and the latter day saints are two utterly different groups. We can study history back to the first century and see those who, following the Bible alone, believed in the promised Divine Saviour. There is an unbroken line of people whose lives and writings show that God has been building His church through the ages. Covenant Theological Seminary offer some of their courses online free. Click on the images here to go to their site. Free registration is required.
The links below list the biographiies of Christians we should know, given by Don Stephens at Belvidere Road Church, Liverpool. They are the stories of great Christians who were ordinary people with a sacrificial desire to serve God. All the stories emphasise what we can learn from these people to help us in our Christian lives.
| Bible Translators
The men whose stories feature in this category are Christians used by God to make his written Word available to the people. Particularly striking are the biographies of men who translated the Bible into English, many of whom were put to death so that we can read it for ourselves.
|Early Church Fathers
These eight men come from the period of Church history up to the death of Augustine of Hippo in 430 A.D. All lived in an atmosphere where persecution by pagan Romans was as ever-present possibility, leaving us an example of reliance on God in the face of persecution.
Eight men and women used by God who wrote great hymns that have encouraged the Church in its worship of God.
Moving stories of men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of Christ. It is hard to stay unmoved by such remarkable people. They challenge our zeal for Him.
Twenty four missionaries whose stories are told refer to men and women who preached the gospel in lands other than their own. Although every biography is different, they all catch our interest and remind us of our responsibility to witness for Christ.
The stories of the preachers are often so remarkable that if their lives were not so well documented, their achievements would be hard to believe. All of us need to be more conscientious in our support for preachers of the Word particularly if they suffer for the sake of the gospel.
J. I. Packer calls these men ‘God’s giants’, whose spiritual influence dominated the 17th century. Their legacy includes commentaries and confessions of faith still in use in our churches today.
During a period of spiritual darkness, the Reformers looked to the Bible for light. They drew men back to the Scriptures alone, to faith in Christ alone and brought the Church back to a whole-hearted Biblical faith. We need to follow their examples today when people urge us to add or to take away from the Word of God.
|World War II
The men and women in this category prove that God remained at work in many different ways during the evils of the greatest war in history. People on both sides experienced the grace and power of God in their lives.
A visit to any Christian bookshop demonstrates that Christians have often been writers. The men and women wrote to promote our knowledge of scripture and growth in grace. We would be much poorer with out them.
The Victorian period produced a great many remarkable Christian social reformers like Dr. Barnardo and Shaftesbury. Josephine Butler is one example of a woman who was active in much needed social reform. Social reformers provide encouragement for us today as we fight what seems, at the moment, to be a losing battle to retain Christian standards in society.