War of more than words

WEEK OF REFORMATION SUNDAY

Earlier reformers, particularly Johann Huss (1369-1415), laid the basis for an eventual challenge to the medieval church’s doctrine and practices. In the fall of 1517, Martin Luther accepted that challenge, inaugurating a reform process that broadened with each succeeding decade.

That effort was halted in the late 16th century as the Counter Reformation emerged to reassert the authority of the Pope and traditional beliefs in Germany and France. Increasingly, armed force replaced debate in Catholic-Protestant relations.

In 1618, religious war broke out that led to the overthrow of many Protestant states in Germany. In 1632, the Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus, rallied the Lutheran forces and led an invasion that ended in defeat for the Catholic armies, even though he lost his own life in the decisive Battle of Lutzen.

After years of unsuccessful negotiations, Protestants and Catholic rulers in 1648 signed the Peace of Westphalia. Martin Luther’s original vision of reform had led, unfortunately, to three decades of war. In this final effort, however, the Reformation survived, and Luther’s legacy was preserved.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Thank you for participating in the Metro D.C. Synod community! Any comment or user that violates terms and conditions will not be posted. Do not use obscene, racist, or sexually explicit language. Personal attacks are not permitted. The synod reserves the right to remove submissions that are abusive, hateful, or defame or insult anyone; that are off-topic; that are of a commercial nature designed to promote a service or product. Please do not post copyrighted material to comments.