The Reformation was, first and foremost, all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was then, and it still is now. The task of reformation never ends, for every person, in
every generation, needs to hear the good news of their Savior from sin
and eternal death.
world was changing. New scientific discoveries had opened pathways for
understanding more about our complex universe. The ocean, once feared
for its danger and depth, was tamed for travel and trade. Peasants and
workers, laboring under harsh and relentless conditions, sought
revolution. The bubonic plague had claimed the lives of about 75 million
people from 1347 to 1351. It continued to reappear and panic European
cities. Political alliances, long forged between pope and prince,
fractured as power centers shifted. Gutenberg’s press (1455), the first
to use movable type, transported ideas from one person to the next with
swiftness and ease. As the medieval era collapsed into the modern,
changes seemed everywhere and limitless.
Yet even during these changing times one thing remained constant: our
God, who grants forgiveness and grace to His people through Jesus
Christ. Despite advances and transformations in science and society,
politics and publication, God was working. He gave hope and life by His
Spirit through Word and Sacraments. He bestowed comfort and joy in
trying and often perilous situations. In changing times, His promises
through His Son did not change, nor will they ever. They will never be
altered, nor revoked. His Word pronounces us righteous through faith in
His Son, Jesus Christ. He alone is our Life and our Peace.
Significant people and events in the “Old World” as well as the “New”
have been included for the years 1436 to 1600. Additional references
include scientific discoveries, substantive works of art, and the
arrivals of European explorers to the Americas. Items in bold indicate
writings and events specifically relating to the Lutheran Confessions.
This timeline confirms what we know by experience: change will take
place. But in changing times God’s Word reminds us that He is always
faithful to His people. With hearty confidence and trust we can say with
King David, “My times are in Your hands” (Psalm 31:15).