Trace the finger of God
On the last night of Jesus's life on earth, He established a principle that has endured in the life of the church from the first century to the present day—the world that persecuted Him would likewise persecute His followers (John 15:20). And so it has been; from that day until this, men and women of faith have suffered and given their lives for the cause of Jesus Christ. It is our history as a church, a history wrought with controversy, conflict, and persecution. But it is also a history of triumph, faith, and community. Ours is a 2000-year-old history, rich in tradition and doctrine and filled with intriguing characters—saints and sinners—who've written the story that is the church.
To study the story of Christ's church is to trace the finger of God across the timeline of human history.
Of all the gods of Greek mythology, he was one of the ugliest, with goat’s horns growing from his head, goat’s hoofs in place of feet, and the shaggy hair of a goat covering his body. But the half-man, half-goat god, Pan, was merry, bounding among the thickets and mountains playing his reed pipe.
The Gnostics (pronounced näs-tik) were some of the earliest heretics to infiltrate the church with their poisonous doctrines, arising shortly after the gospel began penetrating the Roman world near the Mediterranean Sea in the first century. The word Gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis, meaning "knowledge." The Gnostics...