After Martin Luther had nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Church door in Germany, he started a movement known as the Protestant Reformation (1517). But, what did this all lead to? What did he leave behind after he died? Why was this considered one of the most important things to affect the Christian Church?

Well let’s the browse the history of the Church after the Reformation to understand the impact it had on today’s churches:

1504-1598 

  • 1504 b. Heinrich Bullinger
  • 1507 Luther is ordained as a priest at Erfurt
  • Henry VIII becomes King of England in 1509
  • 1509 b. John Calvin
  • 1510 Luther sent to Rome on monastic business. He saw the corruption of the church
  • 1513 Leo X becomes Pope
  • 1514 b. John Knox
  • 1515 While teaching on Romans, Luther realizes faith and justification are the work of God
  • 1517 Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenburg. It is the first public act of the Reformation
  • Zwingli’s reform is also underway
  • 1519 Charles V becomes Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
  • 1521 Luther is excommunicated
  • 1525 The Bondage of the Will Many of the essays, discourses, treatises, conversations, etc. that Luther had over the years are collected in his Table Talk
  • 1529 The Colloquy of Marburg
  • 1531 d. Ulrich Zwingli
  • c. 1532 or 1533 Calvin’s conversion
  • 1534 Henry VIII declares himself “The only supreme head in earth of the Church of England”
  • 1535 Anabaptists take over Muenster
  • 1536 d. Erasmus
  • 1536 Menno Simons rejects Catholicism, becomes an Anabaptist, and helps restore that movement back to pacifism
  • 1536 William Tyndale strangled and burned at the stake. He was the first to translate the Bible into English from the original languages
  • 1536 First edition of Calvin’s Institutes
  • 1540 Jesuit order is founded. The Catholic Reformation is under way
  • c. 1543 Knox converted
  • 1545 The Council of Trent begins
  • 1546 d. Luther
  • 1547 The young Edward VI becomes King of England. The Duke of Somerset acts as regent, and many reforms take place
  • 1549 Consensus Tigurinus brings Zwinglians and Calvinists to agreement about communion
  • 1553 Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary) begins her reign
  • Many protestants who flee Mary’s reign are deeply impacted by exposure to a more true reformation on the continent. John Knox is among them
  • 1558 Elizabeth is crowned, the Marian exiles return
  • 1559 Last edition of the Institutes
  • 1559 The Act of Uniformity makes the 1559 Book of Common Prayer the standard in the Church of England and penalizes anyone who fails to use it. It is not reformed enough for the Puritans
  • 1560 b. Jacobus Arminius
  • Parliament approves the Scot’s Confession, penned by the six Johns (including Knox)
  • 1561 d. pacifist Anabaptist leader Menno Simons
  • 1563 The Council of Trent is finished
  • 1564 d. John Calvin
  • 1566 Bullinger writes The Second Helvetic Confession
  • 1567-1568 The Vestments Controversy. Puritans did not want the ceremony and ritual symbolized by the robes of the Church of England
  • 1571 Thirty Nine Articles are finalized
  • 1572 d. John Knox
  • 1572 b. John Donne, devout Anglican minister and poet
  • 1572 Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day, the worst persecution of Huguenots
  • 1575 d. Bullinger
  • 1582 The General Assembly in Scotland, with Andrew Melville as moderator, ratifies the “Second Book of Discipline.” It has been called the Magna Carta of Presbyterianism
  • 1593 b. George Herbert, Anglican country parson and poet
  • 1596 b. Moses Amyrald, founder of Amyraldianism, which is basically Calvinism minus limited atonement. Amyraldianism became the theology of the School of Saumer in France
  • 1596 b. Descartes, founder of rationalism
  • 1598 Edict of Nantes grants Huguenots greater religious freedom

