The Reformation

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The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

L

People

H

Martin Luther Katarina Bora Johan Staupitz

Melanchton

A B Karlstadt

Jean Calvin

Huldrych Zwingli

Thomas Müntzer

Caspar Schwenkfeld

S

Erasmus

C

R

A

Theodore Beza

John Knox

Balthasar Hubmaier

Menno Simons

Ignatius of Loyola

K

Emperor Charles V

Frederick of Sachsen

Gustav Wasa of Sweden

Henry VIII of England

Teresa of Avila


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

480 1490 1500 1510 1520 1530 1540 1550 1560 1570

1483 Luther 1505

1517 1521 1529

1546

1524-25

1526

1530

1555

1577

Zwingli

1484 1519 1529 1531

Dates

1509

Calvin

1536

1525 1528 1536

1553

1564

Britain, France, Netherlands

Popes

Pius III

Innocent VIII Alexander VI Julius II Leo X

1521

1526

1505 Luther enters Augustinian Monastery

1517 Oct 31 Luther posts the 95 Theses in Wittenberg

1519 Jan 1 Zwingli begins pastorate in Zürich

1521 Jan 3 Papal bull against Luther’s teachings and writings

Apr 18 Diet of Worms, Luther excommunicated

May 8 Imperial Edict, Luther kidnapped to Wartburg, Junker Jörg

1522 Completion of NT to German; Pope Hadrian initiates Cath Reform

1524-25 Peasants’ War

1525 Schwenckfeld breaks with Luther, advocating “spiritual” sacraments

Müntzer tortured and killed

1526 First printing of Tyndale’s transl. of the NT

Gustav Vasa, king of Sweden, breaks with the old faith, NT into Swedish

1528 Hubmaier burned in Vienna

1529 Diet of Speyer, ”The Protestants”; Luther’s Catechisms

Oct, Luther and Zwingli meet in Marburg to discuss the Eucharist

1530 Diet of Augsburg, Confession

1531 Formation of Schmalkaldic League, Zwingli killed in combat in Kappel

1534

Hadrian VI

Marcellus II

Clement VII Paul III JuliusIII PaulIV Pius IV St. Pius V Gregory XIII

1540

1542 1545-46

1553

1556 1559 1572 1579

1562- 98

1551-52 1562-63

1534 Henry VIII, Act of Supremacy, Establishment of the Church of England

Ignatius of Loyola founds the Jesuit Order

1536 Calvin to Geneva, 1 st ed. of Institutes, Menno Simons gathers survivors

1540 Papal recognition of the Society of Jesus

1542 Pope Paul III establishes the Roman Inquisition

1545-7, 1551-2, 1562-3 Council of Trent

1546 Beginning of Schmalkaldic War, Luther’s death

1553 Accession of Mary Tudor in England; burning of Servetus in Geneva

1555 Religious peace of Augsburg, cuius regio, eius religio

1556 Ridley, Latimer, Cranmer killed

1559 John Knox begins reforms in Scotland

1562-98 French Wars of Religion

1567 Church of Scotland adopted by Scotish Parliament

1572 Bartholomew’s Day Massacre

1577 Formula of Concord

1579 Union of Utrecht (7 provinces unite in the Protestant faith)

1593 Church of Sweden officially endorses the Augsburg confession


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Places Results

1555

Anglicans

RADICALS

Anabaptists/

Spiritualists

Reformed

Schmalkalden

Lutherans

Catholic

Manresa


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Denominations from the Reformation

(Prussia, Brandenburg, Württemberg

Scandinavia, Iceland)


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Politics

1512

Due to disunity in the church

(several papal claimants) and

power struggles between

emperor and dukes, the Holy

Roman Empire was in great

need of reform.

In 1495 emperor and dukes

agreed on organizing

Imperial Circles, i.e. regional

groupings of territories

within the Empire, primarily

for the purpose of organizing

a common defensive

structure and of collecting

the imperial taxes.


