1. It is a way of life, embodied in a corporate society or fellowship centered on the worship of One God revealed to the world through Jesus Nazareth.
a. Jesus lived as a human being for about thirty years and was crucified by the Romans at Jerusalem between AD 29 and 33.
b. Based on the testimony of contemporary witnesses of that time: Christians believe that he rose from the dead after three days and was seen on numerous occasions during the next forty days.
2. Jesus of Nazareth was believed to be the Christ (i.e. the Messiah, the anointed deliver promised to the Jews in the Old Testament.
a. It was built upon the revelation of One God given to the Jews, but within one generation Christianity had made a tremendous appeal to the non-Jewish or Gentile world of the Hellenized Empire of Rome.
b. The Greek language and Greek thought forms became a part of the new Christian gospel (euangelion - good news) from Saint Paul onward.
3. The Universe and Time:
a. Plato and Aristotle had taught that the time process in unending, each human civilization being succeeded by another.
b. Stoicism, the most popular philosophy of the 1st Century, AD, taught that the universe formed out of the divine fire would be dissolved, after running its course, into the divine fire again, to be succeeded over and over again throughout all eternity.
c. Judaism: taught that this universe is the creation of the One True God, who has throughout its history has shown his power (and intervention) through a series of mighty acts which will lead to the "day of the Lord".
o A day when evil will be conquered an a new dawn, in which God will reign as king of peace and righteousness.
4. This idea of a final goal of history, of a purpose in creation, of redemption from evil and of salvation for the individual was easy to accept by those who were familiar with the many mystery religions and cults of the Hellenistic world.
5. Christianity was a new way of life.
a. It made moral demands upon individuals, but it also filled them with a new divine power (i.e. the Holy Spirit).
b. Christians were promised a new quality (or existence) of being - "eternal life", which began now and continued into the next world.
The Origins of Christianity
1. Both Jesus and his disciples who followed him in his early ministry in Galilee and Judea were all Jews by race and religion.
o They attended the synagogue, visited the Temple in Jerusalem, kept the Jewish feast of the Passover and other great festivals.
2. Jesus' claim to be the Messiah (i.e. Christos, the anointed, the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew Messiah) would not have caused a great deal of surprise among his contemporaries -- there was a general expectation of the coming of a Messiah who would free the Jews from Roman Rule and establish the Kingdom of God (the Day of the Lord - i.e. Isaiah) on earth.
3. Jesus identified himself with the "Suffering Servant" as the Messiah.
a. This identification saw its culmination by Jesus' crucifixion on Calvary.
b. This attitude mystified his disciples and caused the Jewish People to reject him as a true Messiah.
4. The origin of the Christian Church can not be primarily found in the teachings of Jesus, but is found in the resurrection and glorification of Jesus on Easter Day.
a. The historian can neither prove nor disprove the events of the First Easter which are recorded in all of the Four Gospels.
b. The issue is not whether one agrees or disagrees with the Gospels, the point is something happened that resulted in a new religious faith.
c. "Resurrection Faith" - the new faith was based on the idea of hope of the "imminent second coming of the Lord".
5. The Spread of the Gospel
a. By the First Century AD, as a result of the Diaspora, many Jewish colonies existed outside of Palestine especially in larger towns.
i.e. Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, Rome, Carthage, and Alexandria.
b. It was through the synagogues of the Diaspora that Christianity first spread and came in contact with the Gentile (non-Jewish) World.
c. From Antioch, where the term Christian was first used (in derision), Paul took the gospel to Jewish Centers in Asia Minor and Greece -- ultimately he went to Rome where by tradition he was martyred with Peter (ca. AD 64).
d. Result: both Gentile and Jewish Converts were made, and by the end of the First Century AD Christian Communities (Churches) were established all around the Mediterranean.
e. By the Second Century: Christianity had spread to Egypt, North Africa, and Gaul.
Organization and Worship of the Early Church
1. The word Church (ecclesia) means an assembly of the people -- it is used in the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament to translate the Hebrew word for the assembly, congregation or people of God.
a. In the New Testament it usually means the whole body of Christians, but the same word is used to refer to local Christian Congregations.
i.e. the Church in Antioch or at Corinth.
b. To Paul, there is only one Church which has many members.
"In one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free." (I Corinthians XVI: 19).
i.e. The members of the one Church which is "the Body of Christ".
2. Christianity arose (or emerged) out of Judaism -- Paul also attended the synagogues in the cities of the Diaspora.
3. It was a natural process for the Early Church to model its organization on that of the synagogue which was directed by a local body of elders.
a. The presbuteroi: (presbyters, or elders) of the Church in Jerusalem are mentioned along with the apostles as its leaders.
b. In the Gentile World Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in every Church of their first missionary journey.
i.e. the office was not confined to the Jewish-Christian Church in Jerusalem.
c. In his letters to these Churches Paul subsequently referred to elders as bishops (episcopoi), so that in the Gentile Churches the terms were interchangeable.
