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The Reformers In The Dark Ages

 
Benedict of Nursia
(480-550 A.D.)
  As a youth studied in Rome but came to detest the degenerate life of that city and eventually retreated in a cave to live as a hermit. Set up twelve small monastic communities and re-established monastic rules. Honored as "Patriarch of Western Monastery".
Paulicans  A group of believers in Asia Minor and Armenia who claimed themselves as true spiritual successors of the apostolic church, thus distinguishing themselves from the Roman Church. Followed the Lord by keeping the apostles' teachings and biblical doctrines. Passionately preserved and passed on the cream of the New Testament. Main figures included Silvanus (630-684 A.D.) & Sergius (765-835 A.D.).
Bogomils  In the middle of the eighth century, a number of believers transferred to Constantinople. In the tenth century there were believers who moved west to Bulgaria. These immigrants made converts and founded churches. One of the leading figures is Basil (1070-1119 A.D.), who, being indefatigable in preaching and teaching, advocated working with one's hands and taking nothing from the Gentiles. He earned his living by practicing as a physician.
Albigeneses  Congregation of believers living in southern France. Formed their own assembly in disagreement with the Roman Church. Advocated a simple and pious manner of life. The most prominent figure is Pierre de Brueys, who during his twenty years of traveling and preaching drew multitudes from the superstitions back to the teaching of the Scripture and recovered the truth concerning of the believers' baptism.
Waldenses  Congregations of believers who were reported to had transferred from Italy to the Alpine valleys in the apostle Paul's times. Observed the content of the apostolic church. Considered the Scriptures to be binding both for believers' doctrines and church order. The best known figure includes Peter Waldo, who recovered the practice of sending believers to evangelize two by two and also translated the Bible into the Roman dialect. His many years of labor in Bohemia resulted in a revival. Followers were multitudinous, most of whom gave themselves to traveling and preaching throughout France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Bohemia.
Francis of Assisi
(1182-1226 A.D.)
  Originally son of a rich man. Sold all his possessions and gave to the poor. Practiced a life of voluntary poverty and recovered the way of voluntary poverty. Established the Franciscan order for evangelization.
Thomas Aquinas
(1125-1274 A.D.)
  Erudite scholar and prolific author. The foremost medieval scholastic. His Summa Theologica is esteemed as the highest achievement of systemic theology.
John Wycliff
(1329-1384 A.D.)
  An eminent figure among the reformers 'Lollards" in England. In his treatise The Kingdom Of God showed that " the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only source of the true religion," and that " the Scripture alone is truth." Maintained that only those in conformity with the Scripture have power. Advocated believers to have direct fellowship with God, thus denying the exclusive authority of the Nicolaitans. Translated the Bible into English, organized bands of travelling preaching to spread the teaching of Scripture all over England.
Jerome of Prague
(c. 1371-1416 A.D.)
  A foreign student who listened to and was influenced by Wycliff in England. Returned to Prague to teach that every one who sought salvation must come back to the teachings of the Gospel and that the Roman Church had fallen away from the doctrine of Christ. Martyred.
John Huss
(1373-1415 A.D.)
  Influenced by Jerome of Prague to exhort that salvation is by grace through faith apart from the work of the law, and that man cannot be acceptable to God without godliness of life. Martyred. Declared before his execution, "I am greatly consoled by that saying of Christ, 'Blessed are ye when men shall hate you'.... a good, nay the best of greetings.... The soldiers of Christ.... have received the crown of life."
Brethren of Common Life  Founded by Gerard Groote and Jan Van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381 A.D.) in Holland. Though born into a wealthy family, Groote was deeply subjected to monasticism and mysticism and later forsook everything to found Monastery of the Common Life. Engaged in evangelizing. Established a network of school for resolute poor youth to receive spiritual education, thus providing a sound education based on the Holy Scriptures for the society at that time. Thomas a Kempis, author of Imitation of Christ and Erasmus were also pupils of the schools. Printed the Bible and published a hymn book. Made an immense contribution to the Reformation.
Thomas a Kempis
(1380-1471 A.D.)
  Believed to be the author of Imitation of Christ. Regarded the prayer life as the only way for the growth in life. Blended together the fellowship with God and the living practice. Helped believers to inspect whether he truly knew the way of the cross. His book is a classic for mysticism.
Erasmus
(c. 1466-1536 A.D.)
  Published the Greek Testament with a New Latin translation accompanied by notes and paraphrases, thus making believers accessible to the divine revelation and to the teachings of Christ and the apostles. Gave an impetus to the reformatory tides within the Roman Church.
United Brethren  Reconsidered the principle of the church to return to the true church of the first Christian. Laid stress on holiness of life as taught by Christ and the apostles shown in the Scriptures. Asserted that " he who gathered much had no excess, and he who gathered little had no lack". Abounded in writings and hymns. Put emphasis on truth education, especially the truth of salvation by faith. A prime figure is Luke of Prague.
 
 


Christ
is the Center

The Body
is the Line

The New Jerusalem
Is the Goal

The Reformation

 
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