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Circumstances

Abuses and failings

• Papacy – epitome of corruption; popular Latin pun played on Roma as an acronym for the

proverb Radix omnium malorum avaritia: “avarice (greed) is the root of all evil.”

• Bishops – absenteeism; pluralism (holding several offices); nepotism;

simony (selling church offices)

• Secular clergy – indistinguishable life style; cf. John Colet (English humanist 1466–1519):

They give themselves to feasting and banqueting; spend themselves in vain babbling, take

part in sports and plays, devote themselves to hunting and hawking; are drowned in the

delights of this world; patronize those who cater for their pleasure … mixed up and

confused with the laity, they lead, under a priestly exterior, the mere life of a layman.

• Regular Clergy (monastics) – somewhat more disciplined, but also known for

corruption and scandals

Printing Press

• Revolution in communication

• Contributed decisively to the fact that in the 15 th century abuses and failings of the

Church became more noticeable, more openly discussed, and more deeply resented

by a wider spectrum of people.


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Printing

1455

Gutenberg

Printing Press

Replica at

Gutenberg

Museum

in Mainz


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Circumstances

Printing Press

Abuses and failings

Official Church reforms

Gregorian reform 12 th century, papal actions (Gregory VII 1073-85) for clerical celibacy for the

purpose of moral integrity and independence of the clergy

Conciliar reform efforts, 14 th century : Pisa 1409, Constance 1414-18 – end the crisis of leadership

and reunite the Church

Fifth Lateran Council in 1512, Opening address by Egidio da Viterbo: The Church needs to turn back

to “its old purity, its ancient brilliance, its original splendor, and its own sources,” … “celestial

and human things … crave renewal”

Rising Lay people’s awareness

Christian Humanists: Desiderius Erasmus, John Colet (English humanist 1466–1519), Thomas More

Devotio Moderna (rekindling pious practices, inner devotion, education of laity)

Level of education among lay people

Anticlericalism


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Precursors

Printing Press

Abuses and failings

Official Church reforms

Rising Lay people’s awareness

Forerunners

Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) & Franciscans: emphasis on poverty, penance and prayer, preaching the

gospel, and caring for the sick and poor; introduction of nativity scene.

Peter Waldo, French merchant from Lyon (c. 1140 – c. 1218): Simplicity, voluntary poverty, strict

adherence to Bible, first translation of NT into vernacular; critique of Papal excesses, purgatory and

transubstantiation. Waldensians were persecuted all over Europe during the 12th, 13th, and 14th

centuries

John Wyclif (d. 1384) and the Lollards: Supreme authority of Scripture; no worldly authority for

clergymen

Jan Hus (killed in Constance, 1415) and the Hussites: No foreign overlordship or Roman jurisdiction in

Bohemia

Girolamo Savonarola (1452–1498), Italian Dominican friar, Scholastic, and influential contributor to the

politics of Florence; executed in 1498. Overflowing attendance at his Mass and sermons;

destruction of immoral art; preached vehemently against the moral corruption of much of the

clergy at the time.


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Precursors

Printing Press

Abuses and failings

Official Church reforms

Rising Lay people’s awareness

Forerunners

Crisis of Authority within the Church

Emergence of distinct theological schools, Paris

Varieties of methods of interpretation (via antiqua and via moderna)

Institutional Crisis: Avignon Papacy (1309 to 1376), Western (Great) Schism (1378-1417)


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Avignon Papacy

1309 – 1376

The Western

(Great) Schism

• rival popes

1377 – 1417

• three popes

1409 – 1415


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Papal residence in Avignon

1309 to 1376 and in rivalry

with pope in Rome 1376 to 1418


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Martin Luther

1517

95 Thesis

1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ,

when He said Poenitentiam agite

[Do penance], willed that the whole

life of believers should be

repentance.

2. This word cannot be understood to

mean sacramental penance, i.e.,

confession and satisfaction, which

is administered by the priests.

