He is merciful, and he commands us to be merciful Luke He is truthful, and he commands us not to bear false witness Titus ; Exodus One of the purposes of the Bible is to teach us how to live a life that is pleasing to God Col. Because it is the Word of God, the Bible is a higher authority in ethics than tradition, reason, experience, expected results, or subjective perceptions of guidance. While these other factors can never override the teaching of Scripture, they can still be helpful for us in making a wise decision.
Some Christian speakers today downplay or omit any call for unbelievers to repent of their sins, but evangelism in the New Testament clearly included a call to repentance. I do not believe that widespread revival will come to any nation apart from widespread, heartfelt repentance for sin. Although we are justified by faith in Christ alone and not by works, extensive New Testament teachings about living the Christian life show that our day-by-day obedience as justified Christians is an important part of the Christian life.
Understanding obedience correctly requires that we avoid the opposite errors of legalism and antinomianism. God intended that obedience to him would not be burdensome 1 John but would bring us great joy. It is not too popular to talk about sin today, but it is a huge topic in the Bible. This means that the topic of sin is mentioned in one way or another, on average, nearly two times per page through the entire New Testament.
We would neglect such an important topic at our peril. It provides a new generation of believers who are equipped to be ambassadors for Christ in all disciplines. In Matt. How can the teacher be a light for Christ in the public school classroom, where God has been removed? How does the doctor show the love of Christ to their terminally ill patient? How can the social worker help the abused child to come to a place of healing and forgiveness that we know Christ can provide?
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not either; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. God provides this promise to the individual who avoids saturation in ungodly influences and learns to delight in His word. A Christian education integrates faith and learning. Having had the privilege of receiving a Christian college education, I personally experienced the value of integration of faith and learning.
My mentor professors were personally invested in not only my development as a student in the subject matter of my studies, but also in the development of my relationship with Jesus Christ. They held me accountable and provided a rigorous education that gave me both knowledge and wisdom as I embarked on my career path as an educator. This network of believers continued to influence my path for many years after college and has made an impact on my life for which I will forever be grateful.
Cosper, M. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books. Ostrander, R. Then each quickly expanded to include women and broader curricula. Throughout the years and for various reasons, these schools abandoned their denominational roots. With an emphasis on teaching general knowledge, in contrast to a vocational, technical or professional curriculum, a liberal arts education historically has included study in literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and science. I believe that non-believers who seek a liberal arts education at a Baptist college, in the process, should be introduced to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Christian educators should focus on teaching students to identify and express a life long commitment to the convictions of a Christian worldview. We should help them recognize the agenda of the secular worldview and how a biblical worldview can and should be lived personally and at work. A foundational position for any Christian institution is that a personal relationship with Christ is relevant in our world.
The institution must provide an atmosphere where students see this in the lives of the administrators, faculty, and staff, and are provided opportunities to hear this taught in their classrooms.
1. Christian ethics teaches us how to live.
Students should be given the tools to see the correlation between what they know to be true in their hearts and how this is applied in their relationships and workplace. Not simply a matter of teaching well a history or science class, a liberal arts education in a Christian environment should demonstrate the impact Christianity has had in history, for example, and how God is the Author of all science. The distinct calling as an institution of Christian learning is to be true to the subject matter and to show relationships that our Christian beliefs have such content.
It cannot be that we teach content and then we are Christian, but rather we teach how our faith integrates with the subject being taught. Christian education can help a student know what to think, but it should also guide a student in how to think. Christian education can train the mind of a student, but it should also help the student in applying the mind. Even with all the challenges of growing a Baptist college, we should realize the potential of a quality Christian education as a significant means for training both the heart and mind of a student for the sake of Christ:.
The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. A covenant relationship must exist between the home, church, and college.
A covenant relationship also exists between the college and our Louisiana Baptist Convention, which operates under the umbrella of trust and mutual cooperation. What is done through our Cooperative Program is the tangible extension of our faith when put into action.
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We must partner with our churches in training of students to obey the Great Commission. Is it important that your students be taught from a biblical perspective? Is it important that your students be equipped and discipled in the Christian faith? Is it important that your students be prepared to defend their faith and to function in a diverse world?
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The result of what we do will not only be in the confirming of degrees, but in the changing of lives and thus impacting our world for Jesus Christ. Louisiana College is striving to be the place where Christian values not only matter but are taught and lived faithfully. Our goal is to provide students with opportunities to be academically prepared, stronger in the faith, and better equipped as servant leaders in order to make a positive impact for Christ in our world.
