Traditions of Spirituality - Lesson 2
The Medieval Church and the Reformation
In this lesson, you delve into the intricate relationships between the Medieval Church and the Reformation, gaining a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between religious traditions, spirituality, and socio-political dynamics that shaped this transformative period. The document explores the evolution of religious practices, the influence of key figures like Martin Luther and John Calvin, and the various theological debates that emerged, ultimately leading to the Reformation and the birth of Protestantism. By examining the historical context, theological disputes, and key events in this period, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of the factors that contributed to the profound changes in the spiritual landscape of the time.
The Medieval Church and the Reformation
Ch391-02: The Medieval Church and the Reformation
I. Overview of the Medieval Church
B. Characteristics of Medieval Spirituality
1. The Role of Monasticism
2. The Importance of Mysticism
3. The Development of Scholasticism
C. The Crusades and Their Impact
II. The Reformation and Its Effects on Spirituality
A. Martin Luther and His Contributions
1. The Ninety-Five Theses
2. Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide
3. Luther's Impact on Worship and the Role
- 0% CompleteBy studying this lesson, you gain a deep understanding of early Christian spirituality in the Apostolic Age, its development, key figures, and historical context.challenging cultural context.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteGain insights into the Medieval Church and Reformation, exploring the interplay between religious traditions, key figures, theological debates, and socio-political dynamics that transformed spirituality.0% Complete
- Through this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of modernity and post-modernity, their impact on spirituality and religious practice, and the challenges and opportunities they present for the church today.0% Complete
- Gain deep insights into the Great Tradition of spirituality, its evolution, core principles, and the connections between diverse spiritual practices as you explore this lesson from Dr. Don Davis.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteGain a deeper understanding of shared spirituality, its historical and cultural development, key concepts, practices, and beliefs, and how it can guide a meaningful spiritual life.0% Complete
- By studying this lesson, you learn the importance of shared spirituality in church plant movements, its role in building trust and spiritual growth, and practical strategies for implementing and sustaining such movements while overcoming challenges.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteIn this lesson, you gain an understanding of the Great Tradition, its historical context, and key components, ultimately learning how to apply these principles to your spiritual growth and Christian community.0% Complete
Dr. Davis emphasizes the ways in which evangelical Protestants, especially those who are only loosely connected to a particular Church tradition, can be renewed and revived through a retrieval of the Great Tradition. Of great interest in this class are the elements, purposes, and ramifications of sharing a distinct spirituality grounded in that Tradition, and what the impact this sharing can have on our individual, family, and congregational lives.
You can take, you can quite literally take, "My Jesus, I love Thee" and do it in a number of different styles. Ska. Wouldn't that be great? A ska version of "My Jesus I Love Thee." How about emo version? My son in the punk band. Mind you, I love it. I wonder how you would do it. The point is, is that I do believe in this. This rhythm between. But this. This back and forth between tradition and contextualization. We are called to live out the gospel in our time. Make no doubt about it. I am not asking that we really think of this in some nostalgic way. We are Christians and biblical Christians. We don't receive anything uncritically. But I am saying what I am saying is that God has laid a foundation for our identity and our mission. That those of us who want to see the gospel multiply in communities that are not reached would would do well to really attend. Now, this assertion to of the Church Matters Workshop. It is the medieval church and the Reformation. Arguably, it is the most information of any of the sessions that we have. I apologize again for having to cover the medieval church and the Reformation in 40 minutes. I mean, that's just it. That's just ludicrous. Anyone who knows what you have to do, but for the sake of this time, this could have been a week long seminar. It's a day seminar. So, you know, quit crying. You know, in a real sense, No, no. Christian is an island. I like this quote by Michael Moriarty. He says, An evangelical individualism. People think of their personal relationship with God in isolation. Just me and Jesus and fords their destiny apart from any church authority while holding relatively low opinions of history, tradition and traditions in the church.
They turn to the experiences of self and isolate themselves from their brothers and sisters in faith. True spirituality is perverted as it becomes a quest for inner stimulation rather than growth and biblical knowledge and the application of truth and community. Healthy Christians do not live in isolation. Dear friends, this is absolutely true of our understanding of the medieval church. Now, the breadth and the scope of the medieval church and what it involves in is it's really just to too. It's one of the most. The depth and the breadth of it is just beyond words. All I'm going to do, as Noel does in his fine book, and I would absolutely point you guys to his own treatment of the medieval church. In your textbook turning point, he says much about Protestantism and all of them, the way in which probably the most significant thing of the medieval church, the monastic experience, actually affected people like Luther, Calvin Cranmer, Simons and others. You need to know that many of the people who came out of the Reformation were directly influenced by the monastic church. I mean, they were you know, Luther was an Augustinian monk. So you can't just say that I trace my roots to the Reformation and ignore the medieval church, because quite literally, there would be no reformation without the monastic experience of the medieval church. Medieval church? Well, let's sort of again play round through history together at the bottom of page 43. We read the monastic rescue of the church in a real sense. We just covered the unbelievable time of heroism and innovation that the first five centuries of of the church really entailed. Well, in a real sense, it's appropriate to talk about the medieval church through the lens of a monastic lens in a real sense.
