Protestant Reformation: John Calvin • Calvin’s life and theology. • Calvin’s Necessity of Reforming the Church • Late Medieval Catholicism & Protestantism compared • Historical consequences of Reformation.
John Calvin (1509-1564) • Swiss Reformer—organizational mind of the Reformation • Worked in Geneva • Humanist background • Institutes of the Christian religion • Sovereignty of God • ‘double predestination’ • Reformed Churches in Europe & Presbyterians in America
Necessity of Reforming the Church • Two principal points of Christianity (p.3). • Calvin’s criterion for distinguishing between man-made and legitimate worship of God. (p.4) • Problems with church’s practices (pp. 4-6, 8-11). • Three stages of salvation (p. 6). • Remedies. (13-18)
Problems: • Veneration of: • the saints (prayers for their intercession) • Relics • icons and statues • Worship • Long services; preoccupation with externals • Unintelligible because complicated & in Latin • Clergy • Uneducated • Abuse power
MEDIEVAL CATHOLICISM PROTESTANTISM (16th c.) SALVATION Offered through the church By grace alone through faith alone Focus on penance & Eucharist Focus on personal faith Purgatory & indulgencies Rejected p. & i. Growth in God’s love Trust in God’s mercy SOURCES OF AUTHORITY Scripture & Tradition Scripture alone External: church hierarchy Internal: individual conscience
PIETY Veneration of saints, relics Christocentric: Christ alone Flourishing church art iconoclasm (image-breaking) Elaborate worship services Simplicity in worship EDUCATION Highly educated clerical minority Educated laity, catechisms Philosophy is handmaid of theology Philosophy under suspicion Rationalism, scholasticism Anti-rationalism, anti-scholasticism Bible in Latin only Bible in vernacular languages
Historical Consequences of the Reformation • Breakdown of church authority: from one Church to many denominations • Religious wars • Turning towards the Bible & individual believer • Correction of some Medieval abuses
Swiss Reformer • Worked in Zurich • Opposed practices not supported by Scripture • Denied ‘real presence’ of the Body & Blood of Christ in the Eucharist • Defended congregational model (no bishops) which is the basis for modern Baptist, Disciples of Christ and other ‘independent’ denominations Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531)