4. The Role of Bishops
a. The term episkopos (bishop) denotes a personal function of superintendence or oversight which was evidently exercised by one of the college of presbyters in a Church.
b. Ignatius (d. ca. AD 117): in his Epistle to the Trallians, he wrote:
"When you are in subjection to the bishop as Jesus Christ... it is necessary that you should do nothing without the bishop, but be ye also in subjection to the presbytery. Likewise let all respect the deacons as Jesus Christ, even as the bishop is also a type of Father, and the Presbyters as the council of God, and the college of Apostles."
o A three-fold ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons is clearly envisaged.
o The deaconate was an entirely new office, not derived from the synagogue.
c. The Didache, an early Christian manual, compiled before AD 100 speaks of apostles and prophets (sometimes using the terms interchangeably) and gives detailed directions for distinguishing between true and false prophets.
o It also gives an instruction to "appoint for yourselves bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord."
d. Apostolic Succession: scholars in the episcopal tradition see the origin of the episcopate in the appointment of local bishops as direct successors of the apostles.
1. It originally meant a guarantee of the genuine tradition of the doctrine and teaching of the apostles, handed down through a verifiable series of men, in contrast to un-apostolic heretical teachings.
2. It eventually came to mean apostolic authority to ordain, sacra mentally transmitted through an uninterrupted series of the "laying on of hands".
e. Scholars in the Presbyterian and allied traditions have regarded every presbyter as a bishop on the grounds that Paul uses the terms interchangeably in his letters to the Gentile Churches.
a. Originally - Bishops could not be consecrated until their predecessors were dead.
1. Irenaeus was probably chosen and consecrated by his fellow-presbyters at Lyons, in the same way as the bishops of Alexandria were down to the fourth century.
2. In Milan and Carthage, the bishop was elected by the people and consecrated by three bishops from neighboring communities.
b. By the middle of the second century, the function (or authority) of consecration was exercised universally by the bishop.
6. Baptism and Circumcision
a. Membership of the Jewish faith was by virtue of birth and all males had to be circumcised at eight days of age.
b. When Gentiles adopted Judaism they were first baptized (since Gentiles were regarded as being in a state of ritual impurity), and then circumcised.
c. Jesus commanded his disciples to "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Ghost (Mat. XXVIII:19).
d. Baptism was regarded by Paul as the Christian Circumcision, and the comparison of baptism with circumcision (i.e. initiation into the Convenant with God) is frequent in the literature of Early Church Fathers.
o Instruction in the faith was required before a candidate for baptism could be accepted.
e. The Didache, prior to AD 100 -- ordered baptism in water in the name of the Trinity.
1. Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus (ca. 215) - the Church had evolved a full baptismal liturgy.
2. It included the washing away of sin (symbolically) in water, anointing with oil blessed by the bishop, and first communion.
3. The normal time for baptism was on Easter Eve, followed by first communion on Easter Day.
7. The Sabbath
a. The Christian Church inherited from Judaism the seven day week culminating in the observance of Saturday as "the Sabbath", which was for the Jew a day of rest from all work.
b. Willy Rordorf, a Swiss scholar, published (1968) an important study entitled Sunday.
1. He maintained that the early Christians regarded the duty of Sabbath observance as including the whole span of life.
2. Sunday (the first day of the week) replaced the Sabbath as a day of worship from the very beginning, and that "right down to the 4th Century the idea of rest played no part in the Christian Sunday.
c. Sunday was observed as a day of worship being a weekly commemoration of Easter, the day of resurrection.
1. Christians could not observe it as a day of rest until the Emperor Constantine decreed it as such in 321.
2. Early Christians did not abandon the Sabbath (Saturday) -- both were kept as festivals marked by the celebration of the Eucharist.
8. The Eucharist
a. The origin of the Christian Eucharist lies in the Last Supper, at which Christ inaugurated the New Convenant in his blood on the night before his crucifixion.
b. By tradition (it has been disputed), the Last Supper took place during the Passover Season -- thus, the date of Easter is fixed on the Sunday following the Passover full moon.
c. The Eucharist came to be celebrated every Sunday as a weekly commemoration of the resurrection.
1. By the early 3rd Century a daily celebration of the Eucharist is attested to by Cyprian in North Africa.
2. Prior to this period, the Eucharist seems to have been celebrated only on Saturday and Sunday and on "station days", Wednesday and Friday which were fasting days.
* these days were reminiscent of the older Jewish fasts on Monday and Thursday.
d. There were also daily gatherings for prayer at dawn and at dusk, the times of the ancient Jewish temple sacrifices.
9. Daily Worship In the Early Church
a. The content of the daily and weekly worship of Christians was also modeled on that of the synagogue.
b. There were four main elements: prayer, singing of psalms (collectively), scripture readings, and a sermon or homily (on the Sabbath) based on scriptures that were read.
c. Greek was the liturgical language of Christians even at Rome until the 3rd Century.
d. The earliest surviving texts of the Eucharist (ca. 215) show the service consisted of the four elements derived from the synagogue.
1. The consecration of the bread and wine followed which were offered to God as a sacrificial memorial (anamnesis) of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary.
