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All articles in category Historical

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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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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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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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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September 2017

John Wesley and music

It comes as almost a shock to read in John Wesley’s Journal that this earnest minister was not above very occasionally attending a concert or, rather more often, looking over large estates of the kind you find in today’s National Trust. Clearly, Wesley not only regarded all the world as his parish, but saw…

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