Christianity in the Late Middle Ages

I’m continuing to work from Alister McGrath’s Reformation Thought: An Introduction”, providing background for anyone interested in understanding the Reformers and the causes for the Reformation. The backdrop to the Reformation is the late medieval period. In recent scholarship there has been a growing emphasis upon the need to place the Reformation movement in its […]

People Learned About “The Reformation” in Their Own Language

A lot of things contributed to the spread of the Gospel at the time of the Reformation. Pervasive knowledge of the corruption of “the Church”. The printing press. The willingness (and newfound ability) of the Reformers to reach back ad fontes (“to the original sources”). One of the most important, however, was Martin Luther’s decision […]

“The Catholic Reformation”

Desiderius Erasmus, who first compiled the Greek New Testament in 1516, was probably one of THE most influential figures leading to the Reformation, in several ways. The circumstance of his birth is one way you may not have heard about. There are, in fact, somewhat conflicting (but non-contradictory) accounts of his early life.   “The […]

Anabaptism, or “the Radical Reformation”

We know the heirs of the communities that were formed as part of the “Radical Reformation”, or “Anabaptists”, as “Mennonite” and “Amish”. While these communities, while visible, have had relatively little influence in either doctrine or culture, some of their ideas are with us today. The term “Anabaptist” owes its origins to Zwingli (the word […]

Martin Luther and the Lutheran Reformation

Alister McGrath spends some time summarizing the individual “Reformations”. Probably the most well-known is (as you may have seen some articles on the upcoming 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation) is the Lutheran Reformation, which began when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses (primarily dealing with the Roman Catholic doctrine and practice of “Indulgences”) to the castle church at Wittenberg.

The “Protestant” Reformation

Today, October 31, 2016, is the 499th anniversary of the start of what is known as “the Protestant Reformation”. As Alister McGrath explains, however, the use of the word “Protestant” regarding the events of October 31, 1517 is anachronistic: The term “Protestant” … requires comment. It derives from the aftermath of the Second Diet of […]