5 Minutes in Church History: Rio 1558, the Guanabara Confession of Faith

Who were the 16th-century Calvinist missionaries of Brazil? In this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Stephen Nichols tells the fascinating history of the Guanabara Confession of Faith.The Summer Olympics were just held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. But I want to take us back to Rio in 1558. There is a slight backstory here, so let’s pick it up. In 1555, a French colony was established in what is now Rio de Janeiro. Then it was simply known as the Guanabara Bay. That original French c … [Read more...]

5 Minutes in Church History: The Divinity School Address

What was wrong with Ralph Waldo Emerson's Christology? In this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols explores the legacy of Emerson.On July 15, 1838, Ralph Waldo Emerson gave the commencement address at Harvard Divinity School. The address has come to be seen as a significant essay, both in American literature and American history, and is simply known as the “Divinity School Address.” Emerson begins by setting the stage: “In the moment of this refulgent summer, it has b … [Read more...]

5 Minutes in Church History: The Ten Theses of Berne

The city of Berne is in northern Germany, toward the west, not too far from the border with the Netherlands. In 1520, Berchtold Haller came to the church at St. Vincent in the city. Haller had been influenced by Philip Melanchthon and Huldrych Zwingli. Later, especially after 1521, Haller and Zwingli would correspond often and would consider themselves allies.Haller was interested in Reformation ideas and was leaning toward the Reformation, but the city was not. In 1523, the city affirmed … [Read more...]

5 Minutes in Church History: What Is Reformation Day?

What is Reformation Day? To answer that question, let’s ask another question. When is Reformation Day? It’s October 31; it commemorates the events of October 31, 1517. On that day, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Now, why would Luther do that? To answer this question, we need to introduce a few more characters.One of those characters was Albert of Brandenburg. Albert was not old enough to be a bishop, yet in 1517, he … [Read more...]

5 Minutes in Church History: Augustine’s Handbook for Life

Did you know that Augustine wrote a catechism for a Roman tribune living in Africa? In this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols discusses Augustine's 420 A.D. book, the Enchiridion.Augustine of Hippo wrote many books, including his Confessions and City of God. One of his somewhat lesser-known works is a book from the year 420 called the Enchiridion. Augustine was around sixty-six years old at the time he wrote it, and he had been a Christian for thirty-five years. The … [Read more...]

5 Minutes in Church History: As John Calvin Spoke from the Pulpit

In this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols discusses the lesser known pastoral side of John Calvin.John Calvin’s sermons on Ephesians are a wonderful text. In the introduction to the Banner of Truth Trust’s edition of these sermons, the editors note that as we think about Calvin’s writings, we have his sermons, his commentaries, and his Institutes of the Christian Religion, but: “In these pages, we hear Calvin. Not as we do in his Institutes, which were so carefully … [Read more...]