Christianity did not begin in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed the famous Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Palace Church in Wittenberg, Germany. It was not perfected a few years later when John Calvin began to teach in Geneva, or during the revivals of nineteenth century America, as many Protestant Evangelical publications on the history of the Christian Church imply. The Church grew and flourished for almost fifteen hundred years before the Protestant Reformation. The Church did not sink into spiritual darkness immediately after the completion of the New Testament only to reemerge following Luther and Calvin. It is not reasonable to assume that God allowed His people to live captive to spiritual darkness from the death of the last Apostle until the Protestant Reformation fourteen centuries later. The Church was alive and well and produced great Saints and theologians for hundreds of years before Luther or the revivals of the American frontier.
Fr John Morris, “The Historic Church: An Orthodox View of Christian History”