The Reformation Today

My contention is that the Reformation, warts and all, was one of the greatest “moments” in human history. It brought to the foreground a Scriptural doctrine (“justification by faith alone”) that had been forgotten and buried for centuries. A lot of other things happened as well, but on balance, it was a great moment of freedom in human history.

Skeptics will say that the Reformation also caused divisions and wars of religion. But from my reading, I get the impression that it was Rome that started the wars of religion, because their own ideas failed against the force of the thinking that came out of the Reformation. Rome could not contend, idea for idea, theology for theology, doctrine for doctrine, with the Reformation. It was doomed to fail, and so it resorted to the casuistry of the Jesuits, and then to violence for its own survival.

The good news is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God in flesh, came to save sinners, and his work did, in fact, save sinners. That is the message of the Reformation. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Virtually the entire history of the Roman church is to try to insert itself as the mediator between God and man. This is entirely unscriptural.

In our day, then, when facts can easily be checked, and the Roman church does not have recourse to armies, it seems to me that the ideas, theologies and doctrines of the Reformation can and will make a tremendous amount of sense to the people of our day. We should not hesitate to state them clearly.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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7 Responses to The Reformation Today

  1. Chan says:

    But from my reading, I get the impression that it was Rome that started the wars of religion, because their own ideas failed against the force of the thinking that came out of the Reformation. Rome could not contend, idea for idea, theology for theology, doctrine for doctrine, with the Reformation. It was doomed to fail, and so it resorted to the casuistry of the Jesuits, and then to violence for its own survival.

    Cool story bro. You’re not too far from a doctoral thesis.

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  2. johnbugay says:

    Chan, I’m far from a doctoral thesis. But when I read that the Roman church was responsible for some 5 million deaths, and that Protestants was responsible for some 200,000, that puts it into perspective for me.

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  3. Matt says:

    Can you give a citation for those 5 million deaths statistic? Thanks!

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  4. Matt says:

    *that

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  5. johnbugay says:

    It’s from the World Christian Encyclopedia, Oxford University Press.

    http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2235

    Scroll down to the “Persecutors and their Victims” graphic.

    See also:

    http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2218

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  6. Alphonsus says:

    I would be interested in the methodology used to arrive at the 5 million figure, i.e. what exact time frame is being considered, what circumstances, what were the motivations of the specific deaths. Do Albigensees count as Christians or not? For example, I can accept that Catholic soldiers killed more people during the Thirty Years War, but I also realize that during the most brutal periods that war was based more on greed and politics than theological questions.

    “But from my reading, I get the impression that it was Rome that started the wars of religion, because their own ideas failed against the force of the thinking that came out of the Reformation.”

    When you say “Rome,” what are you referring to? The Pope, the Catholic Hierarchy, or any given Catholic?

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  7. johnbugay says:

    I’ve provided the link to the source. I have no other information aside from what you see there. This work is, according to some prominent Catholic apologists, an unimpeachable source. It is cited a great deal by them.

    The header of the graphic gives the dates, 33-2000 ad, so that’s one hint. Since these are “persecutors and their victims,” there is no specification on who the victims are.

    When I say “Rome,” I use it as shorthand for “the Roman Catholic Church.”

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