1603-1691 

  • 1603 Arminius takes the position that predestination is based on fore-knowledge
  • 1603 James I becomes King
  • 1604 The Puritans meet James at Hampton Court. Their hopes are dashed
  • 1609 d. Jacobus Arminius
  • 1610 b. Brother Lawrence
  • 1610 The Arminians issue the Remonstrance containing 5 articles
  • 1611 The King James Version, the most influential English translation of the Bible
  • 1615 b. Puritan Richard Baxter, author of The Reformed Pastor
  • 1616 b. Puritan John Owen, called the Calvin of England
  • 1618 The Book of Sports is published. It contradicts the Puritan view of the Sabbath, but Puritans are forced to read it
  • 1618-1619 The Synod of Dort is called in the Netherlands to answer the Arminians. The response forms 5 point Calvinism
  • 1620 Plymouth, Massachusetts colony founded by Puritans
  • 1623 b. Blaise Pascal
  • 1623 b. Francis Turretin
  • 1625 Charles I becomes King. He too is against the Puritans
  • 1628 William Laud becomes Bishop of London and steps up oppression of the Puritans
  • 1628 b. Puritan John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress among many other works of poetry and prose
  • 1629 Charles I dismisses Parliament
  • 1630 John Winthrop and many Puritans migrate to America
  • 1632 b. Locke, founder of empiricism
  • 1633 The Book of Sports is renewed
  • 1636 Harvard founded by Puritans
  • 1638 The National Covenant
  • 1640 Charles I summons Parliament. They curtail his power
  • 1643 The Solemn League and Covenant
  • 1643-1646 The Westminster Assembly
  • 1646 Cromwell’s army defeats the King at the Battle of Naseby
  • 1647 George Fox founds the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • 1649 Charles I is executed. Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector
  • c. 1650’s Brother Lawrence became a monk, and “walk(ed) with God around a kitchen for forty years” (Great Christian Books, 57) But he did it to glorify God
  • 1654 Conversion of Pascal. He started collecting notes for an Apology for the Christian Religion. It was unfinished, but his notes were published posthumously as Pensees
  • 1658 d. Cromwell
  • 1660 Charles II becomes King of England
  • 1661-1663 John Eliot publishes the Bible in Algonkian, a Native American language. Over the course of his life he also helped plant at least 14 Native American churches
  • 1662 d. Pascal
  • 1662 New Act of Uniformity, over two thousand Puritan pastors resign or are forced out
  • 1675 Philip Jacob Spener’s Pia Desideria helps begin the pietistic movement
  • Edict of Nantes is revoked, making Protestantism illegal again in France. Many Huguenots emigrated, some stayed and met in secret
  • 1685 b. J.S.Bach, called the fifth evangelist
  • 1687 d. Turretin. His Institutes of Elentic Theology were published the next year
  • 1688 William and Mary take the throne. Puritans are free to preach and establish their own churches
  • 1691 d. Brother Lawrence

  

1703-1799 

  • 1703 b. Jonathan Edwards
  • 1706 Francis Mackie founds the first Presbytery in America in Philadelphia
  • 1714 b. Immanuel Kant, a leader of the Romantic movement. He said knowledge is not what is, but only what our minds can grasp
  • 1714 b. George Whitefield
  • 1727 “The Golden Summer.” A revival broke out among Count Nikolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf and the Hussite Moravian refugees he had taken in. Many Moravian missionaries were sent overseas
  • During the 1720’s, revival breaks out as Theodore Frelinghuysen preaches in New Jersey. Revival spreads through Gilbert Tennant to New Brunswick. It is the first stirrings of the First Great Awakening
  • 1734-1737 The Great Awakening continues as Jonathan Edwards preaches in Massachusetts. Revival spreads to Connecticut
  • 1739-41 George Whitefield joins Edwards. He traveled diligently, traveling between England and America 13 times, and was able to reach about 80% of the colonists with the gospel
  • 1739 The Methodists begin as a parachurch society in London
  • 1741 The conservative Old Side/ pro-revival New Side controversy in American Presbyterianism
  • 1746 Princeton founded by the Presbyterians
  • 1754 Dartmouth founded for Native Americans
  • 1758 Old Side/New Side schism healed
  • 1759 b. Charles Simeon, founder of low-church party of Church of England
  • 1759 b. William Wilberforce, an evangelical in the Church of England, who fought against slavery and wrote Real Christianity
  • 1761 b. William Carey
  • 1764 Brown founded by Baptists
  • 1766 Rutgers founded by Dutch Reformed. All these new colleges were fruit of the Great Awakening
  • 1768 Lady Huntingdon, who brought Methodism to the upper classes and founded “The Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion”, opened Trevecca House as a Methodist Seminary
  • 1770 d. Whitefield.
  • 1772 b. Archibald Alexander, who would organize Princeton Theological Seminary
  • c.1773-1775 Founded, the first black Baptist church in America, Silver Bluff, South Carolina
  • 1779 Olney Hymns produced by John Newton and William Cowper. It includes “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” and “Amazing Grace”
  • 1783 b. Asahel Nettleton
  • 1784 John Wesley baptizes Thomas Coke, making Methodism a denomination separate from the Church of England
  • 1787 Archibald Alexander at Hampton Sydney College. May be considered the first early stirrings of the Second Great Awakening
  • 1791 d. Lady Huntingdon
  • 1792 William Carey preaches “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”
  • 1792 Particular Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen founded, later called the Baptist Missionary Society
  • 1792 b. Charles Finney, inventor of modern revivalism
  • 1795 London Missionary Society founded
  • 1797 b. Charles Hodge
  • 1799 Church Missionary Society founded
  • 1799 Friedrich Schleiermacher’s On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers presented Christianity in a Romantic, subjective light. Precursor to Liberalism

 

1800 – 1898 

  • 1800 The first camp meeting in Kentucky is presided over by Calvinist James McGready
  • 1801 William Carey’s Bengali New Testament published
  • 1801 The Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky is an early stirring of the Second Great Awakening
  • 1808 Henry Martyn publishes the New Testament in Hindustani
  • 1809 Harvard having been lost to Unitarianism, Andover Seminary is founded
  • 1812 Princeton Seminary founded
  • 1812 b. James Henley Thornwell, the great Southern Presbyterian mind whose influence is still felt in the PCA
  • 1813 b. David Livingston, missionary and explorer in Africa
  • 1813 b. Soren Kierkegaard
  • African Methodist Episcopal Church founded in 1816 by Richard Allen, a freedman who had been the first black Methodist to be ordained as a deacon
  • 1824 Charles Finney leads revivals from Wilmingham to Boston. The Second Great Awakening is underway
  • 1825 Charles Hodge founds the Princeton Review
  • 1834 d. William Carey, called “the Father of Modern Missions”
  • 1834 b. C.H.Spurgeon
  • 1835 Hodge’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans
  • 1835 Finney’s Lectures on Revivals
  • 1833-1841 The Oxford Movement, or the Tractarian Movement, attempts to bring the Church of England closer to Catholicism. Tried to popularize the Via Media. Led by John Henry Newman
  • 1835-1837 Adoniram Judson translates the Bible into Burmese
  • 1837 b. Abraham Kuyper
  • 1837 Old School/New School controversy splits American Presbyterianism
  • 1843 The Disruption of the church in Scotland
  • 1844 d. Asahel Nettleton, Calvinist leader who opposed Finney’s formulaic view of revivalism during the Second Great Awakening
  • 1845 John Henry Newman converts to Roman Catholicism
  • 1848 b. Mary Slessor, who the Africans she would minister to called “The Mother of All of Life”
  • 1851 d. Archibald Alexander
  • 1851 b. B.B.Warfield, Princeton theologian who would defend inerrancy
  • 1852 b. Adolf Schlatter, a respected conservative voice in liberal Germany
  • 1854 Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
  • 1855 d. Kierkegaard
  • 1857 Finney’s Lectures to Professing Christians written to influence the practice of “Christian Perfection”
  • Origen of Species, 1859, Darwin
  • 1860 Essays and Reviews published. A liberal manifesto by 7 Church of England priests
  • 1861 Spurgeon moves to the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Soon he is preaching to over 6,000 per week
  • 1864 Old School/New School schism healed in the South
  • 1869 Old School/New School schism healed in the North
  • 1870 Vatican I, and the declaration of Papal Infallibility when speaking ex cathedra
  • 1870 Fifty year celebration of Friedrich August Tholuck’s professorship at Halle. Tholuck was the spiritual father of thousands of students, and mentored Charles Hodge
  • 1873 d. David Livingston
  • 1875 d. Charles Finney
  • 1874 The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation by Albrecht Ritschl reduces Christianity to a social gospel
  • 1878 d. Charles Hodge
  • 1879 John Henry Newman made a Cardinal
  • 1881 b. J.Gresham Machen
  • 1886 Abraham Kuyper leads a major sucession in the Dutch Reformed Church
  • 1886 The Student Volunteer Movement
  • 1886 b. Karl Barth
  • 1890 d. John Henry Newman, who became one of the most influential Roman Catholic thinkers of his time
  • 1892 d. C.H.Spurgeon
  • 1898 Kuyper’s Stone Lectures urge the development of a Christian worldview encompassing all of life

1900-2002 

  • 1900 What is Christianity by Adolf Harnack reduces Christianity to the personality of Jesus in the synoptics, without any supernatural elements
  • 1905 d. George MacDonald, Christian novelist and Poet
  • 1906 Azusa St. Revival, a major catalyst to the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches
  • 1921 d. B.B.Warfield
  • 1922 “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?” sermon by Harry Emerson Fosdick
  • 1922 “Shall Unbelief Win?” sermon by Clarence Edward Macartney
  • 1923 Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen
  • 1925 Scope’s Monkey Trial brings national attention to Fundamentalism
  • 1929 Machen and others found Westminster Seminary after Princeton is lost to the liberals
  • 1934 Conversion of Billy Graham
  • 1936 d. G.K. Chesterson
  • 1941-43 Reinhold Niebuhr’s The Nature and Destiny of Man
  • 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer hanged by the Nazis
  • 1945 D.Charles Williams, who wrote Christian metaphysical thriller fantasy novels and hung out with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien
  • 1950 Doctrine of the Assumption of Mary
  • 1950 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the first of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • 1951 Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture
  • 1955 L’Abri Fellowship founded by Francis Schaeffer
  • 1962-1965 Vatican II
  • 1963 d. C.S.Lewis
  • 1968 d. Karl Barth
  • 1968 Liberation Theology comes to prominence in the second Conference of Latin American Bishops
  • 1968 The God Who is There by Francis Schaeffer
  • 1973 Mission to the World of the Presbyterian Church in America
  • 1999 The twentieth century had more Christian martyrs than all the other centuries combined. Find out more from The Voice of the Martyrs

As you can see, his impact had a MAJOR impact on the church and influenced THOUSANDS of people. It also lead to the start of several other minor denominations within the church as shown here:

History of the Church... Notice what happens after the 1500's

Although this has caused major division within the Church of Jesus, do you believe that Martin Luther’s works seem to contradict and complicate the faith? Do you think that what Martin Luther did this was beneficial to you or was this not benenficial in your Christian walk?

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