2 Announcements Panel on Christianity PanellistsRev. Peter Smith (United Church of Canada)Sister Joanne O’Regan (Wellspring)Pastor John Luten (Goshen Gospel Church)Rev. Stephen Welch (Presbyterian)Jordan Mattie (Xavier Christian Fellowship)What questions would you like to see addressed by the panellists:(“Questions for Panellists on Christianity”
3 Abrahamic Faith and Christianity 1. Christianity grew out of, and accepted, Israelite faith in one God who had revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, and the prophets.But history is reinterpreted in the light of Jesus Christ.Like a whodunit, you think some one dun it, then 10 pages from the end, you find out it’s someone else, and all the clues you though pointed in one direction, actually don’t, and other clues you ignored are now important.2. Christians also see the earth as full of the glory of God, and the need for humans to acknowledge and express it.But this conviction is more central to Judaism.
4 Abrahamic Faith and Christianity 3. Christians see the world, and human nature, as so spoiled by sin that divine redemption is necessary.This is true also in Judaism, but is more central in Christianity.Jews say we should choose differently than Adam & Eve.Christians say the story illustrates what has gone wrong with humanity: “The Fall”Things happen that we feel “ought not to happen”11 year old girl kidnapped and murdered“wars ought not to happen”4. Christians believe that God has already acted to redeem creation and humankind in Jesus Christ.
5 The Jesus of HistoryChristianity, like Judaism, is a history-oriented religion.The earliest sources we have about Jesus are the gospels in the New Testament.Did Jesus really do & say the things recorded in the gospels?Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code suggests a lot of what we think we know about Jesus was made up (by Constantine).Historians have devised criteria to determine what is historical and what is made up.
6 Possible Test Question What do historians agree we can know about Jesus’ life?
7 The Jesus of History Beginnings: baptised by John the Baptist Proclamation: fulfilment of God’s promises & Israel’s hope: the apocalyptic Kingdom of God.Public behaviour: 12 disciples; cures; hanging out with sinnersTeaching: answered questions with questions; used comparisons; transcending Torah (follow the intention behind the Torah; live now as if in the Kingdom: love, non-resistance)Identity & Destiny: the Messianic eschatological Son of ManDeath: entry & cleansing of the Temple; Last Supper; Political misunderstanding; Pilate was harsh (crucifixion was for Roman rebels like Spartacus)Easter experiences by his followers
8 Possible Test Question What is meant when Christians say Jesus is “Christ”?
9 The Social Context for Jesus's Life Jesus was born into a turbulent time.The land of Israel, his birthplace, was under Roman occupation.The Jewish people, who longed to govern themselves again, bitterly resented the Roman rule.Many Jews were looking forward to the coming of a Messiah whom earlier Jewish prophets described as “the anointed one.”The phrase “anointed one” relates to the practice of anointing the heads of kings with olive oil.It suggests that the anticipated messiah would be a king or military ruler descended from the great King David.Other Jews of the era, including John the Baptizer, were predicting a coming apocalypse.They claimed God was sending his judgment upon the Jewish people for their sins against him.
10 Jesus's BirthAccording to the Christian Bible, Mary conceived Jesus through the action of the Holy Spirit when she was an unmarried virgin.Jesus was born to her in humble surroundings in Bethlehem shortly after she married her husband, Joseph.According to one Christian account (the gospel of Matthew), Jesus’s birth was followed by the arrival of wealthy visitors “from the East” heralding Jesus as the promised Messiah.The Christian Bible records little information about Jesus’s childhood and young adulthood prior to the beginning of his public ministry when he was nearly thirty years old.
11 Jesus's Early LifeJesus was born around 4 BCE (early inaccuracies in the Christian calendar led to the discrepancy between his actual birth date and the year zero).Jesus was Jewish.Jesus spoke Aramaic (a local dialect related to Hebrew).Jesus was baptized by John the Baptizer before he began an itinerant religious ministry.
