Reformation Views of Church History

By Glanmor Williams | Go to book overview

I
THE CONTINENTAL BACKGROUND

LOOKING BACK over a century of upheaval and revolution in theology and scholarship, the English philosopher-statesman, Francis Bacon, with his accustomed percipience, rightly pointed to the effect which Martin Luther had had upon the study of the past. He had been obliged, Bacon argued, "to awake all antiquity and to call former times to his succours...so that the ancient authors both in divinity and humanity, which had a long time slept in libraries, began generally to be read and resolved"1

This was not because Luther would have regarded himself as a historian. Certainly it was not because he based his doctrine primarily on a study of the past. On the contrary, his convictions sprang from an agonizing personal experience in the present and an intense and searching meditation on the Scriptures. It was they, not any awareness of history, which gave birth to his passionate sensitivity to an individual relationship between God and man; to the sinner's desperate need for grace, to his redemption not by any external act or works prescribed by the Church or devised by the imagination of man but by an inward act of faith responding to the inscrutable mystery of divine grace. He found all this in himself and in the Word, and not in any historical works or chronicles. And he was convinced, with the single-minded faith of a man who believed himself transported from the unimaginable despair and isolation of the God-deserted to the ecstatic liberty of the God-redeemed, that did he but convey to others his experience they must inevitably share a heavenly rapture which was so real to him.

But -- and this is the point where we at once begin to see the force of Francis Bacon's comment -- almost as soon as Luther came to communicate his sensibilities to others he began to realize that defenders of orthodoxy would denounce them as an intolerably presumptuous threat on the part of a single misguided monk to fifteen hundred years of established authority in the Church. In the famous Leipzig debates of 1519 Luther's opponent, John Eck, quickly sensed -- more swiftly and clearly than Luther himself at first -- what the implications of the

-7-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Reformation Views of Church History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Contents 3
  • Ecumenical Studies in History 4
  • Preface 5
  • I - The Continental Background 7
  • II - The English Pioneer: William Tyndale 22
  • III - The Link: John Bale 33
  • IV - The Consummation: John Foxe 46
  • V - Aftermath and Conclusions 63
  • Bibliography 75
  • Notes 78
  • Index 82
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 85

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.