Valuing Christian education will result in more academically prepared students and spiritually mature believers. Now is the time to decide and do what you know in your heart to be wise and true—choose a Christian education for your students. In our culture today, in our media, politics, economy, and human relationships, the need has never been greater for dedicated discipleship and energetic ministry.
A troubled world cries out for Jesus Christ. Near and far, people are hungry for the answers only Christianity can provide. To bring the right nourishment and genuine healing, no finer preparation can come from a Christian liberal arts education. From this firm foundation the most relevant discoveries about His greatest creation, humanity, and the wonders of the entire universe can come to light. Christian faith and expansive learning are the two best antidotes to the narrow-minded relativism so prevalent today.
The liberal arts means that one studies the Bible, history, grammar, science, social science, mathematics, foreign languages, literature, and rhetoric. In the first two years of a college education, where general education is central, all students walk on the same path forward. Instructors teach the Bible and introduce key concepts from the humanities, sciences, and languages. From the great classics of the Ancients to the best of the modern era, a student will be exposed to all that God has done. The final two years allow a student to concentrate on a major and decide on a career path.
The result is a person with a depth of learning and insight not found anywhere else. A person commits to a Christian education with the expectation of gaining knowledge and skills not available at a secular school. In each of the classes of a liberal arts college, the instructor adds value to the character and abilities of anyone who embraces the process. Along with rigorous classes, a good Christian college provides many worship experiences and great mission opportunities.
The best way to fulfill the great commission in the Bible is to increase the number of students entering places of Christian higher education. Without a strong commitment to this route and all that it will take to sustain an endeavor of this magnitude, the cause of Christ in this state and nation may dim and become lukewarm. The Bible is replete with leaders who espoused brilliant faith and a warm devotion to knowledge. These two leaders prepared communities of believers for the trials and triumphs of a Christian life. So, too, our society today requires Godly men and Godly women who can use critical thinking, express themselves with excellent writing and communication skills, and who are not afraid to navigate the pitfalls of a more complicated, and indeed, more expansive information age.
Problems today call for well-thought-out, nuanced responses rather than quick and simple reactions. No dollar amount can be placed on someone who possesses the patient attributes of an intellectual who loves the Lord and their neighbor. He valued expansive learning and carried a deep faith right into the public square. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. He attained a B. At the time, the university bustled with scholarly activity as a hub of the European intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment.
The education Rush received after several years of intensive studies represented the finest available in the English speaking world. Rush returned to America and established a medical practice in Philadelphia, which was at the time a thriving port city later selected as the first capital city of the new United States.
Over his lifetime, Rush thought and wrote on a wide range of topics. He became an early advocate for the abolition of slavery which he approached from a Christian standpoint similar to Evangelicals in England and elsewhere. He advocated temperance from a moral and scientific position when alcohol remained a ubiquitous blight on society.
He made improvements in medical practice, helped found a college in Pennsylvania, and trained thousands of medical students. His political career encompassed the late colonial period, Revolutionary War, and days of the Early Republic. Rush signed the Declaration of Independence and supported the adoption of the U. He became friends with George Washington, John Adams, and nearly all other luminaries of the era.
Rush built a reputation that placed him at the forefront of national affairs. At the asking of President Thomas Jefferson, he schooled Meriwether Lewis in medicine and packed for him a first-aid kit. Lewis and Clark made their arduous journey traversing the North American continent with provisions selected by the finest physician in the country. Rush conversed with Christians of all denominations and worked with them on improvement projects that bettered all mankind. In big and small ways, Rush provided an early model of the great benefit of what happens when a person embraces Christianity and life-long learning.
There at the beginning of our national history, Rush provided an exemplary model of what could be accomplished when faith and learning are woven together. This one example illustrates how the value of a Christian liberal arts education can lift up an entire country. To be introduced and educated in the knowledge of the ages allows a person today to step forward with confidence and to carry into the world time-tested solutions. The graduate of a college where Christianity and liberal arts thrive can achieve a well-rounded education and this person becomes a strong member of the Church they attend.
They also become a sought-after employee and a trusted community member. Both prayer and thought drive this individual forward on a daily basis. These individuals become indispensable in the Christian cause. They possess a rigorous education following years and years of unrelenting preparation and a love of Christ that is even stronger. These men and women become leaders who organize, direct, and by example inspire others to worship and praise Jesus Christ.
