article6192Perhaps most Christians view the Radical Reformation’s concept of a free church in a free state as the ideal, but its very limited implementation had often consigned it to theory rather than fact. Coupled with the new and dynamic concept of the church was a closer scrutiny of the sacraments, an attempt to rediscover their nature and meaning according to Christ. Eventually most evangelicals were to discard all but two sacraments–baptism and the Lord’s Supper–as lacking scriptural support. While the Magisterial Reformers retained infant baptism as the sign of continuity with the true church, the Anabaptists insisted upon believer’s baptism. This became the hallmark of the most revolutionary aspects of the Radical Reformation because it constituted a direct rejection of infant baptism and an implied repudiation of the Erastianism of the Protestants (their support of state churches) as well as the corpus christianum of Roman Catholic creation. It must be admitted that these concepts found relatively few adherents in the sixteenth century, but the seventeenth century witnessed a breakthrough. The English climate gave rise to the rapid growth of the evangelical reformation within the official Reformation and the migration of revolutionary ideas to the shores of the North American continent. Here they took firm root and helped to forge a government that recognized both the limitations of the state and its essentially secular nature.

William R. EstepRenaissance & Reformation, pg 316

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