Benedict is really one of the most important figures of this whole period because of his influence, quite literally, in affecting the spirituality of this time. He wrote The rule of Benedict, which to this day has great import among many of the missionary orders and other kinds of of a holy societies that make up the Western and Eastern church. But Benedict was a renowned preacher. He was very deep mystic. He was a he was a popular figure of his of his time. He played a major role in politics and in church renewal. He was also a prolific songwriter. I love perhaps you think of his his some of his films all sacred. He had now wounded. He wrote wonderful things. He was he was he he probably in ways that go beyond much of what we could even fathom. He really emphasized the discipline and a zeal for the things of God that are known by the best of medieval spirituality. There was a there was a lot of abuse after the church really grew and became it sort of matriculated from a small band of people who were persecuted to this major religion of the empire. There were all kinds of abuses, all kinds of oddball ideas. And Benedict's rule was really in some ways, it was the most significant to me compass that really gave it gain for those who were really, honestly, in a hungry sense, for the best of of what the audience gave in medieval culture, a sense of direction. It was sort of a composite. It is an amazing thing. It provided direction and encouragement and inspiration for for those who took the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for 1500 years. There are a number of people in this room who are part of a religious missionary order.
It would be helpful for you to sort of understand the origins of that one. Reed of Benedict. Well, you will immediately know that I probably don't qualify for most of what they did. It was the most rigorous life you could imagine when they got up, how they ate. Their lives were shaped by a discipline that gave them a genuine focus. Dear friends, this is exactly what I am going to argue later today that the urban the urban church needs. We cannot look to undisciplined, lazy, sort of individualize movements to give answers to our urban neighborhoods. We can't just give people free rides and let them do anything morally and in every way. Quite, quite literally, the early church had a three year process just to become a Christian. It's very, very difficult. And you can say they were overly moralistic or perhaps just rigorous to a fault. What I want to say is that those of us who love the cities of America should take heed to what it means to live a new level of responsibility and discipline. Candidly, you're not going to get that from many of our popular preachers on TV and whatever. Come on now, y'all. You know what I'm saying? That's just not how they think of life. It's not who they are. Quite literally, I think we do. Let me just say this. This is a soap box. I'm on it. I might as well stay on it for a moment. One of the worst things to me that that really influences the way I think is the unbelievable, patron patronizing attitude of many people. We're doing urban mission today. We act as if people in the city can't do anything. We treat them like fools. We don't allow them to make any decision on their own.
Quite honestly, I think it's the it's the most shameful. It is one of the things that propels me to look for something outside of us, to answer us. Einstein always used to say, You can't find the answers to your problem with the problem. We need to look outside of ourselves. We're not disciplined and focused, hungry. We can't create a world wide movement that will invite thousands and thousands of churches and millions of leaders because look at us. Dear friends of God, what a pattern. All Christianity based on your devotional life. What would it look like? I'm saying that the Christians of that period took it seriously. And so what we. I've put the box aside now to cool fact once more. Gregory. Gregory, the first. Is really he has to be included in this romp through history, because I would argue that. GREGORY The first is the person who really, in fact, through his own writings and thinking, really virtually created the modern papacy. He was such an able leader. He was so powerful and so important that he really essentially scoped out most of the issues that the modern understanding of the papal office really agrees to now. He was just he was just amazing. He was administratively gifted. He was he was evangelical in the sense that he sponsored missionary activity to Germany and Ireland. He sent some of the first missionary waterfowl to share the good nose with the pagans. In England, for instance, it was he who sent Patrick to Ireland. You know who and also Augustine to England to become the first Archbishop of Canterbury. Patrick And these guys were really, really bold. I have to tell one anecdotal story of these guys as missionary orders. Folk were not friendship evangelism people.
They would go to the center of the village where the sacred oak was and saw that struck a deal in front of everybody. Now, you think saw that sucker down as a great medieval phrase. I think it is. That's what they did. They were not afraid. I am convinced that there is all kinds of things that we can learn from really looking at this unusual blend of strength and courage and boldness. And it's just at least a source that we should look at for the wise. On page 45 of your outline, if you're taking this for credit, you will need to know the seven Ecumenical Council. These are the councils that Christianity has essentially agreed to their call ecumenical because the first four are virtually accepted without any sort of change by everyone. Guys, Christians don't agree about anything. We were disagreeing at the Jerusalem Council. So it's very unusual when Christians throughout all history agree with anything. The first four councils are really quite literally agreed to by virtually everyone Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic. The first Council was the Council of Nicaea, which established the deity of Christ, the second Council. The second Ecumenical Council is the first Council of Constantinople, which established the divinity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit. The third Ecumenical Council was held an emphasis where it dealt with the heretical views of a fellow name. The stories of the fourth Council was at Chalcedon in 451. It condemned the Christology of Europeans, who really in some ways thought that Christ only had a single nature. There are many easy ways that we can talk about this. The fifth, the sixth and the seventh councils are not agreed upon. As a matter of fact. You find controversy among these among the main branches of Christianity.
