*Below is Pastor Andrew’s teaching outline from Sunday evening’s church history study, not a word for word manuscript. This is meant as aid in seeing the thought and direction of the lesson.


-Frankish Kings were subject to the leadership of their prime Ministers and Nobility

-Primary Family- the Carolingians: lead by Pepin of Laudon beginning in the 7th century

-Under Charles Martel (Who stopped the Islamic invasion) a new focus was to gain more power for the family through papal allegiances

-Endeavored to increase their power not through direct military affairs but through missions.

English Missionaries supported in modern day Netherlands and Germany.

-Successfully oversaw the conversion of much of central Europe to the faith.

Boniface was a singularly popular missionary who throughout his time in Germany established a series of Monasteries that would in time become centers for theological studies and religious art, specifically Fulda in Central Germany.  He would be named Missionary Archbishop and in time be given the role of overseeing the church in Germany.

-He dies a martyr’s death at the hands of a pagan King. For his efforts He would be named by the church as the “Apostle to the Germans”

-During his life He was appointed to help reform the Frankish church. He would eventually crown Pepin (son of Charles Martel) King of the Franks deposing the final king of the Merovingians at the command of Pope Zacharias. (the first time this would occur)

-Pepin formed a new Military allegiance with the Pope. Attacking and expelling the Lombard’s from Italy finally in 756 and granted their lands to the Pope. then called the Papal States.

-This donation created a new military and religious alliance that the western church had not experienced as the East had with Constantinople, it also gave the Popes a secular rulership again, creating a conflict of interest between their duties as theologian and ruler, often focusing more on the later.

-Along with the Donation of Pepin a new Document referred to as “the Donation of Constantine” began to circulate states that Pope Sylvester cured Constantine of leprosy and as such proved that the Pope was superior to the Emperor in all things. (The letter was a forgery and there is not historical record of the event, however it was used for over 500 years a tool for the Popes to yield power against kings and princes in the West.)

In 768 Pepin died leaving the Throne to His sons. Charles and Carloman, within 3 years Carloman would die leaving Charles the sole ruler.  he would reign for 43 years and be one of the greatest emperors in European history. Earning the name Charlemagne or Charles the Great

-He would bring all of Germany into the faith, creating a new powerful empire. This time which featured Christianity as the driving faith. (in some instances, taking on a much more barbaric approach killing those who refused to convert.)

-He was devoted to the faith, though had many serious sinful passions as well. Faithfully attended church, studied the scriptures and theology. Had five wives and numerous concubines.

-He was crowned by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day 800 as the Emperor of the Romans. Thus, creating a New Holy Roman Empire. He was Heir to the Roman throne not the Frankish one. This would create a new ruling state one though that the Pope sought to control and with this moment he was seen as having gifted the throne.




-Liturgies and Homilies’ Developed as the west became less academic in the priesthood. Homilies written by other bishops or popular theologians became the standard of worship each week. Especially those written by British priest the Venerable Bede.

The Venerable Bede

-Communion became the central aspect of worship, Psalms and chants based on the scriptures were performed each week.

-The church slowly developed a unified liturgy over time, eventually during the unification of Charlemagne all churches began to use the same liturgy and homily week to week. F

-Worship tool on the new term “mass” during this time. from the closing line: “ite, missa, est”-Go, the congregation is dismissed.

-During this time communion became rarer among the laity. Being mostly observed only by the Priesthood.

-The church required though to receive it 3 times a year: Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas. eventually being reduced to only Easter.

-This was not originally out of a rejection of the people

-This came about through the increased reverence for the table itself. (not transubstantiation or any other view)

-The table was so fenced it became nearly impossible for anyone to be worthy of partaking, this originally began as a means of separating those who were truly Christian form those who were merely cultural converts.

-The church itself also began to observe a time of daily worship known as low mass. Where people were free to pray while the Priest observed the liturgy in a low voice.