2. It was partaken (received) by the baptized members of the Church as the body and blood of Christ, appointed by Him at the Last Supper for communion with Him.
e. Asceticism found a place within Christianity from its very earliest beginnings.
1. Fasting, celibacy, and renunciation of earthly possessions was practiced by some Christians in their own homes before St. Anthony (ca. 285) adopted the life of a hermit in the desert of Egypt.
2. Other solitaries (ascetics) followed his example and for mutual protection lived in loosely organized groups of hermits (anchorites).
3. Ca. 320, Pachomius founded the first monastery for monks living under a regular rule at Tabennisi on the right bank of the Nile (coenobites).
4. Both forms of asceticism spread to the West.
o St. Basil (in 358-64) composed a monastic rule based on that of Pachomius which became the basis of the rule still followed by monks in the East.
o St. Benedict (6th Century) established the first Benedictine Monastery at Monte Cassino in Italy under a rule developed by him -- it became the basis of all subsequent forms of monasticism in the West.
5. Prayer was common to all of these rules:
o A regular cycle of prayer for the day and night was provided.
o Seven Canonical Hours were established and are contained in the Medieval Breviary of the Western Church.
Church and State
1. The Edict of Milan (Peace of Constantine) AD 312, issued by Constantine and Licinius provided religious toleration for the Christians.
o Christianity did not become the official religion of the Roman Empire until the Edict of Theodosius in 380.
2. In the Fourth Century the emperors' objective was to preserve the unity of the empire.
a. This attitude prompted imperial interference to maintain unity within the Church which was torn by heresy and schism.
b. Donatism in North Africa was an anti-Roman nationalistic movement among the Berbers of Numidia.
c. The Donatists claimed to be the true Church of the apostles and martyrs, and refused to have any dealings with the state.
d. Emperor Honorius in 412 declared the Donatists outlaws, but they survived this and the Vandal invasion of North Africa -- it was not until the 7th Century when Islam destroyed both the Donatists and Catholics.
3. The Nature of Christ: The Arian Controversy of the Fourth Century
a. It arose out of the question of the relation of God the Father to his Son, Jesus Christ.
b. Arius, an Alexandrian presbyter, maintained that the Son was a created being who did not eternally exist and was a sort of demi-god, subordinate to the Father.
4. Constantine summoned the first General Council of the Church at Nicaea in 325.
a. The purpose was to settle the dispute over Arianism and reunite the Church.
b. The Council condemned the teaching of Arius and produced a Creed that declared that the Son is of one substance with and co-eternal with the Father.
5. Theodosius I summoned the second General Council at Constantinople in 381.
a. It endorsed the emperor's definition (380) of Catholicism.
b. It also condemned Arianism and Apollinarianism (which had overstressed the divinity of Christ, in opposition to Arianism.
o The Council also reaffirmed the Nicene Creed.
6. Fifth Century: Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria.
o the controversy was over the two natures of Christ (divinity and humanity).
a. Nestorius over-emphasized the humanity of Christ, and so opposed the tradition description of Mary as Theotokos(mother of God).
b. He declared that Mary's proper title should be "Mother of Christ", since she was the mother of the human nature alone.
c. Rome sided with Cyril of Alexandria -- eventually the State was forced to intervene.
7. Theodosius II of the East and Valentinian III of the West summoned a third General Council of the Church at Ephesus in 431.
o It condemned Nestorianism, and Nestorius was exiled to the Egyptian desert in 435.
8. A further fifth-century dispute between the Patriarch of Alexandria (supported by Rome) and the Patriarch of Constantinople.
a. The conflict: that after the incarnation there was only one nature in Christ.
i.e. Monophysitism (one natureism).
b. This belief was condemned by the fourth General Council of the Church at Chalcedon in 451 (called by the Emperor Marcian).
c. The Catholic Church both in the East and the West accepted what is known as the Chalcedonian Definition of the Doctrine of the Trinity.
"It maintained that Jesus Christ is one person, the Divine World, in whom are two natures, the divine and human, permanently united before and after the incarnation, though unconfused and unmixed.
d. This statement of belief, together with other doctrinal definitions of the first four councils of the Church have ever-since been accepted by Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Christians.
9. A Monphysite or Jacobite Church (named after the Syrian monk Jacob Baradai, d. 578) broke away.
o today it has a Patriarch of Antioch and churches in Syria, Iraq, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Armenia, and Ethiopia.
The Church In the West:
1. The growth in power and influence of the see of Rome (sedes) between the second and fifth centuries was due primarily to the fact that Rome was the capital of the empire until it was transferred to Constantinople in AD 337.
a. The Petrine Doctrine: claims authority and jurisdiction over churches by virtue of being the successors of the Apostle Peter.
b. These claims were not always accepted by the ancient Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople.
c. In the West the jurisdiction of the see of Rome had been generally recognized by the time of Pope Leo (440-61).
o the first pope to be buried in St. Peter's in Rome.
2. The Church's organization was modeled on that of the Roman Empire.
a. There was, in every metropolis or chief city of Each Province, a superior magistrate over local magistrates of the cities within the province.
b. The Church: there was a bishop in the metropolis whose authority extended over other bishops in the province.
o he was known as a metropolitan or primate (archbishop).