But. I think that's as much as I will say about them. There is so much more that could be said, but I want to move on and deal with the Reformation. Let's deal with of the threat of Islam and the Crusades. During the period of medieval time. Islam, Islam and Christianity have been struggling for a long time and the sixth and seventh centuries. Islam greatly impacted the Roman church. As a matter of fact. There are some scholars who say that if if Islam had not been turned back at the battle of tours in the in the eighth century, that frankly, the entire Western world would be Islamic of it, for those who might not know that much about Islam, its focus is on Muhammad, who lived around 562-632. He was the prophet of Allah, whose revelations are recorded in the Koran. The witness that which is recited by all of our Muslims says one God, Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. There are five pillars to Islam. The witness in the recitation of it to give prayers to Allah five times each day, two to pay alms to the poor. By the way, you should know this is one of the reasons why Islam is so dramatically well funded. Can you imagine many of the wealthiest sheikhs giving great sums of money to the poor? I mean, there are many, many sections of of of of of. I've actually read some of these things that this is it's so much a part of their religion, unlike tithing for us, for instance. How many? I won't ask how many of you time. But in our sort of settings people don't give regularly. You know, they give as a as they determine in their heart. Well, this is built into their religion in a hard way.
It's ratcheted in. And so large sums of money are made available to imams. That's one of the reasons why they are They are not just religious figures. They are powerful political figures. They can command armies. Do you understand why that I just as a footnote. But that's pretty important. Fasting during the daylight hours during the month of Ramadan. And then if it is all possible, every Muslim is to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. The amazing growth of Islam is clear. It grew on the basis of jihad from the very beginning of Muhammad fled from Mecca. He was he was sort of you know, he recaptured it from the very beginning. Origins of Islam. It it is a warrior religion. I you know, I know there have been a lot of scholars who have tried to make make the claim that that Islam is not, at its very core, fundamentally a militaristic. But I think it would be very, very difficult, both on both on the basis of its texts as well as its history. It is. It is it has grown. It got in control of northern Africa, Spain and Palestine. And like I said, it only was halted by the battle of tools. There are some scholars who literally believe if there had not been a stoppage of it, of of of Islam, it would have went on. By the way, if you haven't seen the movie The Kingdom of Heaven, if any of you seen that movie. We'll talk about it when we talk about the Crusades. That's a great that's a great I mean, I think, you know, Attenborough's great epic show on the Crusades. You'll understand the Crusades a little bit better. But by looking at that show. One of the most important turning points during during the medieval period, to me, in some ways it's so significant that no actually writes a chapter on this is the key turning point of the Middle Ages is the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 on Christmas Day, Pope Leo, the third advanced and crowned Charles King.
Now, this is very important because it shows the place in which the church had really come. The church had got to a point by 800 where the pope was actually crowning the emperors of the greater Roman Empire of that time. Dear friends, it is impossible to think about Christianity in Europe and not think about this. This, this, this, this mix. It's one of the reason why today Europe is a ghost town of Christianity. If there's anything about about about Christianity in the history of Europe that you see is that it is absolutely connected from this time to politics and land and power of the rise of the papacy in every way coincided with its assertion through the city of God written by August, and that the church is, in fact, the ruler of the Earth. It's a very powerful thing. And quite honestly, Christianity has never, never overcome it. A big part of the reformers was trying to break this dependance between the church and the greater Roman Empire. And every reformer talks about it. And no one more than the Anabaptists. I mean, the Mennonites are the clearest of all on this point. But let's make this plain that there is. You cannot understand the history of the church and not understand just the symbol of the coronation of the greatest king of his day being being crowned by Pope Leo God. I mean, it just shows the place where the church got. So in a real sense, the rise of the papacy sort of grew. And there's a whole lot of things that you can say about that of the papacy. It sort of it grew they began to argue early in 255 that the Roman bishop was different from any other bishop.
You can find this in many, many places. And 343 there was a huge council that that set that all local councils of the church worldwide could appeal to the Bishop of Rome to sell anything. And then in three around 366 to 384, the masses, the first provided a formal definition of the Roman Bishop's authority over all bishops. As a matter of fact, this was so key and we'll talk about it in a moment. But a huge schism occurred, so much so that by the 11th century, the the Roman church had asserted such superiority over every other form of the church that it literally excommunicated all the Eastern bishops. To this day, that has been a painful thing. It is only within the last few months. I don't know if you guys saw this, but Pope Benedict and the eastern patriarch got together. This is historic. I mean, this is really some the pope actually excommunicated them, said you're no longer part of the church because you don't recognize our superiority. Just in the last few months that they get together again, that's like huge. I mean, that's that's many, many centuries. All I want to say about the Crusades, there are some things that I said there are in your outline on page 47 is that as some of the shame, it's one of the most shameful times of the Church of the Crusades are really one of the most vicious, horrible, painful stains on the history of Christianity of there were it lasted over centuries of time. And whatever the motive that was given. I can tell you the motives were were mingled. Political, religious, economic of the first crusade was given by Pope Urban, where he he literally said, let's go and let's destroy the infidels and take it back.
