First of all, Les Québécois (French speaking people from Québec) use the word 'sacrement' as a curse word. But with their Candian French accent, its pronounced sack-ra-mon. They also use words and phrases such as "Tabernacle!" and "Sacre Bleu!" as curse words. But that's beside the point.
Recently I was reading some really interesting things in a book I have to read for VLI. This book is really good. Some of the books I read for VLI are as dry as crusty old bread or saltine crackers. They are the kind of books that insomniacs need to get into as they immediately induce sleep. But Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity by Mark Noll is not like that at all.
It deals with Christian history, but instead of it just being a straightforward history book, Noll picks out some of the most important events in Christian history, tells about the actual event, then shows its effects on Christianity as a whole (for better or worse). This book (and the class its a part of) is really teaching me a lot by revealing the history of our faith and showing how things got to be the way they are today.
The other day I was reading a really great passage on the theology of the sacraments as developed by the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. The sacraments are things like Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. The RCC's belief is that "saving grace comes through to people through the sacraments in a social setting... Receiving God's grace depended upon actually receiving the vehicle of that grace [the sacraments], and not so much how one felt about that transaction." Noll sums this theology of the sacraments by saying, "salvation was communicated through and by the sacraments."
I can kind of understand the Roman Catholic Church a little bit better now by knowing more about church history. Hooray for VLI!!