3. Yet it means not inward repentance

only; nay, there is no inward

repentance which does not

outwardly work diverse

mortifications of the flesh.

4. The penalty [of sin], therefore,

continues so long as hatred of self

continues; for this is the true

inward repentance, and continues

until our entrance into the kingdom

of heaven.

5. ….


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Diet of

Worms

(1521)

“Here I stand ...”


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

3 Journeys of the Reformer

outside of Saxony

1529

1521

1530

Journey to Rome


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531)

Reformer from Zürich, Switzerland

From the beginning there were several centers of protest against

Rome.

Luther was the prophet rather than the leader of the Reformation.

Zwingli, a politician and soldier, well acquainted with the writings

of Erasmus, seemed for a time to take on the role of leader.

1531 Zwingli was killed in combat in Kappel.

Zwingli took a similar stance as Luther on several issues:

1) Scripture is the sole basis of truth

2) The power of popes and councils is illusory

3) Christian liberty of conscience is not constrained by petty

rules, such as “no meat before Easter” (the meal of

sausages, 1522

Huldrych Zwingli

Eucharist: Zwingli replaced the mass with a simple service

emphasizing preaching, and communion celebrated more as a

"spiritual" reception of Christ, and paved the way for the Calvinists.

Images: In 1524 Zwingli supported the proactive removal of images

from churches and paved the way, to some degree, for the Radicals.


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

William Farel (1489 – 1565), Jean Calvin (1509 – 1564), Theodore Beza (1519 – 1605), John Knox (c.1513 – 1572)


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Reformation Wall in Geneva. POST TENEBRAS LUX. To the left of the central statues are 3 m-tall statues of:

William the Silent (1533 – 1584), Gaspard de Coligny (1519 – 1572), Frederick William of Brandenburg (1620 – 1688).


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Reformation Wall in Geneva. POST TENEBRAS LUX. To the right of the central statues are 3 m-tall statues of:

Roger Williams (1603 – 1684), Oliver Cromwell (1599 – 1657), Stephen Bocskay (1557 – 1607)


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Protestantism

in France

The Huguenots


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

The Radical Reformation

Common characteristics

• Reaction against Magisterial Lutheran and Reformed Protestantism.

The Church is the community of believers, no distinction of “Church visible” from “Church invisible.”

• Rejection of church authority. All believers are equal.

• No affiliation between Church and Government. A true church is always subject to be persecuted, the merger

of Church and Empire in the 3 rd century marked the end of pure Christianity.

Variations

Andreas Karlstadt Thomas Müntzer Caspar Schwenkfeld Sebastian Franck Konrad Grebel

Iconoclasm

social activism

“inner word” (enthusiasts)

against “dead letter” of

scripture

and the imminent end of

the world.

tolerance and freedom of

conscience

spiritualist

Anabaptists

absolute pacifists,

community of goods,

separatist communities

Rejects infant baptism

Amish, Brethren,

Mennonites

Andreas Karlstadt

Konrad Grebel


Radical Reformation Concepts

• Righteousness and Sin

• Sacred and profane

• Salvation through suffering

The ethicization of faith

• Eucharist

• Baptism

The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

The Radical Reformation

Common characteristics

Variations

No middle ground

The reformation era is marked by impassioned and embittered disagreements. There is no third choice:

• Either faith or actions

• Either elect or damned

• Either light or darkness

• Either Christ or Belial

• Either The Kingdom of Christ or the Kingdom of the Antichrist

No more hierarchy in the Church

• Anticlericalism – abuse of spiritual power for secular purposes, neglect of spiritual duties, decadent lifestyle,

sexual excess, greed, and simony. Laymen instead of Priests.

