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To understand why the Reformation unfolded as it did, we must understand the ideas that were so forcefully articulated, opposed, and debated by Protestants and Catholics. For Protestant or Catholic believers in this forgetful age, the need to understand these disputed doctrines, and the logic and coherence that linked them together, is all the more imperative. This is what this volume seeks to offer for the first time: a primary source reader focused squarely on the theological questions that drove the Reformation.
Beginning with the first rumblings of conflict in the late medieval period and continuing until the solidification of Protestant confessions in the early 17th century, this collection of thirty-two texts brings the modern reader face-to-face with the key men whose convictions helped shape the course of history. Concise historical introductions accompanying each text bring these writings to life by recounting the stories and conflicts that gave birth to these texts, and highlighting the enduring themes that we can glean from them.
KEY TOPICS INCLUDE: the doctrine of the church, and its relation to the state; the doctrine of the eucharist, and transubstantiation in particular; the doctrine of justification sola fide and the place of works; the meaning of the Protestant commitment to sola Scriptura; and others.
KEY AUTHORS INCLUDE: Marsilius of Padua, John Wycliffe, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Martin Luther, Thomas More, John Calvin, The Council of Trent, Thomas Cranmer, Richard Hooker, Robert Belllarmine, and many more.
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Gift Subscription to Ad Fontes
Looking for a gift for someone who is passionate about the life of the church? Loves learning about God and Theology? Give them a year’s subscription to Ad Fontes, The Davenant Institute’s Journal of Protestant Resourcement.
The doctrine of the church is often perceived as the weakest link in Protestant theology. These essays argue, on the contrary, that the Reformers’ radical re-thinking of the definition of the church is one of the Reformation’s greatest treasures. Not only is “mere Protestant” ecclesiology firmly in concert with the multifaceted biblical witness, but it is also manifestly in accord with natural reason and the lived experience of Christians throughout the ages. As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this volume seeks to honor the Protestant heritage by remembering, reclaiming, and critically reflecting upon the relationship between the gospel promise and the community which it calls into being.
This volume features revised and expanded essays from various issues of Ad Fontes and also essays only available here.
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AND A REFORMED EPISCOPAL CHURCH
James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of Armagh, is popularly known as a proponent of young earth creationism due to the insertion of dates from his biblical chronology into many editions of the King James Version of the Bible. Despite this popular portrayal, historians have recognized Ussher’s importance in the ecclesiological and theological debates of the seventeenth century and his stature as one of the great scholarly intellects of early modern Europe. This volume, complete with a helpful introduction by a leading scholar in the field, seeks to introduce four of Ussher’s sermons and two treatises on church government to a modern audience.
The writings of Ussher presented here contain some material printed for the first time as well as a selection of Ussher’s better known treatises, such as The Original of Bishops and Metropolitans (1644) and The Reduction of Episcopacy (1657). Together these sermons and treatises address the theme of the Church—its nature, its unity, its purity, its government, and how it must deal with difference. Combining these items together with helpful editorial notes, this volume promises to stimulate theological reflection on a theme highly relevant for the church today, especially for those within the Reformed and Anglican traditions.