Doctrine of the Church: Authority in History, the Reformation, and Today

Introduction

Authority has been a discussion in church history throughout the years. Early churches were often regional with the bishop of the region having a vast amount of power. Later the church became more centralized until the clergy oversaw and had authority over every aspect of the spiritual and sometimes governmental aspects of the laity’s lives. The reformation at its core was a change in these power structures. The disruption of a centralized power resulted in war and blood in the streets. Out of the chaos, denominationalism grew into the primary expression of Christianity in the world today. Each denomination handles the issue of authority differently; however, they all share, even the Roman Church, marks of the decentralization of power that happened in the reformation: local autonomous churches most of all bear this reformation mark.

Major Theological Components of Authority

The topic of authority is indeed a very early subject in the church. Ignatius, of the earliest writers, says, the “bishop [is] one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority”[1] and to oppose the bishop makes one “utterly without God, an impious man who despises Christ.”[2] In Ignatius’ time, the canon was not fully understood, so the bishop would outline the expected texts for his people, authorize who could administer the ordnances, and be the final authority on membership. Fast forward about 300 years, and Augustine, responding to Faustus, gives a glimpse of how he views the authority of the scripture and the church together. Augustine says, “you forthwith deny that Matthew wrote the narrative, though this is affirmed by the continuous testimony of the whole Church.”[3] Augustine seems to view the church as complementary to the scriptural authority, or perhaps coequal. Near the same time Augustine is writing, the foundations of the Papacy were being laid by a man named Leo. Shelley explains, “Leo [in] his entrance into office he extolled the “glory of the blessed Apostle Peter … in whose chair his power lives on and his authority shines forth.”[4] Patterson agrees with that “Leo I launched the medieval papacy.”[5] Throughout the middle ages “the hierarchical government of the Western church imitated secular imperial structures.”[6] The clergy, overseen by the pope, were the supreme authority in all matters of faith for the laity. Aquinas gives a picture of how doctrine worked in this time, “just as the Pope is said to absolve a man when he gives absolution by means of someone else: [the priest].”[7] At this point the church claims all authority over the laity, even the power to forgive sins, and sole authority to interpret scripture.

Components of Reformation and Modern Denominations

The authority to forgive sins and how that authority was used was a spark in the heart of a German monk, soon to turn reformer, Martin Luther. The 95 Theses that Luther nailed to the church door is dominated by the idea of indulgences. Not a new topic in Luther’s day, but one that the reformer Luther addressed. Luther’s primary issue can be summed up as, who can forgive sins but God, and when did God sell that forgiveness? Just four years after nailing the theses to the door Luther is excommunicated from the church. Geoffrey gets right at the heart of the reformation stating, “it quickly became apparent that the protest involved a drastic rethinking of the way in which Christ’s authority is exercised.”[8] The fact that the reformers like Luther, Calvin, and Tyndale, immediately began translating the Bible into the vernacular shows they believed the authority was on the scripture for each person to see. The visible argument of the reformation might have been justification, but the true separation between Rome and the Reformers was the issue of authority. Luther attacked the church’s power structures themselves, removing the divide between the clergy and the laity, declaring all Christians priests, and removing 5 of the 7 sacraments, keeping two, Baptism and the Eucharist. The only two sacraments instituted in scripture. In some ways, this freedom that came was a disaster. The reformers fought over what and how the scripture prescribed the sacraments and all of Europe ended up in what is called the 30-year war, Christians killing each other in the streets. The war can be attributed to the issue of authority. The reformer’s ideas left a power vacuum. Even as late as the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1600s, the Christians were still enforcing worship with governmental authority. But it was the sons of the pietists that won in the end. The congressionalist took the pietist’s principles of separation of church and state and founded independent congregations all over Europe and the new colonies. Slowly distilled into the world, the denominations emerged, each with slightly different authority cultures. State churches like the Anglicans, some with presbyteries like the Presbyterians, and some fiercely independent like the Baptists. Even the Roman Church evolved, allowing its members to access scripture and removing its anathematization of the other groups.

Major Theological Components in Ministry

Baptists fiercely guard their independence, even within the Baptist community. Each church is usually autonomous and a member of the coalition by its own choice. This means that while there are shared principals each church has its own distinctives. Theologically a church must be ready to define its own theology and, or, accept a historical confession. For example, a Reformed Baptist church might hold primarily to the 1689 London Baptist Confession (LBC), while a more traditional Baptist church might use the Baptist Faith and Message. There are also different leadership models, single pastor, a multiplicity of elders, elders and deacons, ETC. In almost all cases, pastors, elders, deacons require approval by the congregation. Each church will have bylaws that define how the approval process works. In the case of this Reformed Baptist, the leadership model is a plurality of elders. The elders are selected by the congregation. These elders administer the church membership, ordinances, and care for the flock. Theological distinctives are confessed in the LBC.

Conclusion

The LBC says, “The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.”[9] Indeed, throughout history, no matter how humans organized their church, the church of God has relied on the scriptures as authoritative matters of faith. The reformations primary impact was freeing the biblical text from the church and giving it to the reader. No place more exemplifies this freeing than the local church, where arguments happen, people see one thing or another, and doctrinal distinctives are rediscovered with every generation. The people of God will always be able to move forward because of the power and authority contained in holy scripture.

 

References:

[1]. Ignatius of Antioch, “The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians,” in The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, vol. 1, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 69.

[2]. Ibid.

[3]. Augustine of Hippo, “Reply to Faustus the Manichæan,” in St. Augustin: The Writings against the Manichaeans and against the Donatists, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. Richard Stothert, vol. 4, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887), 325.

[4]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 137.

[5]. Kendell H. Easley and Christopher W. Morgan, eds. 2013. The Community of Jesus: A Theology of the Church. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic. 163.

[6]. Ibid.

[7]. Saint Thomas Aquinas, The Summa Theologica, ed. Mortimer J. Adler, Philip W. Goetz, and Daniel J. Sullivan, trans. Laurence Shapcote, Second Edition., vol. 17, Great Books of the Western World (Chicago; Auckland; Geneva; London; Madrid; Manila; Paris; Rome; Seoul; Sydney; Tokyo; Toronto: Robert P. Gwinn; Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1990), 574.

[8]. G. W. Bromiley, “Authority,” ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988), 367.

[9]. R. C. Sproul, ed., The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust, 2015), 2478.

 

Bibliography

Bromiley, Geoffrey W., ed. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised. Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988.

Easley, Kendell H, and Christopher W. Morgan, eds. 2013. The Community of Jesus: A Theology of the Church. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic.

Roberts, Alexander, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, eds. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. Vol. 1. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885.

Schaff, Philip, ed. St. Augustin: The Writings against the Manichaeans and against the Donatists. Vol. 4. A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887.

Shelley, Bruce L. Church History in Plain Language. Updated 2nd ed. Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995.

Sproul, R. C., ed. The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust, 2015.

 

Why Monasticism?

Introduction

            Every true believer knows the struggle with sin. This means that every believer and even those who are not followers of Jesus can empathize with the early monastics. As the Christian religion became a politicized version of itself, many considered it necessary to protest by retreating from the community. Their protest became the symbol of a new purity, a separation from sin and a life dedicated to God. This symbol went largely unchallenged and grew until it had a dominant place in Christianity. Thanks to people like Augustine of Hippo, Benedict, and Gregory the Great, monastic ideals became a common idea within the Christian empire. The Monastic rules were developed for the purpose of organizing this community and, though they varied in approach, one of the primary reasons for the rules was the same: to create a community were temptation could be mitigated. From Anthony to Benedict, to the greater community, the monastic ideal meant to remove oneself from the world in order to be holy separated to God, overcome sin and win the fight with the devil.

