Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

16 September 1498 A.D. Spanish Inquisitor General Tomas De Torquemada dies. Evangelism 101—Roman and Spanish Approaches. Courses available through doctoral levels in evangelism and countercultural strategies—internships required.

16 September 1498 A.D. Spanish Inquisitor General Tomas De Torquemada dies.  Evangelism 101—Roman and Spanish Approaches.  Courses available through doctoral levels in evangelism and countercultural strategies—internships required.

Dr. Rusten tells the story.

Rusten, E. Michael and Rusten, Sharon. The One Year Christian History. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003.  Available at:

Tomas De Torquemada was born in Spain in 1420. He was the nephew of a prominent Spanish cardinal.  He entered a Dominican monastery.  He became the Prior of another monastery. He was appointed as the Confessor to King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella of Spain (sponsors of Christopher Colombus’ trip to the New World).  Both of the Royals were accomplished in the arts of Evangelism 101, Intimidation and Torture.

Both Royals encouraged Bishops and Princes to imprison heretics and confiscate properties.

In 1231, Mr. (Pope) Gregory IX set up his tribunal called the “Inquisition Office,” a tribunal to combat heresy.  We call them IOOs, that is, “Inquisitor Office Operatives.” Spain showed unique and dedicated skills.

Prodded by Queen Isabella, Mr. (Pope) Sixtus IV authorized the IOOs in the 1478.

By 1483, Torquemada was Spain’s chief IOO.  Spain would practice their arts for the next three centuries, an attribute never to be forgotten about that state’s egregious history.

By 1487, a special operation was aimed at “converting” Spanish Muslims and Jews.  But, the converts were always suspected of duplicity.  No wonder. 

Torquemada’s IO offered the Edict of Grace.  It was a real charmer.  It featured:

  1. 30-40 days for heretics to self-identify, confess, recant and earn a pardon.
  2. However, there were a few tricks to the program.  If one confessed, one was forced to reveal other heretics.  How else did one learn the heresy but by some other heretic.  So, confession involved “naming names.”
  3. Rumors were allowed.
  4. Guilt was assumed as the verdict.
  5. There was no legal redress.
  6. Prisons were secret.
  7. There was no contact with the outside world.
  8. The accused could not face nor learn the names of their accusers.
  9. The accused had no access to any records on their cases.
  10.  Heresy also including denying the power of images, e.g. the image of Mary, not just the departed Mary above, but the actual relic or image.

There were three instruments in the Evangelism 101-program:

  1. Water torture. One was tied to the rack, jaws opened, mouth stuffed with a linen cloth and then up to 8 quarts of water poured down the throat.  This was used to extract a confession and name other heretics.  Fess up or there’s more where that came from.
  2. Garruche. Weights were tied to the feet, one was suspended and stretched with toes barely touching the ground, with belabored breathing and exhortations to confess or give up names.  Charming.
  3. The old standard of burning heretics.

Burning was a primary instrument of terrorism.

In 1483, in Cuidad Real, Spain, 52 were burned in 2 years.

In 1485, in Toledo, Spain, 750 “Confessors” were herded into the Cathedral Church who, while compliant with the above, learned that 1/5 of their properties had been assessed and seized.

In Avila, Spain, 75 were burned. 26 corpses were exhumed and burned.  That would be perpetrated on John Wycliffe’s remains previously.  England had learned the arts of Romanistic leadership too.

King Ferdinand II was a great supporters and witnessed many burnings.

The reprobate Tomas De Torquemada died and, we hope and trust, went to eternal hell on 16 September 1498.

2000 heretics were killed by Torqemada.


  1. While we complain of these measures, what will one say to the chemical murders and slaughters of millions of infants in their mothers’ wombs.
  2. Can modern Americans envision abortion to be substantially worse than Torquemada’s?  Media complicity? Indifference?
  3. Can abortion-on-demand in America be justly compared to Hitler? Stalin?


Clouse, Robert G. “Torquemada, Tomas de (1420-1498).” NIDCC. 980.

Johnson, Paul. A History of Christianity.  New York: Simon and Schuster, 1976. 306-7.

Schaff. History of the Christian Church. 6: 533-54.

Toon, Peter. “Ferdinand V (1452-1516).” NIDCC. 372.

Underwood, T.L. “Inquisition, The.” NIDCC. 511.

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