12 What Jesus TaughtThe central focus of Jesus’s teaching was his vision of the kingdom of God.Some scholars claim that Jesus, like John the Baptizer, taught that God was about to destroy the old world and initiate a new one, a utopian kingdom of God.Others think that when Jesus referred to the “kingdom of God,” he was speaking metaphorically about the sort of society Jews could create through right behaviour.Jesus concentrated his teachings on what he called the “two great commandments,” which had long been a part of Jewish tradition: to love God and to love your neighbour.Jesus taught through parables, stories that carry a strong moral message.It is thought that Jesus also taught some version of the prayer variously known as the Lord’s Prayer or the “Our Father.”
13 Jesus as a JewAll the evidence we have suggests that Jesus was a typical observant Jew of his era.He disputed certain Jewish laws, as did most other prominent Jewish leaders in those difficult times of rapid social change.Jesus never described himself as “non-Jewish” or “beyond Jewish” in any way.Indeed, it seems that he kept a kosher diet and observed the Sabbath, attending synagogue regularly to pray.
14 Jesus's MinistryJesus probably began his teaching and preaching when he was in his late twenties.He gathered around him a group of special followers whom he called disciples.Jesus mainly confined his preaching to moral lessons.Nevertheless, his ministry generated controversy among both the Roman authorities and some other Jews.Some feared Jesus would use his growing popularity to overthrow the Roman occupiers.Others feared the opposite: that Jesus would be too accommodating to the Romans.
15 Jesus's CrucifixionJesus had taught for only a few years when, sometime between 30 and 36 CE, around the time of Passover, he brought his disciples and other followers to Jerusalem.There he was quickly arrested and accused of sedition, of threatening Roman power.Pontius Pilate, the Roman leader who had been appointed governor of Jerusalem, condemned Jesus to death by crucifixion, a penalty the Jewish leaders were not permitted to impose.Pilate was later recalled from Jerusalem to Rome for his excessive cruelty.
16 Jesus's Resurrection & Ascension According to Christians and Christian scripture, Jesus died on the cross, but was resurrected from the dead three days later.He appeared to his disciples, most of whom did not recognize him at first.He allowed them to touch his wounds and convince themselves that he was indeed Jesus.He exhorted his disciples to “Go forth to every part of the world, and proclaim the Good News to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15).The scriptures record that, forty days after his resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven.
18 Jesus’ Death and the coming of the Kingdom One needs to make amends to a person one has wronged, if good relations are to be restored.Human beings have wronged God.Human beings show no inclination to make amends.God, bent on restoring creation to what it was meant to be, takes the initiative.
19 God’s initiative to restore creation Becomes humanOffers his own life to atone for human sinsShows both the seriousness of sin and the extent of God’s love.Should produce in humans repentance for sin and trust in God.Christ dying exhausted the evil consequences of sin, and purged the world, so that creation could be restored to its original state.Illustration:You’re invited to a high-class dinner, but you don’t think much of the host. You say something derogatory, thinking only your tablemate will hear you, but all hear it. You’ve offended the host and ruined the whole dinner.Humans are part of creation, and when we do things wrong, we remove the innocence of the world. The whole world needs to be purged. A simple “sorry” will not fix it.Like Oedipus Rex: famine in the land because Oedipus has (unknowingly) killed his father and married his mother.
20 Summary of John’s Gospel Central Theme: IncarnationJesus came into the world from the Father.Three Abrahamic Faiths hold that God reveals himself to put things right.Christianity: God reveals not only his will, but also his person.
21 Summary of John’s Gospel Crucifixion & resurrection: ends the story of the incarnation.Not the tragic end of a good man, but the climax of the story of incarnation.Crucifixion is not tragic, but fitting: I lay my life down.Some believed Jesus, but couldn’t believe he diedOthers believed Jesus died, but God’s spirit left him just before he died.These two views are not in the early tradition, but are from the second century, based on assumptions that God is eternal and cannot die.On the contrary, in John’s gospel, the death of Jesus is perfectly appropriate ending of divine incarnation & love.In John, he is glorified upon crucifixion (it is the hour of his glory).Paul wrote to the Corinthians that the cross of Christ is foolishness/weakness, a demonstration of God’s wisdom/power.