Origins of Monasticism and Their Purpose as a Protest Against Constantine

            As Christianity became the rule of the empire, if a person was to find favor with the emperor, church membership was a must. Shelley put it like this, “[p]rior to Constantine’s conversion, the church consisted of convinced believers. Now many came who were politically ambitious, religiously disinterested, and still half-rooted in paganism.”[1] It was not just the political shift in Christianity that prompted monistic tendencies. The move to monasticism was very theologically a resistance to the melding of Roman philosophy and Christian theology. This conflict is clearly seen in the “Origenist controversy… [where] … the monks, some of whom were the bitterest foes of Origen’s spiritualizing theology.”[2] Mosaicism springs onto the scene, starting especially in the east. This location makes sense because as Constantine moved the capital to Constantinople, those political pressures that Shelley mentioned would have been the most intense there. Meyendorff  makes a poignant observation when he says, “no Christian leader responsibly opposed the monastic movement.”[3] It is rare in Christian history to see movements so unopposed. One explanation for this might be that the Romans saw in monasticism the continuation of Roman stoic thought.  By the mid-first century, Stoicism highlighted the ideas of “ethics, duty, and impassivity.”[4] Ferguson points out that these were the characteristics that Benedict sought to implant in “the monastic life.”[5] Monasticism came to symbolize the great battle with sin, by stoic living the monk battles sin. Most regard Anthony as the first monk. Anthony saw his life as a great battle between sin, Satan, and humanity. Probably as a rejection of the new political Christianity, Anthony’s example became contagious. Shelley recounts Athanasius’s words about the effect of Anthony’s actions; “The sign of solitary ascetics rules from one end of the earth to the other.”[6]

Movement of Monasticism From Protest to Major Feature of Imperial Christianity

            With the wide acceptance of Monasticism as a part of Christianity, there began two parallel developments. First, monasticism was defined from within; people like Benedict and Gregory the Great helped to systematize and bring monastic adherents under the rule of the Papacy. Monasticism was also defined from the outside; Ferguson points out that “The canons of Chalcedon defined the place of monks in the church.”[7] A big influencer on the view of how the monastic life fit into the life of the church was Augustine of Hippo. Long before Augustine had become the Presbyter at Hippo, he had exhausted any love for worldly pursuits. It comes as no surprise that he formed “a monastic community life with his clergy.”[8] Considering Augustine’s outsized influence that came about from his battles with the Donatists and Pelagianism, it is not surprising that his monastic pattern “was later to be imitated by others.”[9] The monasticism of Augustine has a distinct difference from that of Anthony, in that, rather than solitary living, it included a brotherhood. It seems a reasonable conclusion that the influence of Stoic thinking in the west brought about this change. Friedrich points out that one of the necessary elements of stoic philosophy is the “common spirit of brotherhood.”[10]

Characteristics of Monastic Rules

            A monk is someone at battle with sin. All the monastic sects had in common the goal of living separately from temptation. Benedict, who Ferguson called “the father of westering monasticism”[11] certainly had in mind the confrontation with temptation. Ferguson said that when Benedict was “confronted with a temptation, he would throw himself on the bramble bushes.”[12] This extreme attack on temptation is at the core of most monastic systems. Of course, the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is replete with the examples of fleeing temptation. Joseph flees Potiphar’s wife, Elijah flees into the wilderness, Daniel refuses to eat the king’s food and many others. Though the different monastic systems approached the rules differently, one thing that existed throughout was the moral implication of the rules. Ferguson again points out that Basil’s rules and Benedict’s different greatly on the level of application given; but agreed greatly on the moral implications of the rules. For this reason, almost all of the systems required some sort of trial in order to be admitted into the brotherhood. Another key highlight in both Basil’s rules and Benedict’s is that of obedience to one’s superior. The idea of obedience is also scriptural in that Jesus disciples were obedient to him and many other mentor/mentee relationships in scripture, such as Paul and Timothy, come with the example of obedience. In the mind of at least Basil and Benedict, it seems clear that these rules were not about tyrannical governance, but rather about protecting the members of the groups from the temptations that they had within themselves. The last similarity between the systems to be mentioned here is the idea of celibacy. Paul the Apostle did say that it was better not to marry in order to be set apart to the work of God.[13] Paul said that not every man was cut out for that life, indeed the implication is that few are, and that “because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife.”[14] Long before the idea of Monasticism had become mainstream, Christians were already taking vows of celibacy.[15]

Conclusion

            Temptation and the devil were on the mind of any man that wanted to be a monk. The idea of being set apart for God is and always will be an integral part of how the people of God think. Even before there was a political infiltration, Christian leaders like “Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, and other leaders threw their support behind the idea of a higher level of sanctity.”[1] The desire to be morally distant from the rest of the world, even to be distant from this new easy Christianity that happened with Constantine, seems to be the driving force behind the spread of  Monasticism.

 

 

References

[1]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 96.

[2]. Ferguson, Everett. 2013. Church History, Volume 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 312

[3]. John Meyendorff. 1980. “St Basil, Messalianism and Byzantine Christianity.” St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 24 (4): 219–34. https://search-ebscohost-com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0000783083&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

[4]. Judith Odor, “Stoicism,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

[5]. Ferguson, Everett. 2013. Church History, Volume 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 318

[6]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 118.

[7]. Ibid, 266.

[8]. Ibid, 271.

[9]. Ibid.

[10]. Friedrich Hauck, “Κοινός, Κοινωνός, Κοινωνέω, Κοινωνία, Συγκοινωνός, Συγκοινωνέω, Κοινωνικός, Κοινόω,” ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 795.

[11]. Ferguson, Everett. 2013. Church History, Volume 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 315

[12]. Ibid.

[13] 1 Cor 7:1-2, ESV.

[14] 1 Cor 7:2, ESV.

[15] Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 118.

 

Bibliography

Shelley, Bruce L. Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 96.

Ferguson, Everett. 2013. Church History, Volume 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 312

Friedrich Hauck, “Κοινός, Κοινωνός, Κοινωνέω, Κοινωνία, Συγκοινωνός, Συγκοινωνέω, Κοινωνικός, Κοινόω,” ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 795.

Odor, Judith. “Stoicism,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

Meyendorff, John. 1980. “St Basil, Messalianism and Byzantine Christianity.” St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 24 (4): 219–34. https://search-ebscohost-com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0000783083&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

The purpose of Creeds in Christianity

Introduction

Once the massive difficulties of persecution were history with the coming of the Christian emperors, the concentration of Christianity turned to defining and defending Christ and the Trinity. The first issues came in addressing Christ’s relationship with the Father, this controversy touched on the divinity of Jesus; however, in affirming the full deity of Jesus, the council at Nicene opened the door to other questions. Questions like, if Jesus is fully God, is he also man, if Jesus is God and the Father is God, doesn’t that mean there are two Gods; and what about the Holy Spirit? Augustine points out the difficulty in his discussion of the trinity, “… the name of either substance or person is common to them.”[1] Over the first 451 years of Christianity definitions had to be made about the Trinity and the nature of Christ in his humanity and deity; it was the great ecumenical councils, where men of God got together and hammered out the details, that set the tone for Christianity in the millennia to come.

