Just a few odds and ends as I wrap up the second (and final) volume of the church history books I’ve been reading. Did you know…?
That Pope Leo XIII (pope from 1878-1903) encouraged the formation of labor unions to defend the rights of laborers? He felt they were necessary to ensure justice for all workers and for the poor.
That the Sunday School movement of the 1800s was an attempt — a very successful one for awhile — to reach those with no connection to traditional means of religious instruction? Back in the day it was not unusual for more people to attend Sunday School than to attend church.
That SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge), modern-day producers of Christian literature in the United Kingdom and around the world, got their start way back in 1698? SPCK was — and still is — a ministry and a voluntary society of the Anglican church, created to support worldwide missions and missionaries.
That the liturgy — the form of worship used in Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopalian/Anglican, and Lutheran churches — was originally designed in such a way as to ensure that churchgoers would be presented with the Gospel every week, week in and week out, without fail? One proof that the authors succeeded: “As in the case of other Orthodox churches under communist rule, the Russian church has found its liturgy capable of supporting the faithful and transmitting the traditions to new generations. Late in the twentieth century, after almost seventy years of communist rule, the Orthodox in the Soviet Union were still some 60 million strong.” — The Story of Christianity, Vol 2 (Gonzalez), p. 342
That’s it for my amateur readings in church history. I’ll be starting the Intro to Church History course at seminary a week from Tuesday — wish me luck!