The Children of the Reformation

Today is Reformation Day and Tim Challies is inspiring and aggregating the bloggers towards a series of blog posts. Here is mine.

On Reformation Day 2006, I wrote “A Little Scottish Oats with your Bratwurst”, an image-based post with some Scottish history and sentiments.

On Reformation Day 2007, I wrote some thoughts about the ecumenical nature of the Reformation and suggested that the Roman Catholic Church might actually NOT be Babylon the Great in our day and age. Consequently, I got into some trouble with a few hard core Reformation-fans who disagreed. Just like when I got into trouble for suggesting the Reformation in Scotland was more supernatural than the Banner of Truth books would have us believe.

Picture 27-3In 2008, to be honest, I am a little stumped on what to say. One thought was to explore the origin of the word “Protest” and “Protestant” regarding the Protestant Reformation, but all efforts have led me to the connection with the word “testicles” and their correlation. I mean its correlation.

“The word testicles comes from Latin testiculi meaning “little witnesses”. All such test words; including protest, protestant, testify, and attest have this testicle connection”. Link

Apparently, to “protest” referred to the manly task of presenting evidence as a witness with your kit intact to verify your virility and manliness. This would make quite a controversial blog post, especially with all the conversation about the male dominated flavor of the neo-Calvinists. But thats a can of worms that can stay on the shelf a little longer.

So instead, I will simply quote a passage from my old leather covered version of The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, by J.H. Merle D’Aubigne (MDCCCLX) which I like because it talks about the children of the Reformation as those not in the academic halls where such things are discussed but rather in the places where suffering and sacrifice is most severe.

“When the church takes a new life, it is fertilized by the blood of its confessors; and being continually exposed to corruption, it has constant need to be purified by suffering. Not in the palaces of Henry VIII, nor even in the councils where the question of overthrowing the papal authority was discussed, must we look for the true children of the Reformation. We must go to the Tower of London, to the Lollard’s towers of St Paul’s and of Lambeth, to the other prisoners of England, to the Bishop’s cellars, to the fetters, the stocks, the rack, and the stake.”

J.H. Merle D’Aubigne, Page 223 [final page], Volume 3,

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • keith says:

    “little witnesses”?
    You should have continued and expanded. One can only imagine the hilarity it would have provided….
    So if you are a die-hard, non-apologetic protestant do you move up to the status of “big-witness”?

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