The Reformers vs. Modern Protestants


#1

My understanding is that the “Reformers” had many beliefs that modern Protestants would reject.

What are those beliefs, which “Reformers” believed them, and (to a lesser degree) why did they believe them?


#2

Ulrich Zwingli During his ministry at Einsiedeln, Zwingli began to entertain doubts about certain church practices. In 1516 he read a Latin translation of the Greek New Testament published by the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus, which he later transcribed into notebooks and memorized verbatim. On the basis of these and other scriptural readings, Zwingli charged in sermons that church teachings and practice had diverged widely from the simple Christianity of the Holy Writ. Among the practices cited by Zwingli as unscriptural were the adoration of saints and relics, promises of miraculous cures, and church abuses of the indulgence system. His forthright affirmations of scriptural authority won him wide popular repute, and on January 1, 1519, he was appointed priest at the Gross Münster (German, “Great Cathedral”) in Zürich

John Calvin According to Calvin, the Bible specified the nature of theology and of any human institutions. Thus, his statements on doctrine began and ended in Scripture, although he frequently cited the church fathers and important medieval Catholic thinkers. He sought to minimize speculation on divine matters and instead to draw on the Word of God. He also urged the church to recover its original vitality and purity.
In the Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin sought to articulate biblical theology in a sensible way, following the articles of the Apostles’ Creed. The four books in the definitive edition focus on the articles “Father,” “Son,” “Holy Spirit,” and “Church.”

The Wesleys Wesley’s thought was based on an Arminian interpretation of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England but emphasized personal experience of conversion, assurance, and sanctification. He held to the doctrines of original sin, the atoning work of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity. These were the objective ground of the subjective appropriation of salvation. Justification was by faith alone, with good works as the testimony and test of faith and therefore a condition of final salvation. New birth through the Holy Spirit was the beginning of sanctification, which was to be brought to a “Christian perfection” of entire love towards God and neighbor. He believed in the universal sufficiency and scope of Christ’s work, which restores to every man a measure of free will that allows him to accept the gospel and do its works.
Wesley discarded many tenets of the Church of England, including the doctrine of the apostolic succession (the maintenance of an unbroken line of succession of bishops of the Christian church beginning with St. Peter),

Jonathan Edwards The result of Edwards’s 1734-35 sermons was a religious revival in which a great number of conversions were made; he received 300 new members into his church. Some of the converted were so obsessed by his fiery descriptions of eternal damnation that they contemplated suicide. In 1740 the British evangelist George Whitefield visited Edwards. Together, the two men started a revival movement that became known as the Great Awakening and developed into a religious frenzy engulfing all New England. The conversions were characterized by convulsions and hysteria on the part of the converts, and the harshness and appeal to religious fear in one of Edwards’s sermons, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” caused his congregation to rise weeping and moaning from their seats. By 1742 the revival movement had grown out of control, and for the next 60 to 70 years it had the effect on American religion of preventing any attempt at a liberal interpretation of doctrine.

Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher Schleiermacher has been accused of making religion invulnerable at the expense of turning it into a purely subjective experience, but this criticism is contested on the grounds that it misinterprets the term feeling. The influential neoorthodox movement of early-20th-century theology, particularly as represented by Karl Barth, developed partly in reaction to Schleiermacher’s influence, stating that Schleiermacher led the great defection whereby liberal theology focused on human potentiality and religiosity at the expense of God’s own reality, majesty, and grace. Barth himself, however, retained a wistful admiration for Schleiermacher, eventually speculating that “all might not be lost” with him, especially if we await a theology “predominantly and decisively of the Holy Spirit.”

John Henry Newman: His Developing Faith, His Life as a CatholicA leader of the Oxford Movement and later a cardinal of the Roman Catholic church, John Henry Newman, outstanding religious thinker and essayist, was probably the most influential theologian of Victorian England.

island-of-freedom.com/ZWINGLI.HTM


#3
  1. Luther and Lutherans on Zwingli and His Followers

“I will not read the works of these people, because they are out of the Church, and are not only damned themselves, but draw many miserable creatures after them.” (113;v.1:466)

The Lutherans proclaimed in full synod:

“The Zwinglians . . . we do not even grant to them a place in the church, far from recognizing as brethren, a set of people, whom we see agitated by the spirit of lying, and uttering blasphemies against the Son of Man.” (113;v.1:466)

The Zwinglians believed that the Eucharist was wholly symbolic (probably the majority position of Protestants today). Hence, whoever believes the same would have had the foregoing said about them by Dr. Luther, who firmly held to Consubstantiation, i.e., the actual Body and Blood of Christ is present in the communion along with the bread and wine.

  1. Luther on Protestant “Heretics”

“Heresiarchs . . . remain obdurate in their own conceit. They allow none to find fault with them and brook no opposition. This is the sin against the Holy Ghost for which there is no forgiveness.” (51;v.6:282/24)

“Those are heretics and apostates who follow their own ideas rather than the common tradition of Christendom, who . . . out of pure wantonness, invent new ways and methods.” (51;v.6:282-3/25)

Grisar adds:

“In his frame of mind it became at last an impossibility for him to realise that his hostility and intolerance towards `heretics’ within his fold could redound on himself.” (51;v.6:283)

“We must needs decry the fanatics as damned . . . They actually dare to pick holes in our doctrine; ah, the scoundrelly rabble do a great injury to our Evangel.” (51; v.6:289/26)

“I am on the heels of the Sacramentaries (27) and the Anabaptists; . . . I shall challenge them to fight; and I shall trample them all underfoot.” (46:86)

catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/protestantism/protin.htm


#4

Contraception was still a big ol’ no-no.
The link below shows it, and by the way, its written by a Protestant.
touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=20-04-020-f


#5

What were all the beliefs about Mary they accepted that Protestants of today would consider heretical?


