A Moment in History: Was the Church ‘Dead’ in the Middle Ages?

by ian


For Protestant Christians, one of the watershed moments in the history of the church was the Reformation of the 1500s. The reformer John Calvin once described this time period in Latin as “post tenebras lux,” which means “after darkness comes light.” This is an accurate description of the light of the Gospel breaking through the darkness of the late medieval Catholic church – which at this time was rife with scandal, erroneous theology, and blasphemous priests. This has led many protestants to denounce the entirety of the Middle Ages – but is this a correct conclusion to draw? Was the church “dead” in the Middle Ages?