Month: July 2015

96-English Candles file | Play in new windowThis episode of CS is titled is titled “English Candles.” We’ve spent the last several episodes looking at the Reformation & Counter-Reformation in Europe. In this episode we’ll take a look at how the Reformation unfolded, specifically in England. The story of the Church in England is an interesting one. The famous, or infamous, Henry the VIII was king of England when Luther set fire to the kindling of the Reformation. Posturing as a bulwark of Catholic orthodoxy, Henry wrote a refutation of Luther’s position in 1521 titled “Defense of the Seven Sacraments” and was rewarded by Pope Leo X with the august title, Defender of the Faith. Ironic then that only about a decade later, Henry would hijack the church, officially ousting the Pope as head of the Church IN England and making himself head of the Church OF England. What makes the story of these years in England so interesting is the marital & political shenanigans Henry VIII played. The intrigues played out for the thrones of Spain, France & England all make for the best drama and most people don’t realize that so many of the famous names of history all lived right at this time and knew each other, at least by reputation. If the story was a movie dreamed up in Hollywood, most would consider it too far-fetched....

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95-Point Counter-Point file | Play in new windowThis episode is titled Point – Counter Point: The Catholic Reformation. We’ve spent the last several episodes considering the Protestant Reformation of the 16th C. The tendency is to assume the Roman Church just dug in its heels in an obdurate opposition to the Protestants. While the 17th C will indeed see much blood shed between the religious factions of Europe, it would be wrong to assume the Roman Church of the early decades of the Reformation was immediately adversarial. Don’t forget that all the early Reformers were Roman Catholics. And reform was something many had been calling for in the Roman church for a long time prior to Martin Luther’s break. The Conciliar Movement we talked about many episodes back was an attempt at reform, at least of the hierarchy of the church, if not some of its doctrine. Spain was a center of the call for Reform within the church. But Luther’s rift with Rome, and the floodgate it opened put the Roman Church on the defensive and caused it to respond aggressively. That response was what’s called the Catholic Counter-Reformation. But that title can be misleading if one assumes the Catholic Church became only more hide-bound in reaction to the Protestants. Several important reforms were made in the way the Church was run. And Protestant theology urged Catholic theologians to...

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94-The Ultimate Fighter: Reformation Edition file | Play in new windowThis episode is titled, The Ultimate Fighter; Reformation Edition. The pioneer of Protestantism in the western Switzerland was William Farel. Some pronounce it FAIR-el, but we’ll go with the more traditional Fah – REL. He began as an itinerate evangelist who was always in motion, seemingly tireless; full of faith and fire. He was bold as Luther but far more radical. He also lacked Luther’s genius. He’s called the Elijah of the French Reformation & “the scourge of priests.” Once an devoted RC who studied under pro-reform Catholics at the University of Paris, Farel became just as loyal a Protestant, who was able to see only what was wrong with the Catholicism of his past. Farel loathed the pope, branding him a veritable antichrist, as did many Protestants of that period. Of course, the popes returned the favor and labeled some of the Reformation leaders with the same title. Farel declared that all the statues, pictures & relics found in Roman churches were heathen idols which must be destroyed. While Farel was never officially ordained, he thought himself divinely called, like a prophet of old, to break down idolatry and clear the way for the spiritual worship of God according to God’s Word. He was a born fighter & echoing Jesus, said he came, not to bring peace, but a sword. It’s true...

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