Posted in history, Uncategorized

Forerunner to the Reformation: John Wycliffe

By Elizabeth Prata

Martin Luther, 1483-1546

It is Reformation year 504. Five hundred and four years ago this October 31st, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Electorate of Saxony within the Holy Roman Empire. Luther wrote,

Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute with him orally shall do so in their absence by letter. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Here are the actual 95 theses if you want to read them:
The 95 theses

History.com sums the Reformation up this way-

Luther spent his early years in relative anonymity as a monk and scholar. But in 1517 Luther penned a document attacking the Catholic Church’s corrupt practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin. His “95 Theses,” which propounded two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds—was to spark the Protestant Reformation

Is there any event that is not connected in time by a previous event? Isn’t time a constant stream of events, all tumbling one after another, connected by their confinement to the visible riverbanks by the hands of God? Did the Reformation emerge all of a sudden, or were there catalysts and stepping stones laid first? Were there forerunners? I believe so.

As RC Sproul said, that before Luther there was Hus, (or Huss, spellings vary) who was preceded by Wycliffe, who was preceded by Augustin who was preceded by Paul who was preceded by Jesus.

The reason there are forerunners to Martin Luther and the Reformation is that Jesus never leaves Himself without a witness, and He as Master Husbandman tends soils so that there is always a soil ready to receive the Gospel. Even in “The Dark Ages”, the Gospel was doing its work in hearts. Salvations were always occurring.

Burk Parsons wrote of this connection from one era to the next, the vine as I envision it. It is planted by God and watered by Him, with men springing up along the vine as forerunners to His particular plan and path regarding the Reformation.

John Wycliffe was the morning star of the Reformation. He was a protestant and a reformer more than a century before Martin Luther ignited the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Through Wycliffe, God planted the seeds of the Reformation, He watered the seeds through John Hus, and He brought the flower of the Reformation to bloom through Martin Luther. The seed of the flower of the German Augustinian monk Luther’s 95 theses was planted by the English scholar and churchman John Wycliffe.

Josh Buice wrote that The Reformation Resulted in an Explosion of Gospel Missions. He started a preaching series in–

–2017 with an emphasis on the Reformation and how our salvation is directly connected to the work of the Reformers. R. C. Sproul writes, “The Reformation was not merely a Great Awakening; it was the Greatest Awakening to the true Gospel since the Apostolic Age.”

During the days that preceded the Reformation, the Bible had been locked away in a dark dungeon by the Roman Catholic Church.  They insisted that the Word of God must be heard by the priests, who would speak it only in Latin. The Roman Catholic Church insisted that the common person was unable to understand the Word of God without the aid of a priest. However, they were unwilling to release control of the Bible, and in order to prevent anyone from getting their hands on the Word of God—they would burn people at the stake as an example to all who resisted their authority.

Under John Calvin’s leadership in Geneva Switzerland, thousands of missionaries were being trained and by 1562, over 2,000 churches had been planted in France. In 1560, the Geneva Bible was published which was greatly used in Europe and was also the Bible that was brought off of the Mayflower by the early Pilgrims of America. Through the Reformation, an explosion of gospel missions took place that shook the world.

Source Wikimedia Commons

The Reformation is an extremely important part of church history. One would think with the release of the Bible in the people’s language, the explosion of missions, the work of the Gospel in the hearts of many subsequent to the reformation, that our ecclesiology would progress in an upward trajectory. But satan does not like upward, only downward. He fights back. He fought back since the moment the first Geneva Bibles were released. And the Geneva Bible’s history is interesting in itself! It was the first Bible to be translated directly from the Hebrew. It had extensive notes and cross references, making it the first study Bible. It was translated so that the people could read it. More here.

Sadly, 500 years after the start of The Reformation, there is currently a definite softening toward the Catholic Church by many people who should know better.

Philosopher and poet George Santayana famously said,

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense. Scribner’s, 1905: 284)

We must remain vigilant because we are not unaware of satan’s schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11). We should learn the past in order to remember the past and to push forward with clear, honest, uncomplicated Gospel evangelization. We shouldn’t ever remain ignorant of what has happened in the past of our church history. This is the 500th year of the Reformation. Here are some resources for you to learn more:

The Heresies of the Catholic Church

Evangelical Syncretism: Rethinking the Reformation

John MacArthur and RC Sproul on Sola Scriptura and the Reformation

Undermining the Headship of Christ (The line between John Hus and Martin Luther is explained here).

