History of Missions Lesson 02


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MI 502 Lesson 2 History of Missions


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History of Missions Lecture 2:

History of Missions Lecture 2 MI Dr. Robert Patton

Roman Catholic Missions Middle Ages:

Roman Catholic Missions Middle Ages Baptizing the Masses

Middle ages situation:

Middle ages situation Little education Concentration on the countryside Often the Christian ascetic or saint was like a pagan shaman Supernatural manifestations Little emphasis on literature

Middle ages methods:

Middle ages methods Often power encounter – maybe supernatural, but often military Often political – sought military aids, such as Clovis, king of the Franks. When he won a victory, he promised to serve the Christian god; thus victorious, he and 3000 troops wee baptized on Christmas 496

Clovis, king of the Franks:

Clovis, king of the Franks Clovis married Clotilda , a Christian princess of Burgundy He believed that he received divine help in a victory in 496 and converted. Following his conversion, the mass of people accepted Christianity

Clovis, king of the Franks:

Clovis, king of the Franks

Middle ages:

Middle ages Two major problems Conversion of the barbarian hordes in Europe Resisting the onslaught of the Muslims

Middle ages begin with Roman Catholic outreach:

Middle ages begin with Roman Catholic outreach These “mass movements” filled the churches with nominal Christians

History of England:

History of England History given by the Venerable Bede (673-735), an accurate and wise historian Britain had Christianity from at least then 3 rd century Then the Angles and Saxons invaded and rejected Christianity, which retreated only to Wales

Augustine (missionary to England):

Augustine (missionary to England) Sent by Pope Gregory the great to England after seeing 3 white slave boys from England being sold in 596. Gregory himself had been a monk, and sent a group of monks under Augustine there. King Ethelbert was already married to a Christian princess from Gaul


Augustine Augustine and his monks turned back Pope Gregory sent them back, and this time they arrived in England and were successful

Augustine & King Ethelbert:

Augustine & King Ethelbert

Augustine (missionary to England):

Augustine (missionary to England) Ethelbert received the monks well and was impressed with their piety He had great success, being accepted by King Ethelbert, an immersing 10,000 persons on Christmas day one year after his arrival

Pope Gregory and contextualization:

Pope Gregory and contextualization The question was what to do with pagan beliefs. The Pope suggested that they change them to Christian but leave them. Also the same with buildings, etc. This pattern has persisted, but the question is how much. Remember what God told the Israelites to do with idols, high places, etc.

Augustine of Canterbury:

Augustine of Canterbury He became archbishop after King Ethelbert was saved about 600 AD. He was not successful in converting those from Wales The Anglo-Saxons were originally difficult as well Aldan ministered to them in the 6 th century He began a monastery – eventually considered a saint

There was contention between Celtics and Rome:

There was contention between Celtics and Rome They had to do with minor facts of clothes to wear, Easter method of celebration Finally the King of Northumbria favored Rome with the assistance of Wilfred, who evangelized the Anglo-Saxons Theodore of Tarsus set the ecclesiastical pattern


Nestorians Denied Mariolotry , though had thought Christ had two natures – human & divine Very missions minded. They spread in Persia, Turkey, Russia - made converts from Zoroastrianism. They also expanded into India (Mar Thomas churches), and in 6th century to China, but were later driven out

Nestorian Christianity in China:

Nestorian Christianity in China A-lo-pen brought it to the emperor in 635 AD. The Christian thought was encouraged though in competition with Buddhism Many monasteries and monks, who learned Chinese and translated into it

Nestorian Christianity in China:

Nestorian Christianity in China 845 Emperor Wu Tsung , an ardent Taoist, opposed all monks – Buddhist and Christian (there were 30,000 Christian monks at that time) 100 years later, 5 monks came and found no trace of Christianity in China

Nestorian belief:

Nestorian belief

Nestorian monument in China:

Nestorian monument in China


Nestorians Very strong missions groups, strong in scripture, Bible Institutes, etc. From Central Asia, reached China, Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia In China – 200 bishops Eventually overwhelmed by Muslims and Genghis Khan

Probable Nestorian pastor in China:

Probable Nestorian pastor in China

Boniface :

Boniface Born in England Started to evangelize in Friesland age 30 but could not due to political turmoil Went to Rome and received support, went back to Germany, then Friesland, and then back to Germany

Boniface (680-755):

Boniface (680-755) Initially worked with Willibrord . Was offered the position of Bishop of Utrecht, He went to Rome for support from the Pope. and went further south into Saxony and Hessia (Germany) He was a great leader, and raised up other missionaries

Boniface (680-755):

Boniface (680-755) He challenged the mixture of belief in Christianity and paganism when he chopped down the sacred oak of the god Thor. He recruited women as well as men as missionaries He received great support from Charles Martel, who defeated the Muslims

Boniface chopping down the oak of Thor:

