Turning Points

Acsi History 1

Historian Mark Noll in his book, Turning Points, lists these twelve events as the most decisive moments in the history of Christianity

70 – The Fall of Jerusalem: The Church Pushed Out on Its Own.
325 – Council of Nicaea: Realities of Empire.
451 – Council of Chalcedon: Doctrine, Politics, and Life in the World.
530 – Benedict’s Rule: The Monastic rescue of the Church.
800 – Charlemagne: The Culmination of Christendom.
1054 – The Great Schism: Division between East and West.
1521 – The Diet of Worms: The Beginnings of Protestantism.
1534 – The English Act of Supremacy: A New Europe.
1540 – The Jesuits: Catholic Reform and Worldwide Outreach.
1738 – The Conversion of the Wesleys: The New Piety.
1789 – The French Revolution: Discontents of the Modern West.
1910 – The Edinburgh Missionary Conference: A Faith For All the World.

Five were primarily political but with great religious implications. Five were the initiation of movements, four of which were missionary in structure and intent. Three were actions to conserve and consolidate the Christian movement and/or Christendom. Four were schismatic and resulted in new initiatives breaking from old institutions.

Some resulted in advance of the Christian movement. Some contributed to its decline. And some are mixed in their results.


“Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity” (Mark A. Noll)

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