As some of you may know, I love church history. In particular, I love studying the Protestant Reformation. One of my favorite books of all time was Christianity’s Dangerous Idea, by Alister McGrath. However, we live in a day when Protestants no longer know what they’re protesting. In fact, some Christians are asking the question, “Shall we still protest?” This post isn’t designed to answer this question.
Recently, church historian and seminary president Robert Godfrey, was asked by Ligonier Ministries what the most common misconception is that contemporary Protestants have about the Reformation. Here’s his answer:
Probably the most common misconception of modern Protestants about the Reformation is that our modern churches are very similar to sixteenth-century churches. Especially evangelical Protestants would be very surprised at how comprehensive and detailed Reformation theology was in comparison to the theology of many churches today. They would be shocked to see the way Reformation worship was driven by theology, not by entertainment and evangelism. They would perhaps be uncomfortable with the fact that ministers were selected more for their learning than for their personality. In the Reformation, the institutional church and its public worship was the center and heart of Christian experience, and most decisions about the life of the church were made by the ministers, not the laity. Many contemporary Protestants would be very uncomfortable in Reformation churches.