As I get closer to a book launch in early March, myself and my co-author are learning a lot about what people are telling us are the most influential Christians of all time (since the Apostles). Its been a great experience, and I feel I know more about my Faith and why I believe what I believe. I also have come to learn more about why other groups believe as they do.
On that note, here is a quick rundown of 3 persons who are listed in our book, but fall just outside our exclusive “top ten” ranking/list-
#15- The 15th most influential Christian is German-born Martin Chemnitz, a crucial figure in the 16th century. As a famous 17th century saying went- “If the second Martin had not come, the first Martin would not have stood.”
Chemnitz studied under Luther as well as Reformation cohort Philip Melancthon, and it was Chemnitz’ mastery of the early Church Fathers that helped the fledgling breakaway group refute the Catholic Church’s Council of Trent.
#14- In 1976, Pope John Paul 2nd became the first non-Italian born Pope since 1523, a span of 450 years.
John Paul 2nd would become the most traveled Pope in Church history, and declared, in the mid 1980’s, that a new official Cathechism of the Catholic Church must be written. This was the first definitive collection of the Catholic Christian faith and doctrines since the Baltimore Catechism of 1885. In addition, the Pope was seen as instrumental in the underlying societal feelings that finally resulted in the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe.
#13- In the Protestant Reformation in Germany in the 1500s, Philip Melanchthon played a key role; he was Martin Luther’s close friend, assistant, and successor.
First published in 1521, his Loci Communes (“Commonplaces”) was the first systematic theology written by any Reformer. He wrote some of the confessions of the Lutheran Church, including the Augsburg Confession.
A less controversial personality than Martin Luther, Melanchthon was willing to make some compromises with Roman Catholicism. Especially, Melanchthon developed the idea of synergism – the teaching that man’s will works with God’s will to accomplish man’s salvation. Both Martin Luther and John Calvin had strongly insisted that neither man’s will nor man’s activity play a role in accomplishing man’s salvation.
Feel free to comment, or learn more on your own, or via our site/blog- at www.toptenchristians.wordpress.com. Thanks, and God Bless,