Hugh Latimer (1485-1555)

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An English Reformer and preacher known for the emphasis on social action and Christian piety in his preaching. Latimer became a priest after graduating from Cambridge. He lost favor with the Roman Catholic Church in the 1520s because of his Protestant sympathies, but won favor with King Henry VIII and was named bishop of Worcester in 1535. He was forced to resign this post when the king enacted the Six Articles, which prevented the spread of Protestantism. He was most popular under Edward VI, but with the succession of the Catholic Mary Tudor, he was martyred in 1555.

(from Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition).

The Perseverance of Noah

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THE PERSEVERANCE OF NOAH

Out of all the Old Testament saints, one of my favorites is Noah. That’s because he exemplifies what perseverance of a saint looks like. According to Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe, a man who perseveres may not see the fruit of his labor in his day. He said, “Ours is a ministry of faith, and we don’t always see the results. The harvest is not the end of the meetings or of the church year. The harvest is the end of the age, and the Lord of the harvest will see to it that His good and faithful servants will get their just rewards.” Here in North America, where many professing Christians choose whatever is convenient and whatever is the easy way out, we need to learn what it means to persevere and what it means to be steadfast. Hence, consider the perseverance of Noah.

(If you’re interested in reading the rest, click here.)

Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531)

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Ulrich (Huldrych) Zwingli (1484-1531) is one of the primary fathers of the Protestant Reformation, along with Martin Luther and John Calvin. Born in German-speaking Switzerland. He was ordained as a priest in the Roman Catholic Chuch in 1506. Between 1512 and 1516, he served as chaplain for the papal mercenary service. In his last year of service at Glarus in 1516, he came to a Reformed understanding of Scripture. In 1519 at Grossmunster in Zurich, he began systematically preaching through the New Testament, during which time his support of Luther and the doctrines of Reformation became more evident. He was outspoken of the Roman Catholic practices and doctrines of monasticism, purgatory, worship of Mary and indulgences.

In 1529 he helped the publication of the Zuricher Bible (1529), one of the earliest translations into the German vernacular. Although the Reformation grew, he differed with Luther in regards to the Lord’s Table. Contrary to Luther’s consubstantiation, Zwingli held to memorialism. In October 1531, he was killed by the Catholic armies at the Battle of Kappel.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

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He is known for launching the Protestant Reformation in Germany. His “tower experience” convinced him that the essence of the gospel is that justification comes only by the gift of God’s grace appropriated by faith (sola gratia; sola fide). According to Luther, God declares the sinner righteous through Jesus’ death rather than through human merit or works. Faith entails trust in and acceptance of God’s gift of salvation through the “merits” of Christ (from Pocket Dictionary of the Theological Terms).

To learn more about him, you can read “Martin Luther and Why He Matters.”

Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

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A major figure of the Reformation period, Erasmus, a Christian humanist, sought to bring about reforms in the church through a return to scholarly study of both the Scriptures and the texts of the Greek and Latin and Latin classical tradition. One of Erasmus’s major undertakings was the production of a Greek New Testament. Erasmus is significant in that he provided the tools that Reformers such as Luther and Calvin used in their efforts to interpret the NT on the basis of the Greek text and to carry on their theological work (from Pocket Dictionary of the Theological Terms).

Jan Hus (John Huss) (1372-1415)

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Bohemian pre-Reformation advocate of church reform and eventual martyr. Hus was ordained and preached at Bethlehem chapel in Prague. Educated at Prague University, Hus was briefly appointed dean and rector, and, inspired by John Wyclif, proposed various reforms that drew wide support. He was censured for his bold preaching and wrote his major work on ecclesial reform while in exile. Though promised safe conduct to the Council of Constance, he was arrested and removed from the priesthood. As he was burned at the stake, he sang. Considered a martyr and national hero, he influenced the Bohemian Brethren and the Reformers, though his work had focused more on clerical abuses and ethics than on theological issues (from Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition).

John Wyclif (1330-1384)

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English theologian and Oxford professor, often referred to as the morning star of the Reformation. Wyclif’s belief in the absolute authority of Scripture led him to oversee the translation of the Bible into the English vernacular of the time. His own study of Scripture led him to oppose transubstantiation, monasticism, the mediatory power of the priest and other Catholic doctrines, resulting in his dismissal from Oxford. However, his influence had already spread from Oxford to continental Europe, most notably to the Bohemian theologian Jan Hus. Wyclif’s English followers, called Lollards, gained strength and were even represented in Parliament for a time before undergoing extreme persecution in the fifteenth century (from Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition).