© Carlos Padilla, November 2015


Protestant Reform changed the world in so many aspects, whether social and of our daily life that it is sometimes not easy to identify them, in the aspects as well as in the people who were transformed by the original Gospel, which were prominent in society, to which they influenced through greatness. We will try to make a short list of the influence of the Reform that changed the world.

From education to culture, since reading was possible in their mother tong, from the Bible, to politics by providing democracy or the division of powers, the autonomous and liberal work that today produces those “start up”, to music, art, architecture, and of course science its discoveries or medicine, nursery or the Red Cross, the list continues.

The Reform started as a movement inside Christianity to denounce the deviation of the Vatican and its doctrines of selling indulgencies, by the laying to believers to whom they would sell salvation for money, and to denounce the power and way of life of the curia. Luther in the XVI century and other prominent theologians like Calvin, placed the foundations of what would become, as well as in the Reform from the theological point of view to a total change of life, in all the fields of the human being. It would refer to a permanent attitude, a permanent will to remain in the Way of the Truth, from the Spirit of the Bible. Jesus sais “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life…” John 14:6.



The spiritual and doctrinal aspects were already discussed in other studies of The Reform of the faith and of grace, from which emanate the five pillars or “Solas”: Scripture alone, Faith alone, Grace alone, Christ alone, to the glory of God alone, and the current situation under the Reform Unconcluded.

The great legacy in the cultural field has been, and is, the "free inquiry", together with the educational of universities for the secular world. The invention of the printer of Gutenberg coincides –as Heaven sent– with the translation of the Bible to German by Martin Luther, being the first book printed –the famous Bible of Gutenberg. Following would be Reina and Valera to Spanish and William Tyndale to English. What is not so known is that these translations helped to give order to those languages and the grammar of these vernacular tongs, to say it somehow, to give an order to the languages. All, fruit from the protestant interest to glorify God in the tong of the people. Later, the Bible in French. All reformed cultures would abandon Latin, giving all their citizens knowledge of the Bible.

Protestant art has given us famous artists such as Hals, Vermeer or Rembrandt, and some of his works like “The Return of the Prodigal Son” or "The Storm of the Sea of Galilee". It basically was focuses in being against catholic art. The matter is greatly relevant, for the catholic did not know the Bible because it was prohibited by their church, while the protestant is of daily Bible. The catholic only had biblical story in paintings, in many cases converted in idolatry. The Reform changed many artists whom ever since would not create for the Catholic Church, but to show  the message of the  in a more tactful way, without converting it in warship objects.

The architecture produced by the Reform was a turn to simplicity in lines in the religious filed, not using sculptures the religious image but still making grater the architectonic work for the glory of God. Simplicity and efficiency of design ruled over heavy ornamentation. Nowadays we see cathedrals, skyscrapers and public buildings, but also urbanizations where modern influence is seen, specially in those countries with a reformed culture.

Industry counts with great achievements since industrial revolution. The Calvinistic Swiss are famous for their watches, the best in the world, always at the vanguard of technology, with brands like Omega or Rolex. German Lutherans for their technology and automobile, with brands like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche that have achieved world primacy. But also in robotics and pharmaceutical together with the US are ahead. Avionics and astronautics also initiate their achievements in a protestant background to our days: Boeing or NASA.

Music from Protestantism has provided some of the best great genius composers of classic music. Johan Sebastian Bach composed about 300 cantatas and hymns, the Passion of Christ for the Lutheran church, in his effort to give God the glory, on the base of the Gospel according to S. Matthew. The Messiah of Haendel and the famous HalleluJah, would be fruit of his experience as organist of the Calvinist cathedral of his birth town, Halle, since he was 17 years old. Further gospel music would revolutionize Baptist churches and all the world. Hymns like Amazing Grace, Happy Day, in Christ Alone and singers like Aretha Franklin and Louise Armstrong remain in use today.

