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25 Responses to Church History in 4 minutes

  1. Where was this video back when it took me two semesters to teach Church History to high school students in the U.S.? On the other hand, it took two semesters to teach high school students in Japan the meaning of the original lyrics of this song?

  2. Hello, I’ve never read your blog before now. However, I like the part with “Who will save this generation?” and then a couple dozen pictures of Our Lord. That is brilliant cinematography. Thank you and God bless.

    In Christ

    Matthew Wade

  3. Thanks for the repost!… I made this video with some help from my family as a gift for our senior pastor after he did a 21 week sermon series on church history (1 century per week)… Glad people are enjoying it!

  4. Fairly entertaining, but distinctly Protestant biased. Caught a reference to ‘Mary worship’ and noted the ‘get out of jail free’ jab about indulgences. Typical misinformation. After the period of the Reformation was portrayed, the images were pretty much exclusively about Protestants.

    Maybe there’s a talented Catholic (or a talented non-biased Protestant) out there that can take a more balanced stab at this type of video.

  5. @Vince– Sorry if you were offended by the final section of the video…. The “Protestant” section is the final 4 or 5 verses of a 19 verse song, with each verse representing (approximately!) 1 century. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are Protestants who think there’s too much “Catholic history” in the video, but the 1-century-per-verse paradigm imposes certain limits…

    I made this as a gift for my senior pastor (Presbyterian) based on his 21 sermon series on church history, and as a result, it reflects what he spoke on (for instance, for the 20th century, he focused on the intellectual and spiritual repercussions of the teachings of Darwin, Marx and Freud, so that’s what’s reflected in the video)… I’m sure there are references (the “God bless you when you’re sneezing” shot, for one) that only people who heard the sermons would get. I’m sorry if you feel that it therefore shows bias — certainly none was intended or planned.

    –Janet

  6. Janet – Thank you for your charitable and thoughtful response. I certainly don’t think that you had any *intent* to offend or display bias in your otherwise fine video, but I was simply pointing out the bias that is present there. I would be naive to pretend that any Christian –Catholic, Protestant or otherwise — could be completely unbiased in putting something like this together. My issues mostly revolve around the erroneous caricatures contained within the presentation (very few and very brief) of Catholic teaching. I mentioned the two that I picked out — the reference to ‘Mary worship’ and the characterization of indulgences as a ‘get out of jail free” card (No, Catholics do not worship Mary and, no, indulgences are not a free pass out of hell or Purgatory or anywhere). I can only speculate that this false perception of Catholic teaching as a result of your pastor’s preaching, in which case you are not entirely at fault. However, if you would like some helpful and friendly resources to help you understand these issues correctly, I would be happy to provide them.
    I want to emphasize that overall I very much enjoyed the video and hope you go on to produce others in a similar, if not more accurate, vein. Christian history is an awesome thing, and the more people know about it the better! God bless you.

  7. I commend Janet’s pastor for presenting such a systematic series on church history – many communities are not this blessed, and many Christians have no historical framework.

    Vince, note the tags – this is not a doctoral thesis on a particular moment in church history, it is 2000 years in 4 minutes! I think most people are taking it in the lighter vain that it is offered.
    That being said, the study of history is always done from a “bias”. Where you stand determines what you see.
    Your own “bias”, Vince, shows through in your assumption that “Mary worship” is a reference to Roman Catholicism.
    I think the “get out of jail free card” a very helpful quick image for plenary indulgences in relation to purgatory. I think it could be similarly used as an image for some protestant teaching about accepting Jesus.
    If you want to continue the conversation about why you think applying plenary indulgences to those in purgatory cannot in any way, even humorously, be imaged as a get out of jail free card, please write an article on your excellent website and I will allow a link to it from comments to this video through moderation. Alternatively, of course, you can continue this conversation on Janet’s website.

    Janet, I am blown away by the quality of your video. You only need to look at the YouTube statistics to see how popular this video has been since I embedded it here. At one point it was getting more than a hundred hits an hour! Well done Janet, and I so look forward to the lyrics. And will certainly use this video in my own teaching of church history.

  8. Janet, this is wonderful ! ! !

    I am the director of adult religious formation at a Catholic Church. Can I purchase a copy of this from you? I would love to use this in my classes. I’ll credit you as the author every time, if you’ll let me get a copy from you.

    And . . . blessings to your pastor who feels that church history is important enough to give his pulpit to it for so many weeks. How blessed your community is to have him.

    You’ve done a fantastic job on this.

    Charlene

  9. Charlene, I hope that Janet (like you) is still reading the comments here. Otherwise you may need to contact her directly.

  10. Bosco — Yes, still reading the comments, and I’ve been in touch w/ Charlene (she tracked me down)… Thanks so much for your kind words!

    –Janet

  11. Great video, but you image for “And Jerusalem gets sacked” is indeed about Jerusalem, but it is from the triumphal arch for the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD, not the crusades when Jerusalem was taken. This image should have been used before Jamnia/Yavne. But all and all an excellent video.

    • Yes, Greg, I noticed this also – but then you would have noticed not every one of Janet’s images is actually the accurate historical image at that point. :-)

  12. Good catch, Greg — Trust me, there are *no* useable images for the sack of Jerusalem. I searched and searched. (The hardest images to find, understandably, were images that involved Islam — Saladin, etc.)

    And Yes, before anyone comments, I know a few things are slightly out of historical order — That’s because I had to go with the rhymes….

    …Still amazed that people are watching and enjoying in such numbers…. Thanks so much, Bosco! (Just became a fan of this site on FB, btw.)

    –Janet

  13. pls i need the lyrics of this song. i really need it dat was my assignment 4rm my theology prof. tnks

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Rev. Bosco Peters Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.