Reformed Churchmen

We are Protestant, Calvinistic and Reformed Prayer Book Churchmen and Churchwomen. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; in 2012, we also remembered the 450th anniversary of Mr. (Bp., Salisbury) John Jewel's sober, scholarly, Protestant, and Reformed defense An Apology of the Church of England. In 2013, we remember the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. You will not hear these things in modern outlets for Anglican advertisement. Confessional Churchmen keep the "lights burning in the darkness." Although Post-Anglicans or Ex-Anglicans with sorrow (and contempt for many, especially the leaders), we maintain learning, faith, hope and reading. Mr. (Rev. Dr.) James Packer cited and applied this specific song for mishmash-muddler-Anglicans: (Also, as a matter of policy, we do not post "anonymous posters," Give your real name and location. Many have been deleted which were otherwise good posts. We're old Marines here. Hiding is not courage.)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

19 Apr 1529 AD: Diet (Congress) of Speyer, Germany. Reformers Called "Protestants" for 1st Time

19 April 1529 A.D.
 Diet of Speyer, Germany Convened.  Reformers called “Protestants” for the first time.

When someone asks what religion you are, what do you answer? There are a lot of different labels to describe the varieties of Christian followers, and the word "Protestant" is one. It was on this day, April 19, 1529, that the designation "Protestant" might be said to have come into existence.

Martin Luther had been declared a heretic by both the pope and the emperor, but his followers continued to multiply rapidly. Emperor Charles V could not suppress the reformers as he wished, because the Turks were threatening his empire from the east, and the pope and he were quarreling with each other. In 1521, at Worms, Germany, Charles signed a document which outlawed Luther. Five years later at another imperial council, Charles agreed to postpone any settlement of religious issues. He agreed that until an official policy could be established, every State within his territories would be governed as the ruler thought most pleasing to God. In practice, this meant that throughout Germany's many independent cities, principalities and electorates, the religion of each prince or local ruler became the religion of his subjects.

In 1529 a Diet (Congress) met at Speyer, Germany to consider action against the Turks and attempt again to come to terms with the Reformation. The Diet forbade any extension of the Reformation until a German council could meet the following year. Charles V declared he would wipe out the Lutheran "heresy." Five reforming princes and fourteen cities drafted a protest, a formal legal appeal, for themselves, their subjects and all who then or in the future should believe in the Word of God. (It was not formally published until July.)

Eight years before, Martin Luther was a lone monk standing for the Word of God and liberty of conscience at the Diet of Worms. But by 1529, the world had changed: there was an organized party of government leaders with consciences bound by the Word of God against tyrannical authority. Not every protester was a Lutheran. The whole party of the reformers needed a name. From the protest and appeal at the Diet of Speyer, these breakaways from the Roman Church began to be called Protestants.

Today Protestants are one of three major branches of Christianity. While all three hold the same fundamental creed, other differences are many. Perhaps the key difference is that while the Eastern Orthodox and Roman traditions combine the Scripture with the authority of church tradition or of a pope, Protestants claim to find the sole authority for their faith in the Bible, the Word of God. Many can also be identified because they accept the priesthood of all believers and the doctrine of justification by faith alone.


1.      Adapted from an earlier Christian History Institute story.

2.      Bezold, Friedrich von. Geschichte der Deutschen Reformation. Berlin: Derlagsbuchhandlung, 1890. Source of the image.

3.      "Protestantism" in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, edited by F. L Cross and E. A. Livingstone.

4.      Schaff, Phillip. The History of the Christian Church, Volume VII. Grand Rapids, Michigan: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1910.

19 Apr: 1662 Book of Common Prayer, Mr. (Canterbury) Alphege (954-1011 AD)

19 April.  1662 Book of Common Prayer.  Mr. (Abp. of Canterbury) Alphege.

Alphege, Archbishop (954-1011). Abbot of a Benedictine monastery near Bath, Bishop of Winchester, and Archbishop of Canterbury during the great invasion of the Danes, in revenge for the massacre of the Danish mercenaries on St. Brice's Day (1002). He was a man of a gentle and saintly character, taken prisoner by the Danes on the sack of Canterbury, and murdered at Greenwich after long imprisonment and insult, because he would not ransom himself from the treasures of the Church. His body was buried in St. Paul's, and afterwards translated with great pomp to Canterbury. -- April 19th.

Friday, April 18, 2014

18 Apr 1587 AD: John Foxe, Author of "Acts & Monuments", Passes to Glory

18 April 1587 A.D.  Author of Acts and Monuments (=Book of Martyrs) John Foxe Passes.

Varied Authors.  “John Foxe.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Nov. 7, 2014. Accessed Apr 18, 2014.

John Foxe,  (born 1516, Boston, Lincolnshire, Eng.—died April 18, 1587, Cripplegate, London), English Puritan preacher and author of The Book of Martyrs, a graphic and polemic account of those who suffered for the cause of Protestantism. Widely read, often the most valued book beside the Bible in the households of English Puritans, it helped shape popular opinion about Roman Catholicism for at least a century. The feeling of the English populace against Spain, important in the politics of the age, was fanned by the book’s description of the Inquisition. It dealt chiefly, however, with the martyrdom of English Protestants from the 14th century through the reign of Queen Mary I in Foxe’s own time.

Figure 3 - Woodcut from Acts and Monuments

After studying at the University of Oxford and holding a fellowship for seven years, Foxe fell under suspicion of harbouring Protestant views more extreme than the authorities of his college would allow. He resigned and in 1547 moved to London, Text Box: Figure 4-Cripplegate, London (Foxe's Anglican Parish)where he became tutor to the grandchildren of the duke of Norfolk. He was ordained a deacon of the Church of England. Foxe worked for the Reformation, writing several tracts. He also began his account of martyrs but had carried it no further than 1500 when the accession of the Roman Catholic queen Mary I in 1553 forced him to flee overseas. In Strasbourg, France, he published his partly completed martyrology in Latin as Commentarii rerum in ecclesia gestarum (1554; “Commentaries on Affairs Within the Church”). He then went to Frankfurt, where he lent a moderating support to the Calvinistic party of John Knox, and thence to Basel, Switz., where he wrote a burning appeal to the English nobility to restrain the queen from persecuting Protestants: Ad inclytos ac praepotentes Angliae proceres (“To the Renowned and Powerful Nobles of England,” 1557). With the aid of manuscripts sent to him from England, he carried his account of the martyrs up to 1556 and had it printed in 1559, the year following the accession to the throne of the Protestant queen, Elizabeth I.

Foxe returned to London and devoted himself to the completion of his great work. Perusing official registers and using the memories of eyewitnesses, he enlarged his story. His English translation was printed in March 1563 under the title Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Dayes. It immediately acquired the popular name The Book of Martyrs. In 1570 he produced his greatly improved second edition. This was the crown of his achievement; he made few changes in his third (1576) and fourth (1583) editions.

Foxe was ordained an Anglican priest in 1560, but having Puritan scruples he refused all offices, obtaining two church stipends that required no duties. He often preached, however, and a sermon delivered at Paul’s Cross (A Sermon, Of Christ Crucified [1570]) had a wide sale. In the plague of 1563 he ministered to the victims and wrote a moving tract of consolation. When Anabaptists in 1575 and Jesuits in 1581 were condemned to death, Foxe wrote vehement letters to Queen Elizabeth and her councilors, begging reprieves.

Foxe’s monument is his book. It has been criticized as prolix, carelessly edited, one-sided, sometimes credulous, but it is factually detailed and preserves much firsthand material on the English Reformation unobtainable elsewhere.

We would add to the article from EB, this photo-chastisement of Osteen.