22 Possible Test Question What is the relationship of Christianity to Judaism? How did the two come to separate?
23 The Jesus Movement as a Jewish Sect In its earliest days, Christianity was a sect within Judaism.The Jesus movement was concentrated in Jerusalem under the leadership of James, one of Jesus’s disciples (also possibly his brother).The beliefs of the Jesus movement were straightforward:Jesus was the promised Messiah.Since the Messiah had already come, those in the Jesus movement believed they were living in “the final days” before God’s judgment of the world and his institution of the kingdom of God.
24 Saul=PaulThe Jesus movement came under sharp criticism from other movements within Judaism.Saul, a tentmaker born in southern Turkey, was a Jew of the sect of Pharisees who traveled around Palestine trying to stamp out the Jesus movement.In the midst of his persecution of the Jesus movement and its followers, Saul had a mystical experience.While walking on the road toward Damascus, Saul saw a bright light and heard the voice of Jesus telling him that in persecuting Christians, Saul was actually persecuting him.Thereafter, Saul took the message of Christ to both Jews and Gentiles.Saul’s Roman name was Paul.He traveled throughout the Roman Empire preaching the message that Jesus was the Messiah.
25 Paul & the Emergence of Christianity Paul made several key innovations in the theology of the Jesus movement that drastically changed the course of Christianity.In fact, Paul, more than anyone else, was responsible for the emergence of Christianity as a religion separate from Judaism.Paul did what Jesus asked him to do when he spoke to him on the road to Damascus:He took the message of Jesus to the Gentiles, encouraging them to convert to the emerging Christian movement.
26 Gentiles & the Jesus Movement The early Jesus movement based in Jerusalem expected its followers to be Jews, either by birth or conversion.They were to recognize Jewish law and understand themselves as the people with whom God had made a covenant so many centuries before; the people to whom God had promised the Messiah.Some believed that if they were male, they had to be circumcised.Paul believed that the Gentiles did not need to become Jews or respect Jewish law to follow Jesus.For example, circumcision was not required.Converts from other religions could simply be baptized, as Jesus himself had been.More profoundly, much of Jewish law could be set aside.According to Paul, Jewish ritual law became irrelevant after the coming of Jesus because Jesus had superseded law (God’s commandments) with grace: God’s love.
27 Christianity came to separate itself from Judaism Gentiles don’t need to observe Jewish law.Jesus was a Jew; the disciples and earliest Christian observed the law of Moses.If those who thought Gentiles had to convert to Judaism had won out, then Christianity would have remained within Judaism.But it was deemed unnecessary for Gentiles to be circumcised, follow the dietary laws, etc.
28 The period of the Church begins with the coming of God’s spirit In the Hebrew Bible, God’s spirit came when needed.There was some sense of “wouldn’t it be great if it was with us all the time” as an expectation of the prophets.Jesus would send the spirit, after he left.How did one know one had the spirit?Ecstatic languages?ProphesyingOther charismatic signsPaul said yes, but ethical living is a surer sign.
29 Church is led by apostles The apostles are eyewitnesses of Christ & his resurrection.They are authorized by him to be his representatives.A 12th apostle had to be appointed to replace Judas.The books that became authoritative scriptures were written by the apostles or their associates.No document can be added to the New Testament.Christians are to expect no more revelation.The testimony to that life is the end of revelation.
