Funny Video: Church History in Four Minutes

The video seems to have disappeared, but you can see it here.

For those of us who slogged through Church History for several semesters in seminary, who knew that there might be another way? My thanks to one of my church history professors, Glenn Miller of Bangor Theological Seminary, for sharing this with me.

As the creator of this video, Janet Batchler put it: “Mark Brewer took 21 weeks to cover church history-1 week per century. But I thought he could have done it all in four minutes. We made a video to show him how:”

With apologies to Billy Joel.

Addendum: Janet recently posted the words to the song. Here they are!

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’ skuills, cathedrals, Charlemagne starts to reign,
Methodias, Constantinople, Peasants, clergy, serfs and nobles
Augustine, Irene, everything goes Byzantine<

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

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
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

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 Zwingle, indulgences for the kingly
Martin Luther pounds the door, Here I stand, I’ll do no more

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

King James Bible, John Locke, Galileo, J.S. Bach
Anabaptists, Guy Fawkes, Blaise Pascal, John Knox
Puritans preach denial, Salem witches go on trial
Enlightenment or transcendance, 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…..

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4 thoughts on “Funny Video: Church History in Four Minutes

  1. >Thanks for the repost! I made this video as a gift for our senior pastor after he finished his 21 week sermon series on church history. Glad other people are enjoying it as well!–Janet

  2. >Janet,You did a great job. I loved some of the whimsical touches, like the Python's from Holy Grail as the knights and pages. And you really do get a remarkably complete march down the story in your four minutes.-Rick

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