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HIEU 202- Week 1 Discussion: Historical Developments

Aug 29, 2023

That historical developments are interwoven with the history and mission of the church was never more evident than in the nineteenth century.

  1. Briefly identify at least two major historical events, developments, and/or movements from nineteenth-century Europe.
  2. Explain how each of these two events, developments, and/or movements affected the spread of the Gospel message on a global scale.
  3. To what extent might we see similar opportunities or obstacles as a result of current events, developments, and/or movements today? Try to expand your thinking globally to include other parts of the world in addition to your community or your own country.

Week 1 Discussion: Historical Developments

The two movements that hugely affected the political and social functions of 19th-century Europe were the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.

French Revolution as a movement led to the rise of ideals like liberty. These ideals questioned not only the establishment of Monarchy but also the Church. As a result the newly formed social order also aimed at reducing the power of the Church. One of the newly formed regimes’ first actions was the removal of the Church’s authority to collect taxes. French Revolution due to its ideals questioned not only the power of the Church but also the scriptures produced by Christianity. The reason behind these inquisitions was the inequality perpetuated by these scriptures. People did not like the fact that the scriptures were used to provide certain sects of the society with more power compared to the others. Thus, the French Revolution aimed at limiting the spread of the Gospel message, all across the world. Christianity suffered a huge loss in terms of spreading all across the world due to the French Revolution, as the movement questioned the principles of Christianity.

Industrial Revolution on the other hand helped in the spread of Christianity. Industrialization combined with colonialism provided people with the opportunity to travel to various places and understand as well as spread Christianity. Therefore people like Ramabai encountered and accepted Christ and the Bible. The various aspects of the Industrial Revolution helped in the spread of Christianity across various continents. The Industrial Revolution led to many changes in Religion. These changes included the formation of a new Protestant Denomination, the start of various missionary organizations, the establishment of several ministries involved in social action, and many movements inside the realm of Christianity. These movements include Pentecostalism, Seventh-Day Adventists, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormonism).

A current development that aids and harms the spread of the Gospel is technology. Christianity and its message through the internet have now gained an easy passage to spread its message all across the world. At the same time, the easy manner in which all the information is available also makes the religion open to criticism, and false interpretation. Therefore technology is both a boon and curse when it comes to the expansion and spread of Christianity as a religion in human civilization. 


India: A Faith of Many Colors. Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today International, 2005.

The French Revolution – From Monarchy to Empire, n.d. Accessed September 29, 2022.

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