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Reformation 500

October 2017

It is exactly 500 years since 31 October 1517, the day when Martin Luther placarded 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg. This seemingly obscure event was arguably the flame that lit the touchpaper and the beginning of the sixteenth century Reformation.

 

The Reformation

This timeline uses text and images from the excellent Reformation Timeline Poster produced by Martha Mohon for the Trinitarian Bible Society available for purchase here.

Martha has written a description of the timeline here.

VIEW THIS TIMELINE

 

 

October 2017

Reformation 500

It is exactly 500 years since 31 October 1517, the day when Martin Luther placarded 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg. This seemingly obscure event was arguably the flame that lit the touchpaper and the beginning of the sixteenth century Reformation. Luther’s theses went viral in Germany and Switzerland.…

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October 2017

Why the mediaeval church needed reforming (1)

In the early years of the New Testament church, the pattern for doctrine and worship was laid down in a clear, unambiguous way. It was laid down in the Old Testament and made clear in the New. But gradually this pattern of clear teaching in the Bible was challenged and altered by an erring…

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October 2017

The Scottish Reformation — a work of God’s grace

The Reformation in Scotland in the sixteenth century was essentially a rediscovery of grace and a notable work of the Holy Spirit in the nation. Invaluable in providing a clear understanding of the ideals of the Reformers in doctrine, church order and practice are documents associated with the Scottish Reformation, especially The Scots Confession…

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October 2017

The very practical Reformation

When people today think of the Reformation, they tend to picture Luther in monastic robes nailing a large amount of paper to the Castle Church door in Wittenburg. Or, they think of the wonderful ideas of the Reformation: justification by faith alone; Scripture alone as our supreme authority; salvation by grace alone. These ideas…

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October 2017

North America and Reformation in the Netherlands

Perhaps the Reformation’s most lasting impact on the American church has come from the Netherlands. The Reformation came later to the Netherlands than Germany and England, perhaps because of extreme persecution. The German states retained some autonomy, but there was no such protection in the Netherlands. During the Reformation era, over 50,000 Protestants were…

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October 2017

William Tyndale: the man who gave England her Bible

William Tyndale came from Gloucestershire, from the Vale of Berkeley, probably from Slimbridge, and the best estimates suggest that he was born in 1494. Educated at Oxford, at Magdalen Hall, he returned to his native county to become tutor to the two sons of Sir John Walsh, at Little Sodbury Manor, in 1522. His…

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October 2017

The Reformation in Europe

It is difficult today to grasp the psychic trauma caused by the Reformation in sixteenth century Europe. As well as a religious renewal, it had profound historical, social and cultural effects. The Reformation’s benefits are largely ignored by our contemporaries, who are mesmerised by ‘latest is best’ ideology and technical progress, invariably traced back…

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October 2017

Roman Catholicism: then and now

The Council of Trent (1545-63) defined Rome’s response to the challenge of the Reformation. Three great problems stand out in the teachings of Trent: the doctrines of revelation and justification, and the church’s worship. Trent’s position on each of these demonstrates why the Reformation was necessary at the time. But it is often said…

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October 2017

Justification by faith — a personal testimony

At this 500th anniversary of the Reformation we come to one of the main pillars, if not the pillar, of that Reformation: justification by faith alone, in Christ alone. Martin Luther wrote, ‘When the article of justification has fallen, everything has fallen’. He declared, ‘This is the chief article from which all other doctrines…

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October 2017

Reformation 500: ‘Here I stand!’

On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 theses on the door at the Castle Church, Wittenberg, Germany. Thus began the Reformation. As we will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of his act this year, it is a good opportunity to reflect on why the Reformation was needed and what message it…

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October 2017

The Reformation in England

Inevitably, the debate about indulgences raised by Martin Luther’s protest rapidly became one about the personal understanding of Scripture, over against the church’s claim to be Scripture’s final and authoritative interpreter. The debate became furious and could not be contained within Germany, but widened, helped by the widespread use of Latin in scholarly circles…

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October 2017

Sola Scriptura and ten reasons we need a Genesis Reformation

In nailing his 95 theses to the church door on 31 October 1517, Martin Luther was not only condemning the Roman Catholic Church for selling indulgences, but also calling for an examination of what Scripture taught about indulgences. Luther was convinced that Scripture alone is the final arbiter of what we should believe. Today,…

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