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After Darkness, Light

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 31 Oct 2017

Lee Gatiss sums up the Reformation and its ongoing effect with the famous slogan: After Darkness, Light.

500 years ago Europe seemed to be in spiritual darkness. The light of the gospel had been obscured — by human traditions, by churchly powers and authorities, and by silly superstitions.

But then the light of truth in the Bible broke through. Not just Martin Luther, but a generation of men and women rediscovered in a powerful way that we are saved solely and completely by faith in Christ’s death on the cross. What poured forth was a wave of impassioned teaching, writing, and new church movements that radically altered not just the shape of the church, but the entire course of human history.

This is what we today call “the Reformation.” One slogan that is often used to sum it up is Post Tenebras Lux: “After darkness, light.”

Those Reformers of the 16th century are our spiritual ancestors, who read God’s word, translated it into a language ordinary people could understand, and wrestled with the big issues that still face us today as followers of Christ. We serve the same Lord Jesus in our everyday lives and ministries as these great Reformers did in theirs, and continue to struggle as they did to keep his word first in our hearts and in our churches.

Reformed churches are always in need of continuing reformation by the word of God. The same truths that changed the course of history 500 years ago are still changing lives today as people turn to Christ in repentance and faith. We are thankful to God for the clarity of their testimony to the truth, often sealed with their blood, and pray that it would again be heard — loud and clear — in and through the Church of England today.

Revd Dr Lee Gatiss is Director of Church Society

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