Nicene Creed of 325

Arius was the “pastor of the influential Baucalis Church,”[2] the error of Arianism is named after his teaching that Jesus was not the same as God the Father. The argument escalated until there were tensions in the streets between the “Homoousians and Homoiousians”[3] Emperor Constantine saw that this was an issue of peace in the Roman Empire and called the first Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325 AD. The position of Arius was disputed by the bishop Athanasius.[4] The basic creed of Christianity was known as the Old Roman Creed. According to Shelley the Old Roman Creed was a “baptismal confession in second-century Rome.”[5] After the council awarded Athanasius “a resounding victory at Nicaea over his elderly opponent, Arius.”[6] The council set about setting out a statement on Orthodoxy. It was very similar to the Old Roman Creed but made great emphasis on the deity of Christ specifically Jesus being the same substance as the Father. They adopted the word Homoousios,[7] “being of one substance (Homoousios) with the Father.”[8] One of the elements of Arianism was the discussion of Jesus’ origins. Arius claimed that the term begotten was indicative of a beginning for Jesus, or creation for Jesus. The Council at Nicaea addressed this concern with the words “begotten, not made.” The emphasis is on Jesus not being a creature, not made, but having a co-eternal existence with the Father.

Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381

Jesus’ eternality set the tone for the trinity when it comes to the Father and Son, however, the Holy Spirit was still a matter of question that needed settling. Pneumatomachians which, according to Ferguson, means “[t]hose who fight against the Holy Spirit.”[9] So the second ecumenical council was convened by Theodosius I”[10] in order to answer this question of the nature of the Holy Spirit, along with addressing the question of Jesus’ human nature that the Apollinarians denied. The address of Jesus’ human nature is seen in the words, “became man”[11] and “was made flesh.”[12] Some arguments did arise over the authority of the Constantinople council because it was not convened in Rome, however, it was minor and was only a foreshadowing of the split between east and west[13] that was coming in the icon controversy. Probably the most important statement about the divinity of Holy Spirit in the creed that addressed the Pneumatomachians is the statement, “who with Father and Son is worshipped.”[14] The Pneumatomachians, also called “Macedonians” after Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople,”[15] interpreted the passages about the Holy Spirit literally when he is referred to as breath or wind.[16] They concluded that the Holy Spirit then would be an impersonal force like human breath. When the Constantinople Council declared that the Holy Spirit was to be worshipped, thus declaring his person a deity apart from the Father and the Son, they stood indirect opposition to the Pneumatomachians, because one simply does not worship personal objects, without being called an idolater. The last nail in the coffin for Pneumatomachianism is the statement that the Holy Spirit is “Lord and the Life-giver.”[17] This statement directly implies volition on the part of the Holy Spirit, which is a personal attribute. Now, with the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed declaring the deity of the Holy Spirit, the full scope of the trinity is present in the creeds of Christianity, yet there were more definitions to be made.

Definition of Chalcedon

The primary concern with at Chalcedon was dealing with the “twoness”[18] of Christ. The Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan creed affirmed Christ’s dual humanity and divinity. Apollinarianism was addressed at Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan, as mentioned above. At the council at Ephesus “Nestorianism was condemned.”[19] Nestorianism taught that Jesus was two persons. The Eutychians took the next logical steps and said if Christ is both God and Human and one person, then there must be a mixture between the humanity and the divinity. Leo the Great highlights this tension when he preached,

Therefore in consequence of this unity of person which is to be understood in both natures, we read of the Son of Man also descending from heaven, when the Son of God took flesh from the Virgin who bore Him.[20]

Emperor Marcian called the fourth General Council of Chalcedon[21] in 451 AD. to makes the necessary distinctions in the way the person of Jesus was understood. The council updated the definitions in the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed with respect to the nature of Christ’s humanity and deity and their existence in his one person. The most important line in the new definition is probably “complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man.”[22] This definition does force the hearer to accept a little mystery in order to affirm it. Just as the Trinity is three and one, Christ is affirmed as two fully and one fully. This doctrine is often referred to as the hypostatic union, which comes from the Greek word hypostasis.[23]

Conclusion

“God is not a God of confusion”[24] the scripture declares. The men that participated in the great ecumenical councils understood that confusion would reign without a right biblical definition for the God head and for Christ. They also understood that getting away from this definition could have eternal consequences. In the end, the great ecumenical councils proclaimed that God is three and one, Jesus is fully human and fully divine in one person.

 

Citations

[1]. Augustine of Hippo, “On the Trinity,” in St. Augustin: On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. Arthur West Haddan, vol. 3, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887), 110.

[2]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 100.

[3], Term used by Dr. Jacob Hicks in the HTH-510-O500 – Christian History I class form. DQ1.

Homoiousios (literally, “of similar substance”) was used by Semi-Arians to argue that the Son was of similar but not identical substance as God the Father. Homoousios (literally, “same in substance”) was used by Athanasius and others to argue that the Son derives his substance from the Father:

Stanley Grenz, David Guretzki, and Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 61.

[4]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 103.

[5]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 54.

[6]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 103.

[7]. See note 3.

[8]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 102.

[9]. Everett, Ferguson. 2013. Church History, Volume 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 208.

[10]. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Introduction and Biographic Information (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 490.

[11]. Everett, Ferguson. 2013. Church History, Volume 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 210.

[12]. Ibid.

[13]. Ibid.

[14]. Ibid.

[15]. Ibid, 207.

[16]. Ibid.

[17]. Ibid, 210.

[18]. Ibid, 255.

[19]. Nathan P. Feldmeth, Pocket Dictionary of Church History: Over 300 Terms Clearly and Concisely Defined, The IVP Pocket Reference Series (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008), 44.

[20]. Leo the Great, “Letters,” in Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, trans. Charles Lett Feltoe, vol. 12a, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1895), 41.

[21]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 114.

[22]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 114.

[23] Hypostasis is a Greek noun first used by Eastern theologians in the early centuries of church history to refer to the three persons of the Trinity.

Stanley Grenz, David Guretzki, and Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 61.

[24] 1 Corinthians 14:33, ESV.

 

Bibliography

Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Introduction and Biographic Information (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005).

Augustine of Hippo, “On the Trinity,” in St. Augustin: On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. Arthur West Haddan, vol. 3, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887).

Feldmeth, Nathan P. Pocket Dictionary of Church History: Over 300 Terms Clearly and Concisely Defined, The IVP Pocket Reference Series (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008),

Ferguson, Everett. 2013. Church History, Volume 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Grenz, Stanley. Guretzki, David and Nordling, Cherith Fee. Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999),

Leo the Great, “Letters,” in Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, trans. Charles Lett Feltoe, vol. 12a, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1895),

Shelley, Bruce L. Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995).

 

 

The emergence of Pietism and its influence upon the Great Awakenings

Pietism cannot really be understood without taking into account the impact of the writings of the Puritans. In the center of both the Puritan and pietist movements is an emphasis on holiness and a personal rebirth. These ideas of personal application are not a denial of the Reformation. Calvin talking about faith said “… man’s mind has to go beyond and rise above itself in order to attain it.”[1] No one can fairly accuse the Reformers of denying that personal holiness and personal faith in God were important. The Puritans were the heirs of this Reformation idea that “Christianity “is not apprehended merely by the intellect . . . but it is revealed only when it possesses the whole soul.””[2] The pietists were also influenced by the Anabaptists, who were the first real Congregationalists.[3] A good example of the Anabaptist influence on pietism were the Moravian and the communal living they did on the Zinzendorf estate. Not seeking to use rules of law to enforce Christianity in an ever increasingly secular world, instead the pietists preferred to seek community and preach to the world the personal Christ. It is precisely these two traits of the Pietist movement, the Congregationalists mentality and the idea of personal rebirth and call to holiness, that came from the Anabaptist and the Puritans, which set the stage for the great movers in the Great Awakening.

