Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Reformation Timetable

My notes for an adult Sunday School class at our church on 15 March 2015
1483 b Martin Luther
1486  b Arthur, Prince of Wales
1489 b Cranmer
1491 b Henry Tudor, Ignatius Loyola
1501 m Arthur and Catherine of Aragon b1485
1502 d Arthur
1503 Henry betrothed to Catherine, Wm Warham last pre-ref A o Cant..
1505 b Knox. Luther becomes monk.
1507 Luther ordained
1508 ML at Univ Wittenberg
1509 Henry king and marries Catherine b Calvin. Erasmus at Cambridge
1512 Luther DD
1514 Wolsey b1473 A of York.
1515 Wolsey cardinal and Lord Chancellor
1516 b Mary Erasmus Greek NT. More Utopia
1517 95 Theses
1518 Diet of Augsburg ML will not recant
1519 ML in disputation at Leipzig questions papal authority. Zwingli b 1484 starts Zurich reformation
1520 Loe X excommunicates ML, declared heretic, burns papal bull.
1521 Defender of the faith. ML banned from HR Empire at Diet of Worms. Starts Bible translation hidden in Wartburg.
1522 ML in Wittenberg publishes NT
1524 Mass banned Zurich
1525 ML marries Katherine b1499. Tyndale NT printed Worms
1528 Henry publicly talks of Divorce. Reformation starts Scotland with Patrick Hamilton b1504 executed
1529 Wolsey falls. More chancellor. Vienna besieged. ML and UZ dispute eucharist at Marburg
1530 Melanchthon prepares Confession of Augsburg, signed by Protestant princes
1531 Henry Supreme Head of C of E. UZ dies in battle.
1533 H m secretly to Anne Boleyn b 1501,  b Elizabeth. Cranmer Archbishop and declares 1st marriage null, Anne crowned queen. Henry excommunicated by pope.
1534 Act of Supremacy, Treasons Act .German OT. Jesuits founded
1535 All clergy must subscribe. More beheaded. Reports in of church wealth. Visitation of monasteries. JC Basel.
1536 d Catherine. Anne executed. m Jane Seymour b 1508  Pilgrimage of Grace. Cromwell b1485 Lord Privy Seal. First Suppression Act and first suppressions, 376 of them. Continue 4 years. JC Geneva. Authority of pope void in England. Calvin’s Institutes. Tyndale burned.
1537 P o Grace suppressed. b Edward d Jane
1538 JC to Strasbourg. Relics and shrines like Becket’s destroyed in southern England.
1540 m Anne of Cleves. b 1515 Annulled by parliament. m Catherine Howard b 1521 Cromwell beheaded
1541 JC Geneva
1542 Catherine H beheaded. Paul III stars Inquisition
1543 m Catherine Parr b1512 First burnings in Spain. Servetus burned in Geneva
1545 Council of Trent to 1564
1546 d Henry, ML
1549 Conformity to BCP required
1552 Second BCP
1553 d Edward and Lady Jane Grey 1554
1555 Knox to Scotland from Geneva
1156 Cranmer burned. Cardinal Pole Canterbury
1558 d Mary, JN First Blast
1559 New BCP

1564 JC dies

More sad news from Nigeria

On Saturday/Sunday night gunmen entered the house of a retired Police officer, a Mr Jonathan in Barakin Ladi in Plateau St. killing 7 of the family.  Only a little girl survived but had a gun shot in her leg so was taken to hospital.  The motive was not clear.  Then on Monday evening a Fulani man tried to walk through a mob who were shouting but was lynched,  In reprisal a Moslem Hausa man invited a motor mechanic, a Berom man, to his house to repair his motor cycle.  He and two other Berom men were later found dead.  it was a sad tit for tat killing but it shows how much society is like a tinder box.

Joint Forces  announced that they had taken back the town of Damasak in Borno St quite near the northern border with Niger.Coalition forces claim they have retaken over 30 towns from Boko Haram control.  

However, today, Tuesday 10, another suicide bomber killed himself and 17 others in Monday Market in Maiduguri.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Nigeria latest

You may have heard that several bombs went off in Maiduguri on Friday when 50 or more people were killed and many injured.  Having tried unsuccessfully  to overrun the city by frontal attack in January, the BH are now attacking people within the city and so creating terrible fear in everyone.  Chadian, Cameroonian and Niger forces are working with the Nigerian army but may confine themselves to the Lake Chad and border areas.  One of our friends has said the Chadians especially see BH as the enemy and are out to destroy them, whereas their own Nigerian forces can easily become compromised.  Now that BH have declared their allegiance to ISIS and the Caliphate it may make the Nigerian Government more determined to overcome them, but it will be very difficult with so many sympathisers within society.

Sadly the attacks by Fulani extremists have continued in Plateau State with Sho being attacked on Saturday.  Security forces arrived too late, but they arrested two men accusing them as suspects but that caused a riot as the villagers said they were trying to defend the village.  A village in Taraba State south of Yola/Numan was attacked on Friday.  A riot ensued at a video viewing centre resulting in at least two people being killed and many houses set on fire.  Another village in Borno near Benishek was attacked Thursday/Friday night.

