It is the 2nd of October 2023. Welcome to the Christian History Almanac brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org; I’m Dan van Voorhis.
Hey there, happy Monday- time to go to the mailbag. And yes, I get a number of emails every week- you should totally write me with your question- and I will hopefully get to it- sometimes, it’s a matter of what I’m currently reading and researching. Sometimes questions get lost at the bottom of the mailbag, and I’ll hopefully find them when I do a big mailbag show- and sometimes I dodge questions that might be overly controversial and better discussed in the flesh (podcasts aren’t the best for every kind of conversation)
And yes, there is a person who gets a lot of mailbag questions- and yes, he lives close to the CHA studios. It is Wade in Mission Viejo- where we were told a hurricane or tropical storm was gonna get us, and nothing happened.
Ok- It’s a good question and one I can answer easily- and as I'm traveling- that helps. Wade asks:
“I know about the American revolution, I have heard of the French revolution, but before I found the CHA I never heard of the glorious revolution.
You mentioned all 3 on your recent greatest hits hits of the centuries weekend edition. Could you compare and contrast these three in light of their impact on the Christian church?
Sure, I could Google my way into this topic, but while I am curious, I am also kinda lazy and you are so good at this.”
Ok- I’m fascinated with British history, as any listener could probably gather. Yes, I lived there for a while- but I also remember one of the first classes I taught where I was out of my element was a political science class called “British Parliament.”- Man, was I scared- I read so much, and most of it stuck.
All three major revolutions are related! French and American, certainly- although taken to different degrees, but with plenty of conversation between some of the lead characters. But both of those are ripples coming from the OG early modern Revolution… well, hold on- the Reformation is the OG Early Modern Reformation, and the three “political” revolutions: Glorious, American, and French are all related to that as well- sacred and secular are rarely as separate as we might think.
OK- so, basically, the Glorious Revolution involves the matter of 1688 and the Crown of a united England, Scotland, and Ireland. After the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, the English crown went from her family (the Tutors) to the Stuarts- a Scottish royal family. This is James I. He was pro-Protestant and would keep things steady- this was important for an island that had seen so much bloodshed. So, King James, the King James Bible… got it. But the dude was a bit of an absolutist. In that, he believed in the divine right of Kings. Oof. His son Henry was to take his place, but he died, and his sickly, stammering younger son Charles became King as Charles I.
Charles kept the idea that he was appointed by God, which was not popular with the Parliament. Furthermore, the House of Commons- one of the two Houses of Parliament had a lot of Puritans in it. And Charles was a High Church Anglican, and he kind of ignored Scotland, which rebelled against the National Covenant and adopted Presbyterianism.
Charles would routinely fight with Parliament- This led to the Civil War with Oliver Cromwell taking the side of the Parliament and Puritans. Charles would be killed.
This was the time of Puritanism, the Westminster Confession, and all that…
And so we have the Restoration- the “Merry Monarch” Charles II in 1660. Playhouses open back up, and Christmas is celebrated again. All but the staunchest of Puritans rejoiced (and many of those had split for the new world). He angered some with a declaration of tolerance for Catholics- there was a constant fear that “popery” would be re-introduced to England. When he died, his brother James- a Catholic convert, became King. And then, James had a son with his Catholic wife, and this was too much.
Prior to the son being born, he had a daughter- Mary II, who was raised Protestant and married to the Protestant King William III of the Netherlands. So the Parliament called on him to claim that throne and said they would back him. He did, James fled, and that was that. A “glorious revolution” with little bloodshed. And it weakened the crown (William didn’t speak English), and Parliament became more powerful. William wanted to keep the French Catholics from gaining too much power, so they all agreed. Like so many things in the 17th century, they were religious but also pertained to the question of who would hold power in the new nation-states. Thus, it serves as a bridge between the Reformation and later Revolutions.
The last word for today is from the daily lectionary and a benediction from the Epistle to the Philippians.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
This has been the Christian History Almanac for the 2nd of October 2023, brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org.
The show is produced by a man who especially enjoyed James Stuart in “It’s A Wonderful Life” He is Christopher Gillespie.
The show is written and read by a man who was taught Latin by a descendant of the Stuarts and was thoroughly terrified by him, I’m Dan van Voorhis.
You can catch us here every day- and remember that the rumors of grace, forgiveness, and the redemption of all things are true…. Everything is going to be OK.