"Godspeed": The Reformation Speaks Today - an Interview with David Teems
CVB: I teach at writer’s conferences and I’ve said many times, if you want to read a great writer, read David Teems. So this brings us back to Godspeed.
David: Godspeed is a 365-day historical devotional that features the Reformers, both men and women. At that time, women were fairly voiceless. I feature Catherine Parr quite a bit. She was Henry the Eighth’s sixth wife, and she was quite a lyrical writer. She wrote several devotionals, many about the Psalms.
Tyndale and Luther take the main stage in this book, of course. But I also include John Calvin, John Knox, Jan Hus, and John Wycliffe. I call Wycliffe “the Luther before Luther” – as he lived 130 years before Luther’s time. The Reformation, for me, has its beginnings in John Wycliffe. The attitude concerning reform in the church may have been growing and growing, but Wycliffe was the first one to write about it. He was the first willing to debate about it. Had he not died of a stroke, he would have been burned at the stake for his troubles.
CVB: Well they dug him up and burned his bones, just to make sure, right?
David: That’s how ridiculous it was. He was declared a heretic by the Roman Church in 1415, then at the order of the Pope, they dug him up to burn him in 1428. When someone was made a priest, they anointed him, so they scraped his bones to remove that anointing. They paraded him around the town of Lutterworth in England, and then burned him at the stake. The sheriff took a mattock to make sure the bones were completely crushed, and then threw his ashes into the River Swift.
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