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Introduction to New “Battles and Crusades” Rubric

It has been said that the history of the world can be characterized as a history of war.

The Christian era can also be defined in terms of the wars and battles that shaped the history of Western civilization and with that the world within which the Christian church existed.

With this issue of the Beacon Lights and the article entitled “Not One Stone Shall Be Left Upon Another” we begin a new rubric entitled “Battles and Crusades.”

In this rubric we will have articles on battles, wars, and crusades that have played a significant role in the history of Christianity. We are beginning with the Destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and the plan is to follow the history of important conflicts throughout the Middle Ages and to conclude with the Reformation era religious wars.

The writers for this rubric will tell the story of a battle or crusade and attempt to bring out any interesting details about it. An effort will be made to show the importance of the event for church history and its possible relevance for today.

Some of the battles or crusades will have a moral or lesson that can easily be drawn from them. For example, many historians have claimed that the death of Zwingli in the Battle of Cappel shows that those who lift up the sword will perish with it. They have argued that this was God’s judgment on the Swiss Reformer for using the arm of the sword to advance Christianity. This would teach the church that it must advance by the power of the Word alone.

Other battles or crusades will be shown to have played a decisive role in the establishment and defense of Christendom. Among these would-be Constantine the Great’s victory at the Milvian Bridge outside of Rome. This battle ended Christianity’s existence as a persecuted minority religion and transformed it into an influential state religion.

We hope that you will enjoy reading about these battles and crusades. A thank you must be extended to the many Beacon Lights staff members who have already pledged to write articles for this rubric. Some of you readers might also be enthused about writing about the history of warfare and the history of Christianity. If you are interested, please write to the Editor and he will send a rather extensive list of possible battles and crusades to write on. We welcome writers, since there are many battles and crusades that are worth writing about. Enjoy this rubric! ♦

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Nathan is a member of Grandville Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, Michigan.