18. The Anglican Reform: The Middle way?

The English Crown’s Response to Lutheranism By 1521 Luther’s ideas had begun to influence the English universities. In reaction to growing support for Luther’s call for reform Henry VIII (1491–1547) wrote the Defence of the Seven Sacraments, wherein he repudiated Luther’s Evangelical doctrine and outlined a cause for Papal supremacy of the Church. “For it is as easy for the Ethiopian to change his colour, or the Leopard his spots,” Henry wrote, “as for Luther to be converted by teaching.” (Def. of Sac, 450). As it would turn out constancy or consistency would not be hallmarks of Henry VIII’s own life and beliefs. Pope Leo X bestowed the title ‘Defender of the Faith’ (FD) on Henry VIII for hi

17. The Council of Trent and the Counter Reformation

Catholic Diversity in the Medieval Era It is important to remember that Roman Catholic theology had many various views and different schools of theology in the Medieval era. Differences of opinion existed on such questions as the Canon of Scripture, the nature of Justification, and role of the Papacy. Martin Luther did not set out to start a new church but to reform the Roman Catholic Church to which he belonged. When Luther published his 95 Theses he did so in the understanding that he was presenting true Catholic teaching. The Crisis of the Reformation for the Western Church In 1522, less than 2 years after Luther’s excommunication, the German princes met at Nuremberg and called for a coun

16. Cyril Lucaris: The Patriarch who tried to Reform the Eastern Church

Responses within Eastern Orthodoxy to the Reformation Lutheran theologian Philip Melanchthon (d. 1560), had not just the Reformation of the Church but also its reunion much at heart. In hopes of starting ecumenical dialogue with the Eastern Orthodox Church he sent a copy of the Augsburg Confession to Patriarch Joasaph II of Constantinople, but without effect or reply. Some years later (1576-1581) Eastern Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias II and Lutheran Scholars at Tübingen corresponded over the theological issues at stake in the Reformation. In Eastern Orthodox Dogmatics at this time justification was not by faith alone, works were essential to justification. Justification was not seen

15. Luther and the Reformation

The Justice of God Philip Bocht Ó hÚigínn, an Irish Franciscan theologian and poet (d.1487), summed up the late Medieval consensus on the dread of God’s justice. His work Tuar feirge foighide Dé, translates as God’s Patience is an Omen of Wrath. “God’s patience is an omen of wrath, be prepared for the testimony; His displeasure with every man is increasing, so that in the end He will not show mercy. Slow anger is the worst, its significance gives grounds for fear; not to have submitted to His will come against them; sin cannot go unpunished. The gentleness with which he treats us is like the sunshine before a great flood; its beginning is not to be praised; God will yet pursue the offenses.

14. Attempting Reformation: Jan Hus

The Church. Where can it be found? The Great Papal Schism (1378–1417) caused many to question where the true church could be found. Papal corruption was too much for many Catholic clergy to put up with anymore. The Italian scholar and poet Petrarch worked in the Papal court in Avignon and was disgusted by what he saw. He described the Avignon papacy as “a living hell” and the new Babylon. “Send back Nero I pray!” For Catholics like Petrarch the Church had become a place “to which Judas will be admitted if he brings with him his thirty pieces of blood money while Christ the pauper will be turned away from the gate… Though truth has always been hated, it is now a capital crime” (Petrarch: 106,

13. Attempting Reformation: John Wycliffe

The State of the Church circa 1415 One hundred years before the Reformation the western church was in dire need of reform. There were several major political and theological problems plaguing the Western Church. The East-West Schism that began in 1054 continued despite failed attempts at re-union. A major stumbling block in East-West relations was the increase in claims of Papal power. In 1302 Pope Boniface VIII declared in a decree called Unum Sanctum (i.e ‘the one holy’) that human salvation depended on obedience to the Roman Pope. Boniface’s drawn-out feuds with King Philip IV of France was an embarrassing fiasco (lo schiaffo di anagni) that created a growing sense of disillusionment amon

12. Limerick and Canterbury: Church and Atonement

Viking Raids in Ireland Viking raids in Ireland began c. AD 795 at the island of Lambay (Dublin Bay). Viking success in Northern France resulted in the kingdom of Normandy. Vikings began Ireland’s first cities (Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, and Limerick). These pagans from the North soon became more Irish than the Irish themselves, adopting the language and religion of the Irish overtime. The annals record the death of Ivar, Viking king of Dublin, in 872 by noting that “he rested in Christ”. The Norse in Ireland had adopted the religion of their enemies. Together but Separate A Viking church in Ireland presented a problem for the Irish church since the urban Vikings were at war with the

11. The Crusades

The Rise of Islam Beginning in the seventh century Islamic conquests took over Arabia, Persia, Palestine, North Africa, Spain and modern-day Turkey. In 732 a Muslim army from Spain was defeated by Charles Martel of the Franks, his grandson son was Charlemagne. Large swaths of the predominantly Christian Roman Empire were now under Muslim rule. Islamic tolerance towards Christians and Jews varied from ruler to ruler, but certainly reached a low point under Al-Hakim (d.1021, the sixth Fatimid Caliph). He ordered all dogs in Cairo killed, outlawed grapes, chess, and forced Christians to wear heavy crosses around their necks in public. The confiscation of all Christian churches followed, culmina

10. The Great Schism of 1054 and the Mother of All Heresies

The Mother of All Heresies The fourth century Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom remarked in his commentary on Galatians that “… the desire to rule is the mother of heresies …” (NPNF1 13:40). The Great Schism of 1054 cannot be fully understood without addressing the question of primacy in the church. The Path to Schism By the sixth century there were two emerging models of church government. The first was the model of Papal Primacy. In this model the Bishop of Rome, as successor of Peter, was regarded as head of the universal church’s government and doctrine. The highest arbitrator of dogma was held to be the Pope. This approach – unsurprisingly - was largely a Western one. A diffe

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