3. Church Revenues
a. Church revenues were originally derived from the voluntary offerings of the faithful.
b. The Biblical precedent of the Tithe or First Fruit (from Deuteronomy XIV:22-26) was not exploited by the clergy until the 2nd half of the 6th Century in Merovingian Gaul.
c. From Constantine's time the property of the churches was first confined to places of worship and burial grounds.
o from this it grew rapidly -- even Constantine gave land and houses to the Church.
4. Impact of the 5th Century: Barbarian Invasions
a. In 410 Rome was sacked by the Visigoth chief, Alaric who was an Arian Christian.
b. Other Germanic Invaders (most of them non-Christian) crossed the Rhine into Gaul, Spain and North Africa.
c. The Franks alone, under Clovis, were the first to be converted to Christianity.
d. Prior to 410, Christianity had reached Britain from Gaul.
1. The ancient British (or Celtic) Church was driven westward into Wales, Cornwall and Ireland.
2. It was responsible for the reconversion of much of England after the Anglo-Saxon invasions, and northern Holland, southern Denmark and northwest Germany.
o This process continued through and beyond the Eighth Century.
5. The Holy Roman Empire
a. The coronation of Charlemagne by the Pope in Rome in 800 created the Holy Roman Empire -- it also led to conflicts between temporal and spiritual powers.
b. The Concordat of Worms: was a compromise of sorts.
1. 1122: Pope Calixtus II and Emperor Henry V settled the question of lay investiture.
2. The emperor surrendered to the Church all investiture of bishops with ring and staff (symbols of spiritual authority).
3. The pope granted Henry the right to invest a bishop with temporal possessions of his office by the touch of his royal scepter.
c. The struggle of lay investiture and papal supremacy in both spiritual and temporal matters continued throughout the Middle Ages.
d. Under Pope Innocent III, the papacy reached its height of power (1198-1216).
1. When King John of England resisted the pope's nomination of Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury, he placed England under an interdict.
i.e. the ending of the administration of all sacraments in England.
2. Innocent threatened Philip II of France with interdict, excommunicated John of England, and forced the Holy Roman emperor to pay homage to him.
3. The Fourth Lateran council in 1215 declared the doctrine of Transubstantiation to be an article of faith -- anyone denying it would be eternally damned.
4. Christians were also required to make a confession and receive communion at least once a year.
o The Church's power of excommunication and interdict must be viewed in the context of the people's belief that the only defense against the fiends (powers) that attack the soul when one dies was the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ.
6. Decline In Church Power (Temporal Influence)
a. Balance of Power was to shift -- by the time of the Reformation in the 16th Century, the Papacy had become a tool of the Holy Roman Empire.
b. Nationalism: a new identify and independence was arising in both England and France.
1. Both Edward I of England and Philip IV of France defied Pope Boniface VIII.
2. Unam Sanctam (1302) -- Boniface had asserted in this papal bull that temporal powers are subject to spiritual powers and that "it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.
3. Boniface was taken prisoner by Philip's mercenaries in Rome and died soon afterwards: the temporal power of the papacy was broken.
c. The Great Schism (1378-1417) a period when there were rival popes, one in Avignon (France) and the other in Rome.
1. A series of Church Councils followed culminating with the Council of Constance aimed at unifying and reforming the Church.
2. It united the Church, but any attempts at meaningful reform failed -- the way was paved for the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation.
7. Religion In Feudal Society (background of the Reformation)
a. The Medieval Western Church took for granted the existence of rich and poor and of different callings which were divinely appointed (the serf and the lord).
b. The Church attempted to achieve unity within Christendom that was centered on obedience to spiritual and temporal authority.
o the Crusades was one expression of this ideal.
c. Grace was believed to be obtained by acquiring merit in the sight of God by the performance of "good works".
d. Good Works included attendance at mass, paying for the saying of masses, going on pilgrimages, veneration of the saints, and doing penance.
e. A good deal of superstition was mixed with popular Christianity of the later Middle Ages and sixteenth - century reformers rejected the whole sacramental theology built on the theory of human merit.
1. The struggle over spiritual and temporal authority, along with the growing spirit of nationalism in England, France, Germany, and Bohemia led to anti-papalism and anti-clericalism in the late Middle Ages.
2. The failure of the General Church Councils of the 15th Century to reform the Church, the increasing financial drain of national treasuries by the Papal Curia, the decadence and worldliness of monasticism and the clergy - all contributed to the growing skepticism of the Church.
3. The Renaissance: Revival of Learning
a. The movement led to a new study of the scriptures, a new demand for intellectual freedom, and the right of private judgment (personal - individual).
b. The invention of the printing press was of paramount importance in the spread and general awareness of these ideas, issues, and criticisms.
4. Old Traditions Retained: (i.e. much of the traditional teachings and practices of the Pre-Reformation Church).
a. They kept the three main creeds derived from the General Councils of the 4th and 5th Centuries.
b. The belief in the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, the fall and original sin, the atonement brought by the death of Christ, his resurrection and ascension were all kept.
c. Protestants also retained the belief in the literal, infallible inspiration of the Old and New Testaments which were considered to be dictated by the Holy Spirit.
