Reformation 500th

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October 27-28, The Power of the Gospel, Deploying the Ordinary Means of Grace in the 21st Century Church will be held in Greer, South Carolina. The speaker is Pastor Terry L. Johnson of Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia. One of the key areas addressed by the Reformation is the way God brings grace to his […]

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our helper he amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing are the familiar opening words written by Martin Luther in his great hymn, A Mighty Fortress. It was composed in 1527, which was a particularly difficult year for the Luther household because both Martin and […]

The significantly faster duplication available through printing as compared with  a scribe and quill gave Luther and others the means to quickly present their views and respond to critics. As the 500th anniversary of the Ninety-Five Theses approaches, it was the printing press that facilitated distribution of Luther’s views regarding indulgences. However, the rapid technology cut […]

October 31, 2017 marks the quincentennial of the event considered the beginning of the Reformation. Even though some historians contend that it was not Luther that posted the theses but rather one of his students while others say they were not posted at all, it is clear the theses were composed by Luther and then […]

For anyone familiar with books published about the history of the Reformation the mention of D’Aubigné is likely to be associated with his historical studies of the era. The first of five volumes appeared in French in 1835 with the last one released in 1853, and  the English translations were published, 1846-1853, under the title History of the […]

It might be thought that one as important to the history of Presbyterians and Scotland as John Knox would have a distinguished place of burial. Hopefully, it would be a pleasant statue, a nice monument, or possibly an obelisk marking his grave. But no, the approximate site of his grave is designated with a square […]

My first encounter with the work of Martin Bucer occurred through reading De Regno Christi (The Reign of Christ). The book was written for young King Edward VI of England to guide him through the use of Scripture to rule under the reign of Christ. Edward had been influenced in the direction of Protestantism through […]

Jean (John) was born on July 10, 1509, to Gérard and Jeanne Lefranc Cauvin (Calvin) in Noyon, France. Noyon is about sixty miles northeast of Paris and at the time its cathedral was the seat of the bishop of Noyon, Charles de Hangest. Gérard worked as a legal advisor to the cathedral and served in […]

Bishop of Hippo Augustine created a massive body of works which is often appealed to by Roman Catholics and Protestants alike. The thinking behind the Reformation was seeded by the ad fontes principle of the Renaissance and for theologians the sources were often the church fathers, particularly Augustine. For example, the Battles edition of Institutes […]

As has been noted often on Presbyterians of the Past, this year is the five-hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther posting his theses regarding some of the practices of Roman Catholicism, but those of us with Presbyterian and Reformed interests seem to have turned it into another Calvin 500th birthday remembrance. The Lutheran and Reformed confessional […]

Church and Saloon—The caption for the picture as it was published in The Church on the Changing Frontier, says “No Room for Both. The Presbyterian Church at Melrose, Montana, and its next-door neighbor, a saloon.” One can imagine a scene in a Sergio Leone western with Clint Eastwood striding towards the saloon with spurs jingling […]

Communion tokens became prominent in Reformed churches at least partially due to John Calvin advocating their use. In a letter to Guillaume Farel written from Strasbourg, March 29, 1540, Calvin commented regarding the Lord’s Supper that “On Easter-day, when I gave out the invitation that we were to celebrate the Supper on next Lord’s day, […]