guided lecture 4


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part 4

What city is the Pope the Bishop of?

Who were the 5 original patriarchates?

What role did the city of Rome play in the Roman Empire? Why was Constantinople called the “New Rome?”

What are some reasons that the Bishop of Rome claimed to have a more prominent position than the other patriarchates?




What was the Great Schism? How did the Bishop of Rome’s role in the church change after the schism?

What are some of the Pope’s other titles?

What is the doctrine of “papal infallibility?” When was it instated?

How is a new pope chosen?

The Great Schism

What are some reasons that the Western and Eastern Churches drifted apart over the second half of the first millennium?

What are the main cultural differences between the Eastern and Western Churches?

What was the main theological difference between the Eastern and Western churches? (aka what is the filioque?)

Why were some of the actions taken by the Bishop of Rome seen as inappropriate by the Eastern patriarchs? And what were those actions?

What happened with Pope Leo IX’s legation to Constantinople? Who was involved? Why were they sent? And what was the result?

How did the Crusades cement the breakup between the Eastern and Western Churches?

What recent ecumenical actions have occurred that have helped the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic church overcome their differences?

The Seven Sacraments

What is a “sacrament” in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches?

What are the seven sacraments? And give a brief description of their meaning and how they’re administered?








What is “the sacramental life?”

How are the sacraments different in Protestant Christianity?

Characteristics of the Catholic Faith

What are the two categories of “authority” in the Catholic tradition?

What is “tradition?”

What is the veneration of the saints? And how does it play an important role in Catholic Christianity?

What is the doctrine of Original Sin? And who first fully developed the doctrine?

What does it mean that “salvation is a journey” in the Catholic tradition?

What is Catholic Mysticism and who are some of the most famous mystic authors?

What is monasticism? And how does it play an important role in the Catholic Church?

What is “purgatory?”

part 5


Who are the leaders of the Orthodox Church?

How is their leadership structure different from that of the Catholic Church?

What is the title of the Patriarch of Constantinople?

How many ecumenical councils have occurred, according to the Orthodox Church?

Where are the most Orthodox Christians located?

Why did Orthodox Christianity become a minority in the Middle East and North Africa?

How did the rise of communism in Eastern Europe affect the Orthodox Church?

What is the Orthodox Church of America? How is it changing the religious landscape for Orthodox Christians in America?


What is “theosis?”

How does the “image and likeness of God” play a role in salvation for Orthodox Christians?

For Orthodox Christians, how did Adam and the eating of the fruit affect the human condition?

Do Orthodox Christians believe in the doctrine of “original sin?”

For Orthodox Christians, what is Jesus and what role does he play in personal salvation?

What do Orthodox Christians believe will happen to everyone, eventually?

What will affect the individual’s experience of the eternal presence of God?


What is the Divine Liturgy? Who is believed to be present there?

What are “icons” in the Orthodox Church? And how are they used?

What are some unique features of the traditional interior of Orthodox Churches?





What is the “hesychasm?” How is it done and what is the goal?

part 6


How was “empire” giving way to “national identities” before the Protestant Reformation?

Why was there an erosion of respect for the Catholic Church?

What are some Renaissance ideas that helped pave the way for the Reformation?

What is the printing press? And why was its invention so crucial for the Protestant Reformation to be a success?

Who was some previous reformers that paved the way for Martin Luther? What were their ideas and why were they NOT successful?




What was Martin Luther’s early life like? What was his family like?

What did Martin Luther’s father want him to be?

How did Martin Luther become a monk? And then a priest?

What events led up to Luther posting his 95 theses?

What are the 95 Theses?

When did Luther post them? Why did he post them on the Wittenburg Church?

What happened after Luther posted his Theses?

What was the Diet of Worms in 1521? What was Luther asked to do? Did he do it?

What happened to Martin Luther after he refused to recant his ideas?


What is “Sola Fide?” For Luther, why is it important for one’s salvation?

