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Church History & Church Principles
• Introduction. Introductory lectures deal with a Biblical perspective on history, with an overview of Church history
• Period c.30 AD to c.800 (Early Church to Rise of Papacy). Lectures deal with the post-Apostolic Church and views of the Early Church Fathers and Apologists. Special attention is paid to the early Trinitarian controversies including an examination of the early Creeds. Attention is also given to Augustine of Hippo and the Pelagian controversy.
• Medieval Period (c.800–c.1400). Doctrinal controversies of the Medieval period are covered, along with the influence major figures of the period. Among other things attention is given the rise and spread of Islam and its impact on the Christian Church.
• Pre-Reformation and Reformation Period (c.1400–1560). The corruption of the pre-Reformation Church is considered together with the influence of precursors of the Reformation movement. The 16th Century Reformation led by Martin Luther and John Calvin is covered, and there is special focus on the Reformation movement in Scotland.
Lectures on Church Principles cover the doctrine of the Church,the place of Creeds and Confessions, and the whole area of Public Worship and its various elements.
• Post-Reformation Period (Scottish) (1560-1600). Lectures cover the struggles to consolidate the Reformation in Scotland in countering opposition from the State and the Counter-Reformation.
• Seventeenth Century (mainly Scottish). The influences of the Synod of Dort (1618-19) and Westminster Assembly (1643-49) are discussed, as are the National Covenant (1638) and Solemn League and Covenant (1643), on Scottish Church life.
• Eighteenth Century (Scottish). The influences of the ‘Marrow’ Controversy (1720/22) and the Secession movement (1733) are discussed, along with the rise of moderatism in Scotland.
• Nineteenth Century (Scottish). The Evangelical Revival in the Established Church and the Disruption of 1843, with the subsequent decline in the Free Church and the rise of liberalism are discussed in this block of lectures.
• Twentieth Century (Scottish). The Church unions of 1900 and 1929 and their influences are discussed, as are the divisions arising in the smaller conservative Presbyterian Churches in the late 20th century. History of the Free Church of Scotland and the events leading up to and including the Division of 2000.
Lectures on Church Principles covers three areas:
• The Sacraments;
• Offices in the Church;
• Details of The Practice of the Free Church of Scotland in
her Several Courts.
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