As a professor in the Humanities Division of Louisiana College, I confess that a haunting apprehension occasionally tugs at the sleeve of my consciousness. Is such an education really worth all the effort and expense? How does a history course on civilization advance the understanding of a student preparing to split atoms, sue a neighbor, buy a yacht, manage a business, or do open-heart surgery? What benefit comes from insisting that an economically-strapped student from Bunkie or Baton learn some foreign language or another, or learn about Poe, Milton, Charlemagne, Oppenheimer, Napoleon, Einstein, Bach, Rembrandt, Plato, Aristotle, or Augustine?
Why would anyone who has Wikipedia at the touch of a finger need to have any course that teaches material unrelated to the chosen major? Such questions need answers, of course, and having pondered and fielded such inquiries for several decades, I offer several observations that may persuade people that retaining the liberal arts approach to higher education is crucial. Current trends often lean confidently toward simplistic, easy answers and self-centered attitudes. The attitude goes like this: If the subject cannot be quickly understood and the relevance readily discerned, it will be readily dismissed.
Those who insist on a slow and deliberate pace through the traditional trivium and quadtrivium — the foundation upon which liberal arts colleges build — find themselves out of step with the spirit of the age. These current leanings away from the traditional curriculum need examining, but that discussion is for another time. Christian teaching insists that in the light of Scripture our thinking is transformed, for it reveals the mind of Christ.
A properly taught liberal arts education liberates us from the bondage of ignorance and willful distortion of or indifference to truth. Those who create art — artists — draw upon experiences in creation, and using their imagination and the materials of their respective disciplines, represent, interpret, and re-create aspects of the world and their understanding of it. To do so, they must think and reflect on the nature of the experience, event, or object being represented.
When they do, they reflect the image of God, for they imitate his creativity. It does not suffice to apply this idea to only those known formally as artists, however. In fact, informally speaking, one who builds house or a business model based on Christian principles, a scientist who invents a new way of exploring and analyzing biological relationships, a chemist who develops a new drug to combat cancer, the writer who paints with words, and the musician who plays with consummate skill and passion — all who make and do things worthy and useful are artists glorifying God through their work.
Armed with this definition of liberal arts, we can then move to consider in greater detail the relevance of a Christian liberal arts education. While credit belongs to the ancient Greco-Roman models of rhetorical schools that trained young men to think, speak, and act in various civic roles — lawyers, civil leaders, statesmen, and teachers, for example — the added dimension that Christians bring to the tradition sinks deep roots into the desire to glorify God and serve others through a pursuit and application of truth.
To do so requires competent teaching, training, and mentoring. God, as the creator of the universe and humanity, has forged an enduring relationship between the creature made in his likeness and the creation. Being human, then, is not only to understand the creator but also to understand the creation. And since humanity and its history — its ways and days — are part of creation, we ought to recognize their significance for coming to a full-orbed, biblical understanding.
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Discipline involved strict reform and the establishment of the seminary system for the proper and uniform training of priests. The office of indulgence seller was abolished, and doctrine on indulgences was clarified. A Bishop was allowed only one diocese and residence was required, begun by the reformer St. Charles Borromeo of Milan. Catholic Missionaries accompanied the explorers on their journeys, such as Christopher Columbus in , the Portuguese Vasco da Gama to Goa, India in , and Ferdinand Magellan to the Philippines in Francis Xavier exemplified the missionary movement, and has been recognized as second only to the Apostle Paul in his evangelical efforts.
The patron saint of missionaries, Francis Xavier sailed from Lisbon, Portugal and landed in Goa in His humble way had great impact on the local people, and he trained the young in the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer. He was soon reported to have baptized 10, a month. He then headed to Cape Comorin, the southern tip of India, where he made many conversions of the fishermen there. Andres de Urdaneta and the Augustinian monks sailed to Cebu, Philippines in He was a self-sacrificing man dedicated to protecting the natives, and received the name Motolinia for his life of poverty.
He recorded in his book History of the Indians of New Spain the dramatic conversions following the appearances of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Dominican Bartholomew de Las Casas first went to the West Indies in as a soldier, but on viewing the horrendous enslavement of the native Indians through the Spanish encomienda system, was ordained as a Dominican priest in , the first ordination in America.
In his role as human rights advocate for the Indians, he is considered an early pioneer of social justice. Missionary efforts would continue to the New World for years to come. The history of the English Bible is intimately intertwined with the history of the Reformation. He served until his death in , when he was succeeded by his son, Charles I.