A History of the Reformation, article by RC Sproul

Memoirs of a Medieval Woman: this is a biography of Margery Kempe, taken from her dictated autobiography. She was born sometime around 1373 and died after 1438, which makes her a devotee of the Catholic Church at a time when both the rise of the Lollards (Wycliffe followers) was gaining traction and also the incessant Catholic pilgrimages to Jerusalem were occurring. It is also set in the time just prior to the Council of Constance. This Council was held between 1414 and 1418, principally to reunite Christendom from the ‘too many popes’ syndrome (schism) but also to examine the teachings of John Wycliffe and Jan Hus and to reform the RCC as a reaction to the attack on the Church’s authority.

Wikipedia lists her as “an English Christian mystic, known for dictating The Book of Margery Kempe, a work considered by some to be the first autobiography in the English language.” Kempe wrote of it all from a first person perspective. I liked the book for its attention to vivid detail on the practices of the Catholic Church, the realities of the pilgrimage journeys to the middle East, the ecstatic visions and examination of same by any and all church authorities Margery could get to listen (anchorites, priests, bishops, other mystics like Julian of Norwich, lay people…)

Posted in history, theology

When Katie Von Bora wore black

By Elizabeth Prata

Katharina von Bora was a woman you should know, if you don’t already. She was born in 1499 in Lippendorf, Saxony, Germany. When she was five years old her father sent her to a monastery for education, and then to another one when she was 9. Ten years later, the growing Reformation movement has slipped into even the thick walls of the quiet Cistercian monastery and Katy, by now a nun, conspired to escape it with several other nuns. She had contacted Luther and Luther sent his friend Leonard Koppe, to retrieve the nuns. They escaped in a fish wagon. They arrived in Wittenberg, where you know who lived. Continue reading “When Katie Von Bora wore black”

Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

Reformation Day 500 and counting!

Today marks the 500th year anniversary of the widely accepted start of The Reformation.

reformation-image
Source

Roman Catholic Monk Martin Luther had found John Hus’s Gospel-drenched sermons, and had been studying the Bible for himself, when his conscience convicted him that the Roman Catholic structure of indulgences and other aberrant doctrines were unacceptable compared to what was taught via the Bible.

He nailed 95 theses to the All Saints’ Chapel doors at the church in Wittenberg Germany, for public discussion as per usual among the theologians of the day.

Because Luther’s propositions and questions could not be reconciled with what the Catholic dogma taught, there arose a controversy which only entrenched Luther further into his stance, when at the conclusion of his heresy trial he refused to recant and is alleged to have said,

“Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me.”

Christianity Today wrote,

Luther asserted that his conscience was captive to the Word of God and that he could not go against conscience. This was not, however, a modern plea for the supremacy of the individual conscience or for religious freedom. Though already excommunicated by Rome, Luther saw himself as a sworn teacher of Scripture who must advocate the right of all Christians to hear and live by the gospel.

Praise the Lord for His timing in bringing His word back to the people.

The Reformation is ongoing because the spiritual battle is ongoing. Satan hasn’t quit deluding the unwary and he hasn’t stopped growing his church (Roman Catholic, among others, such as Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc). He is still at it. Despite the blessed knowledge that many of today’s leaders have regarding the differences between the Protestant and the Catholic, many other of today’s leaders seem to have forgotten the point of the Reformation was to protest the perverse twisting of the Gospel and other biblical doctrines away from truth to devilish lies a la the Roman Catholic Church.

Ultimately, though Luther wanted reform within the RCC, it was not possible, and the Protestant denominations were born.

For example, today we have well-known Protestant leaders retracting their former truthful words that Roman view of justification is heresy, and also and perpetuating their stance that works add to something called final salvation.

We have well-known so-called Reformed pastors teaching Catholic methods, sourcing Catholic authors, and naming their church classes “The Way of the Monk” led by Catholic-trained female teachers, and teaching that Catholicism is another Christian denomination, or tradition, or stream, not the heresy and affront to God that it is.