The Problem of Spiritual authority – end of exclusive monopoly of the clergy to authentically interpret the

Scriptures, spiritual interpretation by all

• Personalization of religious practice – reading the Scriptures by oneself, actively offering oneself to the Holy

Spirit and living one's life according to God's will

• Anti-intellectualism – “Gelehrten den Verkehrten”


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Siege of Münster


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

The Anabaptist Martyr Dirk Willems

The Anabaptist Dirk Willems was caught, tried

and convicted as an Anabaptist in those later

years of harsh Spanish rule under the Duke of

Alva in The Netherlands. He escaped from a

residential palace turned into a prison by letting

himself out of a window with a rope made of

knotted rags, dropping onto the ice that covered

the castle moat.

Seeing him escape, a palace guard pursued him as

he fled. Dirk crossed the thin ice of a pond, the

“Hondegat,” safely. His own weight had been

reduced by short prison rations, but the heavier

pursuer broke through.

Hearing the guard’s cries for help, Dirk turned

back and rescued him. The less-than-grateful

guard then seized Dirk and led him back to

captivity. This time the authorities threw him into

a more secure prison, a small, heavily barred

room at the top of a very tall church tower, above

the bell, where he was probably locked into the

wooden leg stocks that remain in place today.

Soon he was led out to be burned to death.

Some inhabitants of present-day Asperen, none

of them Mennonite, regard Dirk as a folk hero. A

Christian, so compassionate that he risked

recapture in order to save the life of his drowning

pursuer, stimulates respect and memory.


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Cardinal T Wolsey

Thomas Moore

Catherine of Aragon

1 st wife

English Reformation

Henry VIII

Archbishop T Cranmer

Jane Seymour

3 rd wife

Thomas Cromwell

Anne Boleyn

2 nd wife

Mary Tudor Edward IV Elizabeth I


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Edward VI and

the Pope: An

Allegory of the

Reformation.

National Portrait

Gallery, London.

Handing over of power from Henry VIII to his son Edward VI.

Henry lies in bed, and

Edward sits on a dais

beneath a cloth of

state, with a book at

his feet containing a

text from Isaiah, which

falls onto the slumped

figure of a pope.

The pope points a

triple cross towards

two monks, lower left,

who pull on chains

attached to Edward's

dais.

Inscribed on open book, centre left: THE WORDE OF THE LORD

ENDURETH FOR EVER; on ribbons of pope's tiara: IDOLATRY AND

SUPERSTICION;

On pope's chest: ALL FLESHE IS GRASSE;

Lower left: POPS and "FEYNED HOLINE[SS.

At top right is a picture of iconoclasm, the

smashing of idols, an activity approved of by

the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas

Cranmer (in white).


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Catholic Reformation – A new Enthusiasm

A) Innermost Conversion to Christ

Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582)

Christ has no body but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

Compassion on this world.

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,

Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands,

yours are the feet,

Yours are the eyes,

you are his body.

John of the Cross (1542 –1591)

Christ has no body now but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

compassion on this world.

The mystical journey of the soul until it

reaches its union with God.

Spiritual Canticle; The dark night of the soul

Let nothing disturb you,

nothing frighten you.

All thing are passing.

God never changes.

Patient endurance

attains to all things.

Who God possesses

in nothing is wanting.

God alone suffices.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Catholic Reformation – A new

Enthusiasm

A) Inner conversion to Christ

B) Active spirituality

Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises

• Daily meditations and contemplations on the nature of the world, of

human psychology and of man's relationship to God through Jesus Christ.

• Four weeks with four major themes: sin, the life of Jesus, the Passion of

Jesus and the Resurrection of Jesus.

• To achieve “discernment” (discretio), the ability to discern between good

and evil spirits.

Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556)

C) Revival of Marian piety


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

D) The Council of Trent

Church reforms

• Education for parish priests, diocesan seminaries,

moral teachings

• New spiritual movements focusing on devotional life

and a personal relationship with Christ

• Reform of religious orders, worship, the law of the

church and the government of the Holy See

• Simony, including the preaching of some indulgences,

was uprooted

• Purge of the papal court by Paul IV, quasi-monastic

air in the Vatican

• Religious imagery

The decree confirmed that images only represented

the person depicted, and that veneration was paid to

the person itself, not the image, and further

instructed that:

...every superstition shall be removed ... all

lasciviousness be avoided; in such wise that

• figures shall not be painted or adorned with a

beauty exciting to lust...

