Church History in Four Minutes

[HT: Rick Floyd].

Looking for something a little longer? Then check out the brilliant new study, Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, by Diarmaid MacCulloch. It’s set to become the text in its field, and at 1184 pages (!) it will be keeping me busy for some weeks/months.

BTW: Don’t forget to enter the Who said it? competition.

UpdateJanet, the producer of the aforementioned video, has recently posted the words to her flick:

Pentecost, Palestine, barbarians, Paul gets a sign
Neglected widows, martyred Stephen, Gentile vs. Jew
New Testament, getting tribal, Gnostic gospels, Holy Bible
Jamnia, Revelation, word of God is true
Martyrs, Diocletian, Polycarp, Domitian
Church learns, Nero burns, Christians underground
Chi-Rho, basilica, Vita Evangelica
Nicea, Who was Jesus, Christians start to rebound

CHORUS: We didn’t start the fire
It’s been always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
Though we didn’t light it
And we cannot fight it

St. Patrick, Monastery, Visigoths are pretty scary
Pope Leo, St. Jerome, forgetting how to read
Mohammed writes the Koran, Convert or die to Islam
Hard to cope, Where’s the Pope, the Venerable Bede
Dark ages, knights and pages, east and west will split in stages
Monks’ skulls, cathedrals, Charlemagne starts to reign,
Methodias, Constantinople, Peasants, clergy, serfs and nobles
Augustine, Irene, everything goes Byzantine

CHORUS: We didn’t start the fire …

Cluny, bubonic plague, Vikings, Saracens invade
William conquers, priests and monks, and Jerusalem gets sacked
Flying buttress, St. Clare, celibacy, worship Mary
Knights Templar, stained glass, Sultan Saladin gets whacked
Mendicants, Avignon, Albertus Magnus, Genghis Khan
Aquinas, Maimonides, Gentle Francis of Assisi
Summa bono , Faith and reason, say God bless you when you’re sneezin’
Just War, Crusades galore, but who are we fighting for?

CHORUS: We didn’t start the fire …

Competing popes, not much hope, Joan of Arc makes her mark
John Wycliff, Thomas Kempis, Canterbury Tales
Michelangelo, Siena, Leonardo and Vienna
Reformation, printing press, Guttenberg prevails
John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, indulgences for the kingly
Martin Luther pounds the door, Here I stand, I’ll do no more

CHORUS: We didn’t start the fire …

King James Bible, John Locke, Galileo, J.S. Bachj
Anabaptists, Guy Fawkes, Blaise Pascal, John Knox
Puritans preach denial, Salem witches go on trial
Enlightenment or transcendence, we declare our independence
Whitfield makes us all Awaken, Pentecostals get us shakin’
Darwin teaches evolution, Marx preaches revolution
Jesus freaks, immigration, nuclear annihilation
Overwhelmed by information, Who will save this generation?

CHORUS: We didn’t start the fire
It’s been always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
But when we are gone
It will still go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on …


  1. I saw a review of the new MacCulloch book in the Financial Times. It too is on my reading list. I found his work on the Reformation interesting mainly because he provided such a convincing counter-narrative to that of the Reformation being guided by the hand of providence. I am expecting no less from his history of Christianity.


  2. Thanks for the repost!… I made this video as a gift for my senior pastor after he finished a 21 week sermon series on church history. Glad other people are enjoying it, too!



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