Best 79 of Reformation quotes - MyQuotes
They say I am a reformer. They say wrong: for I have long since given up any such chimerical idea, as that of being able to make men happier who are wicked and miserable by prescription. Withdrawing, therefore, from any such Utopian and hopeless attempt, I believed the best thing I could do was, to relieve, where I could, individual distress, and to lighten the chains that villany often imposes on simplicity under the name of law. In this I have done some good, and what else ought a man to do on this earth?
You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say
It is only once we stop taking everything for granted and fully open our hearts to the beauty that surrounds us that we will understand the importance of joining our hands in the construction of a better world for the people of generations to come.
Lailah Gifty Akita
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlook, but now he commanded all men everywhere to repent." Acts 17: 30
Though the Reformation originated with the Lord's fresh move through various reformers, in a rather short time the resulting churches became institutionalized with a mixture of politics, human organization, and hierarchy.
It is the first care of a reformer to prevent any future reformation.
The common Calvinist experience of life as a refugee, or of being part of a host community that received refugees, led to lasting international connections between individuals and communities...As churches became established in Switzerland, the Palatinate, Scotland, England and Bearn, and the churches in the Netherlands, France, Hungary and Poland battled for legal recognition and survival, princely courts, noble houses, universities and colleges also became locations for interactions between many Calvinists. Theologians, clergy, students, booksellers, merchants, diplomats, courtiers and military officers became involved in networks of personal contacts, correspondence, teaching and negotiation.
Whatever the reason, the fact is that there was no widespread catechetical teaching for Christian children. Things were going to change. The growing awareness of the need for Christian education was one of the chief forces behind the desire in the sixteenth century to reform the rite of baptism.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A great licentiousness treads on the heels of a reformation.
Alister E. Mcgrath
In short, an astonishingly broad spectrum of theologies of justification existed in the later medieval period, encompassing practically every option that had not been specifically condemned as heretical by the Council of Carthage. In the absence of any definitive magisterial pronouncement concerning which of these options (or even what range of options) could be considered authentically catholic, it was left to each theologian to reach his own decision in this matter. A self-perpetuating doctrinal pluralism was thus an inevitability.
If during the Reformation you were a Catholic who lived in a part of Germany in which Lutheranism was the ascendant religion and the ruler of the province or the region was Lutheran, to stay a Catholic, you either had to be a dissenter or you had to leave.
There is an ongoing debate about the reform of the U.N. system.
God once spoke through the mouth of an ass. I will tell you straight what I think. I am a Christian theologian and I am bound not only to assert, but to defend the truth with my blood and death. I want to believe freely and be a slave to the authority of no one, of a council, a university, or pope. I will confidently confess what appears to me to be true whether it has been asserted by a Catholic or a heretic, whether it has been approved or reproved by a council." - Martin Luther (book: "Here I Stand")
Since then your sere Majesty and your Lordships seek a simple answer, I will give it in this manner, neither horned nor toothed. Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen." (Reply to the Diet of Worms, April 18, 1521)
Enlighten yourself and then enlighten the world
Und der nämliche ist gerecht und gut, der wahrhafte Gott, der selbst alles ist, wie alles er selbst ist, weil er selbst Gott, der alleinige Gott ist. Denn wie der Spiegel dem Häßlichen nicht übelgesinnt ist, weil er ihn so zeigt, wie er ist, und wie der Arzt dem Kranken nicht übelgesinnt ist, wenn er ihm sagt, daß er Fieber hat (denn der Arzt ist nicht schuld an dem Fieber, sondern er stellt das Fieber nur fest), so ist auch der Tadelnde gegen den nicht übelgesinnt, der an seiner Seele krank ist; denn er bringt die Verfehlungen nicht erst in sie hinein, sondern weist auf die vorhandenen Sünden hin, um von ähnlicher Handlungsweise abzuhalten.