Theology & Controversy

2 Major Controversies in the East:

The Predestination Controversy (847-868)

Key Figures:

-Gottschalk- Child of a Nobel Saxon family trained in Fulda and forced to join the Monastery when he came of age. A Strict Augustinian.

-Rabanus- The Abbot of Fulda who turned it into a pinnacle of art theology and culture in Germany. A man of great learning who challenged Gottschalk to think bigger and grow in His studies. Eventually sending Him to Orbais in France to continue his training towards ordination.


-After joining the Priesthood Gottschalk began teaching the Augustinian doctrines of Sin, Grace & Predestination with passion and fervency. He was filled with an urgency to proclaim these doctrinal truths to all and challenged the hierarchy who disagreed with him. (A bit Cage Stagy)

-This brought him into conflict with Rabanus, who wrote extensively against him. Gott. Declared Rabanus a Semi-Pelagian and charged him with teaching heresy.

-A Council was called in Mainz (848) where Gott. was to defend his teachings, though asserting 2 key distinction not found in Augustine, but implied)

  1. He argued for a limited atonement view of Christ death
  2. Both life and death are the active choice of God on humanity (Reprobate predestination)

-His views were seen as novelties and rejected as heresy, for they strayed from Augustine.

-He was given over to the Archbishop of the Region: Hincmar of Rheims, who had Gotts. works burned and him flogged till near death, then locked in a monastery for the remainder of His life.

-While the East tended not to Physically assault Heretics (they preferred to write and mock them openly, even writing hymns about them) The west became during this period more brutal in their treatment of dissidents.

-Gott. Continued to write while imprisoned, declaring the truths he found to be clearly displayed in Scripture and Declaring Hincmar and Rabanus as having fallen into error, siding with Pelagius over the true church.

-Many Bishops came to the defense of Gotts. And because of this controversy many great theological texts were written especially in Lyon preserving the legacy of Augustine and Defending his theology for both good and ill.

-A Compromised was reached in 860 in Toucy where Hincur’s prevailed as the main author overseeing the council, and with the authority of Charles the Bald King of the Franks.

-This controversy never reached the papacy and would remain a struggle in the French and German regions. Augustinian t

The Eucharist Controversy (844)


Radbertus- was a devote Abbot at Corbie and head of the theological school

Ratramnus of Corbie-Monk at Corbie, but special counsel to King Charles the Bald


What is the Nature of Christ and Holy Communion? Up until the 9th century there had been little fleshed out about the nature of the bread and wine. It was interchangeable called the body and blood of Christ, but to what degree it was physically such was in debate in the west.

-It was often referred to as even in the physical form spiritual in nature. Causing confusion. To one degree there was a desire to leave the mystery, and on the other there was a drive to understand. Ambrose in Milan heavy argued for a physical manifestation of Christ in the table, while Augustine argued against him siding with a spiritual nourishment that comes from his spiritual presence in the elements.

In 844 Radbertus wrote his treaties “Concerning the body and blood of the Lord” as a means to lay out the true nature of Christ physical body in the supper.

-He argued that the elements were physically changed into the body and blood of Christ at the table. They elements only appeared to exist, while in actuality it was Christ Body and Blood consumed.

-He argued that during the eucharist the physical body and blood consumed would cleanse believers of their sins a fresh.

-He did place a caveat that for those who did not believe in the truth of Christ the body and blood world serve them no good and would remain as such.

-Hincmar was one of his strongest supporters of this time

Scholars quickly refuted his notions and began to oppose his view of the body and blood being physically present.

-At the request of the King Ratramnus wrote a rebuttal entitled “Concerning Christ’s Body and Blood”

-In this text he argued that there were no physical changes to the elements, but rather through the Holy Spirit believers were strengthened and encouraged by partaking of the elements and would mysteriously experience the body and blood of Christ.

Both views continued to be argued for the next 300 years, Radbertus’ view would eventually prevail in Western Catholicism, while Ratramnus’ view would resurface in the Reformation.





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