We have so-called evangelicals usurping God from the Sunday pulpit to host Catholic political celebrities, who are treated as a brother and not as a mission field.

We have whole congregations (Episcopal) in the US converting en masse back to Catholicism. Granted Episcopalians don’t have far to go, but the quote that struck me was from one lay leader of this congregation that mass converted back to Rome: “It feels fantastic,” Delaney said. “It’s like correcting 500 years of history.”

No. Not it’s not.

Despite all that, today is a great day to celebrate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His church, His Spirit’s work in the world to bring men into the kingdom on the glowing carpet of truths known as The Gospel of Salvation. We celebrate the simple Gospel, the understandable Gospel, the Gospel we read in the word of God thanks to the translators and Reformers and protestors who yanked it from the dark into the Light, even on the funeral pyres of their own mortality.

We celebrate the knowledge that Jesus saves, as it is written, and so many other truths we know because He revealed it to us in His word.

We celebrate fiery, or quiet, or diligent, or intelligent, or clumsy, pastors who perpetuate the truths unadorned with skits or personal stories, just preaching, some at risk to their own lives.

We celebrate the brave men and women who circulated the word back to the people. But Reformation Day 500 ultimately celebrates One.

We praise and thanks we Lord Jesus above for all His ways, His power, might, love, Word, redemption, suffering, sovereignty, omniscience, holiness, holiness, holiness…

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

The Reformation shows us why we need expository preaching

With the 500th year anniversary of the Reformation coming upon us October 31, many people are looking to history and learning Martin Luther and his the men that came before him.

Martin Luther is generally acknowledged to have been a main spark to the Protestant Reformation. Protestant comes from the word protest, which Luther’s 95 Theses sparked against the Roman Catholic Church’s excesses of indulgences (sin absolution for hire) and other abuses.

The Reformation didn’t happen because Martin Luther put the 95 Theses on the door to Wittenberg Chapel. It happened because the Word was unleashed. ~Mark McAndrew, North Avenue Church

Here, John MacArthur explains in a 1:33 clip How unhindered access to God’s Word changed history.

William Tyndale, John Hus, and many others were executed for translating or preaching the Word in the people’s language. The Roman Catholic Church prevented the Catholics from reading the Word themselves and from possessing and reading a Bible. Mass was performed in Latin. The RCC was fearful that if the people got a-hold of the Word, they would be uncontrollable. So it was restricted. For a thousand years.

William Tyndale: “Let it not make thee despair, neither yet discourage thee, O reader, that it is forbidden thee in pain of life and goods, or that it is made breaking of the king’s peace, or treason unto his highness, to read the Word of thy soul’s health—for if God be on our side, what matter maketh it who be against us, be they bishops, cardinals, popes.”Christianity Today

Read the word for thy soul’s health. When push comes to shove, and you are undergoing a tragedy and need comfort, or are under conviction and need some solace, the pastor’s witty anecdote is not going to help you. The pastor’s fad-driven bullet point topical sermon is not going to help you. The greatest help we have is the Word- with the Spirit to illuminate us to our mind. There is nothing like the word, because it is alive.

Let each true church commit to expository preaching. What IS expository preaching?

Expository preaching involves the exposition, or comprehensive explanation, of the Scripture; that is, expository preaching presents the meaning and intent of a biblical text, providing commentary and examples to make the passage clear and understandable. The word exposition is related to the word expose — the expository preacher’s goal is simply to expose the meaning of the Bible, verse by verse. Source

Read the word to the people, explain what it means in context, repeat next Sunday.

Do we need fancy stunts? Do we need extreme stage lights and fog machines? Do we need motivational speeches? Do we need to change the church so we can attract the goats seekers and meet their “felt needs“? Do we need to ditch everything and be radical, wild at heart manly men?
No.

Martyn Lloyd Jones said,

Another argument that I would adduce at this point is that the moment you begin to turn from preaching to these other expedients you will find yourself undergoing a constant series of changes.