I think the Kingdom of heaven, the movie actually deals with the first crusade. But there were so many others of the second, the third, the fourth. One of the saddest is the fourth crusade. On their way to the Holy Land, the crusaders from the West decided that they would stop at the eastern capital of the church and they ransacked the Constantinople. They raised it to the ground, kill millions and millions of brothers and sisters on their way. Many of the people were hoping to get land. I mean, the Crusades, if you went to a religion course in Saudi Arabia on on religion, they're going to have a major section on this. Do you hear what I'm saying? Don't just think that everything you see on TV just happen. They they have not forgotten what happened there. It's just. Just. I'm telling you, they soaked the blood, they were merciless. And because they were doing it in God's name. It was vicious beyond words. Quite, quite literally. My old alma mater, the Wheaton Crusaders, had to change its name not too many years ago because of it. They should have changed a long time ago, knucklehead. Let's go on to scholastic theology. That's all I can say on that. So much more to say. During the medieval period, there were there were a number of things that led to the Reformation. And all of this will become all of these sort of dry facts will become important in our conversation at the end of our time together. There were many, many scholars who had great impact during this time, which which led to the great cism and all of the rumblings in Catholicism. And finally, the utter decline of the papacy that led to the Reformation.
There were a number of scholars during the medieval period that are really, really powerful, and most of them are philosophically astute and geniuses. I mean, they wrote John SCOTUS, Gina and Sam, whose work of Why God Became Man virtually in my studies, in these studies and in theology, all of these works are just a given. You have to understand them to understand anything about the medieval church and see them. Why God became man is just a feat. I mean, just brilliant beyond words. By the way, guys, you should know that virtually every competent theologian in the history of the church was a pastor or archbishop. All of them had churches, even the liberal ones. If you want to do theology, you've got to be a churchman. That's one of the great struggles I have just doing what I do here. I'll just be honest. There's something about being a pastor that does something to your theology. You're dealing with folk who are crazy, right? Come on. That crazy folk change your theology. Come on, now. Surely I'll know that you're dealing with knuckleheads and people doing wrong things and just. It just changed the way you read the Bible. You can't just be abstract. You got to do what you got to do with, you know, Jojo. Neal. Jojo Nim affects your theology. Y'all don't have no job. Your name's in the answer. I got all kinds of jams in my experience. Well, there's Peter, Abelard and Bernard of Clairvaux. Let me say that the Great Schism is one of these these painful moments, if you will, turned. To your to page 119 in your outline is the first appendix. This is what I mean by Carolyn's unusual ability to design things. Look at this timeline of history that she adapted.
It is one of the easiest, clearest and cleanest way to understand really what took place. If you look at at this particular timeline, quite literally from the New Testament era and era until 451 to the middle of the seven councils, the church was pretty much one. There was no Catholic or Orthodox or Protestant. All of those things meant nothing. That's why it's so important to me to rediscover that. They didn't think in those sort of categories at all, but at the great system there was. It was like a fork in Christianity occurred. And that for is the key to understanding everything that we are today is a matter of fact, the Roman Catholic Church, after it excommunicated the Orthodox Church in 1054, the Crusades, the Reformation and everything, was a reaction to the Roman assertion. In a real sense. To be a Christian in the West like we are Protestants, it means that we are fundamentally in a reactive mode. Do you understand? We reacted to the Roman church, which frankly reacted to the Eastern church. We are in. Unfortunately, the diagram doesn't allow the intricate branches and twigs that have gone out. I'm going to mention some of those in a moment, how we have splintered since those very early times. But what's important to understand, that this is very key for us who are missionaries? Those of us who are trying to reproduce church life in cities don't know anything. It's important that we know what what we're reproducing and of whose spirit we are. What are we actually planting in the city? Whose religion is it? This is one of the most significant questions that anyone can ask. And I am suggesting that we we really need to ask that. But isn't that just I don't know.
I wipe a tear from my eye when I look at Carolyn's work. Isn't that just like. Well, that's sweet. You can see my life is not very deep if I'm all thrilled over charts and stuff. But charts are my life. I don't have much of a life except my charts and my honey back there. Honey, it's you and my charts. That's all I got. My charts. Okay. Where was I? I'm wasting time. Some of the most notable figures of the medieval period I wrote for you and people that you should be aware of. Francis of Assisi, who really in some ways is one of these people who was so big that you can't I don't see how you can be a Christian and not look at Francis. He's a saint, a missionary, an evangelist. He started of missionary orders. He started. It was through Francis that even women missionary orders were started. I mean, he is just a person of such depth. And I'm telling you again, you missionary all the people out there. His order was a was a vow of poverty and I mean absolute renunciation of everything you own. Nothing of any kind for any. I mean, it was harsh. Do you hear what I'm saying? So I look at this and some of us who have taken a lay missionary order vows. You know, I'm not a Francis. I'm not even a Francis boot black. Well, he didn't he didn't wear boots, so that's okay. Probably one of the most the key two key figures that you guys, it wouldn't be a right course if I didn't mention them is Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas. Augustinian theology really reigns supreme from quite literally the time that he lived until Thomas Guy's for eight centuries.