30 Christian ScripturesThe Jewish Tanakh and the Christian Old Testament are essentially the same.The Christian New Testament was written in the first 150 years after Jesus’s death, but was not selected to form a canon until the fifth century CE.The New Testament consists of gospels, acts of the apostles, epistles, and Revelation.Each gospel addresses a different audience and stresses different themes in Jesus’s life and ministry.Some epistles appear to have been written by Paul, while other epistles are by other authors.Revelation is written in symbolic language and addressed to Christians suffering persecution.(Try it)
31 Christianity Christian Scriptures Try it: Christian Scriptures
32 The Early Spread of Christianity Paul’s version of Christianity was far more successful than that of the Jesus movement centered in Jerusalem under the leadership of James, and other incipient forms of Christianity.The Jesus movement suffered from the general disarray within Judaism that followed the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.Paul, on the other hand, won enthusiastic converts among Gentiles throughout the Roman Empire.Why did Christianity spread so quickly?Many people in the Mediterranean region had been attracted to the idea of monotheism as lived out by the Jews.It was difficult to convert to Judaism, however, and many of the laws that had to be followed may have seemed onerous to the practitioners of Greco-Roman religions.To them, Paul's version of Christianity may have seemed like a simpler and easier way to become monotheistic than converting to Judaism.
33 Review: Earliest Christian History: Acts The Jesus Movement began as a Jewish SectSaul=Paul originally opposed the Jesus Movement until he saw the risen Jesus on the road to DamascusPaul was the most important thinker in Early Christianity, making several key innovationsPaul felt commissioned to take the message of Jesus to the Gentiles, converting many to the emerging Christian movement.At first, Gentiles had to become Jews in order to become Christians.Paul taught that Gentiles did not need to become Jews or follow Jewish law to follow Jesus.This teaching enabled Christianity to separate itself from Judaismthe arrival of God’s spirit was a sign of God empowering his people at the end of this age.The early Church was led by apostles, and the writings associated with them became the New Testament.Christianity spread quickly because it had the same attraction as Judaism (ethical monotheism), but without the difficulty of following Jewish law.
34 The Birth of a New Religion The 1st and 2nd Centuriesend
35 Christianity Christian Scriptures Try it: Christian Scriptures
36 Possible Test Question What do Christians mean when they speak of human nature as “fallen”? How, according to Paul’s letter to the Romans, does God redeem “fallen” humankind?
37 The Doctrine of the Atonement Paul brought about a marked change in the emerging Christian religion’s understanding of Jesus.Like those in the early Jesus movement, Paul saw Jesus as a spiritual teacher, a prophet, and the anticipated Messiah of the Hebrew scriptures.However, Paul saw Jesus as something else as well: a divine sacrifice, an attempt by God to bring about reconciliation between God and humanity.As Paul came to understand it, Jesus was one with God.Through Jesus, God established a new relationship with humanity.God had always demanded a price for human sinfulness: death.Then, as an act of mercy, God sent his son who was without sin to accept that punishment on behalf of all humanity.This is known as “the doctrine of the atonement.”God sacrificed Jesus as compensation for human sin, relieving human beings of that terrible burden.This is what Christians mean when saying, “Jesus died for our sins.”
38 Humanity’s Plight in Romans: 5 points 1. All humans do things they know they shouldn’t (1:18-3:20)Non-Jews fail to give their Creator his dueThey do things they know in their hearts are wrongJews possess God’s law and don’t keep it.
39 2. Human nature is “fallen” from what it was meant to be (5:12-19; 7:7-25) It’s not just that everyone happens to sin, but that sin has led to disorder in human nature that is universal.Whether Adam & Eve are literal or metaphorical, human nature is fallen.What we shouldn’t do often appears more attractive than what we should do.E.g., movies sell better when they feature things we think are wrong.We find ourselves unable to do the good that, at some level, we know we ought to do.Repeated wrong choices have distorted our moral compass.We justify our actions.Therefore, the problem of sin is one in which all are both implicated (responsible) and entangled (cannot escape, even if one chose to do so).E.g., you are born in France at war with the Germans. It’s not your choice, but as soon as you can make the choice to think of the Germans as enemies, you do so.