Does your church still do the Prayer of Jabez? Undergo 40 Days of Purpose? Wear a WWJD bracelet? Maintain membership in Promise Keepers? Are you still renovating your prayer closet/war room? Do you see how many changes you have to make when you focus on the world and its church fads? If you preach the word, it does not change. It may change you, but it does not change. John MacArthur has been preaching it from the same pulpit for nearly 50 years. He reads the word to the people, explains what it means in context, repeats next Sunday. I hope your pastor does too.

Expositors today preach the Word. The evangelists in the Second and First Great Awakenings preached the Word. The Reformers preached the Word. Apostle Paul preached the Word. Jesus preached the Word. Ezra preached the Word. Noah preached the Word.

Knowing the blood of the martyrs soaks the ground under thousands of stakes, how dare we insert our own words, opinions, fads, and stunts onto the pulpit? Men died for this Word to be preached. Jesus as the Word suffered and absorbed all God’s wrath for the elect so this word would go out and be preached.

Pastors, please exposit the word.

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:2)

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Reformation resources for you!

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is coming up on October 31st. This is the date when, 500 years ago, Roman Catholic monk and professor Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the University of Wittenberg’s chapel door. Nailing a tract on the door was not in itself an act of rebellion, but rather the usual and customary method of starting a discussion among scholars of religious points of the day. It was the 16th century’s version of the internet.

However, Luther’s theses were not just questions and discussion points, but a devastating critique of Roman Catholic practices. Luther had found in his studies that Roman Catholic faith and practice varied greatly from the word of God. Luther was especially upset over the practice of Indulgences, or payment to the Church for reduction or absolution of certain sins. Paying for sins to be forgiven seemed incredibly wrong to Luther. He wrote up his questions, intending to spark a discussion.

He sparked a discussion.

The discussion has been ongoing for 500 years.

The discussion split The Catholic Church and pitted it against those who were protesting, now known as Protestants.

The most confusing thing to me when I was an unsaved person was the Catholic Church. I thought it was a Christian church. Because of its size and longevity, I thought it represented true Christianity. What I didn’t know was that the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) is as far from Christianity as the east is from the west. It does not represent the faith of Jesus, but instead is a false belief system.

The protest Luther made was against certain practices and doctrines of the RCC. For example, the Jesus we know through the inspired scriptures is the central authority, not the Pope or other officials. Practices and rituals and good works do not save. Indulgences are nowhere found in the Bible. Though Luther initially wanted to renew the church, eventually it divided over these and other issues, and the Protestant reformation began.

Here are some Reformation Day resources for you-

Why We’re Protestant: An Introduction to the Five Solas of the Reformation Kindle Edition. A paperback edition exists. By Nate Pickowicz, Foreword by Steven J. Lawson. Nate is a pastor who shepherds a church in New England. His wife Jessica has written a Bible study to go along with MacArthur’s new book, Biblical Doctrine and facilitates a Facebook group regarding the weekly study sessions.

Synopsis: How do you discern true vs. false Christianity? In the days of the Protestant Reformation, the core tenets of the faith were strenuously examined. In the end, the Reformers maintained that at the heart of the Christian faith stood five main credos: sola Scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus, and soli Deo gloria. This book examines these five “solas” and makes a definitive case for why we’re Protestant.

Reformation Women: Sixteenth-Century Figures Who Shaped Christianity’s Rebirth

By Rebecca VanDoodewaard. Rebecca and her husband William used to run a blog I liked, called The Christian Pundit.

Synopsis: Women are an essential element in church history. Just as Deborah, Esther, and the New Testament Marys helped shape Bible history, so the women of the Reformed church have helped to make its history great. In Reformation Women, Rebecca Vandoodewaard introduces readers to twelve sixteenth-century women who are not as well known today as contemporaries like Katie Luther and Lady Jane Grey. Providing an example to Christians today of strong service to Christ and His church, these influential, godly women were devoted to Reformation truth, in many cases provided support for their husbands, practiced hospitality, and stewarded their intellectual abilities. Their strength and bravery will inspire you, and your understanding of church history will become richer as you learn how God used them to further the Reformation through their work and influence.