Ich halte nichts von dem Satz, Islam und Islamismus hätten nichts miteinander zu tun. Ich halte auch nichts von apologetischen Sätzen, wie wir sie nach den Anschlägen von Paris wieder gehört haben, diese Anschläge hätten mit dem Islam nichts zu tun. Denn die Extremisten berufen sich schließlich auf kein anderes Buch als auf den Koran. Es gibt innerhalb der islamischen Theologie eine Bandbreite an Positionen – von friedlichen, menschenfreundlichen bis hin zu menschenverachtenden, gewalttätigen Haltungen. Die eigentliche Frage ist, warum sich einige Menschen auf die humanen Aspekte der 1400-jährigen Ideen-Geschichte des Islam beziehen und andere auf die grausamen. Die andere Frage ist, wie wir die offenen, menschenfreundlichen Positionen stärken können. Es ist ein Verdrängungsmechanismus, zu behaupten, die Gewalt, die wir erleben, habe nichts mit dem Islam zu tun. Es ist das Ausweichen vor einer kritischen Auseinandersetzung mit den Teilen der islamischen Tradition, die längst überholt sind. Die islamische Theologie muss sich dieser Auseinandersetzung stellen.
From generation to generation, America should never be the same country.
The second class status of marriage became one of the principal issues in the Reformation. Martin Luther, the Augustinian friar, had barely posted his ninety-five theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg when he took himself a wife.
Michel De Montaigne
Is it that we pretend to a reformation? Truly, no: but it may be we are more addicted to Venus than our fathers were. They are two exercises that thwart and hinder one another in their vigor. Lechery weakens our stomach on the one side; and on the other sobriety renders us more spruce and amorous for the exercise of love.
Augustine is so wholly with me, that if I wished to write a confession of my faith, I could do so with all fullness and satisfaction to myself out of his writings.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Change does not surface when you are not ready to be the catalyst. Your reaction matters, not your inaction.
Beating yourself up over every perceived mistake is the work of an internal abuser who must be restrained and reformed.
What chains can hold belongs to men. The rest is Gods.
The central thesis of Surnaturel, then, is that, neither in patristic nor in medieval theology, and certainly not in Thomas Aquinas, was the hypothesis ever entertained of a purely natural destiny for human beings, something other than the supernatural and eschatological vision of God. There is only this world, the world in which our nature has been created for a supernatural destiny. Historically, there never was a graceless nature, or a world outside the Christian dispensation. This traditional conception of human nature as always destined for grace-given union with God fell apart between attempts, on the one hand, to secure the sheer gratuitousness of the economy of grace over against the naturalist anthropologies of Renaissance humanism and, on the other hand, resistance to what was perceived by Counter-Reformation Catholics as the Protestant doctrine of the total corruption of human nature by original sin. The Catholic theologians, who sought to protect the supernatural by separating it conceptually from the natural, facilitated the development of the humanism which flowered at the Enlightenment into deism, agnosticism and ultimately atheism. The conception of the autonomous individual for which the philosophers of the Age of Reason were most bitterly criticized by devout Catholics was, de Lubac suggested, invented by Catholic theologians. The philosophers which broke free of Christianity, to develop their own naturalist and deist theologies, had their roots in the anti-Protestant and anti-Renaissance Catholic Scholasticism of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
If anyone attempted to rule the world by the gospel and to abolish all temporal law and sword on the plea that all are baptized and Christian, and that, according to the gospel, there shall be among them no law or sword - or need for either - pray tell me, friend, what would he be doing? He would be loosing the ropes and chains of the savage wild beasts and letting them bite and mangle everyone, meanwhile insisting that they were harmless, tame, and gentle creatures; but I would have the proof in my wounds. Just so would the wicked under the name of Christian abuse evangelical freedom, carry on their rascality, and insist that they were Christians subject neither to law nor sword, as some are already raving and ranting. To such a one we must say: Certainly it is true that Christians, so far as they themselves are concerned, are subject neither to law nor sword, and have need of neither. But take heed and first fill the world with real Christians before you attempt to rule it in a Christian and evangelical manner. This you will never