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xHistorical Overview of the Protestant Reformation – I of V

I) The Creeds of Early Christianity (15m)

a) The ecumenical councils of the church
i) The Council of Jerusalem ()
(1) Concerned the inclusion of Gentiles in the church
ii) “R” or The Old Roman Creed (2rd century)
(1) The Trinity
(2) Virgin birth
(3) Divinity of Christ
(4) Death, burial, resurrection, and ascension
(5) Sitting at the right hand of God
(6) The second coming
(7) The holy Church
(8) Remission of sins
(9) Resurrection of the flesh
iii) The Council of Nice & The Nicene Creed (325)
(1) A response to controversy concerning the nature of Christ
(a) Arius claimed that Christ was God of a different substance, lessor than the Father.
(2) Another important matter was fixing Easter on the calendar (Rome (Western) and Alexandria (Eastern) could not agree)
(a) The absolute sovereignty of God and God as creator of all things visible and invisible
(b) The virgin birth of Christ
(c) The humanity and divinity of Christ
(d) Death & resurrection of Christ
(e) The divinity and work of the Holy Spirit sent from the Father
(f) In one holy, Catholic Church
(g) One baptism for the remission of sins
(h) Future resurrection
iv) The First Council of Constantinople (381)
(1) Dealt with Arianism & Sebellianism
(a) Arianism – Christ was God but of a different substance
(b) Sebellianism – Modalism (modern day Jesus’ only movement)
v) The Council of Ephesus (431)
(1) Nestorianism – two persons in Christ
(a) Pope Leo I, aka, Leo the Great articulated what is the orthodox position on the matter: Christ is one person with two natures.
(2) Pelagianism – denial of original sin & total depravity. The human will, as created with its abilities by God, is sufficient to save even though every good work requires and is assisted by God’s grace.
vi) The Second Council of Constantinople (451)
(1) Dealt with the controversy of the nature of Christ’s humanity
(a) Christ was indeed a man in every sense
(b) Yet, Christ was a perfect man, without sin
(c) Many churches in the east rejected Constantinople – holding to a Monophysite view of Christ’s nature (one nature, not two)
(d) This ultimate let to infighting and weakened Christianity in the east making it easier for Islam to sweep through the region a few centuries later
vii) The Apostles’ Creed (final form in 7th century)
(1) Response to Gnosticism & false teaching in general
(2) Concerned with preserving apostolic tradition or the rule of faith
(3) Essentially is the evolution of the Old Roman Creed
(4) These early creeds were used with converts to prepare them for baptism
(a) God is almighty – sovereign
(b) The divinity of Christ
(c) The virgin birth of Christ
(d) Death, burial, resurrection, & ascension
(e) Second coming to judge the living and the dead
(f) The Holy Spirit
(g) The holy Catholic Church
(h) Forgiveness of sins
(i) Future resurrection of the dead
(j) Life everlasting

b) Augustine (354—430)