• there be nothing seen that is disorderly, or that is

unbecomingly or confusedly arranged,

• nothing that is profane, nothing indecorous, seeing

that holiness becometh the house of God. …

• no one be allowed to place any unusual image, in

any place, or church, except if approved of by the

bishop


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Major

geographical

divisions

Reformation

and Counter

Reformation

in Europe

1517-1648

1555

Protestant lands:

Catholic lands:


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Major

geographical

divisions

Reformation

and Counter

Reformation

in Europe

1517-1648

1648

Protestant lands:

(“losses” due to the

Counter Reformation)

Catholic lands:


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Major features of Reformation theology

Sola Gratia, Sola Fide

• no works-righteousness

• no freedom of will

• no capacity to influence God’s judgment

• predestination (Calvin’s logical conclusion):

Scripture, then, clearly shows that God once established by His eternal and unchangeable

plan those whom He long before determined once and for all to receive into salvation; and

those whom, on the other hand, he would devote to destruction. (Institutes of the Christian

Religion, III, 21.7)

Sola Scriptura – ecclesiastical implications

all clergy are ministers (servants) of the Word and the community, not priests who mediate

salvation to a subservient laity. Instead, clerical authority is derived from the laity.

Martin Luther:

Now we who have been baptized are all uniformly priests in virtue of that very fact. The only

addition received by the priests is the office of preaching, and even this with our consent. (The

Babylonian Captivity of the Church)


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Major features of Reformation theology

Sola Gratia, Sola Fide

Sola Scriptura – ecclesiastical implications

Spirit and Matter (worship, sacraments)

• Luther – in favor of a sacramentally centered faith, real presence, but spiritualized

interpretation of ritual, reduced sacraments from 7 to 2 (baptism and Eucharist).

• Zwingli – “the divine cannot be conveyed through finite matter” (finitum non est capax

infiniti)

• Calvin – “Whatever holds down and confines the senses to the earth is contrary to the

covenant of God; in which, inviting us to Himself, He permits us to think of nothing but

what is spiritual.”

• Sebastian Frank – spiritualist who argued that ritual was unnecessary altogether:

“Why should God wish to restore the outworn sacraments and take them back from the

Antichrist [the Pope], yea, and contrary to his nature (which is Spirit and inward), yield to

weak material elements?” (Letter to John Campanus).

He called the Bible “the paper pope”.


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Major features of Reformation theology

Sola Gratia, Sola Fide

Sola Scriptura – ecclesiastical implications

Spirit and Matter (worship, sacraments)

Word and Spirit

Luther emphasized the objective external Word in his conflict with the spiritual radicals. There is

no inner independent light, but the Spirit comes to us through the external word.

In 1539, commenting on Psalm 119, Luther wrote: “In this psalm David always says that he will

speak, think, talk, hear, read, day and night constantly—but about nothing else than God’s

Word and Commandments. For God wants to give you His Spirit only through the external

Word.”

Calvin emphasized instead that Word and Spirit are united. “The Word will not find acceptance in

men’s hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit (interiore Spiritus

testimonio).”

Word and Spirit are intimately related, but the Spirit can work without the Word.

The Spirit is not an independent inner light, but it is the Spirit who illumines the Word.


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Major features of Reformation theology

Sola Gratia, Sola Fide

Sola Scriptura – ecclesiastical implications

Spirit and Matter (worship, sacraments)

Word and Spirit

The incarnate Logos

Luther = Christ for us;

Calvin = Christ in us (1 Tim 2:5)

The Spirit calls him [that is, Jesus Christ] man, thus teaching us that he is near us,

indeed touches us, since he is our flesh” (Inst. II.12.1).

