Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Top Events of the Second Millenium

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
Martin Luther is still making news. His challenge to the Roman Catholic Church in 1517, which brought about the Protestant Reformation, is the most important religious event of the second millennium, according to a poll conducted by the Religion Newswriters Association. The invention of movable type, which allowed the mass production of Bibles in various languages, and the Great Schism of 1054, which separated Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism, were ranked second and third in the poll. About 30 journalists voted on the top 10 religious events of the millennium and the 20th century. The remaining top events of the millennium include: the Holocaust and the founding of the modern state of Israel; the first Crusade in 1095 to liberate the Holy Land from Muslims; Islam's spread into Africa and Asia; the Second Vatican Council reforms from 1962-1965; the settlement of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the enshrinement of religious freedoms in the Bill of Rights; the 19th century ideas of Freud, Darwin, Marx, and Nietchze that challenged traditional religious beliefs; and the 1906 Azusa Street revival that launched the Pentecostal movement which today is the fastest growing segment of Christianity.

The top events of the 20th century include the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947; the increase of female clergy among Protestants and Jews; the increase of radical Islam in the Middle East and North Africa; John Paul II becoming the first non-Italian pope in 400 years; the religious-backed civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ghandi's nonviolent overthrow of British rule in India. (From The Associated Press and Religion Today)

Certainly, the Reformation of 1517 should be the most memorable, but it is surprising to me that the Revivals, particularly in New England (The Second Awakening) were not considered as top events. In my books they should be. Speaking of books on such matters as revival, perhaps the 30 journalists never read such books as God Sent Revival by J.F.Thornbury, Jonathan Edwards On Revival, Revival &Revivalism by Iain H. Murray, or his classic The Puritan Hope, or one of his latest, Pentecost Today? The Biblical Basis For Understanding Revival. Such books should be read by anyone hailing from the Protestant Reformation in order to keep that top event in mind. Perhaps that, in turn, will stimulate prayer amongst us that God would bring about a renewed revival or a Third Awakening, to make it the top event for the third millennium.

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