Tag Archives: Reformation

Why Not Lutheranism?

Luther Medals

While Joe Carter is yet again telling me what I should do, this time how to think about October 31st, Protestants (and others) in Hillsdale will be observing Reformation Day with a book talk by (all about) me on Calvinism. What follows is an excerpt: Why Calvinism (Why not Lutheranism?) One of the stranger features… Read More→

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Paper, Print, Ink — The Winner Is?

Gutenberg Press

If paper beats rock in “Paper, Scissors, Rock,” does paper beat the printing press in the development of modernity and what it means to be enlightened? . . . in the Enlightenment the magical agency of the press to transform society became a near-universal belief. Censorship was the negative recognition of this absolute credence, and… Read More→

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Is the OPC the Church Hans Kung Has Been Waiting For?

HansKung

Kung is hoping that Francis will be like his namesake and repudiate the power, wealth, and intrigue that has afflicted what he calls the “Roman system.” If the current pope follows Francis of Assisi, then he will take a path different from Innocent III: In fact, Francis of Assisi represented the alternative to the Roman… Read More→

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Blame It on the Reformation (Part Six): We’ll Take the Blame, Thanks

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In his last chapter Gregory directly links Protestantism to the secularization of knowledge. Pardon the digression, but if secular means “of this present age” as opposed to the age to come, how could any knowledge that human beings now have not be secular? Even theology qualifies as secular in this sense, but knowledge of God… Read More→

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Can A Perfect Society Be Fixed?

Humpty-Dumpty

Several stories about doings in the Vatican and the selection of the next pope have me wondering about reform and its possibility. One of those items has nothing directly to do with the Vatican but its musings on the state of Roman Catholic higher education in the United State (even after Ex Corde Ecclesiae) do… Read More→

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Whose Virtue, Which Ethicist

plato-and-aristotle-vatican-city

Apparently, my reaction to Brad Gregory’s chapter on ethics went the way of Facebook updates. So let me return to the subject of Roman Catholicism and Aristotle. Out of curiosity, I went over to Called to Communion to see what the folks there have to say about Aristotle. I ran across this from Mr. Cross… Read More→

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Blame It On the Reformation (Part 4): Jerusalem and Athens All Over Again

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On the subject of morality (chapter four in The Unintended Reformation), Brad Gregory performs a sleight of hand that is well-nigh remarkable since Protestant-Roman Catholic differences on ethics may be the most important feature of the break among Rome, Geneva, Wittenberg, and Canterbury. Gregory says: This chapter argues that a transformation from a substantive morality… Read More→

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Blame It On the Reformation (Part 3): When Disruption Started

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Another feature of the Reformation that harmed the West, according to Brad Gregory in The Unintended Reformation, is the state’s increasing power, including the authority to regulate religious life. Historians frequently regard the Reformation as a natural extension of secular authorities’ increasing control of the church in the fifteenth century. Such a view distorts more… Read More→

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Blame It On the Reformation (Part 2)

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In The Unintended Reformation, Brad Gregory objects to the sort of doctrinal and (ultimately) intellectual pluralism that Protestants, with their doctrine of sola scriptura and their belief in the illumination of the Spirity, unleashed upon the West. The common refrain that the diversity of religious claims point to faith’s “arbitrary, subjective character” is the result… Read More→

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Blame It on the Reformation (Part 1)

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In the first chapter of The Unintended Reformation: How A Religious Revolution Secularized Society (Belknap/Harvard), Brad S. Gregory tries to account for the Reformation’s role in the disenchantment of the medieval cosmos and the eventual dominance of a secular, scientific understanding of the universe: Protestant reformers sought to restore a proper understanding of the relationship… Read More→

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