The Christian Era

Essay by Gary Knapp, 1996. Reproduced from “NIV Classics Devotional Bible”. It clearly has several shortcomings* but I found it interesting and even inspiring in parts. It’s sort of a response to the recent debate in which Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens engaged in some joyous Catholic bashing.


When Jesus Christ gathered his disciples at Caesarea Philippi, he spoke about an event of primary importance to the accomplishment of God’s eternal purpose. There Jesus said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). During the brief period of Jesus’ ministry on earth, he spoke of three essential prophecies. First, he spoke of his own death and resurrection. Second, he prophesied about his future return to earth with all of its tumult and glory. And third, he spoke of the building of the church.

jesus and peter

The first he fully accomplished with all of its profound effect on human history and individual lives. The second is yet to come. And the third is in process today, with each believer involved in some way with Christ in this work.

Of course, the building of the church has not been without its tumult as well. Continue reading “The Christian Era”

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