40 Humanity’s Plight in Romans, cont’d 3. Humanity’s orientation toward sin is spoken of as “the flesh”Not: body is bad; spirit is good.1. The body is created by God.2. The body will be resurrectedHuman nature is fallen; it’s not evil.It is good gone bad; not inherently bad.4. The giving of God’s law doesn’t solve the problem.It makes it worse.Paul can’t see the law as the solution, because then Jesus wouldn’t have had to die.Being told not to do something makes people want to do it, because we don’t like being told what to do.5. Sin leads to deathSin leads to both ‘spiritual’ death and ‘physical’ death.(In the Garden of Eden, they were told, “you will surely die”)
41 Divine Redemption in Romans (4 points) 1. Redemption is a display of God’s righteousness= God’s commitment to the goodness of his creation.2. Jesus’ death atones for human sin (Romans 3:21-26)God does not overlook sin (pretending it doesn’t matter)3. Redemption is an act of God’s grace (Romans 4:18-26)God takes the initiative.4. Christ is seen as representative of the new humanity (Romans 5:12-6:11).Baptized believers leave (“die to”) Adam/old humanity & transfer to the new humanity represented by ChristChrist’s death was a representative death, not just substitutionary.It is recalled when one is baptized.
42 The life of the redeemed in Romans (7 points) 1. “Walk in the spirit” summarizes Paul’s ethics.This means live a life guided by the spirit, and show its effects:Love, joy, peace, patience, generosity, etc.2. Believers must carry on a war against the “flesh” and its temptations.“the flesh”= the old humanity (represented by Adam)3. The moral life can also be summarized in the commandment to love.What is the most famous passage Paul wrote?1 Corinthians 13 makes at least three points:(1) indispensability of love(2) characteristics of love(3) eternity of love
43 The life of the redeemed in Romans (cont’d) 4. Life as part of the new creation = a life of freedom“freedom” here is not quite what we mean today.Now we think of the absence of external constraint.Paul thought a little differently:Consider a bird with a broken wing.It is not free to fly.There is no cage or external constraints, but its own condition disables it.People are in bondage to, enslaved to sin.Freedom is being enabled to live.5. Believers are at home in the cosmos, cannot be separated from God’s love. (Romans 8:31-39)The “cosmic dance” in Psalms:All (non-human) creation lives in harmony; humans have choice.Humans can choose not to live in harmony.
44 The life of the redeemed in Romans (cont’d) 6. One can still expect hard times in this world(1) hard times don’t compare with the glorious future(2) hard times now mean suffering together with Christ.(3) hard times cannot separate us from God’s love.Romans 8:28 – God will work things together for your good.7. The future is the redemption of all creationThe earth is in the birth pangs of this redemptionIt will be complete with the appearance of Christ.
45 Possible Test Question What fundamental convictions led Christians to understand God as “Trinity,” and how does the doctrine of the “Trinity” give expression to these convictions?
46 Trinity: Preliminaries 1 1. Human language for God is analogous, not adequate language for conveying who God is.God is ineffable, but it is not meaningless to speak of what God is like.E.g., “The Lord is my shepherd” – terminology familiar from experience. Conveys something important: guidance, care, etc. Yet there are things about God that are not true of shepherds.
47 Trinity: Preliminaries 2 2. Distinguish 2 levels of what Christians believe:(i) fundamental convictions of the Christian faithChrist died for sins; rose again; Lord; Messiah(ii) doctrines / doctrinal formulations based on these convictionsState the implications of convictions in category (i)Protect the integrity of convictions in category (i)E.g., What exactly is the relationship between Jesus & God? Because people started thinking logically: there can’t be more than one God, so he must have been top creation; yet others thought that didn’t capture their convictions (pray to, worship)Or: Jesus: fully God? Fully human? Both?
48 Trinity: Preliminaries 3 3. When evidence is discovered that does not fit present understandings, new models of understanding must be worked out.E.g., you trusted someone, they seem to betray you. You can:(a) ignore it(b) reinterpret the evidence(c) change your view
49 4 Basic Convictions1. There is ONE God: Creator, sustainer, judge of all(This view is shared with Jews & Muslims)All early Christians were Jews.Jesus believed in one God.Jewish scriptures were adopted by Christians.2. Jesus was God in human form.(Jews & Muslims both don’t agree.)Jesus said and did things not done by other humans:Forgive sinsDemand exclusive allegianceWas worshipped and prayed to
50 4 Basic Convictions3. Jesus spoke of God as someone else, namely his “Father”4. Jesus spoke of the spirit of God whom he would send from the Father.Jesus was going to leave; Christians believed that the Spirit had come.Can’t compromise these 4; how to reconcile them?