#6

According to Jaroslav Pelikan’s “Mary Through the Centuries” (which I’ve just finished reading), Martin Luther and Balthasar Hubmaier accepted Mary’s perpetual virginity, and Zwingli called Mary “The highest of creatures next to her son” and “Mother of God.” Pelikan cites a 1962 book by Walter Tappolet entitled “The Reformers in Praise of Mary,” as evidence of how much Marian tradition the Reformers accepted (enough to fill a book, in other words). The Reformers mainly rejected Mary’s mediation, not her holiness.

Today some people see her as just another woman. How sad.


#7

Until the Ana Baptists, the Reformers accepted Infant Baptism/Regeneration, while today some Protestants condemn it, going so far as to claim the Reformers were as corrupted as the Church they left.


#8

Originally Posted by dosdog:

Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher Schleiermacher has been accused of making religion invulnerable at the expense of turning it into a purely subjective experience, but this criticism is contested on the grounds that it misinterprets the term feeling. The influential neoorthodox movement of early-20th-century theology, particularly as represented by Karl Barth, developed partly in reaction to Schleiermacher’s influence, stating that Schleiermacher led the great defection whereby liberal theology focused on human potentiality and religiosity at the expense of God’s own reality, majesty, and grace. Barth himself, however, retained a wistful admiration for Schleiermacher, eventually speculating that “all might not be lost” with him, especially if we await a theology “predominantly and decisively of the Holy Spirit.”

A theology “predominately and decisvely of the Holy Spirit,” eh? According to my understanding, Scheilermacher did not agree with the differentiation of persons in the immanenet Trinity, as traditionally understood.

Barth believed in the Incarnation traditionally understood (the eternal Logos, the second person of the Trinity, becoming Flesh). Scheilermacher starts from below and, well, so far as I am aware, his focus shifts away from any notion of the revelation of the Trinity and centers on personal experience, a God-conciousness, both in the individual and in the community. I have not studied Scheilermacher’s Spirit theology in depth, but I can well discern from what I know that Scheilermacher’s understanding of the Holy Spirit and that of Barth were far different from each other.

Barth may have admired him in some respects, but I wouldn’t take it so far as to suggest that Barth was coming over to Schleiermacher’s points of view.


#9

Actually I’d blame Zwingli for this–he taught that baptism was like a soldier’s oath (a teaching that, by the way, Scott Hahn has taken up and managed to give an orthodox Catholic slant–this is one of the things I really like about Hahn) and not actually a means of regeneration. The Zurich Anabaptists took this teaching and deduced from it that infants should not be baptized, but they did not originate the denial of baptismal regeneration.

Edwin


#10

My mistake, you are correct.


#11

I know Calvin supported the doctrine that Mary was ever virgin.


#12

Hard to find Protestants today who agree to that


#13

:ehh: “Just another woman”?

What’s that supposed to mean? Am I the only one who thinks this is more than a little insulting to women?


#14

If somebody said Jesus was “just another man,” would you find that insulting to men?

Mary is blessed among women, Angainor. She is the Mother of God.
She is Queen of heaven.
She is the New Eve.
She is Mother of the whole Church.
She is Queen of all saints
She is the Immaculate Conception.
She is Queen of peace.
She is the Ark of the New Covenant by which all nations can see the salvation of our living God.

She is not just another woman any more than Jesus is just another man.

I frankly am amazed at your suggestion of sexism on my part.


#15

First of all, I would not be insulted if someone said Mary was “just another woman”. I was expressing insult at the idea you found it sad that someone else (like me) might think Mary was “just another woman”.

Secondly, I wouldn’t find it particularly insulting if someone said Jesus was “just another man”. I wouldn’t phrase it like that, but that sentence is essentially expressing reality. Jesus did become [just another] man. That was sort of the point.
Philippians 2
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death


#16

I don’t see how you reconcile this remark:

… with your earlier remark:

Clearly your earlier post suggested sexism, not anti-Protestantism, on my part. You didn’t call my post “more than a little insulting to Protestants.” What you said was that it was “more than a little insulting to women.” As if it were somehow insulting to women for Catholics to say that Mary our Holy Queen is not just another woman.

I can’t even begin to see how sexism could be read into a statement that Mary is not just another woman. How is that sexist? Mary is unique in the history of the cosmos.

The Reformers accepted that Mary had a unique position in salvation history, something that some modern Protestants will not concede. To some, Mary is “just another woman” — not immaculately conceived, not exceptionally holy, not noteworthy but for the identity of her Son. And yes, that is sad.


#17

What was meant is that many protestants believe nothing distinguished Our Lady from other mortal women, not that she was “just” a woman.

To answer your question:…yes


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