Church History Narratives for Everyone 

187

This will be a very brief article. Today, 31 October, is Reformation Day. We remember in particular the great deeds of the Lord in liberating His people from what had become a very corrupt and doctrinally deviant church. We still benefit from what the Lord granted at that time, particularly in what we confess in our Three Forms of Unity with their emphasis on salvation by grace through our Saviour Jesus Christ alone, their focus on the doctrine of Scripture alone and their attention to the appropriation of God’s wonderful promises by faith alone.

Four Reformation figures – Guillaume Farel, Jean Calvin, Théodore de Bèze and John Knox

We can read all about this in the accounts about how the Lord used leading figures in the lead up to the Reformation, the Reformation itself and in the consolidation of the Reformation. I think of how the Lord used such figures as John Wycliffe, John Huss, Martin Luther, Ulrich Swingli, Philip Melanchthon and John Calvin.

Something I should have done in my previous article was to draw your attention to some beautiful narratives by Johannes Vreugdenhil about church history. They were translated from Dutch some years ago and published in three volumes as God’s Care and Continuance of His Church. However, the translations left something to be desired. Henk and Rita Ballast have spent countless hours improving the original translation and have made them available on this website, Defence of the Truth, for FREE. Just click on the heading CHURCH HISTORY at the top of the home page or click on Church History for Young & Old – Defence of the Truth. Scroll down to the subheadings beneath the brief biography of Vreugdenhil and choose whoever you want to read about.

This is an excellent resource for both home and school, covering not only the Great Reformation era but events in church history since the time of the apostles. Adults, youth and even children would enjoy reading and gain understanding of church history. Children would delight in reading or having parents read to them, for example, the account of Martin Luther’s childhood – 66.Martin-Luther-1-His-Youth.pdf (defenceofthetruth.com) – and the continuation of his life as he grapples with doubts about his salvation, and so on. Overall there are one hundred twenty easy-to-read illustrated stories about church history! The author has even included some questions and exercises at the end of each story for those wanting to be quizzed. Our schools and parents should jump at it! Children could read them or parents and teachers could read them to the children. They’ll enjoy them.

It’s such a great way for our children, and ourselves, to know about the great deeds of the Lord in church history. As Asaph said: “We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done” (Psalm 78:4). These great deeds are not restricted to what the LORD did in the Old Testament. They continued in the New Testament and still continue as our Lord Jesus Christ keeps gathering, defending and preserving His church, preparing her for the return of her Lord.