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Christian History, Ritual and Biblical Interpretation.

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Presentation on theme: "Christian History, Ritual and Biblical Interpretation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Christian History, Ritual and Biblical Interpretation

2  The Church pervaded all aspects of life (cathedral was city square)  Society was changing – tradespeople, early industrialization, education was expanding  The invention of the printing press (1440) made books (e.g.Bible) more affordable  The Catholic Church held an amazing amount of power – politically, economically, socially

3  With power came examples of Church abuses of power  Priests were found to be selling indulgences  Indulgence – the remission of punishment from sins after being absolved (usually through prayer, alms, pilgrimage)  The money from such sales was used to build churches  Priests were not always well trained  Bible interpretation was only undertaken by priests and monks – believers were discouraged from reading the Bible on their own

4  Martin Luther (a German monk) noticed the sale of indulgences  He posted his 95 Theses at his local church  Conflict resulted with the Pope, who commanded that Luther recant  When Luther refused, he was excommunicated  Luther began a German translation of the Bible  Saw religious freedom as essential  The term “Protestant” refers to Christians who are neither Catholic nor Orthodox.

5  Luther taught that people are saved by faith and the grace of God alone (sola fide, sola gratia), not by actions  He taught that the Bible has authority (sola scriptura) – and any Christian can interpret it themselves  He taught that all Christians have a responsibility to preach and spread the Gospel (priesthood of all believers)  Later the Catholic Church accepted a version of this teaching as well

6  An example of a Protestant reform of Christianity is the focus away from ritual  The 7 sacraments are maintained by Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism as “visible signs of God’s grace”  Fewer sacraments are recognized by Protestant denominations (varies by movement)  Early Protestant leaders saw the 7 sacraments as only loosely based on scripture  e.g. eucharist (frequency, form, who can receive), matrimony, baptism (infant/adult, full immersion/sprinkling)

7  Anglicanism –  England broke away from Rome because King Henry VIII wanted a divorce that the Pope would not grant  Henry declared himself head of the Church of England, although changed the teachings very little  Hundreds of years of conflict resulted – the state religion was determined by the monarch  Many martyrs from these conflicts

8  Calvinism (reform traditions)  Calvin’s teachings went even further from Roman Catholicism  Teachings:  total depravity of humans (people depend entirely on God’s goodness)  Predestination (God has chosen who his mercy is given to)  Jesus’ sacrifice only saves those God has chosen  Modern reform traditions include the Baptists, Presbyterians.

9  Anabaptists –  did not agree with Luther or Calvin  Baptized only adults, teach pacifism (complete peace, opposition to war) – includes Mennonites  Evangelicals –  More modern movement,“born again”  Teaches that the Bible is without error  Pentecostals –  Often grouped with evangelical (same view of the Bible)  Focus on experiencing the Holy Spirit and the 2 nd coming of Christ  Believe in signs of the Holy Spirit’s presence (speaking in tongues, slaying in the spirit)

10  Fundamentalists –  Absolute authority of the Bible  Reject Darwin’s theory of evolution in favour of the Genesis account of creation  NOTE: Protestantism is difficult to define in modern times because there are so many denominations – many terms overlap  Today hundreds of denominations exist, partly because of the original teachings of Luther

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