Podcast: The Reformation, with Carl Trueman

Mere Fidelity

In honour of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, this week’s podcast was devoted to a discussion of its causes, its importance, and its legacy. For our discussion, the entire Mere Fidelity cast was joined by the wonderful Carl Trueman.

You can also follow the podcast on iTunes, or using this RSS feed. Listen to past episodes on Soundcloud and on this page on my blog.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Church History, Culture, Podcasts, Society, The Church, Theological. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Podcast: The Reformation, with Carl Trueman

  1. Geoff says:

    Some thoghts:
    1 Rather than the question of causation, perhaps a better question would be: were the consequences largely reasonably foreseeable in the light of political and theological symbiosis of the times? Sure, some of them would only be understandable with historical hindsight, but bloodshed and schism were highly likely. Where was God in it all? wasn’t asked at all.
    2 Fascinatingly, Rev Ian Hamilton’s lecture, last evening, at the Christian Institute on Calvin, was entitled “Faithful pastor and Catholic theologian.” One thrust of the lecture was that Calvin wasn’t so much seeking a reformation but a return to the faith of the early church fathers, including Augustine, that is, the Catholic faith, which the Catholic church had deviated from and embellished. Equally fascinating, as a throroughgoing Calvinist, he made no mention of TULIP. The main, focus was that of Calvin the Pastor-Theologian, Theologian – Pastor. The roles were not separate.

  2. Geoff says:

    Apologies, Alastaire. I don’t think he did. But isn’t the question of God’s involvement key to learning from the Reformation and to the way the podcast was framed from the beginning with questions of causation and celebration? How can the events, political and theological be viewed from a historical biblical theological perspective, with recurrent patterns and themes and more, compare and contrast? Maybe it has been a well trodden path by others. History seems to move forward cyclically, like a wheel without a brake.

  3. cal says:

    The problem with many more modern Reformational histories is that they exclude the many non-Roman groups of Christians from considering the Reformation. One of Calvin’s earliest ecclesiastical experiences was when he accompanied his cousin Olivetan, who was a crypto-Waldese, and Farell to meet the Piedmontese Waldense conventicles. They formally joined the Reformed in 1525.

    While Luther is certainly important, his charisma is like a solar flare, blinding much further analysis of other build-ups. Certainly the circle around Zwingli and building in the imperial free cities was driven by Humanist concerns (ad Fontes!). The stormy conflict between prince and pope, with Luther’s defiant stand, is too normative. It ignores many other elements. Trueman does a good job trying to collect up other fragments, but there are still so many other elements missing. I still think Luther takes up too much of the stage, especially outside of the German lands. I mean, how would Luther have survived if not for his students (mainly Melanchthon) who collected his legacy and systematized it for the princes to wield against the emperor.

    I like the quip about being deep in papal history. I am just generally disgusted with Trueman’s tepid embrace of denominational faction (i.e. his comment about Protestants being honest about their doctrinal differences).

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