It was a time when the English language reached its greatest expression in the works of William Shakespeare and the King James Bible. King James as head of the Church of England commissioned a group of bishops and scholars to establish an authoritative translation of the Bible from the original languages into English in There were several English versions available, either as translations of the Latin Vulgate or from the Greek-Latin parallel New Testament of Erasmus; the ones that follow influenced the King James scholars.
John Wycliffe produced a hand-written English translation of the Latin Vulgate in His colleague, Miles Coverdale, completed Tyndale's work, which formed the basis for the Great Bible , the first authorized Bible in English, which was placed in every church in England. When the Catholic Queen Mary came to the throne in , further work had to be done on the European continent, and the Geneva Bible, the first to have numbered verses, was published in The King James Bible originally included the Apocrypha but in a separate section.
A literary masterpiece of the English language, the King James Bible is still in use today. Christopher Columbus reached America in the Bahamas on October 12, Following the discovery of Florida by Ponce de Leon in , St. Augustine, Florida became the first permanent European settlement in North America in , from which missionaries spread Catholicism to the Native American Indians.
Augustine, Florida. Spanish explorations extended as far as Santa Fe, New Mexico, established in A wave of explorations to the New World continued. Samuel de Champlain explored the St. Christianity continued to thrive in the New World as our young Nation developed. Four of the original 13 English colonies were specifically chartered for religious freedom, as a refuge from religious persecution in England at the time.
The settlers soon enacted the Toleration Act of Maryland and founded St. Mary's Chapel in St. Mary's City, Maryland. William Penn and the Quakers settled in in Pennsylvania. The Mennonites also moved to Pennsylvania in at the invitation of William Penn.
The universal toleration offered in Pennsylvania continued to attract groups such as the Amish, Moravian Pietists, and Presbyterians. The period from through the eighteenth century was known as the Age of Enlightenment in Europe. The time had come when men would set aside religious views and look to reason and social experience to guide society.
It was the loss of Christian unity that led to the secularization of Western culture. Whereas Christendom provided one message to European society, the pluralism of religions provided different answers to questions about life and led to skepticism and conflict rather than unanimous thought. Discoveries in science had much to do with the Age of Enlightenment.
HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS OF CHRISTIANITY
Copernicus proposed the sun is the center of the solar system and the earth revolved around the sun. Galileo Galilei , the first to use a telescope, confirmed that Copernicus was right and was condemned by the Catholic Church. Scientists such as Isaac Newton in physics and Robert Boyle in chemistry were pioneers and gave birth to technology, the application of science to practical problems, which led to the Industrial Revolution. Progress based on science and technology became a major goal of Western Society.
Mankind was left without its mooring, and philosophers set out in different directions to provide meaning for humanity. The critical Rationalism of Rene Descartes applied to philosophy the mathematical method so effective in science, that everything was questionable until it could be proved beyond all doubt.
Blaise Pascal took a different stance and presented Pascal's Wager: it is better to live a good life, for if there is a God, you will end up with Him in Heaven; but if you have lived a bad life and there is a God, you are doomed! John Locke applied reason to confirm revelation. The political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu of France proposed that the best form of government would incorporate a separation of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial branches and would be based on the natural law.
David Hume proposed a science of man, and is considered a pioneer in the social sciences. But Jean-Jacques Rousseau , considered the father of Romanticism, took an opposite approach and spoke of the noble savage, that man was happy only in his original native state, before government, laws, and politics chained mankind. It was the German philosopher Immanuel Kant that defined the era: "Have courage to use your own reason - that is the motto of Enlightenment.
Unfortunately, the Age of Enlightenment ignored love, emotion, spirituality and concern for one's fellow man. It forgot that man is wounded by original and personal sin, and his reason is colored by desire and selfishness. In fact, the Age of Enlightenment brought the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror , Naziism, Communism, and the twentieth century, with its two World Wars, the bloodiest century in history. Intellectual dryness and doctrinal religions prevalent during the Enlightenment Era led to a spiritual revival throughout Western Christian civilization, as seen with Pietism in Germany, Methodism in England and America, and the Great Awakening in the United States.
Philipp Jakob Spener of Germany wrote Pia Desideria in and spoke of a theology of the heart , placing emphasis on inner devotion and Christian living, and inspired the Pietist movement. Pietism especially influenced Nikolaus von Zinzendorf and the Moravian Church. John Wesley and his brother Charles provided light for Christianity during the Enlightenment. John Wesley, noted for his moving sermons, and his brother Charles, a poetic genius and hymn writer, began the Methodist movement in England, and set forth an evangelical revival throughout the British Isles, North America, and the world.
