Steve Lawson discusses the backdrop against which the Reformation came about. Although it doesn’t describe the current state of affairs to a tee, there are lots of parallels and it is a reminder that we need to pray — because in this terrible mess, “the guiding hand of God” is at work .
“Under the guiding hand of God, the religious, political, economic, and social setting had been uniquely prepared for the Reformation. It was the best of times and the worse of times. Religiously, it was a day of darkness as the rottenness of the Catholic church was seen everywhere, from pope to priest, from dogma to practice. Politically, it was a day of instability as the world was changing from a feudal universal state to a territorial nation-state. Economically, it was a day of international trade, a rising capitalistic middle class, and new markets were emerging. And culturally, it was a day of momentous opportunity with Guttenberg’s printing press starting a publishing boom (1454), Christopher Columbus discovering America (1492) and new lands opening up. Intellectually, it was a time of renewed interest in learning, what with the Renaissance and new universities dotting the landscape. It was a day of change everywhere. But the greatest change would be that brought about by the gospel of Jesus Christ.”