The Renaissance and Reformation were exciting times of learning and discovery—they pushed the boundaries of accepted thought. The repercussions of this, however, were that they left in their wake a period of universal uncertainty. The centuries-old status quo had been turned on its head. Nothing was stable anymore. Conflict ensued. The fourth volume of 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power spans from the 16th to the 18th century. It presents a time from which English Protestantism, Scottish Presbyterianism, and French Catholicism, to name only a few, were birthed and refined. Perhaps few eras have had such a direct impact on the characteristics of our own period of history.
“One interesting theological conviction that many historians think was almost exclusively Puritan was Sabbatarianism—a belief that the Christian Sunday was essentially identical with the Old Testament Sabbath, and should be rigorously kept as a day of rest-for-worship, neither work nor recreation being allowed.” (Page 179)
“Since the Remonstrance had expressed Arminian theology in five points, the synod responded by working through these points in a series of ‘canons’ and presenting a Reformed perspective on each point. Here is the origin of the so-called ‘Five Points of Calvinism’: not a summary of Reformed theology, but simply Reformed theology’s response to the five points of the Arminian Remonstrance on disputed matters concerning salvation.” (Page 140)
“This was to be a hallmark of early Separatists—their opposition to any element in worship that was not the immediate, spontaneous utterance of the worshiping soul. That of course meant no liturgies, but it equally meant no hymns and no psalms; all these had been written by persons other than the worshiper, and therefore could not be the worshiper’s own heart-utterance.” (Page 187)
“He argued that in spite of sin, fallen sinners have a natural ability to believe the Gospel for their salvation—otherwise how could God require them to believe, and hold them blameworthy for not believing? By ‘natural ability’, Amyraut meant all the mental equipment necessary to perform the act of believing.” (Page 147)
“Here, Beza argued that if monarchs behaved tyrannically, the lesser political authorities of the realm could lawfully restrain them, by force if necessary.” (Page 104)