Philip Melanchthon and the English Reformation

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Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006 - 229 pages
This book explores the hitherto neglected relationship between the English Reformation and the Lutheran scholar Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560). It looks at how Henry, following his break with Rome, flirted with Lutheranism as a doctrine to replace Catholicism, before the eventual collapse of the policy and its replacement with a more moderate reform programme under Cranmer. It then goes on to investigate how Melanchthon, as the leading proponent of Lutheranism influenced successive royal governments, both positively and negatively, as they struggled to impose their own brand of doctrinal conformity on the English church. By refracting the well known narrative of the English Reformation through the lens of Melanchthon, new light is shed on many events that have puzzled historians. The study provides fascinating new perspectives on such questions as why Henry suddenly abandoned his Lutheran policy, why Cromwell fell from power in 1540 and even insights into Elizabeth's personal beliefs. Reformation, through the work of Philip Melanchthon, this book offers fresh insights into the nature and development of early evangelical Protestantism.

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This book and the contents have not been properly treated. There are several mysteries in the life of Martin Luther that are not revealed. I am not sure who has all the necessary information to certify important events. For many years I have been trying to discover when Luther switched from being a preterist to being a historicist. This book does not clear up this question. In preterism the Church age was from 30-70AD and then there was a resurrection and a rapture. So the Church is gone. All that pertains to the Church and Christians has been concluded. The special doctrines and teachings have all produced and kept the Church to his rapture. Then in 70AD preterist claim the millennial kingdom began. This spiritualized 1000 years would last until the end of the world regardless if it was 2000 or even 3000 years in the future. But more importantly, within preterism the great tribulation is past, taking place between 63AD and 70AD. The 7 seals already opened and fulfilled. The 7 trumpets already fulfilled. The 7 bowls of wrath fulfilled. The great whore has been burned (Jerusalem). And the antichrist (Nero) is long past. The resurrection of the dead in Christ already taken place. And the rapture already over. The New Testament Church is in heaven at the banquet with Jesus. The Lord's Supper is no more, it was to last until Jesus came and he came in 70AD. The Holy Spirit is no more as a comforter or as a baptism (Acts 2:1-4), because Paul said it would last until the coming of Jesus (1Cor 1:7). All this being past (which is what preterist means), the millennial kingdom began. This picture brings me to this book. I was looking for the evidences that Luther was a preterist and he believed all those things were indeed past, accomplished, and the Church was in heaven. I did find in another writing of his he was amillennial. Which is the millennial view of preterism. I did find he was an Augustinian monk and Augustine was the greatest teacher on preterism. So my conclusion is that Martin Luther was a preterist. But, this was all to change when he got angry on the selling of indulgences to build St Peter's Basilica in Rome. This was on October 31, 1517. In this year he posted his 95 Thesis on the Catholic church door in Whittenburg. In 1518 he wrote a letter to pope Leo calling him "most blessed father." Clearly he was still Catholic and an amillennial preterist. In his 95 Thesis there is no hint of historicism. No where does he call the pope the antichrist. No where does he call the Catholic church the great whore (both of which are historicist doctrines). While Luther was going through some changes in his beliefs about salvation, he did not leave the Catholic church, he was excommunicated in 1521. This is when Mrlanchthon comes into the picture. He supported Luther's claims against indulgences. In 1524 Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio tried to convince him to forsake Luther. He did not. Melanchthon claimed Luther was only rejecting papal and ecclesiastical practices. Indeed in 1520, three years after his posting of the 95 Thesis, he wrote to pope Leo and called him "most blessed father." But something happened when he and Mtlanchthon teamed up. Luther began to change his eschatoligical views. He adopted the theories of the historicist. He rjected his prior preterist beliefs although he hung on to his amillennialism. He came to see the antichrist as the pope and Rome as the great whore. Thus, he made the switch to the historicist camp. In 1526 Luther agreed that the Catholic churches could have their own mass rituals, their own convents for nuns, their own parishes, and their own religious orders (his was Augustinian). In 1526 he wrote that the "missae in latin I do not want set aside or change," In the same writing he said he did not want: "the latin tongue to disappear out of divine service." He sent out his doctrine that: "the ten commandments, the creed (Nicene), and the Lord's Prayer, were all Christians need to know." To read the rest go to: http://whyapostolic 

Contents

This Little Greek
15
All thy Waves and Billows
32
Your Friend King Henry VIII
57
Next to the Bible
83
The Six Articles
113
Lenten Purging
135
Melanchthon and the Edwardians
151
Melanchthon and the Exiles
174
Melanchthon and the Real Presence
205
Index
223
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