One thinker dominated the history of the West. Augustine. It wasn't till Thomas Aquinas, who was the most systematic Catholic theologian of all time integrated Aristotelian philosophy into Christian revelation. That really is, you know, he his works. He, he, he didn't, he didn't over or he didn't overreach or eclipse Augustine, but he is quite literally from Aquinas to the reformers. There's no one like him. I just wish if we had time, I could put you through the misery that I had to go through in grad school. My my advisor of my doctoral program was an acquaintance scholar. So I have read everything that acquaintances ever dripped. His letters to his Aunt B I, I've read of the one thing about saturating yourself in a mind this great is that you get a sense. You get a sense of how deep these people are before you. Just in a in a in a in a swath. Just dismiss medieval Christianity. Why don't you just pick up the first volume of some theological and we'll see where you stand. Intellectually, you can't just ignore tradition without really seeing that your life can be deeply enriched through what God did. I will say this even though his writings were prolific and he did tremendous works on all kinds, it did not stop the rumblings and the corruptions that were taking place in Catholicism. All kinds of decline in the papacy. As a matter of fact, if there was some time, we could really talk about these very bizarre moments when in the history of the Western Church there was such conflict that at one time there were actually three sitting popes in different places, and all of the faithful people didn't know what to do. You know, they didn't know which pope there was such bickering and so much so much, so much corruption.
It's you can see really, when you read and understand the history of the papacy, you can really understand why Europe is done with Christianity. I mean, you can really understand why why less than 2% of all Europeans go to any sort of evangelical anything. It's a wasteland, I kid you not. Huge churches in London. I mean, these massive cathedrals with 20 people in them. I mean, it's just it's a desert. Don't say it's because just because of spiritual decline, you have to look at the impact of history, because quite literally, the corruption is we're going to see in a moment was just so great. It really had an impact on that time. Well, the Reformation is what most of us if you if you're an evangelical and you know anything about church history, you'll know a little bit about this period. How many of you have done a little study of the Reformation? Nor a little bit? A little. Well, you know, most Christians really don't. You know, it's not like we have Sunday and our next eight weeks and Sunday school class are on Oelrich zwingli. Of of of of the reform. I mean that's not what we do. And so unless you're like a a guy who or a person who went on a Christian liberal arts school or something like that, you have to take a course in church history at Tabor or, you know, someplace or, you know, got it in a Western Civ course. If you went to WC or something like that, then for, for the most part you don't really ever hear about it. The Reformation quite literally, was the beginning of modernity. It really did more to secularize Europe and prepare for the modern period than any other thing.
Now, on pages 49 and 50, I give you some of the factors that led to the Reformation, and all we can do is just mention a few. There were political factors. There was all kinds of exploration and conquest of the so-called discovery of the Americas and in all sorts of new lands. And and because of the economic factors, a surge of economies and growing markets, there was a lot of colonization and imperial expansion of Europe. There were all sorts of cultural factors. The Renaissance came in. There was an emergence of a whole new kind of study of the Bible, sort of Christian humanism. Erasmus, who authored a Greek, a New Testament Greek edition. There was a whole rise of these artists and and scholars who came on the scene and dramatically begin to call into question some of the old ways of reading scripture. Brand new literatures were being developed. There were all kinds of religious factors, including new voices of the church, that while many voices really, frankly, justified all the imperialistic ambitions of Europe. There were a ton of voices that arose that were really they were very bold. I kid you, not the Jesuits, doing this, this period of time. There were a lot of people who came of I don't know if you guys have seen the show, the mission. Have you seen the mission? Not give some indication of you if you've seen the mission. You will see a real example of the sort of the dynamism, the political struggle between groups like the Jesuits and powerful archbishops who control huge areas of land and were swinging deals with nations. It's very hard. And then there were evangelical factors that brought on the Reformation. There was a huge fervor of issues that led to two missions.
It's a very the end of the medieval period was was very, very powerful for Miss. Well, that's about all I can say. Let me on the reform tradition highlights several things. This is very important for us. There are three classes of what are called the magisterial reformers. You should understand that the magisterial and then the other kinds, the magisterial leaders are Luther, Zwingli and Calvin. Those three have greater impact than everyone else. Quite literally. They they are the ones who determine the Reformation. They are. And I want to talk about the anabaptists in what occurred in England as well, because that has great impact on who we are. Well, the origins of Protestantism, I have to begin with Martin Luther, this this fellow born in the Ice Age and living as Saxony in 4083, he was a student who entered a Roman monastery during a thunderstorm. You can read if you are interested in, and a phenomenal biography of Luther's life. It's called Here I Stand Here I stand by a fellow named Baigent and b a i. N. T. O. N. It's really one of the it to me is a classic work on love of he doing a thunderstorm he vowed at the scene and that he would become a monk if he was spared during a thunderstorm and he was spared. And so he became a monk. Now, Luther was a person of such tender conscience. You know, it's amazing to read Luther. Luther was a person who, when he came to confession, would spend 7 hours in confession. As a matter of fact, style pits the guy who was his leader, sort of the abbot in his monastery told Luther, You're wearing me completely out, man. You're forgiven, for heaven's sake.
He would come and just confess and confess and all your offer any would go into great detail. And he was just completely disillusioned and he felt just horrible. And he was on a trip once and saw just unbelievable corruptions. People were selling indulgences, ways of getting their loved ones out of purgatory for money. It was just, just just vicious. In return to Zinberg, he received a doctorate in theology and all of these guys Romance was a key book for them. He was deeply influenced by Romans, and he rediscovered it while he was in it and study of Romans The justification by faith alone. And on October 31, 1517, he nailed 95 theses on the door of the church. Frankly, they weren't all that big. I mean, they're not like earth shattering ideas. But what it did is it said that, you know, we need to we need to get back to some here. We've lost some and we need to get back to what he is. Luther is unequal insult of Scripture, so much so that he is he is just merciless. He's merciless on everything. He's merciless even on the New Testament itself. He wanted to kick out James because James says nothing about the redemption that we have in Christ. Get that epistle of Strong out of the New Testament. He said, Golly woof. Well, what a bold brother. He was so transformed during the Reformation that he renounced his status in Augustine in ISM, married a renegade nun, had eight kids and drank beer in his house. Still talking theology that you can read now in his great, great voluminous stuff of commentaries called table Talk. I mean, he was just a great guy. Luther was a guy you could go chug wine and talk theology, probably couldn't chug with many of you.