5. Chief Difference: Protestants and Catholics
a. Rejection of the Roman Church's claim to be the sole interpreter of the scriptures, and their refusal to give Church Tradition the same authority as scripture.
b. Protestants maintained that the Scriptures were the sole authority (even though individual opinion and interpretation varied among the reformers).
c. It was the Primitive Church that was to be the model and pattern for subsequent development and evolution of the Church.
Martin Luther (1483-1546): Salvation Through Faith
1. Through the study of the Bible (especially Paul's Epistle to the Romans), that Martin Luther came to the opinion that Man can not attain justification (a right relationship with God) by his own works. (i.e. the Catholic concept of "Good Works")
2. To Luther, it was only by faith in the sacrifice of Christ that was offered on the Cross that one could gain salvation.
a. By "faith" Luther did not mean just intellectual agreement (fides), but a rather child-like trust in the Redeemer.
b. Luther maintained that "Grace" is freely given by God, not earned by human merit or bought through a papal indulgence.
3. 1517: Ninety-five Theses, Luther challenged the Church's teaching on indulgences, and by his Appeal to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation (1520) - he denounced the financial demands of the Papacy.
a. He was excommunicated, and then outlawed by the Imperial Diet at Worms (Edict of Worms - 1521).
b. Luther was hidden in Wurtburg Castle by his patron and protector, the Elector Frederick of Saxony -- during this period he translated the Bible into German, and wrote many tracts that were circulated throughout Germany.
4. After his return to Wittenburg, many German Princes and cities accepted the evangelical teaching of Luther and allied themselves with the Elector of Saxony.
a. The Latin mass was abolished and replaced by Luther's German mass (1525).
b. Priests and monks began to marry (Luther himself marrying an ex-Cistercian nun, Katherine von Bora, in 1525).
5. Lutheranism had spread into Scandinavia, France, and England.
a. It never took serious hold in France, and its influence in England was dead after 1550 after which Zwingialism and Calvinism left more permanent influence.
b. In Sweden, where bishops were retained (in contrast to the "superintendents" set over the Land or State Churches in Germany) a truly National Lutheran Church developed.
6. After the Confession of Augsburg (1530) drafted by Philip Melanchton which marked the first break between Lutheran states and Rome and the death of Luther (1546), Lutheran theology developed on confessional lines into a new form of rigid-scholasticism.
1. A parallel movement of reform had been in progress at Zurich and other German Swiss cities.
2. Zwingli was educated in the humanist tradition, and lectured on the New Testament attacking fasting, clerical celibacy, and the mass.
3. Relics and images were removed from their Churches in July 1524 and religious houses were dissolved in December.
4. The mass was abolished by the town council of Zurich and was replaced by Zwingli's German Service of the Lord's Supper at Easter 1525.
5. Other Swiss towns formed themselves into a Civic Christian Alliance against those cantons which had remained loyal to Rome.
o Civil War broke out and Zwingli was killed at the Battle of Cappel (1531).
6. The Protestant Reformation in German Switzerland was accomplished by magistrates in town councils following the lead of local of reformers like Zwingli.
7. At the Colloquy of Marburg (1529) where Luther and Zwingli had met, an agreement was reached between them on fourteen articles of religion.
a. Agreement on a fifteenth article (dealing with the Eucharist) could not be reached.
b. Luther maintained his belief in the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine, while Zwingli regarded the words of Christ at the Last Supper, "This is my body" as purely symbolic.
John Calvin (1509-64) in Geneva
1. In French Switzerland, the Reformation had already started in Geneva under Guillaume Farel when John Calvin arrived in 1536.
o On his death-bed Calvin described the citizens of Geneva as a "perverse and ill-natured people."
2. Geneva was ruled by a council responsible to the general council of all citizens and there were factions and quarrels throughout Calvin's life.
3. His first attempt to gain control affairs in both the Church and State ended in failure and his departure to Strasbourg in 1538.
a. His departure was prompted when he and Farel refused to accept the Liturgy of Berne imposed by Geneva's Council without consultation.
b. He was the pastor of the French Congregation of Strasbourg -- where he was influenced and learned much from Martin Bucer (1491-1551).
c. Bucer -- emphasized the doctrine of predestination, a restoration of a fourfold ministry (i.e. New Testament) of pastors, teachers, elders and deacons.
d. Bucer also provided a vernacular congregational liturgy in French derived from the Latin mass.
4. Calvin had already published in 1535 the first edition of his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion in Latin.
o An enlarged second edition appeared in 1539 (the final edition in 1559) and a series of French editions from 1541.
5. On his return to Geneva, Calvin secured the adoption by the Council of his Ordinances Ecclesiastiques.
a. It established a Consistory of Pastors presided over by a lay magistrate, and the establishment of a liturgy adopted from the Strasbourg liturgy.
b. This Genevan liturgy was the basis of all Presbyterian liturgies, in Scotland and elsewhere, as well as Reformed Churches of continental Europe until recent times.
c. The institution of Elders which Calvin set up is also characteristic of all Reformed Churches.
