The Second Wave: Irish Revival And Missions In The Generations After Patrick And Prior To The Synod Of Whitby -- By: T. M. Moore

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 08:4 (Fall 1999)
Article: The Second Wave: Irish Revival And Missions In The Generations After Patrick And Prior To The Synod Of Whitby
Author: T. M. Moore


The Second Wave: Irish Revival And Missions
In The Generations After Patrick And Prior
To The Synod Of Whitby

T. M. Moore

The fifth century in Christian history presents a juxtaposition of opposites that set the stage for the second period of rapid evangelization and expansion of the faith of Jesus Christ. The first wave began on the first Pentecost of the Christian era and extended to the end of the period of imperial persecution, around 310 A.D. The accomplishments of the church in this first 250 years of its existence are remarkable and unparalleled. The second wave of gospel progress proved to be no less remarkable in its own way.

This second wave surfaced like a Pacific earthquake with the mission of Patrick, and grew to tsunami proportions over the 200 years that followed. The period in which it began—the mid-fifth century—was witness to the growing solidification of Christian theological formulation and the administration of the Roman Catholic faith. The Council of Chalcedon, the strengthening of the papacy, and Justinian’s closing of the philosophical school at Athens tightened the grip of Catholic Christianity on what remained of the Western Roman Empire. At the same time, the erosion and destruction of Roman culture and civilization in the old, established regions of Gaul, Italy, and North Africa, as well as in the frontiers of Britain, was hastened by the steady infiltration of Germanic peoples from the forests beyond the Danube. As the lights of civilization grew dim, the Roman Church hunkered down for the dark night of its

soul. Missions activity into new lands from the ecclesiastical centers of the old empire all but ceased. Church authorities began to focus more on matters of order than outreach. With Roman Catholicism resigned to the task of keeping its house in order, the next wave of revival and evangelization came not from Rome or any other of the traditional bishoprics of emerging Christendom, but from a most unlikely source.

The purpose of this essay is to provide an
overview, together with something of the
flavor, of the missions effort that grew out
of the legacy of Patrick and continued
more than two centuries before Roman
Catholicism managed to tame its fervor,
secure its submission, and subdue its
energy for allegiance more to the Catholic
faith than the King of the church
.

The purpose of this essay is to provide an overview, together with something of the flavor, of the missions effort that grew out of the legacy of Patrick and continued more than two centuries before Roman Catholicism managed to tame its fervor, secure its submission, and subdue its energy for alleg...

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