He wrote prolifically and influence everything, frankly, that we have come to believe. He wrote on issues related to features, ethics, rulers. He some of his most famous works are list. There he established his own cataclysms and he wrote wonderful hymns. One of my favorite, a mighty Fortress, is our God. He greatly influenced all the key reformers, especially Philip Melanchthon, who authored the Osburn confession, arguably the most significant and far reaching Lutheran confession of faith. He is just in some ways one of the just the great titans of of of of the church. Let's make this plain and you will see why this is important when we get back to it. Luther never intended on replacing the Roman Catholic Church. Never. He only wanted to reform it, to resuscitate it, not to get rid of it, and certainly not to start something on his own. It was not his thing. To other magisterial reformers. All we can do is mention all regarding Zwingli. He was the founder of this of Swiss Protestantism. He was the first of the reform theologians in quite literally, he wrote critically important texts with few of the Reformation. In some ways, zwingli of all the Reformers is one of the one of the clearest or most committed are most evangelical or believers. Frankly, you need to understand it. Many of these guys, because religion was so connected to their own, to their own sort of. You know, to to the issues of of politics that oftentimes the the relationship of the reformation to violence is well documented. Zwingli was killed on a battlefield. I mean, he led an army. I mean, it's the sort of thing if you don't agree with us, we come in over there and all y'all going to be like us.
Amen. Now. Come on, y'all. You need to understand that this is the roots of it. And it's quite literally, it's very, very powerful. He, as Zwingli probably is most known for articulating better than anyone to me, the certainty of God's Word and the Lord's Supper as a memorial of faith. John Calvin is arguably the king of commentators. He is in fact the greatest exegesis of the 16th century. There's no one like him. You can't you can't put you can't put Luther. There is no of there are no other reformers like like Calvin. He was a Frenchman. He was brilliant. He he he he was very, very influenced by the humanists. These guys were brilliant writing all these wonderful things on all of this literature. And Calvin had the sort of mind that he wrote a wonderful commentary on Seneca, one of the Greek philosophers in a completely bomb. Nobody read it. And, you know, I think he wanted to be a great philosophical scholar and everybody's area man. Yet that ain't Jack. And so he sort of turned his attention to theology and became a prize theologian. So there's hope for you. If you've failed in your academic life before, you, you know. I know some of you are my students who have failing, who are failing horribly. So I wanted to encourage you. As you know, I wasn't speaking. I was not speaking of some of my favorite to me students who are in this room. Robb, quit laughing, please. This is not about you. Stop it. Please stop. Well, Calvin is arguably just unusual. Matt had said some of the things that we could read in retrieving the great tradition, the instruction of the Christian religion. The institute is fairly, fairly available. I mean, it's accessible.
You don't have to be, you know, a great scholar to understand what he is saying. And these guys were so powerful. He he wrote four editions of all of this major work during its lifetime. And he constantly was adding, he is he is just he he we all owe him a debt for what he did. He was just such so, so powerful in the actual Heidelberg Catechism. Sort of summarizes most of the critical reform doctrine today is matter of fact, one scholar that I like see it's of it combines Luther's intimacy with Lincoln's charity and Calvin's fire. You know, the Heidelberg Catechism was done by two guys, both in their twenties. It really is amazing to see how young people really influence the history of the church. That encourages me dramatically to see what young, gifted people can do. Well, the radical reformers are there are two other things that we should talk about, the radical reformist central themes. And then we'll close the session with the Catholic reaction after we see a brief word about the Anglicans. The radical reformers were known generally as the left wing of the Reformation. You need to know that they were really different from Luther, Zwingli and Calvin, are they? They really were talked about the third Reformation. That was the Reformation for Catholicism. And then there was the Reformation from the Reformation. And so they were they were quite literally very, very committed. They had a commonality. They were utterly disappointed. If you look at all the radical reformers in the anabaptists, they were disappointed with the with the moral, doctrinal and spiritual aspects of the magisterial reformation. In other words, all of them said that Luther and Calvin and Zwingli didn't go far enough. They didn't recapture the Gospels.
