By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – December 12, 2016) — As I was sitting in the historic Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico watching a preview of the new PBS series about Queen Victoria (1819-1901) entitled, Victoria, I was reminded how much I enjoy history.
As long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by the people, places, and events that preceded our current chronological standing in the world. And though I didn’t major in history in college (I did however, have a concentration — or minor — in music history), I can say that history has been a companion to me throughout my life. I’ve taught history at both the secondary and college levels, I regularly read history books, and I love to discuss history. I guess I could be called a history-buff.
And has been my practice, I’ll subscribe or purchase various magazines that deal with history — or the historical sciences — such as archeology, helping provide current information or updates on various personages, movements, and events that catch my fancy. And without a doubt, one of the most anticipated magazines that arrived in the mail was Christian History.
The Christian History Institute, publisher of Christian History magazine, announces its latest issue, titled: Calvin, Councils and Confessions- How the Church Became the Churches. The issue is the third in a four-part series, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation period, beginning in October of 1517.
According to Christian History’s overview of the theme, “This issue examines the life and impact of John Calvin and other sixteenth century leaders in the context of emerging theological and cultural movements. These movements, often founded by individual, soon to became separate Christian denominations, forever altering both the church establishment and creating a group of neighboring state governments, soon to be known as Europe. These institutions helped reform Christendom, as well as nations, shaping Western Civilization and the modern world.
“The issue’s contributing authors (see below) provide fresh insights into Calvin, the man — his personal life and legacy as a pastor, a thought leader, theologian and statesman. Ultimately, John Calvin and his contemporaries not only reformed the establishment Catholic Church but inspired major threads of thought, which today, compose the fabric of modern Christian denominations and the spiritual lives of millions of Christians.
“Calvin never met Luther, but like him, Calvin influenced and interacted with other revolutionary thinkers and leaders whose work and lives are explored in this comprehensive issue. Among these leaders are: Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox, Heinrich Bullinger, Guillaume Farel, Andreas Osiander, Theodore Beza, Martin Bucer, Philip Melanchthon and Menno Simons, to name only a few. Major movements/traditions examined include: the Reformed church, Church of England, Lutherans, Anabaptists and Catholics, as well as, regions, city states and kingdoms which, over time, became nations.
“‘With this third issue in our Reformation series,’ said Jennifer Woodruff Tait, managing editor of Christian History, “we explore what scholars call ‘confessionalization.’ As the mid-sixteenth century arrived, followers of Luther, Zwingli, Menno Simons and Christians in England began to sort themselves out into various confessions, eventually becoming denominations. Onto that mid-century stage stepped John Calvin. Hopes for reunion or at least cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church, which some had cherished, receded further into the background and division became the order of the day. Calvin was a hopeful Protestant pastor and Swiss reformer whose legacy continues to loom large, even in the life of today’s Church.”
Christian History Institute is a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation founded in 1982 by the late Ken Curtis, known for his many Christian history films, and his son, Bill Curtis, continues his father’s legacy. CHI publishes Christian History magazine and also produces books and videos featuring important Christian history, including Torchlighters®, an animated history series for children. CHI is a donor-supported organization providing church history resources and self-study material to make Christian history accessible to the widest possible audience, via video and the Internet. Contact Christian History Institute, Box 540, Worcester, PA 19490, USA (www.ChristianHistoryInstitute.org).
Photo captions: 1) Latest cover of Christian History magazine. 2) Martin Luther featured on another cover. 3) Brian Nixon.
About the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, artist, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA), Veritas Evangelical Seminary (MA), and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon.
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