Long Before Luther: Tracing the Heart of the Gospel From Christ to the Reformation by Nathan Busenitz  (Author), John MacArthur (Foreword)

Synopsis: Where was the gospel before the Reformation?

Contemporary evangelicals often struggle to answer that question. As a result, many Roman Catholics are quick to allege that the Reformation understanding of the gospel simply did not exist before the 1500s. They assert that key Reformation doctrines, like sola fide, were nonexistent in the first fifteen centuries of church history. Rather, they were invented by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others.

That is a serious charge, and one that evangelicals must be ready to answer. If an evangelical understanding of the gospel is only 500 years old, we are in major trouble. However, if it can be demonstrated that Reformers were not inventing something new, but instead were recovering something old, then key tenets of the Protestant faith are greatly affirmed. Hence, the need for this book.

The Mother of the Reformation: The Amazing Life and Story of Katharine Luther

by Ernst Kroker. Synopsis- The author paints an intimate picture of Katie and of family life in the Black Cloister during the formative years of the Reformation, showing how Katie s marriage to Martin Luther was a multifaceted vocation, with such tasks as household brew mistress, cloister landlady, property overseer, gardener, cow- and pig-herder, and fishwife. Indeed, Katie oversaw their home much like a lord in her kingdom, yet in the midst of it all stood the man to whom her work, concern, and duty were directed.

Resources for children

The Barber Who Wanted to Pray by R.C. Sproul

Synopsis: This imaginative tale from R.C. Sproul, based on a true story, begins one evening with Mr. McFarland leading family devotions. When his daughter asks him how she should pray, Mr. McFarland shares a 500-year-old story about a barber and his famous customer.

Master Peter is a barber well-known to all in his village. One day, when Martin Luther the Reformer walks into his shop, the barber musters up the courage to ask the outlawed monk how to pray. Luther responds by writing a letter to the barber. The barber’s life and many others’ are changed as they encounter a model for prayer by using the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Apostles’ Creed.

Martin Luther- Christian Biographies for Young Readers, by Simonetta Carr

Synopsis- Five hundred years ago, a monk named Martin Luther wrote ninety-five questions, hoping to start a discussion about sin and repentance at the University of Wittenberg in Germany. In a few months those questions had stirred the nation; a few years later, the continent. Today we know that those questions changed the course of both the Western church and world history. In this volume for children, Simonetta Carr tells the compelling story of this father of the Protestant Reformation, tracing his quest for peace with God, his lifelong heroic stand for God’s truth, and his family life and numerous accomplishments. The Reformer’s greatest accomplishment, she writes, “has been his uncompromising emphasis on the free promise of the gospel.”

Movie

Martin Luther: The idea that changed the world, PBS documentary, 9/2017, as synopsized by Banner of Truth Trust here. The PBS documentary has an extended trailer here. Official website here.

 

Posted in history, Uncategorized

Forerunner to the Reformation: John Wycliffe

Martin Luther, 1483-1546

It is Reformation year 500. Five hundred years ago this October 31st, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Electorate of Saxony within the Holy Roman Empire. Luther wrote,

Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute with him orally shall do so in their absence by letter. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Here are the actual 95 theses if you want to read them:
The 95 theses

History.com sums the Reformation up this way-

Luther spent his early years in relative anonymity as a monk and scholar. But in 1517 Luther penned a document attacking the Catholic Church’s corrupt practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin. His “95 Theses,” which propounded two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds—was to spark the Protestant Reformation

Is there any event that is not connected in time by a previous event? Isn’t time a constant stream of events, all tumbling one after another, connected by their confinement to the visible riverbanks by the hands of God? Did the Reformation emerge all of a sudden, or were there catalysts and stepping stones laid first? Were there forerunners? I believe so.

As RC Sproul said recently, that before Luther there was Hus, (or Huss, spellings vary) who was preceded by Wycliffe, who was preceded by Augustin who was preceded by Paul who was preceded by Jesus.

The reason there are forerunners to Martin Luther and the Reformation is that Jesus never leaves Himself without a witness, and He as Master Husbandman tends soils so that there is always a soil ready to receive the Gospel. Even in “The Dark Ages”, the Gospel was doing its work in hearts. Salvations were always occurring.

