Mondays are for Church History - 12/12/16
Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Reformation to the Present Day. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 2. New York: HarperCollins, 2010b. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 17 “The Church of the Desert” Loc. 2858-2969.
Gonzalez turns his attention here to developments in France in the 17th century (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2864). After the death of Henry IV in 1610 his son, Louis XIII, age 8, was under the leadership of his mother, who made alliances which were not favorable to Protestants. By 1622 Louis’ advisor, Cardinal Richelieu, pursued religious alliances based on convenience (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2878). While he would support Protestant insurrections in other places, he moved to destroy the Hugenots in France. Gonzalez notes that the political power held by the Protestants seems to have been the motivator, not their religious life (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2893). After Richelieu died in 1642 and Louis XIV, age 5, took the throne the next year, the new regent, Cardinal Mazarin, continued the same policies (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2900). After Mazarin’s death, Louis XIV asserted his own primacy, even over the papacy in his lands (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2900). He also worked forcefully to stop Protestantism and other dissident moves (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2908).
This included a 1684 use of an army to enforce conversion of Protestants (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2915). In 1685 Protestantism was outlawed in France, resulting in a mass exodus and secret worship meetings (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2922). There were “desert” societies in which Huguenots would consider themselves as outcasts. Visionaries expected the end of the world (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2930). Some gathered in arms to fight against royal forces, resulting in the destruction of hundreds of villages (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2937).
Another, more conservative Calvinist group also arose, intent on biblical exposition rather than visions of the end (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2945). By 1726 this group was training pastors in Lausanne, Switzerland (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2952). The Reformed Church took solid root in France, finally being tolerated in 1787 (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2959).
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