The “dark ages” were the era of Viking invasions, illiteracy, and disease. Did vibrant Christianity exist in Europe during this early medieval period? Yes. Despite rising Romanism and pagan superstition there was more biblical Christianity than we tend to think. Here is one Christ exalting sermon clip:
“God created all humans with free will. But because through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, so that it passed to all human beings, in whom all have sinned (Rom. 5:12), free will was vitiated and corrupted in the whole human race by merit of his fall, that is, to the downfall of iniquity and so that it is free for this alone. But for acting well, that is, for the exercise of virtue and good work, it is not sufficient in any way for one to rise up or become strong unless it is restored, illuminated, and healed through the faith of the one mediator of God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5) and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, just as the Savior himself promises in the Gospel, when he says: If the Son will set you free, you will be truly free (John 8:36). And the apostle says: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor. 3:17).
As set free, illuminated, and healed by the grace of Christ and the Spirit of Christ, let free choice say the words of the Psalmist, rejoicing: The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? (Psalm 26:1). Therefore, let him who desires to receive this grace of freedom in order that he may become truly free for living well and piously, not rely on his own strength, but let him hand himself over faithfully to him to be healed and strengthened…. And let him pray and ask him, saying: Direct my steps according to your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me (Psalm 119:133). And again let him say: Lead me, Lord, in your way, and I shall walk in your truth (Psalm 85:11 and Psalm 5:9)…”
Florus of Lyon, Sermon on Predestination. (c.851-852)
Florus of Lyons (c.800-860), an early medieval deacon and teacher, served under the bishops Agobard, Amolo, and Remigius in Lyons. He wrote several works on predestination around the time of the Gottschalk predestination controversy.