Johnathan Edwards said in his famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, that the reason he was drawn to reflect on the subject of hell very well might have been “… for awakening unconverted persons in this congregation.”[4] This idea of personal conversion was something that came from the Pietists understanding of God and the community of believers. It is important to notice that the Great Awakening was brought about by preachers and not statement, especially in America. People like John Winthrop, a statesman and preacher, along with the Great Puritan experiment had come and gone. To be sure there were the “Old Calvinists”[5] who were still doing church the old-fashioned way. However, the method of Edwards and Whitfield, in what would become America, and John Wesley in England was to bypass the ruling body and go straight to the people. John Wesley was known for speaking to several thousand people at a time in public for hours at a time. Goerge Whitfield is famed to have preached more 1000 sermons in one year. Clearly, the big movers in the Great Awakening are people that believed that Christianity was something a person could choose and they should also choose where to congregate. Something that is not a highlight of their sermons was instructions on which church to attend.

Just as the big preachers of the Great Awakenings were not focused on which church to attend, Wesley even left the Anglican church in order to found the Methodists, which is a highly congregational denomination, especially when compared to Anglicans. The big movers in the Great Awakening emphasized personal conversion.[6] Personal commitment and conversion, or turning to God from sin is, Lane argues, found in both the writings of Calvin and Philipp Jakob Spener, who Lane calls the founder of Pietism.[7] Clearly, some part or idea of personal conversion was held by the reformers and that became a central theme for the Pietists. This theme of personal conversion is also seen in Johnathan Edwards sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Edwards said that the “door of mercy” was “thrown … wide open” by Christ.[8] This was spoken of by Edwards in a personal invitation for the person to seek refuge themselves. There was no instruction by Edwards about seeking absolution, sacrifice, or sanctuary in a church, rather absolution, sacrifice, or sanctuary are found between the believer and Christ personally.

Congregationalism, personal holiness, and personal conversion are the main theological themes that flowed from the Reformation through the pietists to the preachers that sparked the great awakening. These themes found their home in the hearts of many, who lived in a world where the secular was challenging the sacred for control of the hearts of men. The institutionalism of Christendom had been left behind, but the world and each person still knew and will always know of their need for a savior. That personal savior is only Jesus Christ.

[1]. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, vol. 1, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), 559.

[2]. John Woodbridge and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 282.

[3]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 248.

[4]. Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards,” Blue Letter Bible, , accessed March 26, 2019, https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/edwards_jonathan/Sermons/Sinners.cfm

[5]. John Woodbridge and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 264.

[6]. Ibid, 276.

[7]. A N. S. Lane, “Conversion: A Comparison of Calvin and Spener,” Themelios 13, no. 1 (1987): 20.

[8]. Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards,” Blue Letter Bible, , accessed March 26, 2019, https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/edwards_jonathan/Sermons/Sinners.cfm

Liberalism and Evangelicalism

Social Engagement Between Evangelicalism and Liberalism

The difference between Evangelical and Liberal social engagement is best summed up by looking at intent or authority. Both groups intend to make an impact in the world. The Evangelicals wanted to call people to join the orthodox Christian position without compromising that position. The issue really comes down to Biblical authority and inerrancy. The Evangelicals “… retained their belief in biblical inerrancy, but were more willing [than the fundamentalists] to engage the culture …”[1] On the other hand, Liberalism left behind the idea of inerrancy and “… made many new claims into which traditional Christianity had to be assimilated.”[2] The differences between Evangelicals and Liberals is the question, why Christianity? The Evangelicals in holding biblical inerrancy accepted the simple, biblical understanding that God intended the salvation of people “… to the praise of his glory.”[3] The Liberals, on the other hand, saw Christianity as the way to right the wrongs of the world. Machen was correct when he called Liberalism “a different religion from Christianity.”[4] In the liberal view, the general moral principles of scripture were first and foremost about making people better. The person need not even believe in the existence of God as long as religion gave them something to ground their life and moral decisions. For example, Paul Tillich (1886 – 1965) spoke of God as “being itself”[5] and many charged him with being practically an atheist.[6] Tillich’s God had been lost in transcendence to where he had no personality or power to do anything. Tillich’s Christianity was simply about helping people explain their existence. Tillich perfectly exemplifies the liberal purpose in using Christianity to engage social issues; making man the center of the question. Evangelicals on the other hand call men to make God the center of everything.

Similarities and differences between Carl F. H. Henry and Walter Rauschenbusch

Carl F. H. Henry

            Carl Henry was one of three great personalities behind the New Evangelical movement; the other two men were Harold J. Ockenga and Billy Graham.[7] Carl Henry was a Theologian and his emphasis was on maintaining an orthodox understanding of scripture without compromise while still engaging the world in a meaningful way. During his time at Fuller, he helped create the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) that welcomed Christian scholars in a “trans-denominational forum of evangelical scholarship.”[8] The one requirement for this society was the agreement on Biblical inerrancy.[9] Carl Henry’s reasons for helping to create this ecumenical  society were laid out in his work, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism in which he depicted the fundamentalist as having retreated from “the full gospel mission.”[10] Carl Henry engaged with scripture as the authority for Christianity and therefore he understood that the world needed a personal savior, because of personal sin.

Walter Rauschenbusch

If Carl Henry represented the new Orthodox Evangelicalism, Walter Rauschenbusch was the poster boy for Liberalism. Well known liberal Baptist pastor Harry Emerson Fosdick who preached a sermon titled “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?”,[11] said of Rauschenbusch that “he opened a new era in the thought and effort of American Christianity.”[12] The Liberal idea of Christianity, and certainly Rauschenbusch’s idea, was that Christianity was for social reform: righting the wrongs of the world. Reinhold Niebuhr referred to Rauschenbusch as “… the real founder of social Christianity …”[13] All of the men, Fosdick, Niebuhr and Rauschenbusch saw no need for orthodox beliefs and did not believe in inerrancy. Rauschenbusch’s approach to scripture was a mix of myth like Rudolf Bultmann,[14] and existentialism like Schleiermacher and Tillich. In Liberal theology, sin was a corporate thing and Rauschenbusch sought to “… reclaim the ‘sinner,’ America, for the kingdom of God.”[15] Rauschenbusch sought to use the church as a platform for justice reform to the end that the world would be changed for the better.[16] Rauschenbusch saw sin as a corporate malady that needed to be corrected.

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Both Approaches

Liberalism

The sides represented by Carl Henry, New Evangelicalism, and Walter Rauschenbusch, liberal, social Christianity, have, at the core, very different ideas about the purpose and application of Christianity. The Liberal goal was to “make Christianity palatable to a mindset that could no longer accept traditional orthodoxy.”[17] To do this, the liberal needed to reinterpret scripture in the light of modern thought and reappropriate orthodoxy.[18] This has the effect of more engagement as there are many who would call themselves a Christian for the purpose of change and would never believe what is traditionally Christian. The problem is that now, the liberal has redefined Christianity, so that fairly leaves open the critique that it is no longer Christianity, but something different. Liberalism becomes something that uses the words of Christianity, the ideas of Christianity and then perhaps some of the morals of Christianity, without the millennia-old meaning of Christianity. Put simply, Liberalism’s weakness is that it is not Christianity in the traditional sense. It may have some social application, but it is not concerned with real guilt before a real God.

