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Christian History Magazine commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

Issue #120 explores the life and impact of John Calvin and other sixteenth century leaders in the context of emerging theological and cultural movements. These movements, often founded by an individual, soon to became separate Christian denominations, forever altering both the church establishment and creating a group of neighboring state governments, soon to be known as states and Europe. These institutions helped reform Christendom, as well as nations, shaping Western Civilization and the modern world.

The issue’s contributing authors provide fresh insights into Calvin, the man—his personal life and legacy as a pastor, a thought leader, theologian and statesman. Ultimately, John Calvin and his contemporaries inspired major thought movements, which today, compose the fabric of modern Christian denominations and the spiritual lives of millions of Christians. Major movements/traditions examined include: the Reformed church, Church of England, Lutherans, Anabaptists and Catholics, as well as, regions, city states and kingdoms which, over time, became nations.

Issue #122 contains ten in-depth articles that explore responses to the Reformation within the Catholic Church and two related Protestant movements (the Arminius challenge to Calvin’s Reform movement and the Puritan’s movement in America). The issue brings to a conclusion the editor’s four-issue series commemorating the 500th anniversary of the European Reformation period, generally considered to have begun with the publication of Luther’s 95 theses, in protest.

The issue’s contributing authors examine response efforts by both Catholic Church insiders and evangelicals. While piety movements spawned numerous formal orders, including the Jesuits (Society of Jesus), it also encouraged an underground “justification by faith” movement which has remarkably experienced a revival in the present day. Both responses, in spite of papal reluctance, lead to the Council of Trent (1545 to 1563) and Europe’s Thirty Years’ War, which further defined the relationship between the church and state, as well as how Protestant rejection of church statuary and images resulted in an art explosion as an expression of Catholic Church truths and doctrine.

“Christian history has been largely removed from the American public education system that Christian leaders began in the early years of this nation,” said Michael Austin, a Christian commentator. “After years of decline, our public schools no longer teach the Bible’s founding contribution to Western Civilization. Pioneer’s such as Martin Luther instilled in our culture the values of faith, freedom and education. Yet, today, faith in God is being openly questioned and attacked.”

Citing the importance of history, George Barna, speaking of research gathered in a recent survey, said, “Young people couldn’t think of anything positive that the church stood for.” In a video interview, Barna reported, “We’re essentially in the Dark Ages, in America today.”

Christian History Institute (CHI) is a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation founded in 1982. Contact Christian History Institute, Box 540, Worcester, PA 19490, www.ChristianHistoryInstitute.org

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Category: Church History, Fall 2017

About the Author: The PneumaReview.com editors are Raul Mock, Mike Dies, Joe Joslin, and Jim Dettmann with significant input from other writers including John Lathrop, Amos Yong, Tony Richie, and Kevin Williams.

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