Boniface chopping down the oak of Thor


Boniface Strong proponent of Romism , no marriages, foods off limits, etc. Set up organized churches under the support of Rome & removed much corruption Went back to Friesland in 753 with a group of monks, but was killed by armed bandits who thought that his trunks were filled with gold – but found only the bishop’s books inside

Boniface – baptizing, killed by bandits, burial crypt:

Boniface – baptizing, killed by bandits , burial crypt

Charles Martel:

Charles Martel Took over after weak leaders follower following Clovis He stopped the Muslims at the battle of Tours in 732 He started a line of rulers with his son Pepin

Charles Martel:

Charles Martel

Charles Martel:

Charles Martel


Pepin Pepin received a lot of territory, and helped the pope against the Lombards Pepin gave territory to the Pope, called the donation of Pepin, which became the papal states under pope Stephen II During this time, they spoke about the donation of Constantine, but later it was proven to be a forgery

Pepin the short crowned by Boniface:

Pepin the short crowned by Boniface


Summary Boniface believed that he needed the support of Rome and the government (Martel, etc.) to evangelize successfully


Charlemagne Pepin’s son Charlemagne, was a man of great size and ability as well as culture. He controlled all of France and Germany and northern Italy He offered to marry Irene, from the East, to solidify the empire, but she refused There was great cultural development and education




Charlemagne The Saxons opposed the church as well as the government. They were put down with great force, and then evangelized on multiple occasions. They would then kill some Christian priests or monks, and persecution would begin again. Over about 20 years, the Saxons were pacified

Charlemagne’s empire disintegrates:

Charlemagne’s empire disintegrates His son divided the empire to three sons, and the empire was divided at the Treaty of Verdun with Charles getting France, Louis getting Germany, and eventually Lothair receiving northern Italy. Feudalism arose as there was no strong central government

Ansgar – Apostle of the north; the statue is in Hamburg:

Ansgar – Apostle of the north; the statue is in Hamburg


Scandanavia Vikings the scourge of England and Europe England was attacked in 793-4 and 835 with great destruction 826 – King Harold, his wife and 400 from the court were baptized – hoped for military aid from the Franks


Anskar Born 1801 in France Went to a monastery age 5 Went to help Harold, but king was expelled along with Anskar three years after arriving King of Sweden asked him to come – en route his goods were stolen by pirates, but politically motivated conversions


Anskar Made bishop of Hamburg – had to flee from attacking Danes, and neighboring bishop refused to allow him refuge Resumed control of Hamburg and extended his influence. Emphasized fasting and prayer. After his death, the country reverted back to paganism until the tenth century

Cyril and Methodius (815-885):

Cyril and Methodius (815-885) Brothers raised in a Christian home. They were sent from Constantinople to Bulgaria. Both had been working together with the Khazars in Russia (Muslims). Cyril was an apologist. A number were apparently saved. Cyril, the younger brother, was brilliant and sent to discuss Christianity and defend it against Islam and Judaism

Cyril and Methodius (815-885):

Cyril and Methodius (815-885) Brothers sent from Constantinople to Bulgaria by Emperor Michael III in about 860 Methodius was an artist whose depiction of the last judgment led the king to accept Christ. They developed an alphabet (Cyrillic) and translated the scriptures in 863

Cyril and Methodius:

Cyril and Methodius The brothers wanted to have the liturgy in the Slavic language Cyril died quite young Methodius became bishop of Moravia and Pannonia, but there was a lot of controversy with the German bishops who wanted power, and to use Latin

Cyril and Methodius:

Cyril and Methodius

Cyril and Methodius writing & modern celebration :

Cyril and Methodius writing & modern celebration

Cyril and Methodius:

Cyril and Methodius After the death of Methodius, his replacement was deposed and his followers scattered, which actually drove the gospel further east. Bulgaria accepted the Orthodox faith of the east King Boris was baptized But the church struggled in Russia

Raymond Lull, missionary to Islam:

Raymond Lull, missionary to Islam Raymond Lull, initially a profligate (1232), saw two visions of Christ. He resigned his wife & family, leaving them adequate finances, and became a monk, and after another vision, he eventually learned Arabic & reached out to Muslims. He had a Saracen slave to learn Arabic, and almost killed him after the slave cursed Christ; the slave committed suicide after being jailed.

Raymond Lull, missionary to Islam:

Raymond Lull, missionary to Islam He was an apologist and wrote 60 books on theology He opened a monastery in Majorca, Spain for training evangelists with the help of King James II of Spain On his first missionary venture, he lost heart, and his goods were taken back off the ship, which sailed without him. He relented and went on the next ship

Raymond Lull, missionary to Islam:

Raymond Lull, missionary to Islam He also reached out to the Jews He repeatedly tried effective apologetic arguments at age 75, and went repeatedly back though jailed several times. He was aggressive but offensive – he would hold up the 10 commandments and show from their own books that Mohammed broke all of them

Raymond Lull, missionary to Islam:

Raymond Lull, missionary to Islam Finally he returned to Bugia , east of Algiers After 10 months hiding, he presented himself publicly no longer hiding, and was stoned to death in 1315 Apparently some of his philosophical ideas were not well accepted, but it is clear that he had a tremendous burden and love for the Muslims

Raymond Lull (or Llull):

Raymond Lull (or Llull )

Life of Raymond Lull:

Life of Raymond Lull

Las Casas:

Las Casas Lawyer, lives opulent life in Hispaniola, even after becoming a priest Joined the Dominicans while a priest in Cuba. Became aware of his responsibility, and became the voice for the Indians Las Casas defended the Indians (Mexico & south) from exploitation when Spain aggressively took over these areas.