51 Christian Doctrine of the Triune God When other people started saying things they couldn’t agree with, they had to formulate:1. Jesus is both true God (prayed to) and true man (if not, he can’t atone for sin).2. Jesus is God’s son (in an analogous way; can’t press the metaphor): same nature, but not coming into existence.3. One God exists in three persons.
52 Christian Doctrine of the Triune God These are not thought to be understandable, but capture/protect basic convictions.Like scientists use models, recognizing the limitations: Is light a wave or particle?They would say it must be true, whether we understand or not.One river is made of source, stream, mouth.There is only one river.Source/stream/mouth are all called “the river”No one part can exist without the other.There is no river unless all 3 parts are present.
53 Summary of Trinity Why would anyone think God is 1 and 3? It’s not in the Bible.Distinguished between:A. Basic Convictions: One God. Jesus=God in human form. Jesus called God Father. Jesus would send the Spirit.B. Doctrinal statements: Later formulations that try to spell out the basic convictions, but are not intended to be readily understandable.Models of Trinity. All language is analogy.River: source, stream, mouthCandlelightFlame (source; Father)Light (necessary effect; Son reveals)Warmth (necessary effect; Spirit is experiential)Not: Parent-child (because a parent can exist without child).The Son comes from the Father without coming after the Father. Like light comes from flame, but flame doesn’t precede light.
54 Possible Test Question Explain the issues which led to the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
55 After the Fall of RomeThe Roman Empire became Christian in the fourth century CE.Augustine influenced Christian beliefs about original sin and celibacy.The key beliefs of Christians were formulated by early councils of Christian bishops.Eastern Christianity, in the form of Eastern Orthodoxy, remained a theocracy, with civil and religious life tied together.Differences regarding Christian theology and how decisions about how church doctrine should be made eventually caused a schism between the Western and Eastern churches in 1054 CE.Monasticism developed as an important thread within Christian society, especially after the Roman Empire was Christianized.(try it: After the Fall of Rome)
56 Possible Test Question Explain the issues which led to the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
57 Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity to the Church Councils 1. Which major events tie the years 1054 C.E. and 1965 C.E. together? 2. What are the three main branches of Christianity today? (:01) 3. What are the main issues that separate the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches? What are the main similarities between them? 4. What was the relationship between the Jewish faith and Christianity at the time of Christ? 5. Why did the Romans persecute the Christians? 6. What are two monumental actions made by Constantine and how are they significant? 7. What was the Arian heresy? How did the bishops respond? What was Athanasius’ argument?
58 Medieval Christianity Christian monasteries helped to preserve learning and the arts during the Middle Ages.Mary was an enormously popular religious figure in the Middle Ages.The Crusades were an attempt by western Christians to gain control over the holy city of Jerusalem.The Crusades and the Inquisition fostered religious intolerance.The Crusades brought important bodies of knowledge to Europe, including the work of the Greek philosopher Aristotle.Thomas Aquinas provided a modern, rationalist, more universal approach to Christianity by melding Christianity with the philosophy of Aristotle.The bubonic plague, the Inquisition, and corruption within the Catholic church set the stage for future divisions in the Christian church.
59 Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity From the Fall of Rome to Papal Authority (25:00-46:08) 8. How did the fall of Rome to the Visigoths in 410 C.E. change the growth and evolution of the Roman Catholic Church? 9. What are the Orthodox and Roman Catholic views on the concept of the Trinity? 10. What are the two initial goals of the Crusades? What are three significant results of the Crusades? 11. Who are the Cistercians, the Dominicans and the Franciscans? Why are these groups, among others, important to the Roman Catholic Church? 12. Why did the Roman Catholic hierarchy come under attack after the 13th century? 13. What is the significance of the Inquisition? 14. What did the Council of Trent decide for the Roman Catholic Church? 15. What does Papal Infallibility mean?