With the Presidential election now less than three weeks away (March 28) let us continue to pray for the country and for Christians in particular that they will know how to vote - and that there will be an end to violence both before and after the Election.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Books read in March 2015

1. Reformation : Europe's House Divided 1490-1700 by Diarmaid MacCulloch

A most detailed and comprehensive work on the history and theology of both the Reformation and the Counter-reformation response. It tales on all of Europe though I found it weak on the 17th century in what the author calls the Atlantic Isles. ( Is this some new political correctness to avoid Ireland being part of the British Isles?) Post Restoration history in both England and Scotland seems too brief. There seems to be little on the Test Acts and nothing on the various Covenants nor the Covenanters. But one is certainly given a good theological understanding of the diversity between various Reformers. The author is no fan of John Calvin. Does this explain his omission of how Calvin influenced capitalism when he reformed the the traditional understanding of usury?

2. Best Kept Secret: 3 (The Clifton Chronicles) by Jeffrey Archer

I enjoy Archer and have read most of his work including the previous two books in this series. However I think he has become rather predictable and formulaic here. I found the main big story far fetched. Archer certainly shows his familiarity with elections and publishing but I think the prolonged bitter hatred of two vindictive characters here was rather over the top. Perhaps I have too soft a view of human nature.

3. The Swallows Of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra

Set in Taliban controlled Kabul and written in 2002 when these extremists controlled the city. I confess I do not understand the link between book and title and was surprised to find the author is in fact an Algerian man. But he seems well informed of the horror that was Kabul at the time. The story is well written but shocking in its horror, so bad in fact that the subject matter means I cannot give it five stars. Do not expect a happy ending.

4. Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy) by Ken Follett 

I have enjoyed all three volumes in this series but this one has to be an out and out left wing piece of historical fiction. The causes beloved of the left are applauded and no leader from the American right is worthy of approbation. It also seems to have been written for an American market. I recall only two passing references to British prime ministers and the only British politics seems to be the Sexual Offences Act decriminalising male homosexual acts. But some of the big events, 1961 to 1989 are covered through the lives of families in USA, USSR and East Germany. A long book. A large canvas and a good read if you do not mind the story coming from left field, liberal left that is not communist.

5. Jesus, Jihad, and Peace: A Prophetic Vision for the Middle East by Michael Youssef

The author, a Christian from Egypt, is well qualified to write on Islam and Christianity. He pulls no punches showing Islam does not mean peace but submission, submission to Allah who is not the same in his attributes as God worshipped by Christians. The West needs to wake up to the goal of the minority of Muslims, Salafist/Wahabbis who are setting the agenda of a universal caliphate, world domination. The majority of Muslims do not support their methods but remain silent out of fear. It reads all too like the Republicans in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, a comparison the author does not make for he lives in USA and his book is aimed at an American readership. I was hesitant when the cover says. 'What Bible prophecy says about world events'. But this is a balanced approach with my only criticism that he does not relate that the last days started at Pentecost and the first part of Matthew 24 is about AD70. There is helpful contrast between the beliefs and methods of Islam and Christianity as well as a clear presentation of the Christian gospel.

6. LONDON: The Information Capital: 100 maps and graphics that will change how you view the city by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti

From fascinating serious information about London to the most trivial of trivia it is all here. Maps and charts to pour over and fascinate. This book represents the fruit of endless information gathering only possible in the electronic age. Read through it, dip into it, on the coffee table or for reference, this is a fun book.

7. Lila by Marilynne Robinson

The third novel in the Gilead books is set before the second one, Home and I was pleased to have read Home first as some references to the Boughton family and their black sheep son would have been hard to understand without Home. Lila was rescued by an old drifter woman, Doll and throughout the book Lila thinks back to he time with Doll and a group of drifters in dust bowl America. After Doll dies Lila is employed in a St Louis whorehouse then a hotel before she comes to Gilead where after living in an abandoned shack she is befriended by the old widower, Rev Ames and so begins a strange, tender love story. They marry but she can never tell him the details of her past. There is much here of beauty in love and kindness. There is exploration of themes dealing with eternity and hell also the meaning of baptism. Lila reads a lot from Ezekiel, Ames quotes Calvin, not what one finds in modern novels. Writing on sexual matters without explicit detail is refreshing. Can we look forward to more from this small Iowa town? How will the Ames boy grow up?

8. Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc by Joseph Pearce

Belloc seems to be little remembered today except as a writer of comic verse. This biography shows how he was a foremost apologist for the Christian faith in the first half of the 20th century alongside his friend G K Chesterton. His Christianity though was decidedly Roman Catholic and he was influential in leading many of his friends, well known names, into that church. It was therefore amusing to read that he had a son who alienated from his father called an adopted child Martin Luther to irritate Belloc. Belloc's much loved wife died in her forties and he lost his eldest and youngest sons in the two World Wars so he was a man acquainted with grief. He was judged the finest orator of his  day and had a huge and varied literary output. He said he only wrote because he needed the money but one of his passions was to retell English history without what he regarded as its innate Protestant bias. He was a larger than life character loving beer, wine, Sussex, his native France, travel and sailing, but above all his Church.

9. Dark Fire (The Shardlake Series) by C. J. Sansom 

This is the first Shardlake story I have read and it will not be the last. I enjoy historical fiction and detective stories and here you have both. In fact there are two stories of detection in this volume. The author does make Tudor London come alive. His characters are well drawn. Plenty of mystery and excitement .Knowing that Cromwell is to fall hangs like a sword of Damocles over the story. I look forward to more about Shardlake.

10, Heartstone (Matthew Shardlake 5) by C. J. Sansom

Fifth in the Shardlake series but the second one I have read. Once again much detail as to Tudor life. Here one learns about wardship, travel, the army, archery, the threatened French invasion, warships and the sinking of the Mary Rose. Once again Shardlake has two mysteries to solve putting his own life at risk. A long story but a good read.