The author of Ecclesiastes states, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9). Apart from the theological significance of this profound statement, another observation arises concerning the study of history: it matters. Although time progresses in a linear direction and contains unique, monumental events (culminating in the return of Jesus), creation witnesses the repetition of patterns, movements, and interactions between humans. The church today faces problems similar to the church of yesteryear, albeit packaged and branded in different forms. A careful study of the history of the church prepares and equips its members to face the difficulties of its own day. The Reformation of the sixteenth century emphasized a return to the Word of God as a remedy for the theological deficiencies of the Roman Catholic Church, and Dr. Nichols embarks on this series to assist the current church by understanding the solas of the Reformation and their place for the people of God in all ages.
Genesis 22; Psalm 68:19–20; 136; John 3:16
1. To illuminate the context physically and spiritually from which the Reformation emerged
2. To demonstrate the importance of studying the Reformation
3. To present an introduction to the solas and an outline of the progression of this teaching series
In the very midst of life, snares of death surround us. Who shall help us in this strife, lest the foe confound us? Thou only, Lord, Thou only. In the midst of death’s dark veil, powers of hell overtake us. Who will help when they assail? Who secure will make us? Thou only, Lord, Thou only. In the midst of utter woe, when our sins oppress us, where shall we for refuge go? Where for grace to bless us? To Thee, Lord Jesus, only. Thy precious blood was shed to win, full atonement for our sin.
—from Martin Luther’s hymn, “In the Very Midst of Life”
The Middle Ages are also called the “Dark Ages” because death and spiritual darkness surrounded the people living within this period of history.
Post tenebras lux means ______________.
- “With darkness comes light”
- “Darkness and light mingled”
- “After darkness, light”
- “Light breaks into the darkness”
The Conciliar Movement succeeded in reforming the administration of the Roman Catholic Church.
What was the primary solution the Reformers posited to cure the theological deficiency of the Roman Catholic Church?
- Replace the Pope
- Move the seat of central authority from Rome
- Return to the Word of God
- Emphasize tradition more
The study of history, particularly the Reformation, matters today because the church faces similar problems in our era.