Christian History Part 5 – The Great Awakening | The Theonauts

In this episode we put the end cap on our on going series on Christian History. We begin where we left off in the 17th century and travel on through the modern era. We move across the world from Europe into the New World. We try to focus on the roots of most of the major denominations and how movements of thought throughout the colonies began to shape what is now called The Great Awakening.

Christian History Timeline 1600-2000s

  • 1611 – The King James Version is translated.
  • 1612 – The last person to be executed by fire for heresy in England was Edward Wightman
  • 1618 – the Synod of Dort : the teaching of Arminius was firmly rejected at a meeting to which Protestant theologians from outside the Netherlands were invited.
  • 1633 – Galileo’s part in the controversies over theology, astronomy and philosophy culminated in his trial and sentencing, on a suspicion of heresy.
  • 1640-60 – English Separatist movement. Puritan movement and English Civil War. Pilgrimage to North America at Plymouth. Most likely the origin of the Baptist Church and the modern Presbyterians.
  • 1720 – The Methodist revival began with a group of men, including John Wesley (1703–1791) and his younger brother Charles (1707–1788), as a movement within the Church of England. The Wesley brothers founded the Holy Club while they were at Oxford. They were accustomed to receiving communion every week, fasting regularly, abstaining from most forms of amusement and luxury and frequently visited the sick and the poor, as well as prisoners. The fellowship were branded as “Methodist” by their fellow students because of the way they used “rule” and “method” to go about their religious affairs. Wesley took the attempted mockery and turned it into a title of honor.
  • 1730-40 – The 1st Great Awakening in the American Colonies – Reformed virtues moving further away from liturgy and toward a direct relationship with Christ. This reshaped existing denominations and strengthened new small ones like the Baptists and the Methodists. It incited rancor and division between the new revivalists and the old traditionalists who insisted on ritual and doctrine. People became passionately and emotionally involved in their religion, rather than passively listening to intellectual discourse in a detached manner.
  • 1800-1840 – The 2nd Great Awakening focused on reaching the unchurched. This is where Tent Revivals began.
  • 1825 – The Restoration Movement sought to restore the church and “the unification of all Christians in a single body patterned after the church of the New Testament.” The movement developed from several independent efforts to return to apostolic Christianity, but two groups, which independently developed similar approaches to the Christian faith, were particularly important to the development of the movement. The first, led by Barton W. Stone, began at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, and called themselves simply Christians. The second began in western Pennsylvania and Virginia (now West Virginia) and was led by Thomas Campbell and his son, Alexander Campbell; they used the name Disciples of Christ. These two efforts combined in 1832. Because the founders wanted to abandon all denominational labels, they used the biblical names for the followers of Jesus. The movement has since divided into multiple separate groups including the Church of Christ, the churches of Christ, and the Christian Church.
  • 1833 – Adventism begins with the teachings of William Miller. They emphasized apocalyptic teachings anticipating the end of the world and did not look for the unity of Christendom but busied themselves in preparation for Christ’s return. Although they hold much in common with other fundamentals, their theology differs on whether the intermediate state is unconscious sleep or consciousness, whether the ultimate punishment of the wicked is annihilation or eternal torment, the nature of immortality, whether or not the wicked are resurrected after the millennium, and whether the sanctuary of Daniel 8 refers to the one in heaven or one on earth. From the Millerites descended the Seventh-day Adventists and the Advent Christian Church.
  • 1836 – The Holiness Movement: Two Methodist women, Sarah Worrall Lankford and Phoebe Palmer, started the Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness in New York City. A year later, Methodist minister Timothy Merritt founded a journal called the Guide to Christian Perfection to promote the Wesleyan message of Christian holiness. In 1837, Palmer experienced what she called entire sanctification. She began leading the Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness.
  • 1850 – Latter Day Saints
  • 1860 – Codex Sinaiticus discovered in St. Cathrine’s Monastary by Tischendorf
  • 1860 – The 3rd Great Awakening – a period of religious activism in American history from the late
  • 1850s to the 20th century. It had a strong sense of social activism. Significant names include Dwight L. Moody, Ira D. Sankey, William Booth and Catherine Booth (founders of the Salvation Army), Charles Spurgeon, and James Caughey. Mary Baker Eddy introduced Christian Science.
  • 1854 – Vatican I – The first Vatican Council held to shore up Catholic doctrines in the face of all these worldwide changes. Topics included the dogma of papal infallibility, of papal supremacy, and of the Immaculate Conception.
  • 1902 – The Pentecostal Movement – American evangelists Reuben Archer Torrey and Charles M. Alexander conducted meetings in Melbourne, Australia, resulting in more than 8,000 converts.
  • 1946 – The Dead Sea Scrolls are discovered.
  • 1962 – Vatican II established the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. (stating the Catholic Church is the true church)
  • 1990-2000s – Movements continue to shape Christianity: fundamentalism, evangelicals, emergence, prosperity, and fundamentalist.


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