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A Time of Weakness, A Time of Strength: AD 315-450

The western monastery took as its rationale for outreach not only Philippians 2 but also Matthew 28, the letter of James, and I John. They developed schools for children, hostels for travelers, havens for the homeless, homes for widows, orphans, and hospitals. Through succeeding years many became the first universities.

In the unlikely time of 312-450, when the church was under duress, the gospel took hold from Ireland in the west to the Ural Mountains and the Caspian Sea in the east. When the Romans lost the battle of Adrianople (AD 378), the way was open for evangelists to begin mission outposts and establish congregations in Germanic and Asian cultures. What was a time of weakness became a time of outreach and strength.

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More Christian History from Woodrow Walton

Alexander Severus (208 – 235CE) was the 26th Emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 222 – 235 CE. He was the last of the Severan Dynasty and his assassination in 235 led to the Imperial Crisis of the Third Century, a period of nearly fifty years of invasions, civil wars and economic collapse. Image by way of Wikimedia Commons.The Ghost Of Alexander Severus: Third Century Religious Pluralism as a Foretaste of Postmodernity

Has Christianity ever found itself in a world full of competing religions and cultures? What can we learn from how those followers of Jesus acted in their times? Should we hope for the same kinds of outcomes?

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Category: Church History, Winter 2014

About the Author: Woodrow E. Walton, D.Min. (Oral Roberts University School of Theology and Missions), B.A. (Texas Christian University), B.D. [M.Div.] (Duke Divinity School), M.A. (University of Oklahoma), is a retired Seminary Dean and Professor of biblical, theological and historical studies. An ordained Assemblies of God minister, he and his wife live in Fort Worth, Texas. Walton retains membership with the Evangelical Theological Society, American Association of Christian Counselors, American Society of Church History, American Academy of Political Science, and The International Society of Frontier Missiology.

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