accomplish; for the world and the masses are and always will be unchristian, even if they are all baptized and Christian in name. Christians are few and far between (as the saying is). Therefore, it is out of the question that there should be a common Christian government over the whole world, or indeed over a single country or any considerable body of people, for the wicked always outnumber the good. Hence, a man who would venture to govern an entire country or the world with the gospel would be like a shepherd who should put together in one fold wolves, lions, eagles, and sheep, and let them mingle freely with one another, saying, “Help yourselves, and be good and peaceful toward one another. The fold is open, there is plenty of food. You need have no fear of dogs and clubs.” The sheep would doubtless keep the peace and allow themselves to be fed and governed peacefully, but they would not live long, nor would one beast survive another. For this reason one must carefully distinguish between these two governments. Both must be permitted to remain; the one to produce righteousness, the other to bring about external peace and prevent evil deeds. Neither one is sufficient in the world without the other. No one can become righteous in the sight of God by means of the temporal government, without Christ's spiritual government. Christ's government does not extend over all men; rather, Christians are always a minority in the midst of non-Christians. Now where temporal government or law alone prevails, there sheer hypocrisy is inevitable, even though the commandments be God's very own. For without the Holy Spirit in the heart no one becomes truly righteous, no matter how fine the works he does. On the other hand, where the spiritual government alone prevails over land and people, there wickedness is given free rein and the door is open for all manner of rascality, for the world as a whole cannot receive or comprehend it.
May be the power lies in the hands of the one who holds the gun... so he just presses the trigger whenever the slightest streak of anger passes his mind... and after a few haunting days he roams freely in the country without fear .. and what about the one who faces the wrath and bears the bullets? He leaves a movement behind... but haven't such movements always been ephemeral? Is death the price you need to pay to open the eyes of those who care but just for a couple of days?
Alister E. Mcgrath
For the humanists, whatever authority Scripture might possess derived from the original texts in their original languages, rather than from the Vulgate, which was increasingly recognized as unreliable and inaccurate. In that the catholic church continued to insist that the Vulgate was a doctrinally normative translation, a tension inevitably developed between humanist biblical scholarship and catholic theology...Through immediate access to the original text in the original language, the theologian could wrestle directly with the 'Word of God,' unhindered by 'filters' of glosses and commentaries that placed the views of previous interpreters between the exegete and the text. For the Reformers, 'sacred philology' provided the key by means of which the theologian could break free from the confines of medieval exegesis and return ad fontes to the title deeds of the Christian faith rather than their medieval expressions, to forge once more the authentic theology of the early church.
It is not the prisoners who need reformation, it is the prisons.
It is well known that Pentecost reverses Babel. The people who built the tower of Babel sought to make a name, and a unity, for themselves. At Pentecost, God builds his temple, uniting people in Christ. Unity – interpretive agreement and mutual understanding – is, it would appear, something that only God can accomplish. And accomplish it he does, but not in the way we might have expected. Although onlookers thought that the believers who received the Spirit at Pentecost were babbling (Acts 2:13), in fact they were speaking intelligibly in several languages (Acts 2:8-11). Note well: they were all saying the same thing (testifying about Jesus) in different languages. It takes a thousand tongues to say and sing our great Redeemer’s praise. Protestant evangelicalism evidences a Pentecostal plurality: the various Protestant streams testify to Jesus in their own vocabularies, and it takes many languages (i.e. interpretive traditions) to minister the meaning of God’s Word and the fullness of Christ. As the body is made up of many members, so many interpretations may be needed to do justice to the body of the biblical text. Why else are there four Gospels, but that the one story of Jesus was too rich to be told from one perspective only? Could it be that the various Protestant traditions function similarly as witnesses who testify to the same Jesus from different situations and perspectives?
