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Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15b-16a ESV)

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1/08/2005

This Week in Church History 

January 3, 1560.

The death of Peder Palladius.

"Who?" you ask? Good question; Palladius isn't the best-known reformer, after all. He never gained the notoriety of Luther or Calvin, or even Zwingli. But the reform he brought to Denmark was just as important as their work.

Palladius was a student himself when the Reformation started, and was heavilly influenced by the writings of Phillip Melanchthon, travelling to Wittenberg to study under the great reformer. He devoted his life to Reformed teachings, and to service of the Church.

Denmark was split by civil war because of the influence of Protestantism. Catholic citizens refused to be ruled by a Protestant King (understandibly, since their nation could suffer interdiction, when Sacraments were witheld from the citizens by the Church), and revolted. Christian III defeated the Catholic forces and became the first Protestant King of Denmark. Christian proved to be a rather tolerant king, one of the few Protestant monarchs who didn't actively persecute the Catholics in his kingdom.

Palladius completed his studies in 1537 and was appointed to the highest church office in Denmark by the king. He proved to be not only a devoted bishop but also a porlific teacher and writer. He never forced conversion on anyone, but taught with love -- letting the Holy Spirit do the work of conversion.

The Reformation was a time of great turmoil in Europe; wars were regularly fought between Protestant and Catholic forces, both claiming to be the true faith. The example of Palladius (and the other reformers <-- requires Acrobat) in Denmark show that the Holy Spirit will work when we allow Him to, and that (contrary to popular belief) not all religion requires violence in it's service.


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