The Protestant Reformation

Religion in America

Martin Luther

           Protest against abuses of the Church

           1517: the 95 Theses

           Basic principles of Protestantism

           Sola fide: by faith alone (Paul’s Epistle to the Romans)

           Sola scriptura: Bible alone

           Need for translation into common languages

           Priesthood of all believers

           End of celibate priesthood

           Sacraments reduced from seven to two

Reformation spreads

          Church reaction: excommunication, 1521

          Luther’s support spreads throughout Europe, esp. Germany and Scandinavia

The English Reformation

          Henry VIII of England: “defensor fide”

          Catherine of Aragon and Mary

          Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth, 1533

          Monastic orders abolished, lands seized, 1535-1539

          Edward VI, 1547-1553

          Protestantism firmly established

          Mary: Making England Catholic again

          Repression and “martyrdom”


In Geneva

           English Protestants to Continent

           John Calvin & the goal of a “godly society”


           Sovereignty of God & rigorous obedience to Bible

           Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion

           Predestination: “TULIP

           Army of the saints: activism in this world

           Suppression of evil and vice a duty to God

           Disobedience to ungodly ruler a duty to God

           Iconoclasm: Destroy “idols,” favor Word & worship





Catholic Counterreformation

          Counterattack on Protestant defections

          St. Ignatius Loyola: Society of Jesus (Jesuits), 1534

          Council of Trent, 1545-1563

          Defining Catholic belief

          Faith and works cooperate in salvation

          Religious truth in both the Bible and tradition

          Reining in excess, abuses, images, etc.

          Anti-Calvinism: Optimistic view of human abilities

          Anti-Calvinism: Emphasis on religious art & music



The “Five Points” of Calvinism

          Total depravity

          Adam and Original Sin

          Unconditional election

          Grace saves without any preconditions

          Limited atonement

          Christ died for the “elect”

          Irresistible grace

          Perseverance of the saints