Five English Reformers

In light of the recent signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification between Roman Catholic and Lutheran representatives, I would like to demonstrate that despite assertions to the contrary, there are vast differences between Protestant and Roman Catholic doctrine/theology.

The following is the introductory chapter from Five English Reformers by J.C. Ryle (reprinted by Banner of Truth Trust). This piece was first published in Light from Old Times in 1890, and although it might be tempting to say to oneself, "That was over a hundred years ago; we now live in the post-Vatican II era," bear in mind two things:

  1. The Roman Catholic Church boasts that she never changes;
  2. The Roman Catholic Church has never repudiated, repented of, renounced, revoked, repealed, rescinded or otherwise annulled the Council of Trent (mid 16th century) and its doctrines (Vatican II notwithstanding), doctrines which the Reformers preached against and sealed their testimony with their own blood.
As you read the following excerpt, ask yourself these questions:

Were these men really burned because of semantics, over a misunderstanding of words and obscure doctrine? Or did they believe that they had come to know the One who is the Truth, and rather than deny Him they chose to lay down their lives?
Why were our Reformers burned?

The broad facts of the martyrdom of our Reformers.

Who were the leading English Reformers that were burned?

The special reason why our Reformers were burned.

The bearing of the whole subject on our own position and on our own times.

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Last modified: Fri Dec 10 23:53:49 1999