The two brothers were raised in the Anglican Church. Because of their strict method of living, they were soon called the Methodists. John Wesley experienced a heartwarming conversion experience at Aldersgate Street in London in He preached in the English countryside to the poor, and sparked a religious revival throughout England. He assured the people that all could be saved by experiencing God and opening their hearts to his grace. George Whitefield made seven trips to America beginning in and was one of the most powerful evangelists ever.
He, along with others, kindled a spiritual revival throughout the thirteen colonies known as the Great Awakening. The Great Awakening was the first national experience in America and did much to unite the American colonies. Revival during the Enlightenment Era fulfilled the human need for spiritual experience through Jesus Christ. The independence movement in the American colonies sparked an outcry for freedom of religion, such that Christianity flourished in the newly-formed United States of America.
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Every taxable resident was required to support the state established Church, no matter what their faith! This caused dissension in the Colonies such as in Maryland and Virginia, where Catholics in Maryland and Presbyterians and Baptists in Virginia objected to the unfair Anglican clergy tax. Of those states with established Churches, Maryland became the first state to disestablish church and state following the Declaration of Independence. The Bill of Rights allowed the free exercise of religion and proliferation of Christian denominations during rapid westward expansion in America.
Constitution and cousin of Charles Carroll, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, became the first Catholic Bishop of Baltimore, a diocese which served the entire United States. Two days after Thomas Jefferson wrote his highly quoted but out-of-context expression "wall of separation between Church and State" to the Danbury Baptists, he appeared on January 3, in the House of Representatives to hear the Baptist preacher John Leland lead an evangelical service on public property.
Separation of Church and State did not preclude a vibrant public square. Recognizing the need to instill morals and values in our children, Bible reading and prayer continued in our public schools for years! Conversions by Evangelical Protestants and other Christian faiths provided the moral fabric for the new American nation after the Revolutionary War. The Methodist movement proved most successful in North America. Methodist circuit-riders were effective missionaries in spreading the Christian faith from the South to settlers in the mid-West.
It was left to the unlikely figure of President Abraham Lincoln to recognize the Christian culture of our Nation. In his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, , he remarked near the close of the Civil War: "Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. He appealed for "malice toward none, with charity for all … to bind the nation's wounds.
An conservative Supreme Court that respected the free exercise of religion and our Christian heritage declared in Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States that "This is a Christian Nation. The American Declaration of Independence of July 4, read all men are created equal, but slavery persisted. How could the Revolutionary War be fought for freedom without granting freedom to all?
The American Civil War reflected the Christian heritage of our Nation, for the moral issue of slavery troubled the hearts of Americans from our very beginning. The non-violent religious movement of the s and s emerged as the civil rights movement in the USA, which finally afforded racial equality for African-Americans, one hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation! The crusade arose within Negro Churches, the center of their life.
African-Americans had begun to receive recognition in the fields of art, music, and sports. The arrest in Montgomery, Alabama of Rosa Parks , who was detained on December 1, for refusing to move to the back of the bus for a white person, sparked the drive for civil rights. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. The boycott lasted days until a Supreme Court decision ended segregation on city buses. Reverend King then organized 60 pastors into the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to foster civil rights. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas distinguished between just and unjust laws.
Non-violent civil disobedience , advocated by John Locke, Henry David Thoreau, and Mahatma Gandhi, was employed by civil rights leaders against oppressive and unjust civil laws. In general, one is obligated to obey civil laws that are just Matthew , Romans , but first one must obey God rather than man Acts in the event of unjust laws, such as Pharaoh's daughter v. King Nebuchadnezzar Daniel ; the Maji v. King Herod Matthew ; and Peter and the Apostles v. Law itself is not meant for the righteous I Timothy The early Christians refused to obey the Romans and suffered martyrdom rather than worship the Emperor.
President John F. Kennedy announced on nationwide television on June 11, that he would submit Civil Rights legislation the following week. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all. He urged non-violent protest to turn the tide in favor of racial equality.
The March on Washington, D. Martin Luther King Jr. Twentieth-century writers during the World Wars such as T. Eliot, Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Merton, and Dorothy Day catalogued the spiritual bankruptcy of the twentieth century and called for spiritual renewal. John XXIII was welcomed with open arms by all of Christianity, for the Pope called not only for an intense spiritual cultivation of the modern world, but also sought Christian unity.
