David K Bernard's A History of Christian Doctrine: Volume 2, The Reformation PDF

By David K Bernard

ISBN-10: 1567221874

ISBN-13: 9781567221879

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Extra resources for A History of Christian Doctrine: Volume 2, The Reformation to the Holiness Movement A. D. 1500-1900

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Such beliefs detracted from the Cross and from justification by faith. Finally, Luther opposed transubstantiation, the doctrine that the elements actually turn into the blood and body of Christ. His alternative view was so close, however, that most Protestants since his time have had difficulty in seeing the difference. Under the Catholic view the elements completely turn into the historical blood and body of Christ even though they still look like bread and wine. Luther ridiculed this notion, for the bread and wine were obviously still bread and wine.

On the doctrine of water baptism, however, he went too far in one respect and not far enough in another. He dropped the scriptural significance of baptism as being for the remission of sins, yet he retained the nonbiblical 62 Ulrich Zwingli traditions of infant baptism, sprinkling, and the trinitarian formula. Nevertheless, the trend of his theology was to be much more radical than Luther and much more willing to throw away unbiblical tradition. In one sense, however, we see a regression, at least from the Lutheran point of view: Zwingli downplayed the sharp distinction between law and gospel that Luther insisted upon.

First, we have the moral law. Some teachings of the law are moral in nature and they are eternal. They are part of the gospel. Second, there is the ceremonial law, which consists of types and shadows pointing to Christ. Now that Christ has fulfilled them, we need not observe them literally. Finally, there is the civil law. God gave some components of the law of Moses to regulate the civil affairs of the nation of Israel, and they do not have direct bearing on the church. They are instructive, however, and in some cases they provide guidance for the Christian state.

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A History of Christian Doctrine: Volume 2, The Reformation to the Holiness Movement A. D. 1500-1900 by David K Bernard


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