Monday, October 31, 2005

Remembering the Reformers, part 1: John Wycliffe

Since yesterday was Reformation Sunday, a day when we remember our evangelical protestant roots and the recovery of the Gospel. . . and since yesterday I talked about the importance of REMEMBERING. . . .I thought I would take some time this week to highlight some key Reformers.

So the first Reformer you've got to know something about is John Wycliffe. Here's a quick summary of his life grabbed from the Wycliffe Bible Translators webite . . .

John Wycliffe lived almost 200 years before the Reformation, but his beliefs and teachings closely match those of Luther, Calvin and other Reformers. As a man ahead of his time, historians have called Wycliffe the "Morning star of the Reformation."

Born in the 1300s, Wycliffe criticized abuses and false teachings in the Church. In 1382 he translated an English Bible--the first European translation done in over 1,000 years. The Lollards, itinerant preachers he sent throughout England, inspired a spiritual revolution.

But the Lollardy movement was short-lived. The Church expelled Wycliffe from his teaching position at Oxford, and 44 years after he died, the Pope ordered his bones exhumed and burned. Intense persecution stamped out his followers and teachings. It would be hundreds of years before men like Martin Luther resurrected the reforms of which Wycliffe dreamed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sunday was great!! Thanks for the reminder to look back at our heritage and remember Gods faithfulness. Thank you also for tying it in with reforming and renewing. While I value my heritage and the teachings of our forfathers I struggle with clinging to my heritage and allowing it to become an idol in my life. I tend to veiw every church I attend or pastor I listen to thru the seive of my Anabaptist upbringing instead of running it thru the seive of the Gospel. This does not allow for reforming or renewing as I get stuck in the remembering. Keep preaching the truth Tim, I need it.

Looking forward to reading the future postings of other great reformers. I am curious to see who you post next.