The Renaissance was a reaction against the attitude of the Middle Ages. And the Reformation was the passionate, divisive argument that grew out of it. Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans, Anabaptists-our present-day divisions were the front-page headlines of the Reformation. Volume three of 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power, in showing the progression of the Reformation era, and the daring bravery of its figures, presents a period of history from which there are many lessons to be learnt-not least of all, the vibrancy of people’s lives and the courage with which they faced death.
“The Renaissance changed this. It shifted people’s spiritual concern back to the present life: not usually in the sense of denying the life to come, but insisting strongly that life on earth had a value, a dignity, and a beauty of its own.” (Page 21)
“In his theology, Müntzer made the Bible secondary to spiritual experience, the ‘direct speaking’ of the Holy Spirit to the heart.” (Page 132)
“However, the Christian humanists did not admire only the Pagan writers of the classical age. They wanted to go back to all the sources of Western European civilisation, Christian as well as Pagan. So they dug afresh into the riches of the Greek New Testament and the early Church fathers. The apostolic and patristic period became, in their eyes, a spiritual golden age; and again, they felt the only hope for Western Europe was that the golden age of the early Church must be reborn in the present. This humanist quest for the life-giving wellsprings of culture, both Pagan and Christian, found expression in the Latin phrase ad fontes, ‘back to the sources’.” (Page 22)
“They did mean that only the canonical Scriptures possess infallible authority as a source of Christian teaching. All other sources, however useful or even indispensable they may be in helping Christians to understand Scripture, are subordinate to Scripture. However, they did not mean that a Christian could ignore or despise all other sources and authorities. Most of the Protestant Reformers most of the time continued to recognise, in one way or another, the ‘rule of faith’ that had circulated in the Church from earliest days, best known in the West in the form of the Apostles’ Creed.” (Pages 84–85)