In Philosophy, as Alfonso Ropero would say in his work "Introduction to Philosophy" after the Bible to French a century later– and "Discourse of the Method" of Descartes, to leave the "official" tong of philosophy, the wise tong – Latin– of the catholic liturgy to move on to the tong of the people. Descartes and his "doubt" took down all knowledge, and following his conscience and the spirit of the Reform joins them to affirm that Popes and councils fall in error, reason for Rousseau to declare: I take Scripture and reason as the only rules of my faith. Francis Bacon searched the philosophy of nature, because it shows the glory of God, and helps us to know Scripture (The Advance of Learning 1,16). "I think, therefore I am" said Descartes in his battle to know for himself. Reformist philosophy counts with relevant philosophers like Wycliffe, Erasmus, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Karlstadt or Muntzer. Then, the list of philosophers that did not link to the religious office, but knew and were influenced by Scripture is long. Hume, Locke, Leibniz, Voltaire, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard.

In the political field: Democracy. Division of powers, the Baron of Montesquieu and his proposal to divide government into three powers, knower that power corrupts, and made his proposal half a century before the French Revolution: legislative, executive and judgmental, to avoid manipulation, or at least to limit it, because man tends to evil, as history proves since Adam. Since the Reform social battle has transformed societies of those protestant countries who have been and are world leaders in wellbeing and freedom. The constitution of the United States, for example emanates from the first puritans, who based the document in the Gospel. To say it some how, the countries that received the Reform took a great step as a society, leaving behind those who remained under the catholic influence, with no knowledge. Specially the US is the nation born from the Protestant Reform. The rest were reformed from a previous state. The same as Israel was created by God as elected people to show in it His power, His discipline and punishment, but also His great love, being that at the end of time 1948 they are returning to their home land, according to prophecies; in the same way the US are a special nation to God, who loves and punishes His Church. This does not mean that He does not love the other nations and peoples, but countries of other faith confessions have to change a lot for them to receive God's blessing as they have, still today the firs world power. A nation, the US that was built under the fear of God. That, even thought most of its society shows the opposite to God, the bases are still reformed Christian and the Gospel is still on national TV every day, and their missionaries all around the world. The Bible influenced the ideas of the "Enlightment", they have had special influence in some of the best constitutions of countries such as the Unites States of America, or the Spanish Constitution of Cadiz of 1812.

In the social field, the equality of the woman. If we remember the beginning of Greek democracy, women had no rights. In Israel and in the primitive Church and again in the reformed, women gains her equality with man at social level. The movement of civil rights in the US with reverend Luther King comes from the evangelical movement, and its churches. The fight of William Wilberforce to eradicate slavery in the British parliament. By the way the famous hymn Amazing Grace was composed by John Newton, the best friend and counselor of William Wilberforce. Labor situation was transformed by liberal capitalism, the concept of profession of the reformed, to sever God and dignify man, contradicts what we see today as a unmerciful consumerism, but today anyone can become an autonomous worker and initiate a "star up" in the western world of reformed social base.

Science of protestant influence counts with some of the greatest scientist in history. From Boyle, as father of modern chemistry in the XVII century. Medicine would be revolutionized since van Leeuwenhoek, a Deutsch reformed would discover bacteria and would create the microscope. Dalton and atomic theory in the XVIII century, or the physics of the studies of Maxwell, of evangelical faith who developed his treaty of electricity and magnetism. Isaac Newton, both in physics as in mathematics, who is considered the most relevant scientist in history after his law of gravitation, student of his predecessors, Copernicus, Kepler and Galilei, and their theories about heliocentric movement. Newton, also studied and wrote treaties about Christian Theology. James Watt, a Presbyterian, is considered the father of industrial revolution, for his creation of the steam machine in the XIX century. Faraday, a fervent Christian, discovered electromagnetic induction that opened the door to the use of electricity. Morse, a Calvinist who created the code with his name and telegraph. Plank, another Lutheran opposed to Nazis, developed the origin of the quantum theory a bit more than a century ago. Nursery would also be transformed by the evangelical Florence Nightingale, or medical assistance with the creation of the Red Cross by J.H. Dunant. Or Aldrin, the astronaut, who took Holy Supper on the moon.



