Official Theology: Eusebius of Caesarea, Part 2 (The History of Christianity #92)

Our History of Christianity Scripture verse today is Romans 15:4 which reads: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

Our History of Christianity quote today is from Eusebius. He said: “I feel inadequate to do [church history] justice as the first to venture on such an undertaking, a traveler on a lonely and untrodden path.”

Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at “Official Theology: Eusebius of Caesarea” (Part 2) from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez’s fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).

In the midst of such evil times, Eusebius carried on with what would become his most important work, his Church History. This work, which he later revised, became of great importance to future church historians. Without it, a great deal of the story that we have been telling would have been lost. It was Eusebius who collected, organized, and published practically all that is now known about many of the people and events in the life of the early church. Without him, our knowledge of the early history of Christianity would be reduced by half.

Finally, in 311 AD, things began to change. First came an edict by Galerius that granted tolerance to Christians. Then Constantine defeated Maxentius, and Constantine and Licinius, meeting at Milan, put an end to persecution. From the point of view of Eusebius and his surviving companions, what was taking place was a direct intervention by God, something similar to the events of Exodus. From then on Eusebius – and probably a vast number of other Christians whose opinions were not set down in writing – began looking upon Constantine and Licinius as the instruments of the divine design. When hostilities finally broke out between the two emperors, Eusebius was convinced that Licinius had become insane and begun to persecute Christianity. Only Constantine, and he alone, remained as God’s chosen instrument.

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