Burk Parsons wrote of this connection from one era to the next, the vine as I envision it. It is planted by God and watered by Him, with men springing up along the vine as forerunners to His particular plan and path regarding the Reformation.

John Wycliffe was the morning star of the Reformation. He was a protestant and a reformer more than a century before Martin Luther ignited the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Through Wycliffe, God planted the seeds of the Reformation, He watered the seeds through John Hus, and He brought the flower of the Reformation to bloom through Martin Luther. The seed of the flower of the German Augustinian monk Luther’s 95 theses was planted by the English scholar and churchman John Wycliffe.

Josh Buice wrote two weeks ago that The Reformation Resulted in an Explosion of Gospel Missions. He started a preaching series in–

–2017 with an emphasis on the Reformation and how our salvation is directly connected to the work of the Reformers. R. C. Sproul writes, “The Reformation was not merely a Great Awakening; it was the Greatest Awakening to the true Gospel since the Apostolic Age.”

During the days that preceded the Reformation, the Bible had been locked away in a dark dungeon by the Roman Catholic Church.  They insisted that the Word of God must be heard by the priests, who would speak it only in Latin. The Roman Catholic Church insisted that the common person was unable to understand the Word of God without the aid of a priest. However, they were unwilling to release control of the Bible, and in order to prevent anyone from getting their hands on the Word of God—they would burn people at the stake as an example to all who resisted their authority.

Under John Calvin’s leadership in Geneva Switzerland, thousands of missionaries were being trained and by 1562, over 2,000 churches had been planted in France. In 1560, the Geneva Bible was published which was greatly used in Europe and was also the Bible that was brought off of the Mayflower by the early Pilgrims of America. Through the Reformation, an explosion of gospel missions took place that shook the world.

Source Wikimedia Commons

The Reformation is an extremely important part of church history. One would think with the release of the Bible in the people’s language, the explosion of missions, the work of the Gospel in the hearts of many subsequent to the reformation, that our ecclesiology would progress in an upward trajectory. But satan does not like upward, only downward. He fights back. He fought back since the moment the first Geneva Bibles were released. And the Geneva Bible’s history is interesting in itself! It was the first Bible to be translated directly to of the Hebrew. It had extensive notes and cross references, making it the first study Bible. It was translated so that the people could read it. More here.

Sadly, 500 years after the start of The Reformation, there is currently a definite softening toward the Catholic Church by many people who should know better.

Philosopher and poet George Santayana famously said,

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense. Scribner’s, 1905: 284)

We must remain vigilant because we are not unaware of satan’s schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11). We should learn the past in order to remember the past and to push forward with clear, honest, uncomplicated Gospel evangelization. We shouldn’t ever remain ignorant of what has happened in the past of our church history. This is the 500th year of the Reformation. Here are some resources for you to learn more:

The Heresies of the Catholic Church

Evangelical Syncretism: Rethinking the Reformation

John MacArthur and RC Sproul on Sola Scriptura and the Reformation

Undermining the Headship of Christ (The line between John Hus and Martin Luther is explained here).

A History of the Reformation, article by RC Sproul

Memoirs of a Medieval Woman: this is a biography of Margery Kempe, taken from her dictated autobiography. She was born sometime around 1373 and died after 1438, which makes her a devotee of the Catholic Church at a time when both the rise of the Lollards (Wycliffe followers) was gaining traction and also the incessant Catholic pilgrimages to Jerusalem were occurring. It is also set in the time just prior to the Council of Constance. This Council was held between 1414 and 1418, principally to reunite Christendom from the ‘too many popes’ syndrome (schism) but also to examine the teachings of John Wycliffe and Jan Hus and to reform the RCC as a reaction to the attack on the Church’s authority.

Wikipedia lists her as “an English Christian mystic, known for dictating The Book of Margery Kempe, a work considered by some to be the first autobiography in the English language.” Kempe wrote of it all from a first person perspective. I liked the book for its attention to vivid detail on the practices of the Catholic Church, the realities of the pilgrimage journeys to the middle East, the ecstatic visions and examination of same by any and all church authorities Margery could get to listen (anchorites, priests, bishops, other mystics like Julian of Norwich, lay people…)