Liberty University Chhi 302 History of the Christian Church Ii the Decline of European Christianity

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It is easy to see that Christianity was rich and flowing in Europe at one time. Countries throughout it are full of beautiful monasteries, churches, cathedrals, and historical Christian landmarks. The influence it had on their culture is evident in the visible and invisible constructs of European society. Unfortunately, Christianity has become a ghost of memories in the European nations. In recent years Christianity has had to face many challenges. The first one is the induction of the Age of Enlightenment. “Toward the middle of the eighteenth century a shift in thinking occurred. This shift is known as the Enlightenment. It is helpful I think to think about the word "enlighten" here—the idea of shedding light on something, illuminating it, making it clear.[1]”

“Modern philosophy began with an enthusiastic faith in the powers of human reason to reach the truth. It represented a protest against the methods of Scholasticism and demanded a free field for unrestricted inquiry to work out its own salvation.[2]”

The Age of Enlightenment was a time of new thinking. People became increasingly more interesting in scientific revolutions than religious laws. Rousseau, a well-known name of the Enlightenment Age, began to question the divine rights of the King. This is an example of the new thinking Europe experienced during this time. “The Enlightenment was a period of profound optimism, a sense that with science and reason… human beings and human society would improve.[3]” It could go without saying that the Enlightenment period was new and creative, very much different from the traditional aspects of the Catholic Church. “Instead, the Enlightenment thinkers developed a way of understanding the universe called Deism.[4]”
“Perhaps no nation more proudly flaunts its secularism than France. The land that launched the millennium of Christendom by crowning Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor in 800 has morphed into a staunchly secularist state,...
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