6. In 1555 - Calvin finally gained complete control of the Genevan Consistory, and established the right of excommunication of heretics and evil-doers.
7. The main lines of Calvin's theology were a belief in original sin, justification, and predestination, and the authority of scripture.
a. Calvin also maintained a belief in the impenetrable mystery of the absolute sovereignty of God.
b. He rejected the Medieval doctrine of transubstantiation, the Lutheran doctrine of consubstantiation, and Zwinglian symbolism in the Eucharist.
c. In the Institutes Calvin accepts the Eucharist as a mystery which one experiences rather than understands.
d. In his Little Treatise on the Lord's Supper (1542) in which he insists that there is a real spiritual presence (and a real spiritual partaking) in the Lord's Supper.
o though Calvin insists one should not think "that the Lord Jesus may be brought down as to be enclosed under any corruptible elements."
8. Calvinism was one of the greatest religious forces in the development of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, and ultimately in America.
a. From it developed the Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and Baptist denominations.
b. In the 16th Century Calvinism (as expressed in the "Reformed Tradition" stemming from the Zurich Agreement of 1549 between Calvin, Farel, and Bullinger, the son-in-law and successor of Zwingli, i.e. between Calvinists and Zwinglians) spread rapidly across France, the Low Countries, central and eastern Europe, and also influenced the Reformation in England during the reigns of Edward VI and Elizabeth I.
The English Reformation as a Moderate Movement
1. In England more than any other European Protestant country, the Catholic tradition of the Middle Ages was retained.
a. A threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons, together with the territorial division of England into two provinces (Canterbury and York) along with dioceses and parishes.
b. It also retained Cannon Law of the Western Church and the Ecclesiastical Courts inherited from the Middle Ages.
2. Under Henry VIII Parliament passed various acts abolishing the jurisdiction of the "Bishop of Rome" and recognizing the sovereign as the only supreme head of the Church of England.
o There were not significant changes in doctrine or worship.
a. The monasteries and other religious houses were dissolved in 1536 and 1539, their lands and revenues being taken over by the Crown.
b. The Bible was translated into English and placed in all Churches, while the use of images was prohibited.
3. During the reign of Edward VI (the Seymour family) the Latin mass was abolished which was replaced in form by the liturgy in the first Book of Common Prayer (1549) in English.
o There was increased influence of radical Protestants who favored the theology of Bullinger and the Zurich Church, and a much more Protestant second Book of Common Prayer (1552) was passed by Parliament.
4. Queen Mary in 1553 brought about the restoration of the Latin Mass and the jurisdiction of the pope over the English Church.
a. Foreign Protestants in England as well as many English Protestants took refuge in such European cities as Frankfort, Strasbourg, and Geneva.
b. Crammer, Ridley, Latimer and a few others were tried for heresy and burnt at the stake.
5. The reign of Elizabeth I saw the final break with Rome and the establishment of the Anglican Church as the national Church of England.
a. It saw the re-establishment of royal supremacy and the English Book of Common Prayer.
b. The Thirty-Nine Articles were introduced to define the dogmatic position of the Church of England in relation to the controversies of the 16th Century.
6. Elizabethan England also contained Puritans who were not satisfied that the so called "settlement of religion" had carried reform far enough in a scriptural direction.
a. They wanted to replace the episcopal system with a Presbyterian system.
b. Failing in these efforts -- they refused to conform to the religion established by law.
c. They left the Church of England (hence, "Separatists") and fled to Holland.
o They are the ancestors of the Independents or Congregationalists and the Baptists.
7. The Calvinist John Knox was instrumental in establishing the Reformed Church of Scotland on the lines of Geneva.
a. It was based on a "Confessional Faith", a Book of Discipline (1560), and had a liturgy based on the Former Prayers (1556) used by the English Congregation in Geneva and approved by John Calvin.
b. Presbyteries were not systematically set up for another twenty years -- Presbyterianism and Episcopacy alternated in Scotland until Presbyterianism finally triumphed in 1690.
The Counter Reformation
1. In Italy and Spain a great religious revival took place between (ca. 1520-1580).
2. Associated with this revival was the founding of the Oratory of Divine Love and various new religious orders such as the Society of Jesus.
3. Their object was to restore the dignity and due observance of divine service, to educate the clergy, and to preach the Catholic faith.
4. The Roman Inquisition was established in 1542 by Pope Paul III to bring an end to heresy, and shortly afterwards the "Index" of Prohibited Books was set up.
5. The Council of Trent was in session at intervals between 1545 and 1563.
a. The Canons and Dogmatic Decrees of the Council defined Roman Catholic doctrine.
b. It rejected the Lutheran Doctrine of justification by faith alone, maintaining the equal authority of scripture and tradition and the sole right of the Church to interpret scripture.
c. Probably the most important legislation concerned the appointment and residence of bishops and the establishment of seminaries in every diocese for the training of clergy.