61 Possible Test Question Briefly explain the development of the Protestant Reformation, highlighting the most important issues raised in this movement. What were the problems Luther saw with the way Christianity was being practised? What were some of his solutions? How did the Roman Catholic Church respond?
62 The Protestant Reformation The Protestant Reformers felt compelled to make a break with the Roman Catholic Church partly in order to give more authority to ordinary Christians and less to the organized church.In various ways, Martin Luther, John Calvin, King Henry VIII, and others articulated their differences with Catholicism and constructed new churches.Many Protestant denominations today find their roots in one of the three major Protestant reform movements.The social unrest that followed the Protestant Reformation led to the persecution of religious minorities and presumed witches.The Catholic Church responded to the challenges set before it by the Protestant Reformers by addressing corruption within the church, but reasserting the church’s basic beliefs and practices.Martin Luther ( CE)The decisive split of Catholicism into the Roman Catholic church and the group of denominations called Protestantism was initiated by a German monk named Martin Luther. Luther was not alone in questioning the doctrine and practices of the Roman Catholic church. Unlike other heretics before him, however, Luther amassed the necessary political and military strength to resist Catholic attempts to rein him in.Luther's DifferencesInitially, Luther’s grievances against the Catholic Church were ones that others also spoke of at that time. Especially in countries far from Rome, there was resentment of the Church’s wealth. Many felt that income produced in northern Europe was being unjustly redirected to southern Europe, simply because that was where Rome, the seat of the Roman Catholic church, lay. This was essentially a political and economic protest against centralized authority related to the rise of nationalism in Europe. It was not fundamentally a religious objection.IndulgencesA portion of the Church’s income was garnered through the practice of selling what were called “indulgences.” Individuals could buy indulgences from the Catholic church. In exchange for their money, these individuals received a certificate from the Pope saying their time in purgatory (a sort of way station for souls not fully prepared to enter heaven) would be either shortened or eliminated altogether. Individuals could even buy indulgences on behalf of deceased loved ones.Indulgences 2Popes and Roman Catholic councils forbade the practice of selling indulgences, but it persisted. It was to this corruption that Martin Luther first addressed himself. In what would today be described as a “flame war,” Luther and Roman Catholic officials took turns writing inflammatory pamphlets directed at one another. Within five years, Luther and his teachings had been officially condemned by Rome.Frederick III of SaxonyFollowing his condemnation by Rome, Luther came under the military protection of Prince Frederick III of Saxony who agreed to fight off any attempts on the part of the Catholic Church to silence Luther (and thereby gain greater national sovereignty for Germany). For his part, Luther abandoned his earlier calls for ending specific corruptions in the Church and began advocating a complete break. He labeled the Pope the “antichrist” and called for broad and deep changes in Christian theology and practice.Luther's Spiritual LifeIf the Protestant Reformation began with essentially political and economic disputes, under Luther profound religious disputes developed as well. The changes Luther sought in the Church’s theology and practice were driven by deeply personal spiritual crises that Luther weathered in his young adulthood. Luther was a passionate man, eager to give his all to pleasing God and living as a Christian should. Yet he persistently felt that he could not live up to his own exacting standards and he feared God’s harsh judgment, which he felt he deserved.
