Jean Henri Merle D'aubigne's History of the Reformation in the Sixteenth Century is an excellent resource for anyone who wishes to know more about the Reformation. It is a long read (5 volumes), but worth the effort and time. In these books D'aubigne takes you on a trip through reformation history, visiting Germany, France, England... etc. He doesn't simply move through one country, finish it and then move on to the next, he visits countries again and again. First he will take you to Germany, stay there for a little while, and then he'll say something like "let us leave Luther a captive at the Wartburg and go see what is happening in Switzerland". After dealing with Switzerland he comes back to Germany and catches up on what is happening there, leave again, come back, and so on. And instead of merely recounting events,"this happened and then that happened", he'll often take you into, as it were, the different scenes in history, bringing 'to life' the different characters. For instance, when Luther is called to Augsburg to recant, you get to see and hear(or rather imagine while reading) Cardinal Cajetan ranting and yelling at Luther, Luther standing before him, very frustrated, trying to reply, finally getting some words in and trapping Cajetan with his own argument. Furthermore, D'aubigne uses several letters from the reformers, enemies of the reformers and their friends, and quotes historical documents, such as the Papal Bull, the 95 Theses and Tetzel's Theses, to help 'transport' you into history.
Perhaps the thing I like best about this historical work is that D'aubigne aims to show "God in History". He always acknowledges the sovereignty of God, that the events that he recounts are ordained, decreed, by God.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
"Where there is no “moral gravity” – that is, no force that draws us to the center – there is spiritual weightlessness. We float on feelings that will carry us where we never meant to go; we bubble with emotional experiences that we often take for spiritual ones; and we are puffed up with pride. Instead of seriousness, there is foolishness. Instead of gravity, flippancy. Sentimentality takes the place of theology. Our reference point will never serve to keep our feet on solid rock, for our reference point, until we answer God’s call, is merely ourselves. We cannot possibly tell which end is up. Paul calls them fools who '…measure themselves by themselves, to find in themselves their own standard of comparison!'"
- Elisabeth Elliot
- Elisabeth Elliot