Reform - The Church at the Birth of Protestantism 1485-1600
Throughout the Christian lands of Europe, there was darkness. Not a physical darkness, but a spiritual one. For many years, the clarity of God’s grace given through Jesus Christ had dimmed. A system of human effort designed to achieve God’s favor meant people were confused about Scripture, about salvation, and about the purpose of life.
But in those dark times, light dawned. Brave individuals challenged long–held teachings that had drifted from Scripture. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Thomas Cranmer led movements of reformation in their nations, calling their followers to the clear teaching of the Bible, to Christ, to faith, to grace, to live to the glory of God. Others, such as Patrick Hamilton, William Tyndale, and Lady Jane Grey, sought to continue this enterprise, sometimes at the cost of their lives.
These bold Christians—called Protestants for their protest against the established and wayward Church practices of the day—sought to be faithful to Christ in their world, and in the process they offered in a new world that endures today.