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All articles in category Historical

December 2017
Articles > Historical

Anne Askew (1521 – 1546), Protestant martyr

This year marks 500 years since the Reformation began in 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg. In this article, Sheila Stephen, visiting lecturer at The Wales Campus, Union School of Theology, writes on a heroic, though largely overlooked, person from the Reformation. Church history isn’t tidy, and events don’t always fall into neat categories. If we were making a film about the Day of Pentecost and the events in Jerusalem then, I am sure we would have filmed a mêlée. There were crowds everywhere: noise, bustle and a cacophony of languages. When the apostles joined in with...

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November 2017
Articles > Historical

Why the mediaeval church needed reforming (2)

In mediaeval Europe, various ‘nonconformist’ groups emerged, such as the Bogomils, Cathars, Albigenses and Waldensians. There were also individuals who tried to make a difference from within the Catholic church. Marsilius of Padua (1270-1342) was one. He held almost pure Protestant teaching. Such teaching was spreading like wildfire among students in the universities, among priests who were persuaded to read the Bible for themselves, and among those laity who saw the degeneracy of the Roman Church. Dissemination of the truth John Wycliffe (1324-1384) headed a group called Lollards, who influenced many in mainland Europe and Britain. His message was based on God’s truth, not man’s....

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November 2017
Articles > Historical

It was 50 years ago

The Beatles rose to the heights of fame and fortune with an image of youthful naivety and charm, but it came at a cost. When private remarks by John Lennon were taken as self-aggrandising blasphemy in the USA (Lennon denied this was his intention), church youth groups rallied at concert venues to burn Beatles albums and the Klu Klux Klan issued death threats. No longer able to hear themselves playing because of the screaming emotionalism of Beatlemania, they were frustrated that they could not develop musically. Perplexed by this threatening turn of events, the band retired from touring and retreated to the studio. Sgt. Pepper...

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November 2017
Articles > Historical

John Rogers, Reformation martyr

Over 460 years ago, on 4 February 1555, John Rogers was tied to a post in Smithfield, London, firewood was heaped around him, and he was burned to death — because he was an evangelical Christian. In the next three and a half years, nearly 300 more martyrs died in the same way. Our generation must not forget the spiritual inheritance these men and women have left us. Mary Tudor On 19 July 1553 Mary Tudor (Mary I) was proclaimed Queen of England in London, ending a chaotic ten or so days since the death of her Protestant half-brother Edward VI. Uncertainty had been caused...

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November 2017
Articles > Historical

The life and legacy of Amy Carmichael

People-trafficking is not new. But, born 150 years ago this December, one single, often sick, missionary woman from Northern Ireland dared to challenge it in India. Hinduism encouraged the temple slavery of children. It was prostitution perpetrated in the name of that ancient religion, where little girls and boys were sold to ‘marry’ the Brahmin temple priests. When Amy Carmichael discovered what was happening she was so horrified by the practice that she began a work to rescue children from the temples. Her mission station in Dohnavur in South India grew to accommodate hundreds of children. Children’s mission Amy Carmichael, the oldest of seven children,...

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November 2017
Articles > Historical

John Calvin

Articles Reviews News

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October 2017
Articles > Historical

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 church, until not only doctrine and worship, but even what was perceived as God’s Word itself, was changed. The Bible’s authority lies in it being God’s inspired Word, to be read, love and obeyed. But, by the Middle Ages, the church had decided the Bible was not sufficiently clear and that...

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October 2017
Articles > Historical

Pierre Viret (1511-1571) — another forgotten Reformer (1)

Some years ago, my wife and I were able to take a vacation in Switzerland. This was the first time either of us had been there, and a highlight was visiting the scene of some of the great heroes of the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation. Most people have heard of Martin Luther and John Calvin. There were, of course, many others involved in the Protestant Reformation. I would like to introduce you to one of them — Pierre (Peter) Viret. Switzerland was not an organised country in those days, but a conglomeration of city states. There were three different languages used in the different areas:...

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