Luther = unity of divinity and humanity in the person of Christ

Calvin = the divinity of Christ could not be contained in his humanity

“Even if the Word in his immeasurable essence united with the nature of man into one person, we do

not imagine that he is confined therein. Here is something marvelous - the Son of God descended

from heaven in such a way that without leaving heaven he willed to be born in a virgin's womb, to go

about earth and to hang upon the cross; yet he continuously filled the world, even as he had done

from the beginning.” (Inst. II.13.4)


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Major features of Reformation theology

The function and role of the law

One major concern is how to understand Romans 10:4: “For Christ is the telos of the law.”

Telos can mean: end, completion, fulfillment

Luther = Christ is the ‘end’ of the law. The Law is a threat, the Gospel is a gift.

Human effort, good works, and the curse and wrath of God are represented in the law.

The law is a hammer that beats us down and drives us to Christ.

The gospel, on the contrary, is sheer grace, a freely offered gift, to be accepted by trust and faith.

Calvin = The law in all its parts is christocentric. Christ is the completion or fulfillment.

“This remarkable passage declares that the law in all its parts has reference to Christ, and therefore

no one will be able to understand it correctly who does not constantly strive to attain this mark.”

Law and Gospel are gracious gifts from God,

• not a burden but a joy, not a restriction but an aid

• not a means for attaining righteousness, but a guide for people already redeemed

The Word of God gives and commands. It frees us by his promises and makes a total claim upon us through

his commands.

Calvin stressed (like Luther) that faith is grounded exclusively in God's gracious promises in the gospel, but

he was equally emphatic that we are not only saved by Christ, but that by faith we live in him. He is our

Justification AND our Sanctification

Luther = stress on being saved from something.

Calvin = stress on being saved for something.


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Major features of Reformation theology

The function and role of the law

The three uses of the law

The Book of Concord (Lutheran), 1577

The Lutheran view of the law was adjusted in the Book of Concord to comply more with the Reformed view.

Article VI states: “[T]he Law was given to men for three reasons. . .”

1. that “thereby outward discipline might be maintained against wild, disobedient men [and that wild and

intractable men might be restrained, as though by certain bars]”

2. that “men thereby may be led to the knowledge of their sins”

3. that “after they are regenerate. . .they might. . .have a fixed rule according to which they are to regulate and

direct their whole life”

Institutes of the Christian Religion (Calvin), 1536

“That the whole matter may be made clearer, let us take a succinct view of the office and use of the Moral Law.

Now this office and use seems to me to consist of three parts.”

1. By “exhibiting the righteousness of God, — in other words, the righteousness which alone is acceptable to

God, — it admonishes every one of his own unrighteousness, deteriorates, convicts, and finally condemns

him.”

2. It acts “by means of its fearful denunciations and the consequent dread of punishment, to curb those who,

unless forced, have no regard for rectitude and justice.”

3. “The third use of the Law. . .has respect to believers in whose hearts the Spirit of God already flourishes and

reigns. ... For it is the best instrument for enabling them daily to learn with greater truth and certainty what

that will of the Lord is which they aspire to follow, and to confirm them in this knowledge...”


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Distinctive features of Calvin’s theology

Double Predestination

The Word of God is an electing and rejecting word”

How is it possible that when people hear the gospel, one accepts it and another rejects it?

Calvin’s answer

• For some the Word remains external and thereby ineffectual.

• For others, the outer call to repentance and faith is accompanied by the inner call and

witness of the Holy Spirit.

Calvin’s conclusion

From eternity God elects some to salvation and rejects others to damnation.

This is the so-called doctrine of double predestination, which appears already in Calvin's first

catechism of 1538.


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

Distinctive features of Calvin’s theology

Double Predestination

TULIP

Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original [superlapsian] Sin)

Unconditional Election

Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)

Irresistible Grace

Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)


The Reformation

CH1000 – Introduction to Church History, Dieter Mitternacht

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