They ignored the power of late Christianity. They didn't really go far enough on the priesthood of all believers. They were they were, I would say, if if it weren't for the great tradition, my second choice for urban Christianity would be the Anabaptists. Except you'll see that I differ with them on their view of tradition. They too readily gave up tradition and it hurt their movement. That's my own view. The Slide Home articles edited by this one fellow is undoubtedly the you know, you need to know that Anabaptists didn't write a whole lot like Luther and Calvin and Zwingli because most of the time they were being persecuted or killed. Mental. Simonds had a 25 year career that is unbelievably long for Anabaptists. Most of their leaders were killed quickly and viciously. Protestants and Catholics both came together to lay siege on Anabaptists. I mean, they were, in fact, hated by everyone. I mean, they are really frankly, they are the gutsiest. I just a couple of weeks ago spoke at Evansville out of the church in outside of Hillsboro. It is the oldest movie church in North America. Evan fell. It was it was founded. And I was talking to them about their their legacy and how that all Christians who believe in the word and the Gospels are Mennonites by, you know, by fire. So I asked them to welcome me as a black be brother that they daddy never told him about. Those little ladies were just looking at me. This black man. Who is he? You know? But I'm saying that quite literally. The key figure, Minnow Simonds, is just an amazing people. Guys, you need to know that Anabaptists were slaughtered part of this because I don't know if some of you Mennonites don't know this.
There was a very violent strain of Mennonites. They actually took over Munster in the 16th century and declared it the New Jerusalem and the Roman Catholics and the Protestants actually besieged Munster and slaughtered that Anabaptist Middle Simon's as a result of that slaughter of of those Mennonites who were trying to violently bring in the kingdom. Here. There was this whole wing of pacifistic Mennonites that emerged in Middle Simon's was a part of that movement. That's a little Mennonite nugget for my Mennonite brothers here. All Mennonites. Raise your hand. Look, Look around, guys. Look at all these Mennonites. Dear Mennonite people, they love their wives and their husbands. Gosh. Let me let me just for time's sake, it's wrong. I'm merely on the cusp of this. Let me give you the central themes of the Reformation, and you will have to do this on your own. I'll say a few words about Anglican Communion, the Catholic Church. There are five themes that I want you to be aware of in the Reformation salvation and the theme of justification by faith. All of the magisterial reforms address this issue. The role of Scripture and religious authority. All of them reasserted the canonical Scriptures as the final authority in matters of faith. On page 54, the relationship of church and state. The reformers rejected the claim of the Roman Catholic Church to control the state. They rejected the medieval understanding of of church. And in place of that they sought rather to teach that secular ruler rulers were to live in a certain degree of holiness and responsibility from a biblical viewpoint. All forms of the Reformation embrace the rediscovery of the priesthood of all believers. Are most of the reformers called for a full dismantling of the complex hierarchy of clergy and laity structures during medieval Catholicism? And virtually all of them rethought the sacraments.
Al-Jazeera, seven Roman Catholic sacraments and most of the reformers boiled it down to just two. The Lord's Supper and the Eucharist of the Lord's Supper and Baptism. So all forms of the Reformation rejected the Catholic interpretation of the Eucharist, too, as sort of a sacrifice of Christ. Let me just say in passing that Anglicanism was the English version of the Reformation. There were all kinds of people who led up to this. William Tyndale, who translated the new version of the Scripture, he was literally burned at the stake for doing so. People like Wickliffe and others who had a profound impact on on really making the word available on Henry. The eighth is really, for all intents and purposes, the one who really trip wire the Anglican Reformation because because he wanted a male heir and he couldn't find any and he would marry a queen and she would have female kids. He got he just in the church wouldn't annul these marriages. He called for the King of England to become the head of the church so he could handle any marriage he wants. It's not a very noble way of starting a reformation, but it is the way it started. Thomas Cranmer was appointed by him, and during this there's part of it really is an amazing thing to read English history. It is one of the bloodiest and most vicious things that I've ever seen. Of the different leaders that came in. And depending on if the leader was Catholic or Protestant, then there was a back and forth and who have to higher ground during the reign. If it was a Protestant reign, then the Protestants had higher ground. If it was a Catholic monarch, then the Catholics will. I will say this, that Anglicanism is a true synthesis of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.
It is called the via media. It is called the Way of the Middle. It really is. It is virtually Catholic and Calvinist and doctrine and Catholic and sacramental and liturgical. It's a it's a the Episcopal Church is is the American version of Anglicanism. It is quite literally Protestant in most doctrine, but it is really truly neo Catholic in its liturgical and sacramental practice. So let me just before we go into modernity, you guys have been so, so kind to talk about the Catholic response to all of this. There can be no question that reformation forever changed your. These guys completely turned Roman Catholicism on its head. And the Roman church really, frankly, had its own kind of reaction. A counter reformation to the reformation. Now, on page 56, I list a number of those things that happened. There were all kinds of things that took place in Catholicism during this this time in the 16th century. There were all sorts of thousands of mystical works and Catholic apologists. There were very able Catholic scholars who wrote. There was widespread rejection of Luther's claims, especially. And in Catholic spirituality, there was a there was a a huge council that really essentially reaffirmed the basic ideas of Catholicism in the Council of Trent. And most notably, it reaffirmed the sacraments of the Catholic Church, baptism, confirmation, Holy Communion, confession, Holy Orders match promoting anointing of the sick. There was a rebirth of the monastic orders which reformed tremendous things in Catholicism. I don't know if you guys know that there were dominant Catholic mystics. There was rebirth of many monastic orders. Teresa of Avila to me, one of the great mystics of our time, if you read some of her things, are Saint John of the Cross.