Manifest in this trade (commercial sale of indulgences via bankers) at the same time was a pernicious tendency in the Roman Catholic system, for the trade in indulgences was not an excess or an abuse but the direct consequence of the nomistic degradation of the gospel. That the Reformation started with Luther’s protest against this traffic in indulgences proves its religious origin and evangelical character. At issue here was nothing less than the essential character of the gospel, the core of Christianity, the nature of true piety. And Luther was the man who, guided by experience in the life of his own soul, again made people understand the original and true meaning of the gospel of Christ. Like the “righteousness of God,” so the term “penitence” had been for him one of the most bitter words of Holy Scripture. But when from Romans 1:17 he learned to know a “righteousness by faith,” he also learned “the true manner of penitence.” He then understood that the repentance demanded in Matthew 4:17 had nothing to do with the works of satisfaction required in the Roman institution of confession, but consisted in “a change of mind in true interior contrition” and with all its benefits was itself a fruit of grace. In the first seven of his ninety-five theses and further in his sermon on “Indulgences and Grace” (February 1518), the sermon on “Penitence” (March 1518), and the sermon on the “Sacrament of Penance” (1519), he set forth this meaning of repentance or conversion and developed the glorious thought that the most important part of penitence consists not in private confession (which cannot be found in Scripture) nor in satisfaction (for God forgives sins freely) but in true sorrow over sin, in a solemn resolve to bear the cross of Christ, in a new life, and in the word of absolution, that is, the word of the grace of God in Christ. The penitent arrives at forgiveness of sins, not by making amends (satisfaction) and priestly absolution, but by trusting the word of God, by believing in God’s grace. It is not the sacrament but faith that justifies. In that way Luther came to again put sin and grace in the center of the Christian doctrine of salvation. The forgiveness of sins, that is, justification, does not depend on repentance, which always remains incomplete, but rests in God’s promise and becomes ours by faith alone.
The church and every Christian are individually responsible for the reformation of the country
Wishes don’t change the world. Only actions will do that job.
The reformation of society and restoration of spirituality should be our goal as Christians
For Christians to influence the world with the truth of God's Word requires the recovery of the great Reformation doctrine of vocation. Christians are called to God's service not only in church professions but also in every secular calling. The task of restoring truth to the culture depends largely on our laypeople. To bring back truth, on a practical level, the church must encourage Christians to be not merely consumers of culture but makers of culture. The church needs to cultivate Christian artists, musicians, novelists, filmmakers, journalists, attorneys, teachers, scientists, business executives, and the like, teaching its laypeople the sense in which every secular vocation-including, above all, the callings of husband, wife, and parent--is a sphere of Christian ministry, a way of serving God and neighbor that is grounded in God's truth. Christian laypeople must be encouraged to be leaders in their fields, rather than eager-to-please followers, working from the assumptions of their biblical worldview, not the vapid clichés of pop culture.
[Martin Luther's] understanding of grace-based faith versus works-based faith was more than a personal revelation; it informed his entire rebellion against the church. After all, if human beings couldn't possibly earn salvation by their good works, if human beings had no righteousness of their own and were entirely dependent on Christ for their salvation and hope, where, then, did that leave good works like pilgrimages and fasting? Where did that leave the notion of purgatory? Where did that leave the monastic vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity? Where did that leave the pope, with his sales of indulgences, and the priests, doling out penance in the confessionals? Luther came to believe that the church to which he had dedicated his life was built on sand, and each abuse, each indulgence, added an unsustainable weight to the structure. In his eyes, Romans 1:17 obliterated the very foundation of the Roman Catholic Church.
D. R. Silva
We get called dishonoring for pointing out the garbage in the church, yet nobody ever seems to think it's dishonoring that somebody put the garbage there in the first place.
Christian preachers [...] were intransigent. They, they said, were answerable to a higher power than the mere law of the land. Their eye was upon heaven. As they reminded their flocks, it was not the law of some imperial bureaucrat that mattered. It was the law of God. Anything that saved a soul – even if it did so at the expense of law, order or even the body that that soul inhabited – was an acceptable act. To attack the houses, bodies and temples of those afflicted by the ‘pagan error’ was not to harm these sinners but to help them. This was not brutality. This was kindness, education, reformation.