His opening speech convening the Second Vatican Council on October 11, referred to Jesus in the Gospel of John : "The Catholic Church, therefore, considers it her duty to work actively so that there may be fulfilled the great mystery of that unity, which Jesus Christ invoked with fervent prayer from His heavenly Father on the eve of His sacrifice.
The Second Vatican Council literally "reset the course" for the Catholic Church, a Church which had been described by some as a fortress Church embattled during the Enlightenment and the Modernist era. To coin the expression of Hans Urs von Balthazar in , the time had come to raze the bastions of the Church. It was time for the aggiornamento of Pope John XXIII, the "opening of the window" of the Church to the outside world, "a translation of the Christian message into an intellectual language understandable by the modern world.
The spirit of ecumenism and the change of heart towards all Christian brethren was truly a gift of the Holy Spirit. Lumen Gentium declared "the one Church of Jesus Christ subsists in the Catholic Church, although many elements of sanctification and truth exist outside its visible structure, elements which impel toward catholic unity. The role of the laity to order temporal affairs to the plan of God was emphasized. Alan Schreck of Franciscan University offered 3 keys to Gaudium et Spes: a the root of the world's problems is found in the human heart.
Vatican II led to the creation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church , first published in and updated in A playwright, actor, and poet, he was born May 18, in Wadowice, Poland. In he enrolled in the school of drama at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, where he played goalie on the college soccer team. He entered an underground seminary in during the Nazi Regime, and was ordained a priest in after Poland fell under Communism.
Oppression by the Nazis and Communists forged his dedication to freedom and human rights. He earned a doctorate in theology in and a doctorate in philosopy in His first book was Love and Responsibility , on love and sexual morality, published in His highly successful play on love, The Jeweler's Shop , was published in and subsequently translated into 22 languages, and was made into a movie in Karol Wojtyla became Bishop of Krakow, Poland in He then became Archbishop of Krakow in and Cardinal in Following the day papacy of John Paul I, the Conclave of Cardinals elected the bright, personable, and vigorous Wojtyla the th Pope on October 16, The man lived his philosophy, that man is a relational being.
The world was his parish, as the loving and outgoing Pope made an unprecedented papal trips abroad. During his three pilgrimages to Poland, his repeated call for freedom and spiritual renewal was the turning-point that ultimately led to the non-violent collapse of Communism, symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, The world was moved when he forgave and visited the man who seriously wounded him in St.
Peter's Square on May 13, Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral on May 29, He became a symbol of hope to the young with his inauguration of International World Youth Day in As expressed in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope , his belief in Jesus Christ as the hope for man in the Third Millennium was an inspiration for all. On January 13, , he opposed the imminent pre-emptive strike against Iraq, stating war "is always a defeat for humanity. His first encyclical, The Redeemer of Man , called the Church a "community of disciples" who follow Jesus Christ, "the center of the universe and of history.
He commemorated Saints Cyril and Methodius in The Apostles to the Slavs in to encourage his fellow countryman during communist oppression. The Pope called for social justice in three encyclicals, On Human Work , On Social Concerns , and On the One Hundredth Year of Rerum Novarum , in which he emphasized the dignity of the individual, in the face of man being unjustly treated as a unit of production in a socialistic utilitarian world. He renewed commitment to the missionary role of the Church in Mission of the Redeemer in He appreciated man's thirst for truth, as noted in his encyclical The Splendor of Truth , published in One of his favorite Scriptural quotes was John You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Perhaps his most important was the widely read encyclical The Gospel of Life , published in , in which he defended the sanctity of life and described the culture of death - the evil of abortion and euthanasia. In addition to pointing out those areas of study necessary for a true consensus of faith, he addressed the common bonds of unity in faith among all Christians: Jesus Christ our Savior, Son of God the Father, who sent the Holy Spirit; Baptism; the New Testament of the Bible; and prayer, especially the Lord's Prayer.
He emphasized the relation of Faith and Reason in an encyclical of the same name in His fourteenth and final encyclical On The Eucharist in its Relationship to the Church was released in His weekly general audiences in St. Peter's Square led to his book on the Theology of the Body in He established Divine Mercy Sunday, which recognized the devotion of St. Pope John Paul II was truly the moral and spiritual leader of the entire world, as one can appreciate by the worldwide outpouring of love on his death April 2, John Paul II will be remembered for his emphasis on Christ and man, that the Gospel provides direction and supports the dignity of the human person.
For "the truth is that only in the mystery of Christ the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light.
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