Evangelicalism

            What is the nature of God? If the critique of Liberalism is that it does not deal with real guilt before a real God, then the question is what is this God? Carl Henry in speaking for the new Evangelicals based his arguments on the nature of God. If God was real with a mind and a will and that God had revealed himself, then scripture was about understanding and relating to God.[19] The strength of this approach is that it is traditionally Christian. It allows for the Word of God to be used as God intended it. It makes the person morally responsible before a personal God. This approach might be harder for the modern mind to digest; however, a traditionally Christian view, informed by the Bible, is that in the end, any form of Christianity will eventually just be foolishness to the world.[20]

Evangelicals and Fundamentalists

It is a difficult task to maintain an orthodox position and be culturally engaged. The reason that Evangelicals and Fundamentalists split was the difficulty engaging the world in a way that was conducive to conversation without leaving orthodox Christianity. At one time the words Evangelical and Fundamentalist were synonyms. The core tenant that both the Evangelical and the Fundamentalist movements held was that of the inerrancy of scripture. The differences came at first in the method of cultural engagement. Because of this difference about cultural engagement, “Carl Henry, along with others such as E.J. Carnell, George Eldon Ladd, and Paul K. Jewett, decided to launch a revised evangelicalism.”[21] The Fundamentalists would simply make inerrancy the dividing line and would not engage people that did not already accept inerrancy. On the other hand, Evangelicals felt constrained by scripture to be engaged without compromising. The Evangelicals, “… sought to defend and expound Christian evangelical orthodoxy in a way that avoided the vicious polemical tone of the past.”[22] Since the separation the Fundamentalist movement has further separated itself. At one time Fundamentalism was the new hope, but now, even in some Evangelical circles, it is a dirty word. Likewise, since the split, some accuse the Evangelicals of becoming more liberal. Future generations may find themselves with a need to redefine again.

 

Bibliography

[1]. John Woodbridge and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 807.

[2]. D. Jeffrey Bingham, Pocket History of the Church, The IVP Pocket Reference Series (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2002), 149–150.

[3]. Ephesians 1:12, ESV.

[4]. John Woodbridge and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 797.

[5]. Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olson, 20th Century Theology: God & the World in a Transitional Age (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997). 124-125.

[6]. Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olson, 20th Century Theology: God & the World in a Transitional Age (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997). 124-125.

[7]. John Woodbridge and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 807.

[8]. Ibid, 809.

[9]. Ibid, 809.

[10]. Ibid, 808.

[11]. John Woodbridge and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 800.

[12]. Ibid, 215.

[13]. Charles W (William)Weber. 2014. “The Relationship of Walter Rauschenbusch to Foreign Missions: The Social Gospel and Cultural Change.” American Baptist Quarterly 33 (2): 215.

[14]. Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olson, 20th Century Theology: God & the World in a Transitional Age (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997). 89.

[15]. Charles W (William)Weber. 2014. “The Relationship of Walter Rauschenbusch to Foreign Missions: The Social Gospel and Cultural Change.” American Baptist Quarterly 33 (2): 215-216.

[16]. Scott E. Bryant. 2008. “The Optimistic Ecclesiology of Walter Rauschenbusch.” American Baptist Quarterly 27 (2): 117.

[17]. D. Jeffrey Bingham, Pocket History of the Church, The IVP Pocket Reference Series (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2002), 149–150.

[18]. Ibid, 149–150.

[19]. Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olson, 20th Century Theology: God & the World in a Transitional Age (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997). 294.

[20]. 1 Corinthians 1:23.

[21]. Carl Trueman, “Uneasy Consciences and Critical Minds: What the Followers of Carl Henry Can Learn from Edward Said,” Themelios 30, no. 2 (2005): 33.

[22]. Ibid.

How did the Renaissance influence scriptural interpretation in such a way that it set up the Reformation?

What people wanted to know changed. The Renaissance signified the start of the shift from “the collective dreamlike life of medieval Christianity”[1] to the fully Enlightenment rejection of the validity of relational authority. The word Renaissance means rebirth and it is used to explain a remarkable renewal of interest in the “classical Greek and Roman civilization expressed in literature, politics and the arts.”[2] The idea behind the Renaissance is that a person could learn and know the truth for themselves; so, during this period a massive amount of importance was put on education especially in the classics. The impact of the Renaissance on the Reformation cannot be underestimated, there is probably much truth in the saying, “without the Renaissance, no Reformation.”[3] Without the general population being convinced they could discover the truth of an argument for themselves, the Reformation would have gone nowhere. This aspect of the Renaissance would probably best called the beginning of “secular individualism”[4] which would come to true power in the Enlightenment. The impact of the classics was the next piece that the Renaissance brought to Reformation. The Reformers first had a hard look at scripture and saw that there were many Roman Catholic practices that did not seem to add up. For Luther, this started with indulgences notable because of the strong attack on indulgences in the 95 Theses. The suspicions for Luther had to be confirmed when he studied Augustine, we know he was reading Augustine “as early as 1509,”[5] and the other church fathers and saw a very different perspective on grace and justification. It was these two forces, the idea that man could know the truth for himself and this emphasis on the classics, that impacted how the Reformers thought and looked at scripture and it was the affect of these on the culture at large that made Luther and the other reformers successful.

What is truth and how to know it; or, where does the authority rest? This was the questions of Scriptural interpretation in the Reformation period. In all reality, it was the question facing the world at large. The reformers were not the first to question if the authority of the church in matters of interpretation. Wycliffe and Jan Hus had already started the questioning about a century before Martin Luther’s debut in Wittenberg. However, Wycliffe and Hus met with little success with their ideas while Luther was very successful. The reason for Luther’s success was a cultural shift that brought about the idea that a person did not need the Bible explained to them, they could understand it for themselves. Tyndale’s zeal to see the Bible translated is an example of how this cultural imperative for people to examine the evidence for themselves had infiltrated the minds of the Reformers. Luther himself translated the scripture into German. Pettegree’s book Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion explained that the culture was ripe for the preaching, printing, the rhetoric of the Reformation to persuade them.[6] The Reformers task was the “liberation of scripture from all other forms of authority.”[7]

The influence of the classics meant that came from the Renaissance meant that Aristotelian categories of logic, Greek thinkers like Plato, and the church fathers were on the preview for analysis. As mentioned before, there is no doubt that Augustinian thought deeply impacted Luther’s interpretation of scripture.  The impact of the Renaissance of thought was that by the time Luther came on the scene the normal person already begun to have the idea that they could read the text for themselves and not have to ask for an explanation. They could understand. The common man no longer needed to be subservient to the clergy in matters of interpretation. This is why it is appropriate to call the Renaissance the beginning of secular individualism. The individual is now the interpreter. The Renaissance invention of the printing press stirred this fire into an inferno with the help of the Bible translators like Luther and Tyndale.

The great change in how the Bible was interpreted that was fueled by the Renaissance was first that with the rebirth of the classics into society came this idea that each person is able to seek and find the truth for himself. No longer did the Churches interpretation, that according to Luther was not reasonable, hold power. Now each person was called to seek and know for themselves the truth of it.

 

[1]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 75.

[2]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 312.

[3]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 73.

[4]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 75.

[5]. Martin J. Lohrmann. “The Righteousness of Faith in the Earliest Luther.” Lutheran Quarterly 31, no. 3 (Fall 2017): 322.

[6] Peter Arnade. “Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion Andrew Pettegree.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 38, no. 3 (2007):

[7] Timmerman, Daniel. “Scripture and Pluralism; Reading the Bible in the Religiously Plural Worlds of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.” Sixteenth Century Journal 38, no. 3 (Fall 2007): 794.

Differences among the four main branches of the Reformation: Lutheran, Anabaptist, Reformed, and Anglican

What’s the same? 

When talking about the differences in Protestantism, it is also important to notice the similarities. All Protestants express a belief in the doctrine of justification by faith alone. That word alone is what sets Protestants apart from Roman Catholics at the most fundamental levels. No matter if it is faith, the authority of scripture, or the Glory of God, the word alone is the what sets the tone for Protestants. However, within Protestantism came the inevitable differences of opinion on how to interpret ecclesial authority in society, baptism, and the nature of the Lord’s Supper. There are many differences between the traditions however, focusing on the concepts of the Church and the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper will be a good method for highlighting the differences.

Lutheran

The post-Luther Lutherans did depart somewhat from the reformer himself.  Lutheranism from the perspective of the other branches of the Reformation might be considered Roman Catholic light. They exclude the prayers to the saints and marry in both Luther’s Catechism (1529) and The Formula of Concord (1576).[1] However, Lutheranism retained Baptismal regeneration,[2] confession,[3] transubstantiation: “… is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.”[4] It must be made clear that all these retentions from Roman Catholicism are not intended as contrary to the concept of justification by faith alone. For example, the idea of confession and absolution for a Lutheran is that the father confessor says “Dost thou believe that my forgiveness is the forgiveness of God?”[5] Instead of the Roman Catholic idea that a Priest has been ordained with powers to forgiving sins as an ‘alter Christus’ (another Christ),[6] in the Lutheran model the father confessor plays more of the role of witness or administrator of God’s forgiveness for the persons belief in Christ.

Anabaptist

    According to Shelley, the Anabaptists are alive today as the Mennonites and the Hutterites.[7] However, Shelley also points out that Anabaptist thinking influenced the Baptists, the Quakers, and the Congregationalists.[8] The Anabaptists got their turbulent start in Zurich in 1525.[9] They were characterized by two primary things, they did not see Christianity as a means to define society. Rather,

they discovered a different world in the pages of the New Testament. They found no state-church alliance, no Christendom. Instead, they discovered that the apostolic churches were companies of committed believers, communities of men and women who had freely and personally chosen to follow Jesus. And for the sixteenth century, that was a revolutionary idea.[10]

It was a revolutionary idea because all the other expressions of the Reformation sought to incorporate faith into society. What this means is that while Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican are properly compared to the Roman Catholic, the Anabaptists have to be seen as a step beyond the Reformation. Confessional baptisms were also at the core of Anabaptist expression.[11] The Reformed, led by Ulfric Zwingli in Zurich, went as far as drowning and expelling the Anabaptist. This highlights the vast difference between all the other expressions of Reformation Protestantism and the Anabaptists. Ulfric Zwingli, Luther, and Anglican confessions saw an integration between the church and government.

Reformed

            A well-rounded way to understand Reformedness is the Westminster Confession. While the later Lutheran catechism seems to avoid harshly expressing the idea of predestination, the Reformed made it part of the central doctrinal stance.[12] Lutherans’ baptized for regeneration, Anabaptist baptized for confession, and the Reformed baptized as a “sign and seal of the covenant of grace.”[13] According to Hodge, the Lord’s Supper in the thinking of Calvin goes like this, “Calvin denied the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist …”[14] Clearly, the early Reformed believed, like early Lutherans, that the government was to be used by the church to make Christian society. Good examples of this are Zwingli’s persecutions of the Anabaptist in Zurich and Calvin’s Geneva where it was a crime to miss Sunday service. By the time of Westminster Confession, there was still a call in the confession for the “civil magistrate [to see that] … peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed.”[15]

Anglican

            The Anglican expression is a state-sponsored church and the British Monarchy still hold the title of Defender of the Faith. The particular expression of Anglicanism was an outflowing of the British Monarchy rebelling against the Papal carte blanche. The Reformed practice infant baptism as a sign of the covenant, Anglicans baptize infants but as a “promise, when they come to age, themselves are bound to perform.[16]” The Lord’s Supper is the “body and blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful” [17]

 

 

[1]. Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, with Translations, vol. 3 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1882), 70-190

[2]. Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, with Translations, vol. 3 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1882), 184.

[3] Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, with Translations, vol. 3 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1882), 90.

[4] Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, with Translations, vol. 3 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1882), 90.

[5]. Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, with Translations, vol. 3 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1882), 90.

[6]. Leonardo De Chirico, “The Blurring of Time Distinctions in Roman Catholicism,” Themelios 29, no. 2 (2004): 43.

[7]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 246.

[8]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 248.

[9]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 246.

[10]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 248–249.

[11]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 246.

[12]. Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, with Translations, vol. 3 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1882), 608–609.

[13]. Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, with Translations, vol. 3 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1882), 661–662.

[14]. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 628.

[15]. Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, with Translations, vol. 3 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1882), 653.

[16]. Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, with Translations, vol. 3 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1882), 521.

[17]. Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, with Translations, vol. 3 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1882), 521.

The Enlightenment understanding of reason and how reason becomes the basis for secular society

The Enlightenment represented a shift is man’s understanding of the purpose of life. The Enlightenment is a period between the rule of Christianity over Europe and the emergence of Modernism. It is usually excepted as the years 1680 to 1789.[1] Prior to the Enlightenment, the idea that there was something beyond death, something metaphysical, and something that was important to understand was, for the most part, commonly accepted. The Enlightenment shift came in what man found important to know. Rather than needing to know about the afterlife, man’s focus shifted to “… happiness and fulfillment in this world.”[2] The rejection of an eternal purpose and relocation of societies focus to temporal happiness was a natural evolution from the Renaissance exultation of the qualities of man. A very important factor in this shift was the “appalling religious conflicts”[3] that were in the wake of the Reformation. The Enlightenment represented a shift in societies focus from eternal to temporal and it was driven by Renaissance humanism reacting to the failure of religious systems to live up to the idea of man’s goodness.

The age of reason was a time when its contemporaries believed “… reason at long last had gotten the upper hand on Christian revelation, judged it, and found it wanting.”[4] In order for reason to take such a role in society the intent of the average man had to change. Prior to the Enlightenment, the primary focus of people, especially scholastics, was understanding the ultimate purpose of existence in the light of eternity.  Bruce L. Shelley puts it this way, “[t]he spirit of the Age of Reason was nothing less than an intellectual revolution, a whole new way of looking at God, the world, and one’s self. It was the birth of secularism.”[5] Shelley goes on to explain that it was the Renaissance “confidence in man and his powers flowered and filled the air with fragrance during the Enlightenment.”[6] The agnostics to Christianity that dominated the high intellectual culture of the day[7] developed a formula that put simply said, if man is good then all the evil in the world must be the fault of religion suppressing man’s ability to think for himself. Contemporary writers like “Voltaire … refer to Christianity as the “infamous thing””[8] that had prevented harmony, peace and progress on earth.[9] The Enlightenment thinkers had plenty of evil to point to, despot kings in France that ruled by “divine right,”[10] 30 years of war between Protestants and Roman Catholics in Germany,[11] civil war in England between protestants commoners and Roman Catholic monarchy and the conflict finally ending with Christianity split into many denominations. This was not the golden age that the Renaissance had promised and the answer was clear; man must reason himself to freedom from the chains of dogma. The Christian response to this shift was mixed. Clergy in England were outspoken in blaming the evils of the world on “atheism and deism”[12] that had arisen in this new climate. Other Christians like John Locke (1632–1704) tried to harmonize the new orthodoxy of reason with Christianity. Locke postulated that god is “the most obvious truth that reason discovers.”[13] However, Locke and others met with dismissal of any authority claims towards revelation. The inevitable outcome of this capitulation to the spirit of the age would be in the next generation of Christian scholastics like Friedrich Schleiermacher who postulated a total removal of religion from the realm of reason and based the truth of religion purely on personal religious experience.[14]

The Enlightenment represents a shift at a societal level away from the eternal and towards an attempt to create a man-centered explanation of reality. Freedom is the word, freedom from despot rules, freedom from the shackles of religious oppression, and freedom to self-reason. This freedom however came at a high price. In gaining freedom man lost the ability to explain his personhood. The basic acceptance of the need for a force outside the universe to provide a cogent explanation of personhood and the universe, that had been commonly accepted for millennia, was sacrificed to man’s veracious desire for autonomy. The shift away from the authority of God was a natural outcome of Renaissance humanism seeking a scapegoat for the atrocities man perpetrates on each other; mankind no longer cared about what was behind the world, rather he sought to fulfill himself in the now.

 

 

 

[1]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 356.

[2]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 312.

[3]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 313.

[4]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 356.

[5]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 312.

[6]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 313.

[7]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 356.

[8]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 317.

[9]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 317.

[10]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 433.

[11]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 302.

 

[12]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 398.

[13]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 315.

[14]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 541.

The Key word Alone: Post-Reformation Scholasticism

Introduction

   Karl Barth said, “The fear of scholasticism is the mark of a false prophet.”[1] Scholasticism since the Reformation period has endured much criticism. However, much of this criticism ignores the crucial fact that the term scholastic in and of itself is only a method. Application is personal and conscientious. There are many problems that can be pointed out over the history of scholasticism within Christianity; however, there have been many triumphs as well. A prime example of the methodological link between Medieval Scholasticism and Protestant Scholasticism is the man Thomas Aquinas. Just as Aquinas carried on and stood on the shoulders of Augustine, much of the framework that Aquinas built was used by the Reformers and that same methodology was then adopted by post-Reformation Scholastics. This presents the issue of differences between Protestant Scholasticism and the thought of the Magisterial Reformers. The place of the church in government and method of baptism are very clear examples of a difference between the Reformers and the development of Protestant thought in centuries following the Reformation. The issue finally, is the place scripture has in the scholastic method used. Throughout each Christian century, there has been a battle over orthodoxy. The ones that eventually were proven orthodox in each case were always the ones that had a Biblically centered scholastic approach. Post-Reformation Protestant Scholasticism is not only a method consistent with the Reformers as the Reformers were consistent with the purpose of Medieval Scholasticism; moreover, excluding a biblically centered methodological scholastic approach to support and further doctrine is a betrayal of the principles of the Reformation and of the great men of God that proceeded the Reformers into glory.

Protestant Scholasticism and its Relation to Medieval Scholasticism

   When looking at Medieval Scholasticism it covers the period from roughly 900 – 1300.[2] However, the different methods and schools of thought that were built up within that period varied widely. Perhaps the best way to summarize Medieval Scholasticism is to look at probably its most prominent figure. Thomas Aquinas (1224–1274) was meticulous in his theological method.[3] He upheld the goal of Medieval Scholasticism which “… was twofold: to reconcile Christian doctrine and human reason and to arrange the teachings of the church in an orderly system.” [4] Thomas Aquinas differentiated between “[r]eason [which] is based upon the visible creation”[5] and “[r]evelation [which] looks to God as He is in Himself and so is superior to reason both in its certainty and in its subject matter”[6] Aquinas’ has the same goals as the Reformers, to reconcile doctrine and reason in a systematic way. Calvin is a great example of this, the institutes are clearly a systematic explanation of doctrine using reason. This method and purpose carried on into the post-Reformation scholastic method. As Aquinas drew from, built on and refined the ideas of Augustine before him, post-Reformation scholastics were concerned with drawing from refining and growing the Reformation dogmas. Each subsequent catechism and synod were for this very purpose.

Protestant Scholasticism faithful to the Magisterial Reformers?

    Most of the divergence in post-Reformation thought from any of the Reformers can be traced to “diverse trajectories within Reformed theology itself.”[7] There are two big examples of this divergent thought. First, most of the Magisterial Reformers believed that the Church and the government were intertwined in the governance of the people. Calvin, in Geneva, believed that the church was to provide “moral supervision of the city.”[8]  By 1750 almost all the Protestant schools separated the government from the churches to a least some degree. The other very obvious divergence is the growth of Anabaptists. In the 1500s Zwingli was executing confessional Baptists by drowning; yet, by 1689 the London Baptist Confession (LBC), a Reformed Confession, has made its debut. The issue that arises is the question, do these differences represent a lack of fidelity to the principles of the Reformation. On the contrary, they represent the highest fidelity to the principle that the Reformation made foundationally and that principle is that the authority is not Calvin or Luther, but it is sola scriptura.

Faithful Expression of Protestant Theology or Betrayal of Biblical Authority?

    Sola Scripture (Scripture alone) is the core of this question about the ongoing work of the Reformation in Protestant thought. That word alone is the key to being faithful to biblical authority. Woodbridge and Frank give the context when they said ““Orthodoxy” differs from “Scholasticism” in that the former concerns correct theological content, while the latter had to do with an academic method.”[9] Therefore, for Scholasticism to be a faithful expression of Protestant theology it needs be a method that held the same view of Biblical authority as the Reformation. The LBC first article is concerned with scripture: “The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge …”[10] Throughout the confessions, creeds, catechisms, and systematic theology of the post-Reformation scholastic period, the recurring theme over and over is this fidelity to the authority of scripture and therefore it does represent orthodox Protestant belief, despite the many differences that did emerge.

Conclusion

   In order for a scholastic method to betray the principles of Reformation, it must represent a methodology that vastly differs from the Reformation. It is clear that the post-Reformation scholastic period demonstrates a period where scholars applied the same method with the same purpose of the Reformers; the very same method and purpose of Aquinas and Augustine before them.  Post-Reformation Protestant Scholasticism is a method consistent with the Reformers and traces its method and purpose back through Medieval Scholasticism to the early ages of the church. A biblical scholarly methodology that seeks to refine and defend doctrine in a clear systematic way is absolutely required in every age of Christianity. One need only look to history to see it.

Footnotes

[1]. Karl Barth and G. W. Bromiley, The Doctrine of the Word of God: Prolegomena to Church Dogmatics, Being Volume I, 1 (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1975). 279.

[2]. Bruce L. Shelley. Church History in Plain Language. Updated 2nd ed. Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995. 194. Table 20.1.

[3]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 200.

[4]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 195.

[5]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 201.

[6]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 201.

[7]. Asselt, Willem J van (Willem Jan van). 2001. “Protestant Scholasticism: Some Methodological Consideration in the Study of Its Development.” Nederlands Archief Voor Kerkgeschiedenis 81 (3): 270

[8]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995), 260.

[9]. John Woodbridge and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 254.

[10]. “1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 1,” Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America, , accessed February 28, 2019, http://www.arbca.com/1689-chapter1.

Bibliography

Asselt, Willem J van (Willem Jan van). 2001. “Protestant Scholasticism: Some Methodological Consideration in the Study of Its Development.” Nederlands Archief Voor Kerkgeschiedenis 81 (3): 265–74. https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0001471465&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Barth, Karl, and G. W. Bromiley. The Doctrine of the Word of God: Prolegomena to Church Dogmatics, Being Volume I, 1. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1975.

Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995).

Woodbridge, John, and Frank A. James, III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan

Through the Eyes of the Five Solas

Introduction

   The Reformation represents a tremendous breach of social, economic, and political norms in its day. In doing so, it threw entire areas into chaos, indeed, most of Europe’s social, economic, and political structures were challenged by it. The Reformation happened at a time when the Renaissance, the new humanism, and corruption within the papacy had already weakened the hold of status quo Christianity throughout Europe. The shift in thinking centers around the role ecclesial authority plays in matters of faith, social, economic, and political systems. For most of a millennium prior to the Reformation, the church had dominated faith, social, economic, and political systems. When speaking of the Reformation, it seems best to work from the impact it had on doctrine within the faith outward to how that change impacted society at large. Exploring the impact of the five Solas of the Reformation[1] within the faith community will not only show the fundamental shift in thinking about Authority, Salvation, Worship and Justification within the church, but also the epoch changing impact on the culture at large.