6. The Jesuits played a leading role in the Catholic revival in those countries which had not adopted Protestantism.
7. The Netherlands were divided: the seven northern provinces under William of Orange were Calvinists while the ten southern provinces remained Catholic.
8. Calvinism had taken hold in France and the Huguenots (French Calvinists) were engaged in a civil war with the Catholic majority from 1562-1598.
a. Henry IV by the Edict of Nantes granted full religious toleration to the Huguenots.
b. Though France remained officially a Catholic nation until 1905 (state established Church).
The Struggle for Power
1. The 17th Century was filled with wars, sometimes religious wars -- resulting with various national churches consolidating their positions.
2. 17th Century Germany
a. Disputes within Lutheranism, and problems between Lutherans and Catholics became characteristic.
b. Enforcement, after the Peace of Augsburg (1555), of unity of belief in both Protestant and Catholic territories was relegated to the belief of the ruler.
c. Calvinism began to make inroads within German territories which led to the Thirty Years' War.
3. 17th Century England
a. Puritans continued their demands for the abolition of the episcopacy and the prayer book.
b. 1620 - some of the Puritans sailed (in the Mayflower) and established Congregationalism in New England.
c. The Church of England had already been established in Virginia in 1607.
4. The Puritan Revolution
a. It achieved success in 1643 with the abolition of the monarchy and the episcopacy.
b. The Directory of Worship was substituted for the Book of Common Prayer.
c. The monarchy was re-established in 1660 under Charles II along with the whole episcopal system and a revised prayer book in 1662.
d. Non-conformists (Calvinists) achieved some relief by the Act of Toleration of 1689 after which parliamentary control over the Established Church superseded royal control.
5. During this struggle Quakerism was born:
a. lit. meaning the "seekers" who abandoned all traditional Christian outward forms (i.e. ministry, creeds, sacraments, liturgy, systems of theology).
b. They waited in silence meditating on the Bible until they felt the Holy Spirit within them enabling them to speak.
c. They stressed a communal life and works of charity inspired by the experience of Christ through the Spirit.
d. Their great champion in America was William Penn (1664-1718) -- today they are known as the "Society of Friends".
Skepticism and Revolution
1. By the end of the 17th Century, the cult of reason had made considerable progress and had become attractive to many.
a. Deists found God's law sufficiently manifest in nature and denied the need for any supernatural revelation.
b. Deism in France was championed by Voltaire, Rousseau, and the Encyclopedists.
2. The French Revolution
a. 1790 - The Civil Constitution of the Clergy: forced the clergy to take an oath of loyalty to the nation, fixed their income and abolished old diocesan boundaries.
b. The Reign of Terror saw a total dechristianization and a closure of all Churches in Paris.
c. It was replaced with the cult of the Goddess of Reason, Robespierre's Supreme being.
3. Napoleon's Coup d' etat
a. Napoleon regarded religion as necessary for France as a guarantee of patriotism.
b. He formed the Concordat of 1801 with Pope Pius VII -- the Catholic Church was not disestablished until 1905.
4. The defeat of Napoleon was followed by a revival of Catholicism in France, Germany, and Austria.
a. This period saw the development of Ultramontanism (the centralization of authority in the papacy).
b. 1870: a Vatican Council declared that the pope was infallible, by virtue of his office, on matters of faith and morals.
The Evangelical Revival
1. Rationalism produced in both England and Germany skepticism about orthodox Christian belief.
a. This attitude was reinforced by discoveries of scientists and the historical and biblical critics of the 19th Century.
b. The industrial revolution produced social problems which neither Catholics nor Protestants were able to deal with.
2. 18th Century England had witnessed an Evangelical Revival both within and outside of the Established Church.
a. Followers of John Wesley (1703-91) left the Church of England and founded the Methodist Movement.
i.e. The Methodist Episcopal Church was destined to become the largest Protestant Communion in the world.
b. There was a Catholic Revival within the Church of England known as the Oxford Movement.
3. Christian Socialism (a movement started within the Church of England) to arouse the conscience of the Church and nation to the need for better housing, education and social conditions for the working classes.
4. The unification Germany in 1871 and Italy in 1860 -- resulted in 1870 in the end of temporal power of the Pope over Rome and the Papal States.
i.e. Prisoner of the Vatican until the Lateran Treaty with Mussolini in 1929 (Pope Pius XI).
The Growth of the Ecumenical Movement
1. Methodists were the pioneers in denominational reunion (i.e. The healing of divisions within a denomination).
a. Union was achieved between the Wesleyan and the Methodist Episcopal Churches in Canada in 1833 (the Methodist New Connexion joined in 1841) and the Methodist Church of Canada in 1884.
b. 1857 three bodies of English Methodists joined together to form the United Methodist Free Churches (yet the English Methodist Church did come into existence until 1932).
c. In the United States a great schism occurred in American Methodism over slavery between the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church - South in 1845.
o These two Churches joined with the Methodist Protestant Church in 1939 to form the Methodist Church.
2. Since 1891 an International Council of Congregational Churches has existed as an advisory body without administrative or judicial powers.
