Series - Theology Thursday

Theology Thursday - Albert of Brandenburg Needs Some Cash

Albert is unhappy . . .

This article gives some brief background to the circumstances leading up to Albert’s selling of indulgences near Wittenburg in 1517. This is a catalyst which led to Luther writing his 95 theses.

Albert and His Money Troubles1

“Archbishop Albert of Mainz was a prince aged twenty-seven, brother of the Elector of Brandenburg. He was also Archbishop of Magdeburg (in which diocese lay Wittenburg) and administrator of the see of Halberstadt.

To combine these high offices he needed dispensations from Rome. The fees for dispensation on this gargantuan scale being vast, Albert borrowed money from the great banking house of Germany, the Fugger of Augsburg.

As security for the debt, he undertook to arrange the proclamation through Germany of the Indulgence which the Pope had recently declared for the purpose of building St. Peter’s at Rome. The money from the sale of this Indulgence (or phrased less crudely, from the gifts of the faithful seeking the remission of pains in purgatory) went in part to the Pope’s building and in part to the bankers in payment of Albert’s debt. Read more about Theology Thursday - Albert of Brandenburg Needs Some Cash

Theology Thursday - Luther Explains His Salvation

About Luther

“He was never an infidel, nor a wicked man, but a pious Catholic from early youth; but he now became overwhelmed with a sense of the vanity of this world and the absorbing importance of saving his soul, which, according to the prevailing notion of his age, he could best secure in the quiet retreat of a cloister.

He afterward underwent as it were a second conversion, from the monastic and legalistic piety of mediæval Catholicism to the free evangelical piety of Protestantism, when he awoke to an experimental knowledge of justification by free grace through faith alone.”1

Luther Tells About His Conversion2

Read more about Theology Thursday - Luther Explains His Salvation

Anathema! The Council of Trent on Justification (Part 2)

Following the deep division in the church which had resulted from the Protestant Reformation, there was a widespread desire, which grew stronger and was expressed in a variety of ways, for an ecumenical council. Its aim would be to reject errors against faith, add strength to the official teaching, restore the unity of the church, and reform the standards of the Roman curia and of church discipline.1

SIXTH SESSION, held January 13, 1547.

Decree on Justification2

CANON 18. If any one saith, that the commandments of God are, even for one that is justified and constituted in grace, impossible to keep: let him be anathema.

CANON 19. If any one saith, that nothing besides faith is commanded in the Gospel; that other things are indifferent, neither commanded nor prohibited, but free; or, that the ten commandments nowise appertain to Christians: let him be anathema. Read more about Anathema! The Council of Trent on Justification (Part 2)

Theology Thursday - Anathema! The Council of Trent on Justification

Following the deep division in the church which had resulted from the Protestant Reformation, there was a widespread desire, which grew stronger and was expressed in a variety of ways, for an ecumenical council. Its aim would be to reject errors against faith, add strength to the official teaching, restore the unity of the church, and reform the standards of the Roman curia and of church discipline.1

SIXTH SESSION, held January 13, 1547.

Decree on Justification2

CANON 1. If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ: let him be anathema.

CANON 2. If any one saith, that the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, is given only for this, that man may be able more easily to live justly, and to merit eternal life, as if, by free-will without grace, he were able to do both, though hardly indeed and with difficulty: let him be anathema. Read more about Theology Thursday - Anathema! The Council of Trent on Justification

Theology Thursday - Persecution for Religion Judg’d and Condem’d

Thomas Helwys - John Murton's Predecessor

Background

No author is listed for the following treatise, but most attribute it to John Murton, an associate and successor of Thomas Helwys as leader of General Baptists in London. The treatise first appeared in 1615.1

Leon McBeth wrote,

“Murton made the trek to Amsterdam with Smyth, became a Baptist there, and sided with Helwys in the split from Smyth. He also suffered for his faith, spending some years in prison where apparently he died in 1626. From prison he authored two significant treatises on religious liberty.”2

Murton’s Plea for Religious Liberty

To all that truly wish Jerusalem’s Prosperity and Babylons Destruction; Wisdom and Understanding be multiplyed upon you. Read more about Theology Thursday - Persecution for Religion Judg’d and Condem’d

Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 3)

(Read Part 1 and Part 2).

A Re-opening of the Subject of Biblical Inspiration

Now just a pebble in the pond of conservative theology, this could expand to the bombshell of mid-century evangelicalism.

Evangelicals, like fundamentalists, believe that the Bible is the infallible, inspired Word of God. But evangelicals are making bold to ask, “What does ‘infallible, inspired’ mean?”

Few evangelical theologians believe today the view that it was “dictated” by God much as a business man does when he says, “Take a letter, Miss Brown.” Neither do they deny that errors have crept in as the Bible has passed down to us through translations. Read more about Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 3)

Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 2)

This article was published in the March 1956 issue of “Christian Life” magazine. It was seen by fundamentalists as a direct repudiation of the movement. One fundamentalist scholar wrote that the contributors were “crystallizing new evangelical discontent with fundamentalism.”1Still another observed that fundamentalists “viewed the leadership of new evangelicalism as a group of compromisers who were abandoning the fundamentals of the faith in order to be accepted by the larger theological world.”2 

This is Part 2 of the article.

A More Tolerant Attitude Toward Varying Views on Eschatology

Used to be that most fundamentalists were pre-millennial and pre-tribulation. That is, they believed that Christ was coming again to begin a thousand-year reign of peace. Furthermore, that the church would be “raptured” – (taken up to Heaven) – before the “tribulation” (seven years of trouble) the Book of Revelation says will come before Christ’s return.

But for the last ten years debate has been raging on these subjects. Some evangelicals have taken an “amillennial” position (no actual thousand-year period). Some are saying that the Bible doesn’t teach that the church will escape the tribulation. Read more about Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 2)

Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 1)

This article was published in the March 1956 issue of “Christian Life” magazine. It was seen by fundamentalists as a direct repudiation of the movement. One fundamentalist scholar wrote that the contributors were “crystallizing new evangelical discontent with fundamentalism.”1Still another observed that fundamentalists “viewed the leadership of new evangelicalism as a group of compromisers who were abandoning the fundamentals of the faith in order to be accepted by the larger theological world.”2

Here is the article:

During Billy Graham’s 1955 Scotland crusade a B.B.C. interviewer asked him to define the fundamentalist label he’d been plastered with. Billy objected, “I don’t call myself a fundamentalist,” he said. There was an aura of bigotry and narrowness associated with the term—which he certainly hoped was not true of himself.

“I’d prefer to call myself a ‘constructionist,’” Billy said, explaining he was seeking to rebuild the church. Read more about Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 1)

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