Monday, March 12, 2012

Chaos to Church

Below is a diagram which I developed a few years back after first hearing the term "henotheism" in a theology course at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and after some discussion of ecclesiology at that same institution.  Who else but me is going to try to express in a simple diagram on a single sheet of paper, with an even dozen Bible verses, the theological history of the Christian church?  Well, I did try to do that, for a confirmation class I believe, and just thought of the diagram a few days ago.  I know this will look crazy to many Christians and to almost all of other faiths, but I think this is a standard Christian understanding of the theological story the Bible tells.  Of course the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey might have said, is that The Church seems to some to have descended into chaos in the most recent few centuries, thus completing the circle.

And of course The Church has always had and still has its share of problems, often exhibiting shameful and very unchristian behavior.  But Jesus didn't promise that it would be perfect; only that, "the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it."  I am interested in any feedback this little exercise might generate.  You will probably have to click on the chart to get a readable version.


  1. I guess that if I were going to add a 13th verse to the diagram above, it would be 1 Timothy 3:15 - "If I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth."

  2. Darryl, I really like this diagram! It's very clear and precise. The only thing I would change, is I think the first two quotes for the Church are repetitive; I would take one out and put in a verse about the apostles laying on hands to the one who was to take Judas' spot in the apostles in Acts.

    1. Thanks. I like the idea of including the verse you suggest but am not sure which two you say are repetitive. Three are about sending. Which would you take out?