i) Converted in a garden reading after hearing a child saying: Tolle Lege – Take up and read.
ii) Augustine v Pelagius
(1) Pelagius’ beliefs about human nature proved heretical
(a) Humans are born sinless
(b) Adam’s fall did not corrupt human nature
(c) Sinless perfection in this life was possible
(d) Pelagius believed that God’s grace meant two things:
(i) God’s gift of natural free-will
(ii) God’s gift of moral law and the example of Christ
(iii) Death is not the result of sin
(v) The ecumenical Council of Ephesus condemned Pelagianism as heresy in 431
(e) Much of Augustine’s writings were against Pelagius
II) The Scripture (15m)
a) Hebrew
i) Manuscripts
(1) Masoretic Text
(2) Samaritan Pentateuch
(3) LXX
(4) DSS
b) Aramaic
i) 5 sections of text are written in Aramaic
c) Greek
i) Manuscripts
(1) Papyri
(2) Siniaticus
(3) Vaticanus
d) Latin
i) Old Latin
ii) Jerome’s Latin Vulgate
e) The Canon
i) What is the canon? Kanon – measuring rod, standard.
ii) 39 OT books
iii) 27 NT books
iv) How not to think about the canon!
v) How to think about the canon.
f) Question period
III) The Morning Star – John Wycliffe (1330-1384) (10m)
a) Oxford University theologian
b) Religious advisor to King Edward III
c) Wycliffe affirmed that God delegated authority over secular matters to civil authorities, and over spiritual matters to the church.
d) Around 1378 Wycliffe published The Truth of Holy Scripture, in which he said the only source of doctrine is the Bible and everyone’s claim were subject to its teaching.
e) French council of Toulouse forbad laypeople from reading the Bible (1229)
f) Wrote a second work: On The Church where he defined the church in terms of the body of Christ, rooted in God’s eternal predestination, infallibly known to God alone.
g) In 1379 Wycliffe wrote The Power of the Pope, in which he said that the papacy was of human origin, not divine, and that the pope was not over secular government.
h) Wycliffe soon declared all popes, good and bad as Antichrist.
i) In 1380 Wycliffe wrote On the Eucharist, in which he rejected transubstantiation and went back to the earlier views of Augustine and Ratramnus.
j) Because of his views on transubstantiation, the English court broke off support of Wycliffe and Oxford turned against him and expelled his followers.
k) He set out to translate the Latin Vulgate into English. The task was only completed after he died.
l) Wycliffe also sent out preachers and provided sermons for them.
m) Wycliffe died in 1384.
n) 34 years after his death, Church authorities dug up his bones, burned them, and one account says they threw his ashes into the river Swift while another account says they were dumped at sea.
o) John Wycliffe is rightly called the morning star of the reformation. His followers are called Wycliffites, or Lollards (which is a term of abuse). Waldensians.
IV) John Huss (5) (1372-1415)
a) The greatest of the Bohemian (Czech Republic) reformers.
b) Preacher at Bethlehem chapel in Prague, rector of Prague University.
c) Studied and greatly admired Wycliffe.
d) Huss’ campaign for reform took on a more nationalist kind of movement. Asserting Slavic identity.
e) In 1411 the dark clouds began to gather around him when he denounced indulgences.
f) Pope John XXIII excommunicated Huss.
g) Huss argued that the Church was the entire body of the elect of all ages, known to God alone, who had predestined them to belong to Himself by His free grace, and that Christ, not the pope, was the head of the church.
h) Huss also accepted Wycliffe’s view that preaching, not the celebration of the sacraments, was the true heart of ordained ministry.
i) Huss was promised safe conduct and summoned to the Council of Constance in 1414.
j) The Council immediately threw him in prison where he languished for six months. His health began to fail with headaches, fever, bleeding, and vomiting.
k) In 1415 the Council humiliated him, turned him over to the Emperor, who had him burned at the stake.
l) This eventually would cause the Catholic Church to send in armies for a crusade against the Bohemian revolt but to their utter amazement, the Hussites achieved one victory after another.
m) The followers of Huss eventually became known as the Moravians.
V) Johann Guttenburg (5)
VI) Conditions within the Catholic Church (10)
a) Social & Political Issues
b) Theological Issues
i) The Papacy & Magisterium
ii) Scripture
iii) Salvation – Grace & Faith
c) Questions
Historical Overview of the Protestant Reformation – II of V
VII) Theological Issues of the Day (20m)
a) The Mass and Purgatory
b) The Papacy
c) The Magisterium
d) Indulgences
e) Scripture
f) Grace
g) Faith
h) Questions
VIII) Martin Luther (20)
a) Biography
b) View of God
c) Vow
d) Monastery Training
e) Doctoral Training
f) Conversion
g) Conflict
h) Luther’s 95 Theses
i) The Peasants Revolt
j) Erasmus & The Humanists
k) Questions
IX) Melancthon
X) Zwingli & The Swiss Reformation
XI) Bullinger
XII) Calvin
XIII) The Five Solas (IV)
XIV) Sola Scriptura (V)

XV) Appendix

a) Fall of Jerusalem in 70AD – the church scatters

i) Jesus enters the temple with a controversial cleansing ()
ii) He leaves the temple with a controversial prophecy of destruction
iii) – Mark’s record is fascinating
iv) Twelve Tribes who are scattered
v) to elect exiles
vi) 1 King 9:6-9

b) Council of Nicea (northwest Asia Minor) & Constantine (325)

i) Theological Issues
(1) The nature of the Son of God
(2) Arius – Arianism (256-336)
(a) Accused Alexander of Alexandria of Sebellianism
(b) Claim: Jesus was created from nothing before the universe was made.
(3) Sebellius – Sebellianism – Modalism (late 2nd-early 3rd century)
(a) Modern Modalist – TD Jakes
(4) Athanasius – Orthodoxy (Alexander’s defender) (296-373)
(a) Bishop of Alexandria
ii) Political Issues
(1) Last major persecution of the church by Diocletian (303)
(2) Constantive’s victory over Maxentius – Milvian Bridge (312)

iii) Jerome – Latin Vulgate (347-420)

(1) Learned Hebrew as a hermit in the Syrian desert in 374
(2) Hardly any Christians knew Hebrew
(3) Pope Damasus asked him to prepare a new Latin translation of the Bible
(4) Jerome argued that Christians must only accept the books of the OT that the Jews included in their canon.
Jerome found it easy to pick a quarrel and turn it into an all-out war.

a) Council of Chalcedon 451

i) The nature of Christ – if Jesus was fully divine, God from God, of the same substance as the Father, then how was he human?
ii) Jesus is one person existing in two natures – hypostatic union

b) The Monastic Rescue – Benedictine’s Option

i) Benedict of Nursia (480-547)
ii) Educated in rhetoric and law at Rome
iii) Established a Monastery at Monte Cassino in 520
iv) Reaction against Constantinian Christianity
(1) Deals with good works, obedience, humility, prayer, excommunication, reception of guests.
(2) There was an inner passion to put off worldly passions and pursuits and to put on Christ in all humility.

c) The Great Schism

i) The Schism of 1054 should not be disconnected from a long history of disengagement and estrangement.
ii) Eastern Church – Orthodox
iii) Western Church – Catholic
iv) Schism really goes back to Tertullian of Carthage (West) and Clement of Alexandria (East)
v) One issue was how the Western (Catholic) church added “and the Son” to the Nicene Creed.
vi) A second issue was papal supremacy.
vii) There were other issues.
viii)Final breach was political – Normans were threatening both the Byzantine and Roman Empires.
(1) Constantine IX entered into an alliance with Roman emperor Henry III & Pope Leo IX.
(2) In return, Cerularius was to acknowledge the superiority of Rome over Constantinople.
(3) Cerularius refused.
This eventually would result in mutual excommunications and anathematization of each other and the final break between East and West.
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