[6-2-03; slightly revised on 12-8-11]
The Catholic has as much right to call what happened a Revolt as the Protestant has to call it aReformation. I don’t choose terms of historical epochs based on partisan concerns. I would argue that “Revolt” is much more neutral, whereas “Reformation” presupposes in its very use and literal meaning a Protestant outlook. We deny that what Protestantism brought the world was a return to the early Church, so how can we use the term?
It has become a standard term just as Enlightenment has, but note how the latter is also thoroughly biased. All Christians can agree, however, that what happened in the 18th century was no “enlightenment” — a big light that went on in culture because Christian tenets were being rejected and the goddess of “reason” put in their place.
Let’s try an analogy to bring the point home. How about if I rush up to a Calvinist school (or Westminster Seminary or some place like that) and demand that they deny TULIP and if not, to show me from “Scripture and plain reason” how they can possibly defend their “clearly false” beliefs?
Failing that, I will stomp my foot, cry “here I stand” and be carried out by the staunch defenders of Established Orthodoxy, perhaps fleeing to a present-day Wartburg Castle in the backwoods of Maine, where I can come up with ideas for vulgar woodcuts of Calvin or R. C. Sproul being eliminated from the rear end of a grizzly bear. I’m sure I would be wildly popular in Calvinist circles, wouldn’t I?