63 Protestant Christianity 1. How did Protestantism originate in 16th-century Germany? 2. What two principles became the heart of the Protestant understanding of Christianity? 3. What is the religious significance of the invention of the movable type printing press? 4. Who are the principal leaders of the early Protestant Reformation? 5. What does the concept “priesthood of all believers”mean?What does it not mean? 6. How did the Protestants regard the Bible? How did their views differ from the Roman Catholic view of the Sacred Scripture? 7. How did the minister’s role change in Protestantism with regard to the celebration of worship services? 8. Why did the Protestants place emphasis on the literacy of the laity? 9. What are the four distinct institutional forms of Protestantism? 10. What is the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation? 11. How does Luther’s teaching about transubstantiation differ from the Roman Catholic doctrine? 12. Which two sacraments did Luther maintain as being valid?Which five did Luther not accept as sacraments? 13. Why did Luther disregard the concepts of purgatory, honoring the saints and indulgences? 14. What are the basic principles of Ulrich Zwingli’s Protestant belief? 15. What function did art and architecture play for the laity before the Reformation in the Roman Catholic Church? 16. What model did John Calvin use for the organization of church leadership in his Protestant movement? 17. What are the four radical groups that emerged early in the Reformation? 18. Who are the Anabaptists? What distinguishes them most from Catholics? 19. How does the Church of England stand in regard to the Catholic Church? What is similar and what is different about the two churches?
64 The Protestant Reformation Try itThe Protestant Reformation
65 Midterm test question possibilities for Judaism Multiple Choice (on textbook and lectures)Passage Identification (on scripture readings and lectures): Proverbs, Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Amos, IsaiahPossible paragraph questions (on lectures and textbook)Discuss briefly the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) as a drama of the relationship of God with humanity.What is in each of the three parts of the Jewish scriptures?What, according to Proverbs, are the differences between the “wise” and the “foolish” in terms of their (a) thinking, (b) behaviour, and (c) fortunes?What view of human nature and potential is reflected in the first three chapters of Genesis?What is meant by “Torah”? What role does “Torah” play in Judaism?Summarize the message of the following prophets to their contemporaries and the themes in their prophecies that are important in Judaism:.How do the major groupings of contemporary Judaism differ in practice and beliefs?List as many of Moses Maimonides’ 13 articles as you can remember, and explain them in a sentence or two each.
66 Midterm test question possibilities for Christianity What is known about the historical life of Jesus? How is this similar to and different from the Jesus appearing throughout the New Testament, especially the gospels?What is meant by the “kingdom of heaven” in Matthew? What, according to Matthew, is Jesus’ part in the dawning of the kingdom?What fundamental convictions led Christians to understand God as “Trinity,” and how does the doctrine of the “Trinity” give expression to these convictions?What do Christians mean when they speak of human nature as “fallen”? How, according to Paul’s letter to the Romans, does God redeem humankind?Explain the issues which led to the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.Briefly explain the development of the Protestant Reformation, highlighting the most important issues raised in this movement. What were the problems Luther saw with the way Christianity was being practised? What were some of his solutions? How did the Roman Catholic Church respond?
67 Possible Final Exam Questions IslamDefinitionsAllah; Imam; ;Shari’ah; Caliph; Islam; Shi’a; Fatwa; Islamist; Sufism; Hajj; Jihad; Sunnah; Hadith; Madrasa; Sunni; Hijab; Muezzin; Sura; Hijrah; Shahadah; Ummah; IslamWhat distinguishes a Sunni from a Shi’ite Muslim? Explain.According to the Koran, what “revelations” of God are contained in nature, and how ought human beings to respond to these revelations? What does the Koran say about the “signs” that God has provided for humankind: what kinds of “signs” are there, what are they “signs” of, how should people react, how do they respond?Summarize the role played by prophets (including Muhammad himself) in Islam.Summarize the understanding and importance of law as reflected in the Koran.Western religionsFor Muslims, the religion of Islam is not distinct from Judaism and Christianity but the completion thereof. What is meant by this claim? What, ultimately, are the chief distinctions between these three Semitic religions?We have discussed five common characteristics shared by the “Abrahamic faiths.” Be able to illustrate the role of each of these convictions in each of the three faiths.All religionsSummarize the life of the prophet Muhammad, placing his life in the context of his times. Compare and contrast what is known about the life of Muhammad with one of the following religious founders: Buddha, Confucius, Zarathushtra, or Jesus. What are the most significant similarities and differences between the Muhammad and whoever else is selected? Explain.