Date of Award
Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS)
Daniel L. Brunner
Kent L. Yinger
Marc Bloch once said, "Christianity is a religion of historians." It is true. Christians base faith on the events of the past and the wrestling of putting down in words statements of belief in the form of creeds. We can point out the day and year in which a council forms faith and in some cases the very hour of the day. The Christian faith believes the prophetic events of the Old Testament (which are themselves rooted in actual events of the time of their utterance) which predicted the birth, life, death, ascension, and the return again of Jesus Christ. It is not the council and paper that gave life to the faith but the very flesh and blood of those who lived and died for these histories; the blood of martyrs acting as seed which sprouted new life in the hearts of others who witnessed these events.
As a historian looks back on past events he/she keeps one eye open towards the future. In many ways the study of our past enlightens our present and in tum gives direction for the future. To neglect the past or to distort it to fulfill some personal agenda does an injustice to those who lived before us and those who will live after us. May they be so condemned and harshly.
To some this may be 'just a Master Thesis,' but I trust that what is written in these pages will reflect the reality of the events so described and with it gain an understanding of our today as we step into tomorrow.
Lykens, Ed, "Eastern Christianity and the Rise of Islam: Seventh to Twelfth Centuries" (2004). Seminary Masters Theses. 42.