Ignatius, who started the Society of Jesus when he when he died as founder of the Jesuits, there were only a thousand members in 100 stations when a century later there were 15,000 Jesuits. These are the most aggressive missionaries you can imagine. I mean, so there was a real response in Catholicism to the Reformation. Oh, I must admit, though, that one of the most nasty ways that Catholicism responded to the Reformation was the Inquisition. It established in 1542 and they literally tortured people in the higher you were, the more of the tortured. They really put severe torture on people who were in in places of power because they felt like that. You know that when you punish those who are at the top, you really are ensuring the safety of those at the bottom. Oh, y'all, I'm telling you that reading this, you need to understand that there is nothing that affected, quite literally of European history like these things. Things. And they were all rooted in religion. So Protestant gained ground and lost ground during this time. I want to show you something for your own benefit. A number of different appendices turn with me to page 122. This is what I mean about, by the way, on page 120 and 121, you will find a very nice history of of the timeline of church history from an Eastern standpoint. On page one 2121. You see, I didn't say much about the Eastern church. Let me just give you on page 120 and 121, a sort of an outline of that. This is this, to me is one of the most important resources on this. This this this class is on page is 122 and following. Here are the streams of world Protestantism, the Lutheran, the Reform, the Anabaptists and the Anglican.
If you look at this, you will find on the right hand side there are eight dominant Protestant traditions worldwide. So you can quite literally trace where they come from. Now, this is this is very, very helpful if you don't know where you're from or what you believe or where it came from. This could be very helpful. Luther is is quite honestly, all forms of Lutheran of Faith are offshoots of Luther, the reform. You can see how the anabaptists in reform combined for a number of different things Baptists and then dispensation. And the anabaptists give rise to the various forms of Anabaptist faith in them. The Anglican Church, which gave both both to the Western Alliance and to the Pentecostal Church. In some ways there is a book. You see the book title up front. David Bouchard Exploring Protestant traditions is the definitive work to me. I just got a copy of it. It is just a stunning it's a stunning text. If you really want to know the roots of what Protestant, where it comes from. Why are you a Baptist? Where did where did where did that come from? Then this is the book for you now on the pages that follow. Just follow me very quickly on the pages that follow. You will see how Carolyn just masterfully mapped out these trees very carefully for you. So the Anabaptist tradition and the different leaders on page 124, the Church of England, and the various dimensions of Anglicanism in the Episcopal Church. On on pages 125 and 126. The Baptist Tradition. I like Bouchard because he included what I consider one of the most important Baptist movements in history, the African-American Baptist movement. He included that. But it really does. You can follow it.
The General Freewill Baptist. Those are a combined a particular Baptist, the predominantly African-American in also the seventh day tradition. On page 127, you see the dispensation of tradition made famous by Dallas Seminary on page 128. The Lutheran Tradition. Lutheran M√©lenchon. You see the Wisconsin Lutheran Senate, the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America on page 129. You see the Pentecostal traditions, the two step finished work, Pentecostals, the Charismatic Movement, which really in fact influenced the entire church, not just their own churches. Three step Pentecostalism and then the Oneness Pentecostalism movement. Finally, you find both the reform tradition on page 130. Presbyterians. And then the Wesleyan traditions on pages 131 and 132. Guys. You could teach an entire morning on either one of these. You can see how ridiculous it is to try to do this, but at least I can lay you out a pretty good map of where we are now. If you can go back to page 57. We have essentially dealt with all of these various offshoots. Turn with me to page 58. We're going to take another break. A shorter one. The Reformation is had a dramatic impact, as Will did the Catholic response and the Anglican response. Guys, it completely changed Europe, European life to me, the Reformation. Nothing in the history of the West secularized Europe more than the Reformation. It completely broke the stranglehold of the church on on on the government. It completely nationalized most of the religion. Many of these many of these movements were national. Luther was concentrated in Germany. The reform movement was concentrated in Switzerland, the Anabaptists. I mean, all of these groups sort of became regional. And so the national churches, it really completely. It really no matter what you say about the Reformation, it is probably one of the most amazing periods in the history of of of the world.
I mean, it really, in fact, has transformed our understanding of everything. Let me give you before we break on pages on pages to 19. No, I'm sorry. Essentially. Yeah. No, I was right on page 219. Or appendix? Appendices 42. Essentially through 46, you will find a brief summary of this gargantuan period that we just talked about. Beginning, beginning at page two through 21, you will find a listing of all the various things of this period. We covered a huge period from the medieval time all the way to virtually the modern period. The events that you should know, the names that are important and again, the terms that are critical coming out of this. Again, let's let's close with a quote from Dave. Right. A wide ranging this is on page 58, a wide ranging movement of religious renewal in Europe, concentrated in the 16th century, but anticipated by earlier reform initiatives right in the middle of the of of the thing. It was not so much in the middle now of it. It was not so much a trail blazed by Luther's Lonely Comet, trailing other lesser luminaries as the appearance over the two or three decades as of a whole, a constellation of varied color and brightness. Luther. No doubt the most sparkling among them, but not all shining solely with this borrowed light. The Morningstar was Erasmus. Most reformers were trained humanists, skilled in Asian languages, grounded in biblical sources and enlightened by the Pioneer Greek New Testament. In a real sense, y'all, we are about to talk about modernity and postmodernity. It'll bring us full circle to where we are, and then we have to talk real serious about what does all this mean for us. And I have some proposals to make.
Let's have a break and then we will come back and deal with modernity, post modernity and the church today. Let's let's have a break.