Martin in England #6 – Darwin / Calvin

Today we spent our day in Cambridge where we are staying for the next few days; Dr. Magnuson is an alum of the Cambridge system so he is well versed in many things here in Cambridge. We visited many historical sites today, but there were a few of extreme interest and importance to me. The Church of St. Edward King & Martyr is believed to be the site of the first English reformation sermon delivered in December of 1525 by Robert Barnes. I have included a piece of literature (or a picture of it) that you can read to get the full story. The original pulpit that the sermon by Robert Barnes was delivered from is still in use today. Charles Lattimer and others that I have written about also preached from this pulpit in The Church of St. Edward King & Martyr. Without being too touchy feely, in a way I was stand on some pretty sacred ground because of what God did through the obedience of men like Robert Barnes, whom most of us until today have never heard. Whether he did or did not deliver the first pre-reformation sermon or not he did deliver one of the first explicitly gospel centered messages in England and for that we should be grateful.

Just outside the gates of King College, which if I remember correctly has produced 32 noble prize winners over the years, is a tiny blue plaque on the wall marking the former location of The White Horse Inn. King College is the most prestigious college in all of the Cambridge University system. The White Horse Inn has great significance because it is at this pub that “Little Germany” would meet to discuss the writings of Martin Luther and implications of these kinds of teachings. The members of “Little Germany were most likely Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Lattimer, Robert Barnes, Thomas Bilney, and others over the years.,_Cambridge

Finally, I find great irony in the fact that this year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Darwin, the father of evolutionary thinking. Darwin though not a particularly good student from what I have heard was indeed a student in Cambridge. 661 miles miles away thousands are gathered in Geneva Switzerland to commemorate the 500th birth of John Calvin, a man who has had more than a tremendous impact on the church and that statement is far understated. God used and uses Calvin greatly in the life of the church and in Christianity across the world.

Tonight at dinner we had a great conversation, one that I am always interested in having. It went something like this; we have seen a lot and heard a lot…not what are we going to do about it? Certainly this is not a question that can be answered in one dinner setting but it was these types of questions that made the White Horse Inn what it was. What are we going to do to champion the Word of God in our churches today? What are going to do to anthem the name of Jesus Christ in our culture today? What are we going to do to prepare laborers for the harvest? What are we going to do to reach the lost and disciple the eager? What are we going to do in this ministry God has called each of us to? I know for me it was a good reminder that change, transformational change takes time and perseverance as well as fortitude to stay in the place where God has you. There are many implications of which this blog would not be readable were I to expound too much, but these are the types of questions that got the Reformation started and I believe that only by these types of questions and obedience to the answers will our churches be reformed today. To God be the Glory forever!

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