Patient Preaching

There is a story of an extraordinary man who lived in the 6th century named Bishop Aidan. Bede tells about him his Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731). Bede records that when another bishop had returned from an unsuccessful attempt to preach to the English people, Bishop Aidan responded,

"Brother, it seems to me that you were too severe on your ignorant hearers. You should have followed the practice of the Apostles, and begun by giving them the milk of simpler teaching, and gradually nourished them with the word of God until they were capable of greater perfection and able to follow the loftier precepts of Christ."

As a Bible teacher and a public speaking teacher, I value these words of wisdom. I rejoice when I see God's truth being presented with a heart of love, compassion, and patience.

Manly Missionary Monks

This Fall I will be teaching Medieval History (and Theology) in the Blue Ridge Teaching Cooperative in our local homeschool association. It will be based on the textbook Omnibus II: Church Fathers through the Reformation. We will be reading and discussing the following primary sources: Eusebius, The Church History Augustine, St., Confessions Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People Geoffrey, The History of the Kings of Britain Luther, Martin. The Bondage of the Will

Today I have been reading about the monk Bede, who wrote the Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

"A common misconception about early medieval monasteries is that they were places where monks went to escape from civilization. But the opposite is true: monks boldly went into untamed places and carved out fresh civilization by establishing monasteries. In doing so they carried literacy to place where people could not read, food to where people were underfed, medicine to the sick, and most importantly, they carried the Christian gospel to people who had not heard of Jesus” (Omnibus II, 90-91).

I also found it interesting that Bede was the first to mark time with reference to the birth of Christ. In Latin he wrote, “ante vero incarnationis dominicae tempus” (“the time before the Lord's true incarnation”). This was translated into English and popularized as “Before Christ” and abbreviated B.C. Bede also used and popularized an earlier time marker, the Latin phrase anno Domini, “the year of our Lord,” abbreviated A.D. (Omnibus II, 95;