What is “sola Scriptura?” How does it change Protestants’ attitude towards the Bible?

What is the “priesthood of all believers” in Protestant theology?

What happens to the Sacraments in Protestantism?

What is “predestination?”

What do Protestants, in general, believe about the authority to interpret Scripture?

From Reforming the Western Church to Creating Many Protestant Churches

How did Luther’s “protest” against the Catholic Church inspire other voices and other breakaway groups?

How did the Church of England begin?

What is the Episcopalian Church?

What are the Reformed Churches? Who was involved in their establishment?

What are the Anabaptists? What do they believe about baptism?

part 7

What was the Catholic Reformation?

Why is it sometimes called the “Counter-Reformation?”

What was the Council of Trent?

What was the Peasants’ War? How was it related to the Protestant Reformation?

What was the Thirty Years’ War? How was it related to the Protestant Reformation?


Who were the Puritans?

What are some of unique characteristics of their understanding of the Christian faith?

What role did they play in the American Colonies?

What is Pietism? What are some unique characteristics of their understanding of the Christian faith?

Who are the Quakers? What are some unique characteristics of their understanding of the Christian faith?


Who are the Jesuits?

Where did they try to bring the Christian religion to? What questions about Christianity did these missions raise?

Who was the first country to missionize to India and Africa?

How were these missionary efforts linked to the slave trade?

What was the Romanus Pontifex?

What monastic orders first missionized to the Americas?

Who were Francisco de Vitoria and Bartolome de las Casas? What did they attempt to do?


What is Methodism? Who started it and what are some unique characteristics of their understanding of the Christian religion?

What is the African Methodist Episcopal Church? Who started it and what were the circumstances of their origin?

Who are the Adventists? Who started it and what were the circumstances of their origin?

Who are the Seventh-Day Adventists? And why/how did they split from the Adventists?

What is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? Who started it and what are some unique characteristics of their understanding of the Christian religion?

part 8

What is the Second Vatican Council?

Who calls it and when does it take place?

What are the results and consequences of the Council?

What is Pope John Paul II known for?

What is the Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal?

What has been the fallout from this scandal?

Who is the current pope? Why and how did he “break the mold” of previous popes?

What are some of the thoughts/opinions about Pope Francis today?

Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy

What is “biblical inerrancy?”

What were two challenges to Biblical Inerrancy that gained prominence during the 1800s? How did each of them challenge the inerrancy of the Bible?



Who was Charles Briggs? And what was the Briggs Affair?

What was “The Fundamentals” pamphlet? Who published it and when? For what reason?

Who gave the speech “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?” What was he arguing for in that speech?

What was the name of the counter speech? And what was Macartney (the man who gave this speech) arguing in it?

What was the Scopes Trial? When was it? How did it come about? And what was the result of it?

Where did most of the mainline Protestant churches end up after this controversy?

Where did most Evangelical Protestant churches end up after this controversy?

What happened in most of the major denominations in the US (in regards to intra-denominational conflict)?

What are the Moral Majority and the Christian Right? How did these organizations unite conservative Christians around political issues?

20th and 21st Century Challenges

Are there female pastors/ministers in some Protestant churches? What are some denominations that allow women to become ordained?

Are there female Catholic priests? Are there Catholic women who have become ordained in parallel Catholic organizations?

What are some arguments in favor of women’s ordination?

What are some arguments against women’s ordination?

What is the LGBTQ Challenge that many churches have faced?

What is an “open and affirming” church?

What is currently happening to the United Methodist Church?

What is the racial makeup of most churches in the US?

How and why did the Black Lives Matter cause Christians to question this reality?

Why has there been a recent push for multiracial congregations?

Future of Christianity

What are some denominations of Christianity that have been recently rising in numbers? And what are some unique characteristics of them?




What is a “non-denominational” church?

What is a mega-church?

Where is the center of the Christian world shifting to?

How is that likely to change the global Christian community?

In what ways may the Pandemic affect the future of Christianity?

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