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Posts Tagged ‘John Calvin’

I am reading (parts of) an awesome book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Reformation & Protestantism.  This is not a confession of idiocy.  As a homeschooler we pride ourselves on knowing history, especially that pertaining to the Church.  I heard of most of these people and events as a student in world history class, but this book is a much fuller treatment.  I think the intervening studies of ecclesiology (you know, that prompting Changing Church) between high school and now has enabled me to grasp where the reformers stood, and what denominational traditions descended from whom. 

Here is what I learned this morning:

  • Martin Luther fired up the reformation.  He was mainly mad about abuses in the Catholic church, especially concerning indulgences.  He affirmed salvation by faith alone, and sola Scriptura.  However, Luther was not anti-Catholic, and retained many of the worship forms rejected by mainstream protestantism today. 
  • John Calvin is remarkably human.  Some present day denominations might consider this heresy, but I think I can see where he was coming from.  Though I thought presbyterians were very Calvinist, the presbyterian style of church was actually begun by someone else:
  • John Knox, who established the Auld Kirk, Church of Scotland.  I have been in a church run essentially on his model.  The impact he had on Scotland, which I have always admired for their theology and conservatism, is huge. 
  • Anabaptists were the 2-time baptizers not because they thought you had to be baptized twice, but because they didn’t count the infant baptism almost everyone had experienced.  They varied on other beliefs, but were traditionally more withdrawn from “outsiders”, politics, and wars. 

This last thing I learned so far is big.  Quakers are strikingly reminiscent of the Emergent church movement today.  From Idiot’s Guide to the Reformation & Protestantism: “The foundational belief of the Quakers is that God gives the individual divine revelation.  Each and every person may receive the word of God internally, and each should endeavor to receive that word and heed it… The Quakers rejected the formal creeds and regarded each worshiper of God as a vessel of divine revelation.”  Listen to a debate between, we’ll say he’s probably closest to a Calvinist, and an Emergent leader done by Way of the Master Radio

I checked this book out from the library to reference for another post I will hopefully publish today.  Stay tuned. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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