Las Casas:

Las Casas Opposed by colonists & some of his own priests when age 70 he was appointed Bishop of Chiapa . He refused absolution of those who were abusing the Indians. But he was opposed by priests as well as owners, and resigned age 73

Portrait of Las Casas:

Portrait of Las Casas

Las Casas:

Las Casas After 3 years, he resigned but worked in Spain till about 90 years of age for betterment of the Indians. Emperor Charles V changed some laws to provide basic human rights for the Indians However, many Dominicans and Franciscans were involved in the Inquisition, so the compassion was limited


Jesuits Ignatius of Loyola formed the Jesuits - aggressive and well organized loyal to the pope. His best known follower was Francis Xavier. The Jesuits have been totally committed to the pope, and very aggressive – the end justifies the means Grew rapidly to 15,000 members

Ignatius of Loyola:

Ignatius of Loyola

Frances Xavier:

Frances Xavier One of original 6 inner circle of Jesuits Born 1506 of noble family. Originally interested in Paris in the Protestants, he came under the influence of Loyola. Made a vow of poverty and celibacy to promote the Catholic church Originally assigned India when another was sick

Frances Xavier:

Frances Xavier He started in Goa; disturbed by worldliness Started working with children He went to India, taught prayers and baptized them by the thousands He worked among poor pearl fisherman. Taught children to break idols and teach others prayers . However, what they understood was limited at best

Frances Xavier:

Frances Xavier Others replaced him as he went to the far east – Malacca Eventually went to Japan, having been encouraged by Anjiro , a Japanese man. He was hindered by Anjiro’s poor translations He left 100 converts. He arrived at a time that Japan was open, but had to leave after the Japanese minister, who had been favorable to the Catholics, was assassinated

Travels of Francis Xavier:

Travels of Francis Xavier

Frances Xavier:

Frances Xavier In 10 years, he planted missions in 52 kingdoms, traveled 9000 miles, and “baptized” 1,000,000 persons. Robert Glover states: we have an example of that strange and paradoxical combination of genuine love and devotion for Christ and holy passion for souls, along with doctrines wholly unsound and policies of work utterly unworthy….

St. Francis Xavier:

St. Francis Xavier

Francis Xavier followed byThe Visitor of the Catholic church, Valignano:

Francis Xavier followed by The Visitor of the Catholic church, Valignano Many local leaders were converted. They started a seminary to train Japanese pastors, and eventually they were consecrated by a bishop The Japanese Islands were consolidated under Hideyoshi in 1590. His children persecuted the foreigners – competition with the Franciscans, and also the arrival of English and Dutch

Catholicism eliminated:

Catholicism eliminated 1900 Japanese Christians were tortured and killed – usually by crucifixion, and 62 foreign missionaries. Often they tried to get apostacy by torturing till near death

Matthew Ricci:

Matthew Ricci Preceded by Friar John, who was protected by the Mongols ruling in China Born in 1522, brilliant student, pursued an excellent education Joined the Jesuits Initially went to Goa, then Macao, off China

Matteo Ricci – missionary to China:

Matteo Ricci – missionary to China

Matthew Ricci:

Matthew Ricci His expertise in mathematics, astronomy, en various gadgets and maps allowed him to influence the intellectuals. He and another Jesuit shaved their heads & dressed like Buddhist monks He learned to speak, and read and write in classic Chinese – made a dictionary of Chinese and Portuguese – lost, found in 1934 After his fellow was falsely accused of immorality, he adopted the garb of a Confucian scholar

Matthew Ricci:

Matthew Ricci He encouraged a syncretism with Confucianism, and adopted the Confucian scholar attire. He allowed ancestor worship though the Roman church opposed that practice. Some were apparently genuinely converted He studied and respected Confucian classics, and rejected that belief must begin on a tabula rasa (clean slate)… thus syncretism. He translated some Confucian classics Roberto de Nobile joined the Brahmins in India to do the same

Matthew Ricci:

Matthew Ricci He was eventually brought to Peking under the protection of the emperor. He had favor for his skill in repairing clocks and making maps. He saw about 2000 saved. He tried to permit as many Chinese customs as possible There was great conflict between the Jesuits (contextualizing) and Dominicans and Franciscans Some were genuinely saved, and the church grew over the next 200 years – 100 fold

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