Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cairns chapter 26: Background

This time I really have reached the Reformation section of my church history book.  My blogs about it will be from my perspective.  They will be less frequent because of my new job, but I still carry on Martin Luther's spirit in my life.  Today, we will just focus on the paradigm shifts brought in by the Renaissance.

Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  He discovered the Americas.  The world went from potomac civilizations based on rivers, to oceanic civilizations.  The world had expanded.  By the time Luther nailed his 95 Theses, Magellan had circled the world, or at least his ship had.  The more Catholic nations such as Portugal, Spain, and France conquered South and Central America and even Quebec.  Protestant forces such as England and Holland took the United States and Canada.

The mindset had changed from feudalism and lordship to the new concept of a territorial nation-state.  Their motives were most likely not pure, but states such as Germany supported the Reformation because it wanted the churches under national control.  They did not want to keep sending money to Rome.

Towns cropped up.  Markets and capitalism gave way to a middle class merchant society.  There was money.  They had discovered raw materials in the new world.  This began an era of international trade.

Before the Renaissance, if you were born in a serf family, you would remain a serf.  Now, serfs could rise above their situation, earn money, and own property.  People had more independence.

The scholars rediscovered Greek and Latin and decided to read all literature in its original sources.  This lead to reading the Bible in its original Greek and Hebrew.  Individuals began reading the scriptures and noticed differences between the New Testament church versus the Renaissance church.  This led to disadvantages to the Medieval papacy.  Soon, people expressed an emphasis on personal, individual salvation and the need for them to come to Jesus, not a priest.

People began to be diverse in their beliefs.  This was the first time life became divided between secular and sacred.  People would attend church but not really believe or understand.  People led church and took advantage of people not really understanding.  And rebels began questioning authorities of the Church and going with the Bible's authority if they clashed.  This all stirred the pot to begin an outright revolution and a call to bring people back to following Jesus and not man.

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