Authority

   The doctrine of Sola Scriptura is that Scripture is the sole infallible rule, authority, of faith for the church. Martin Luther was a churchman. He enjoyed the rank of professor and the privilege that came with ordination. In an age where the world was just Christian, the clergy enjoyed a place of power. Luther first set his eyes on a doctrine within the church that he judged to unbiblical, the doctrine of indulgences. In the 95 theses, which proved to be the spark of the Reformation, Luther was primally in concerned with the idea of merit[2] and how that merit is applied to the believer. However, by 1521, just four years after the 95 theses were posted, as Luther made his iconic stand at the trial in Worms, the issue of authority had become central. Luther’s position on the authority of popes and councils had been established in a debate in 1519 with John Eck in which Luther stated “A council may sometimes err. Neither the church nor the pope can establish articles of faith. These must come from Scripture.”[3] When Luther questions the issue of papal authority based on disagreements within “popes and councils” he is most likely referring to the period of 1309 to 1376 when there were as many as three people claiming the title of Pontiff Maximus. It is important to note here the Luther was not first papal critic,[4] John Wycliffe (1320~ to 1384) and John Huss (1369 – 1415) among others had proceeded Luther. However, the fact that Luther was the first to successfully challenges the papal carte blanche shows how greatly the papal authority had been undermined by the events of 1309 to 1376 and the general impact of the Renaissance emphasis on education. The impact of Luther challenging the papal authority had implications for society at large. Luther was declared an outlaw by Rome, yet monarchs stood in defiance of Rome to protect him. The result of the break down of Rome’s authority was 30 years of bloody conflict[5] between Protestants and Roman Catholics: fighting in the streets of Europe. The challenge to papal authority not only helped to birth the Protestant movement and shake the foundations of ecclesial authority over secular governments, but also within Rome’s counter Reformation there were stirrings. Worcester points out that the council of Trent said very little about papal authority because even within Roman Catholic ranks it was a disputed issue.[6]

Salvation

   Just as Sola Scriptura is a doctrine that necessitated a challenge to traditional authority structures, the doctrines of faith, grace, and Christ alone (sola Fide, Gratia, and Christus) represented a fundamental change in understanding Salvation. The doctrines simply put are that salvation is by faith alone, given by grace alone, no one can merit it, and through the work of Christ alone. The church had long taught that the sacraments administered by the church were the way in which a person would merit salvation. An example of this is pointed out by Woodbridge and Frank III when they wrote, “At the heart of medieval Catholicism was the sacrament of penance, which sometimes is called the “second plank of salvation.”[7] There is more to add to this conversation in the section on justification. For now, it is important to understand that with the shaking of confidence in ecclesial authority also came the lack of confidence that the church could lead a person to salvation. If a man could not trust a priest, answers would need to be found in scripture alone; the common man must have the scripture. The post death cremation of John Wycliffe and the execution of William Tyndale had clearly outlined Rome’s position on Bible translations in the common language. Rome’s position on the scripture being translated into the vernacular remained fixed until the second half of the 1900s.

Worship

   Soli Deo Gloria, for the glory of God alone, became the next cornerstone of Reformation doctrine. This sola is primarily about the purpose of the saint. The Westminster divines expressed this sola as the first questions in the shorter catechism.[8] The new Protestant faith had to wrestle with just how to define worship and the Reformers took different positions on the subject. Calvin held to a strict vision of worship “that the public worship that God once prescribed is still in force.”[9] In other words Calvin prohibited any form of worship not prescribed in the text of scripture. Biblically ignorant worship appalled Luther;[10] however, Luther’s approach was based on excluding that which the Bible prohibits. The starkest contrasts between the Reformation and Roman Catholicism came there understanding of the place the sacraments had in worship. Calvin envisioned the sacraments as having “the purpose of confirming and sealing the promise itself,”[11] the promise being salvation. While the Roman Catholic system applied the sacraments as a means of doing meritorious acts. The conclusion is that the new Protestant movement held that worship was for glorifying God alone, while the Roman Catholic tradition had worship as a place for people to meritoriously participate in salvation.

Theology of Justification by Faith

   It must be made clear that the difference between the Reformers and Rome was not over justification by faith. Both sides believed in justification by faith. The tipping point was the word alone. Rome’s tradition was that “[i]t was necessary for the sinner to provide some sort of penance to remove the temporal effects of sin.”[12] While Reformers like Calvin stressed the singleness of faith in the economy of salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9, by grace, through faith, not works, was the formula that Reformation adopted as a result of placing authority in Scripture alone. Luther as early has 1513 had already rejected the “treasury of merit”[13] as a means of salvation and the other Reformers shared Luther’s view. Calvin said, “… for men cursed under the law there remains, in faith, one sole means of recovering salvation.”[14] Both Calvin and Luther held to the “Augustinian reading of the apostle Paul”[15] that not only was salvation a gracious gift from God, but the faith required for salvation was also given by God in so much that God was the sole actor in the salvation of His people.

Conclusion

   There were epoch changes that happened because of the events of the Reformation. The changes were not without blood, and the seeds of it were sown in the Renaissances and in the corruption that had seeped into the Roman Catholic church over the previous centuries. As the hammer fell in Wittenberg, on that fateful day in 1517, not even Martin Luther could have known the far-reaching implications of his 95 theses. In challenging the authority structures of the Roman Catholic Church, Luther forced everyone to re-evaluate what it meant to be saved, worship and what place faith has in the justification. Looking through the lens of the Reformation Solas is the best way to evaluate the impact that the Reformation had all the structures of society: faith, social, economic, and political.

 

 

 

 

[1]. Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria (Faith, Grace, Scripture, Christ and God’s Glory alone).

[2]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 113

[3]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, Tex.: Word Pub., 1995), 241.

[4]. GCU Lecture “HTH-511 Topic 3 Overview.pdf”, 2019, Grand Canyon University. Retrieved from https://lms-grad.gcu.edu

[5]. Bruce L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Updated 2nd ed. (Dallas, Tex.: Word Pub., 1995), 301.

[6]. Thomas Worcester. 2014. “Trent: What Happened at the Council.” Church History, no. 2: 482. https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.373164829&site=eds-live&scope=site

[7]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 112.

[8]. BPC Shorter Catechism Project: Matthew Henry, , accessed February 21, 2019, http://www.shortercatechism.com/resources/wsc/wsc_001.html.

[9]. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, vol. 1, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), 367.

[10]. Mark Rogers, “‘Deliver Us from the Evil One’: Martin Luther on Prayer,” Themelios 34, no. 3 (2009): 344.

[11] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, vol. 1, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), 1278.

[12]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 113.

[13]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 113.

[14]. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, vol. 1, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), 725.

[15]. John Woodbridge, and James A. Frank III. 2013. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 116.

 

Bibliography

 

BPC Shorter Catechism Project: Matthew Henry. Accessed February 21, 2019. http://www.shortercatechism.com/resources/wsc/wsc_001.html.

GCU Lecture “HTH-511 Topic 3 Overview.pdf”, , Grand Canyon University. Retrieved from https://lms-grad.gcu.edu, 2019.

Calvin, John. Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2. Edited by John T. McNeill. Translated by Ford Lewis Battles. Vol. 1. The Library of Christian Classics. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011.

Rogers, Mark. “‘Deliver Us from the Evil One’: Martin Luther on Prayer.” Themelios 34, no. 3 (2009).

Shelley, Bruce L. Church History in Plain Language. Updated 2nd ed. Dallas, TX: Word Pub., 1995.

Worcester, Thomas. 2014. “Trent: What Happened at the Council.” Church History, no. 2: 482. https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.373164829&site=eds-live&scope=site

Woodbridge, John, and Frank A. James, III. Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013.