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14 Nov 2016

Editor’s note

by Jennifer Woodruff Tait | Issue 120

Why do you go to the church you go to? The preaching? The music? The children’s program? Because your next-door neighbor does? As our last two issues devoted to the Reformation have explored, sixteenth-century reformers set out to renew the church and ended up dividing it. Even so, they might be surprised today that we sometimes change denominations as quickly as we change favorite flavors of ice cream. How did this happen?

With this third issue in our Reformation series, we begin to answer that question as we explore what scholars call...

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14 Nov 2016

Did you know?

by the editors | Issue 120

caricature of the French king

A momentous detour 

John Calvin trained first as a lawyer; his first published book was an academic commentary on ancient philosopher Seneca. He meant to merely stop in the Swiss city of Geneva for a single night in 1536 (avoiding hostilities raging between the king of France and the Holy Roman Empire). But Guillaume Farel convinced him to stay, which he did for 25 years, becoming the city’s most famous person. Even so, he was not granted citizenship until five years before his death. Scottish reformer John Knox visited Geneva in 1554 and...

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26 Oct 2016

From turmoil to peace

by Mary S. Sprunger | Issue 120

Menno Simons

IN 1536, when Menno Simons (c. 1496–1561) became an Anabaptist, he joined a movement in peril. Almost all of its initial leaders were dead, either by disease (Conrad Grebel) or execution (Felix Manz, Michael Sattler, Hans Hut, Hans Denck, Balthasar Hubmaier, Georg Blaurock, Jakob Hutter). Melchior Hoffman (1495–1533), the leader responsible for introducing Anabaptism to the Low Countries (modern Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg), was in prison, discredited for prophecies that had not come true.  

no new Jerusalem for now

A 1534 coup in...

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Blog Posts


  • Christian History Magazine #120: Calvin, Councils, and Confessions $5.00

    Christian History Magazine #120: Calvin, Councils, and Confessions

    • Magazine
    • 2016
    • 55 Pages

    A few decades after Luther's stand for reform spread across Europe, a quiet scholarly priest made a fateful stop in Geneva. Read John Calvin's story along with the story of the divisions, martyrdoms, victories, and disappointments that marked the last half of the sixteenth century in this third issue in the Reformation series of Christian History.

  • This Changed Everything - Special Two-Disc Set $25.00

    This Changed Everything - Special Two-Disc Set

    • DVD
    • 180 Minutes
    • Documentary
    • All
    • 2016
    • Christian History Institute

    This Changed Everything: 500 Years of the Reformation celebrates the fruits of the Reformation while exploring difficult questions about the cost of division: Could schism have been avoided? Is there hope for reunification? What did Jesus really mean when He prayed for His followers to be "one"? This special two disc set includes the three hour series and over five hours of bonus material.