3. Since 1905 most Baptist Churches have been associated in the World Baptist Alliance, which also exercises no judicial control over its member Churches.
4. The attempt to achieve wider reunion between different denominations really began with the publication of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral adopted by the American Episcopal Church in 1886 and reaffirmed by the Lambeth Conference of the bishops of the Anglican Communion in 1888.
a. It asserted that Christian Unity can only be achieved (be restored) by a return of all Christian Communions to the principles of unity exemplified by the undivided Church during its first ages of existence.
b. Which principles we believe to be the substance of the Christian Faith and Order committed by Christ and His Apostles to the Church unto the end of the world.
o This substance of Faith was further defined.
1. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed word of God.
2. The Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian Faith.
3. The two sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
4. The Historic Episcopate locally adopted in methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church.
c. It is the last point (the episcopate) which has proved to be the chief stumbling block to the organic union of episcopal and non-episcopal Churches.
A New Spirit of Co-operation
1. The ecumenical movement has not been solely concerned with the reunion of the divided Church.
a. Full Communion status was agreed between the Church of England and the Church of Sweden in 1920 and with the Old Catholics in 1931.
b. Very friendly relations have been established between the Church of England and the Eastern Orthodox Church and, al- though Pope Leo XIII declared Anglican Orders invalid in 1896, a new spirit of co-operation and mutual respect has arisen between the Anglican and Roman Communions (largely through the work of Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council).
2. All the Historic Churches of Western Europe sent missionaries to Africa, Asia, the Americas and other parts of the world.
a. It was in the "mission field" that the problem of intercommunion and common endeavor arose acutely (became an acute problem).
b. The World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh in 1910 resulted in the formation of the International Missionary Council (formed in 1921) whose purpose was to co-ordinate the work of all non-Roman Catholic missions.
c. Arising from the Edinburgh conference was the World Conference on Faith and Order (a necessity was recognized for excluding from a World Missionary Conference all discussions of doctrinal disagreements).
1. But a conference was conceived of to deal specifically with this issue (i.e. Conference on Faith and Order).
2. The General Convention of the American Episcopal Church supported this idea and World Conferences on Faith and Order were held at Lausanne (1927) and Edinburgh (1937).
d. The concern of many Christians that Churches internationally ought to do something to prevent war had produced the World Alliance for International Friendship through Churches.
3. Social Problems: International Christian co-operation on social questions led to the idea of a World Conference on Life and Work.
a. Purpose: to bring Christian conscience to bear on practical problems of the contemporary world.
b. This idea was taken up by Archbishop Soderblom of Uppsala, Sweden, and the first world conference was held at Stockholm and a second one at Oxford in 1937.
c. 1937 - there was a second World Conference on Faith and Order in Edinburgh -- negotiations started in 1937 resulted in the union of "Life and Work" and "Faith and Order".
d. The result was the establishment of the World Council of Churches at Amsterdam in 1948.
1. The WCC has a permanent organization with offices in Geneva -- its membership is restricted to those Churches which accept our Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior.
2. It is a consultive body which has neither legislative, nor judicial, nor executive power over member Churches.
o It is essentially an organ of inter-Church cooperation.
Rapprochement with Rome
1. The World Council of Churches at its first meeting included representatives of about 150 Christian Communions, but no official representative of the Roman Catholic Church or of the Orthodox Churches.
2. Rome sent as an observer Charles Boyer, a French Jesuit professor at the Gregorian University who was convinced that the Curia was wrong in boycotting the ecumenical movement.
3. At Amsterdam Boyer met George Beel, Bishop of Chichester (Anglican), and so began a series of contacts between the Church of England and the Church of Rome.
4. These contacts resulted in a meeting of Archbishop of Canterbury Fisher with Pope John XXIII at the Vatican in 1960 and of Archbishop Ramsey with Pope Paul VI in March 1966.
5. Archbishop Ramsey opened an Anglican Institute at Rome, as a place of common prayer for both Anglicans and Roman Catholics.
o Anglican observers also attended the Roman Council known as Vatican II. (John XXIII, October 1962 - Pope Paul VI, December 8, 1965.)
6. Christianity Today/the Future
o Does it have the capacity to overcome the skepticism of the twentieth century.
o Many suggest that it needs to return to its roots as a historical and yet supernatural religion of the spirit.
7. Recent Years (Paul VI, d. 1978)
a. Pope John Paul II, first non-Italian pope since 1522.
o Became known as the traveling pope.
b. 1982: he became the first pope to travel to Britain and at Canterbury Cathedral he greeted the Anglican Archbishop (Robert Runcie) as a "brother in Christ".
c. John Paul II has continued the conservatism of Paul VI, re-affirming his encyclical against birth control and abortion and declaring that the Church would never ordain women to the priesthood.
d. Dissension within the Catholic Church -- has led to a movement toward a more conservative and traditional position.
e. Liberation Theology: (especially in Latin America) has sought to interpret the gospel as social revolutions against political and financial dictatorships.
f. Declining numbers in Church attendance in Europe has been matched by increases in Africa where foreign missions have been replaced, in part, by native evangelism.