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