Alister E. Mcgrath
The teaching authority of the magisterium had been seriously weakened through the obvious difficulties raised for such a concept of authority by the Great Schism, with the result that, in the absence of any magisterial guidance, theological opinions became confused with catholic dogma...Accompanying this erosion of the teaching authority of the church was an apparent disinclination (whether through unwillingness or inability) on the part of the magisterium to take decisive forcible action to suppress opinions of which it disapproved.
Reformation, like education, is a journey, not a destination
Luther’s doctrine of justification depends upon two things: the constant preaching of the wrath of God in the face of sin; and the realization that every Christian is at once righteous and a sinner, thus needing the hammer of the law to terrify and break the sinful conscience.
… Protestantism and Calvinism, while giving expression to a new feeling of freedom, at the same time constituted an escape from the burden of freedom
It is the human race, not the world, that desperately needs to be changed.
Lo! my God, without merit on my part, of His pure and free mercy, has given to me (an unworthy, condemned, and contemptible creature) all the riches of justification and salvation in Christ. For such a Father then, who has overwhelmed me with these inestimable riches of His, why should I not freely, cheerfully, with my whole heart and with an eager will, do all that I know will be pleasing to Him, and acceptable in His sight? I will therefore give myself, as a sort of Christ, to my neighbor, as Christ has given Himself to me; and will do nothing in this life, except what I see will be needful, advantageous, and wholesome for my neighbor, since by faith I abound in all good things in Christ.
To take a side against Rushdie, or to be neutral and evasive about him in the name of some vaguely sensitive ecumenical conscience, is to stand against those who try to incubate a Reformation in the Muslim world.
Any attempt to “cover everything” would succeed only in producing a completely unmanageable mountain of data. Indeed, in proportion to its increase, which has been enormous in the past half century, the sheer volume of historical scholarship—what Daniel Lord Smail has recently called “the inflationary spiral of research overproduction, coupled with an abiding fear of scholarly exposure for not keeping up with one’s field”—paradoxically militates against comprehension of the past in relationship to the present. A different approach is needed if we are to avoid being overwhelmed by specialized scholarship, the proliferation of which tends to reinforce ingrained assumptions about historical periodization that in turn hamper an adequate understanding of change over time.
D. R. Silva
If people think honoring pastors means doing everything they say, why don't they honor Jesus the same way?
The history of the church seems to indicate to us two positions as true, with reference to this matter,—viz. lst, That assurance of salvation has been enjoyed more fully and more generally by men who were called to difficult and arduous labours in the cause of Christ, than by ordinary believers in general; and 2dly, That this assurance, as enjoyed by such persons, has been frequently traceable to special circumstances connected with the manner of their conversion as its immediate or proximate cause. So it certainly was with the Reformers.
When, during and after the Reformation, the universities lost their status as so many autonomous parts of the universal church, they lost their independence correspondingly. In Protestant Europe, they came under the jurisdiction of the national churches and of the rapacious national monarchies; in Catholic Europe --although to a lesser extent--they came under the jurisdiction of the reinvigorated and consolidated Papacy, and of the sovereigns who, as in Spain and France, made royal influence over the church establishment within their realms a condition of their support for the Roman cause. The dissolution of medieval universalism meant that learning, like nearly everything else, was forced to submit to new or more rigid denominations. With the complete or partial secularization of society which followed upon the French Revolutionary era, in nearly every country except Britain, the universities were stripped of what remained of their old rights and became little better than state corporations.
What are we going to do now?' Archbishop Albert asked. 'The Fuggers are holding a knife to our throat.' 'They are called the 'Kings of the Whores' for good reason,' said Ulrich, not waiting to be called this time. Albert sighed. 'What they purchase from the Pope, they sell for varying amounts, all paid by the Pope's flock. Moreover, they are supported by God.' 'Against the Church?' Albert raised his eyebrows. 'They house hundreds of poor in Augsburg, practically for free. They are only asked to say three prayers a day for the family of the Fuggers. A Lord's prayer, a Creed and a Hail Mary. So they pay the poor to pray for them. And God answers those prayers. So they can buy even God himself. One more reason to be on good terms with them.' Albert chuckled despite the bitterness inside.