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Posts Categorized: Church History

What Caused the Reformation?

In answer to the question, “What caused the Reformation?” many people might point to Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. But if you were to ask Luther himself, he would refuse to take any credit. Instead, he would put the focus entirely on God and His Word. Near the end of his life, Luther declared, “All … read more »

3 Lessons from the Life of John Bunyan

I read The Pilgrim’s Progress, like many of you, when I was a kid. In high school, I rejoined Christian on his journey through a Brit Lit class. When I discovered Reformed theology in my college years, I was reintroduced to John Bunyan through those little Puritan Paper books. In youth ministry, I’ve returned over … read more »

Why Pastors Must Pray

Here are ten reminders for pastors about the vital need to cultivate their personal prayer life, as articulated by notable ministers from church history. 1. True effectiveness in ministry comes not through methods, but through prayer. A. C. Dixon: When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, … read more »

Controversies and Christmas

Mention “Christmas” and “controversy” together in the same sentence, and most evangelicals will assume you’re talking about Santa Claus, Christmas trees, or the secularization of the winter holiday season. But, from a historical perspective, a much more significant controversy surrounded Christmas for the first five centuries of church history; and its effects still linger in … read more »

Jesus’ Deity and the Early Church

Did the early church believe in the deity of Christ? Ask your average Muslim, Unitarian, Jehovah’s Witness, or just about any non-Christian skeptic who has read (or watched) The Da Vinci Code, and they’ll try to convince you the answer is no. From such sources we are told that the deity of Christ was a doctrine invented centuries after Jesus’ death — a result of pagan … read more »

Seminary: Where Devotion Meets Discipline

Today’s post is adapted from B. B. Warfield’s address “The Religious Life of Seminary Students.” The full essay can be read here. As students of theology your vocation is to study theology; and to study it diligently, in accordance with the apostolic injunction: “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord.” It is … read more »

What Does It Mean to Be Reformed?

* A guest blog by Tim Challies Every year or so I find myself crawling back to a definition of the word Reformed that I first wrote up a couple of years ago. I find it worthwhile to revisit this every twelve months or so. With the amount of reading and studying I do in a … read more »

Learning Lessons from Liberals

Dead Germans. They are the subject of a lecture I give every spring in my church history classes: a brief overview of German theologians from the 19th and early-20th centuries. It’s kind of a depressing lecture to deliver — the sad tale of skepticism intersecting with scholarship; a dismal depiction of the disaster unleashed by unrestrained … read more »

Thomas Cranmer, Cowardice, and Courage

A brief sketch from the pages of Reformation history. Four hundred sixty years ago, on March 21, 1556, a crowd of curious spectators packed University Church in Oxford, England. They were there to witness the public recantation of one of the most well-known English Reformers, a man named Thomas Cranmer. Cranmer had been arrested by Roman … read more »

Luther’s Personal Reformation

It was just over 500 years ago, in the fall of 1510, that a desperate Roman Catholic monk made what he thought would be the spiritual pilgrimage of a lifetime. He had become a monk five years earlier, much to the surprise and dismay of his father, who wanted him to become a lawyer. In … read more »