Tweet The Protestant Reformation The Protestant Reformation was a major 16th century European movement aimed initially at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Its religious aspects were supplemented by ambitious political rulers who wanted to extend their power and control at the expense of the Church. The Reformation ended the unity imposed by medieval Christianity and, in the eyes of many historians, signaled the beginning of the modern era. A weakening of the old order was already under way in Northern Europe, as evidenced by the emergence of thriving new cities and a determined middle class.
Martin Luther has a complex legacy. Many laud him as a historical and theological hero—the German reformer who drove a nail through the heart of works-based righteousness. This is the kind of stuff that happens after half a millennium, when the tug-of-war between hagiographic fact-or-fiction is won and lost by a slew of different card-carrying demographics: Nazis, evangelical Southern Baptists, liberal historians, and so on.
Let me name four ways. It disarmed the ecclesial meritocracy that suppressed the common man.
The 16th-century church service, before the Reformation took hold, was a mindless chore, a political requirement to accrue whatever grace dripped from priestly faucets.
The Mass trickled out in Latin, unintelligible murmurs to most. And the Eucharist was a one-man show, wherein the priest would engage in a confusing act of metaphysical hijinks, transubstantiating bread to flesh and wine to blood for the supposed edification of all.
Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and others after them saw a problem. In other words, sola scriptura predicated sola fide ; this is crucial to understanding the thrust of Reformation theology.
On January 1,Zwingli, still a Roman Catholic priest, did away with the traditional Latin lectionary and began expository sermons through the New Testament in his native tongue.
Concurrently, Luther translated the Bible into German for his people and had published the Old Testament by All this in the name of getting the very Word of God to people in a way they could not only understand, but respond to.
These actions changed the face of the European church, paving the way for Protestantism as we know it. No longer were churchgoers passive recipients.
Now they were free to be active participants, both intellectually and otherwise. Before, church was a top-down endeavor, but these breakthroughs opened the door to widespread ecclesiological shifts.
It reclaimed a biblical idea of the pastorate. The days of unintelligibly going through the motions had passed. They merely lift eyes to the cross and all the heavenly blessings therein. It restored the sacraments to the people—and began untethering church from state.
How did this shift play out? Paedobaptism was an unquestioned staple of the Catholic Church.
But it was also a theological conviction held by Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin—along with basically all their contemporaries. With considerable disagreements everywhere else, why the similarity at this point?To understand the Protestant Reform movement, we need to go back in history to the early 16th century when there was only one church in Western Europe - what we would now call the Roman Catholic Church - under the leadership of the Pope in Rome.
The Protestant Reformation was a major 16th century European movement aimed initially at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic ashio-midori.com religious aspects were supplemented by ambitious political rulers who wanted to extend their power and control at the expense of the Church.
The Reformers of the sixteenth century believed the only path to lasting reformation was the Word of God.
As a result, the Bible again became the ultimate authority. Surrounded by powerful dignitaries of both church and state, the young Augustinian monk was asked whether he would repudiate the books.
The Reformation was a 16th-century religious and political challenge to papal authority in Catholic Europe. Read more about Martin Luther, .
The Catholic Reformation in the Sixteenth Century This article, from , examines the achievements of the 16th-century Catholic reformation as well as the obstacles encountered as a result of. The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants.
The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to ("protested") the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led to the creation of new national Protestant churches.