The Middle Ages were dubbed the ‘Dark Ages’ almost before they had begun to draw to a close. Ever since then, they have continued to be seen as a time of hardship and oppression, full of popes and crusades. In the second volume of 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power, another side of the Middle Ages shines through though: The continual workings of Christ as He built His kingdom through figures such as Thomas a Kempis and John Wycliffe, who lived and struggled during these centuries. This was far from a period of stagnation; rather it was the fire from which the Reformation was kindled.
“One serious problem is that no biography of Muhammad was written until roughly 150 years after Muhammad’s death” (Page 17)
“In the first 600 years after Jesus’s death and resurrection, Christianity had set up its victorious banners across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, creating ‘Christendom’. (Christendom means ‘the Christian domain’—a group of nations and territories which, despite political and cultural differences, were united by the fact that Christianity was the public faith in each of them.)1 However, in the 7th century, Christendom suddenly found its most ancient lands being conquered, and its civilisation supplanted, by the fresh, dynamic, and militant religion of Muhammad. Some historians have argued that this marked the true beginning of the Middle Ages.” (Page 15)
“Thomas Aquinas, along with Augustine of Hippo and John Calvin, is one of the three master theologians of the Western Church, in terms of the intellectual depth and breadth of his thought and its long-lasting historic impact.” (Page 294)
“The popes used the disintegration of the Holy Roman Empire to reassert their own supreme authority over Church affairs: papalism striking back against imperialism. Yet they found that the disappearance of their greatest rival, a powerful Holy Roman Emperor, also meant the loss of their greatest ally. Without an effective Emperor to protect them, the popes fell increasingly under the control of the Roman nobility, and simply became political pawns in the conflicts of different aristocratic factions. By the time of Pope Sergius III (904–11), the papacy had become hopelessly corrupt, incapable of offering any independent moral, spiritual or theological leadership to the Western Church.” (Page 78)