The Reform has left us "free inquiry", scientific revolution, financial prosperity, social wellbeing and returned to us the knowledge of the way to a personal relationship with God, with the Creator, our Father, in Jesus Christ - Yahshua through His Spirit, to our mind and to our heart. The Reform is like a system to correct direction, using the parameters of the Bible. But one can only receive them for himself, cannot impose them to the world, but can persuade the neighbor with the knowledge and let everyone open their door to Jesus.

We have started in time of the beginning of the Reform, in the XVI century, but we finish with our days in the XXI century. That movement that was the beginning of an entire transformation of western society and that would expand to all the globe as if it were following the mandate of Jesus of the "Great Commission", is as alive a humanity and its part of it in all levels, because is is pure Gospel, the first message, the return to the Words of Jesus.

We conclude then that history, from the Reform, has been influenced by this religious, spiritual, social and cultural movement, to integrate and be the base of other movements such as science, medicine, politics or art and music. From the Reform that Luther initiates and that dismounts the scholastic dictatorship, to Renaissance, the exit from medieval darkness to a new light, that united mystic, reason and science from the Biblical principia of John Wycliffe.

Erasmus and Christian humanism to "free inquiry". From here to Calvin, who builds the architecture and makes the concept reformed known. The Cartesian world of Descartes initiates modern philosophy. Pascal, from faith joins science and mystic. John Locke exposes the rationality of Christianity, and since the social change will never stop, plus Illustration begins. The period of criticism begins with Kant and ecclesial faith versus spiritual faith. Hegel reflects about life; and free inquiry continues to permeate it all, even art, that no longer serves religion alone, as does not dot music.

Materialism arrives and the religion of humanity. Marx appears and industrial revolution; humanism in its zenith, but Kierkegaard proves the prevalence of the Gospel. Nietzsche seeks his own moral in his atheism, but Ortega y Gasset gives a reason to nature, spirit and life.

Finally we arrive to present Relativism and Communism when the world seems to have lost sense, but where those who seek still find the Way, like Karl Barth shows exposing Grace, and Christ as the human model, or Alvin Plantinga exposing the validity of the reformed epistemology in our days, in the XXI century.

From the faulty Greek democracy, and from the erred roman republic, the world has suffered many changes. Since Jesus came in His first time, the world received the Light. After the first three centuries A.D. the world started to enter into darkness until the middle age. But Reform came and started to return to the Light of Jesus. The world has gone under two world wars, a period that we could compare to the middle age wars, but after both periods we have been offered a moment for reflection and to correct direction.

A legacy from the base of the Reform has left some examples that even with its big defects due to the deviation of man without God, give us a fine tune to what man with God can do. A nation, the US created by reformed Christians in base of the Bible, and which legacy is the Constitution signed by the founding fathers, based in the Bible.

A philosophy, the one of the citizen who can read any book in his tong, whether the Bible, or books of science and cultures to form his thinking. A culture, the international that lives with everyone, but that maintains its bases on the Bible. A society, the democratic, although imperfect, the one that provides man the most freedom. A living faith; the living Christ. A life for God, for the family, for the Church, for the neighbor, and to be a son of God, a good disciple. The Reform changes us upside down by the Holy Spirit while we await the perfect, a new state of things that will bring the King of kings, the Son of God, Jesus Christ in His second coming to establish the Kingdom of God.

Have you reformed yourself already? Let the Holy Spirit be who will reform you; tell Him now, He is faithful and loves you. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6. Amen.





  • For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Prophecy of Isaiah 9:6.

  • I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6. Words of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.
  • You want to know God, but you know the way is not through organized religion, nor by sects, nor by society. The world has failed. ...I pray for them;  I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours... John 17:9. Prayer of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.

  • If you really seek God, begin today the new life though the true hand of God. The Gospel is the message for all nations, no matter their race, their origins or culture. God is the saviour of those from humanity who open their hearts to Him.

  • ...Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  1Corinthians 15:58.

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