The unintended reformation

But a genuinely transcendent god, if real, is not spatial at all. The interpretation of scripture had been centrally important in Christianity from the time of the church fathers Or that the competing truth claims generated greater rivalry, followed by revulsion as armies leveled cities in the name of Christ, opening the door to greater state control and the limiting of doctrine to the private sphere?

The Unintended Reformation

Do not even look at Dawkins and all the other dull apostles of shrill-voiced secularism, symptoms of failure though they be. Then there is the ceremony of mass, which is highly symbolic in and of itself.

At least Mondin is honest and indirectly admits there might be a Protestant tradition back there somewhere of which Barth might not be representative; but honest or not, taking Barth at his least representative of the tradition as representative or even definitive of it is a move many Roman theologians find irresistibly convenient.

Gresham Machen professor of systematic theology and apologetics at Westminster Seminary California.

The Unintended Consequences of the Reformation

This is also why to this day when you go to a Catholic service, you will see the stations of the cross, meant to teach people about the story of Jesus and the incredible sacrifice he made for us. Yet, Luther and Reformed Protestants disagreed with their Catholic contemporaries about teleological virtue ethics Science and faith thus began to be seen as logical opposites, though that is certainly not what the original proponents of univocity intended, nor is it a rational stance.

The chapter titles express quite clearly his judgments on the contemporary world: But we must consider: Until the modern era, religion, Christianity in the West, uniformly provided the answers, or at least the starting points and midpoints for answers, to such questions.

Gregory identifies the unintended consequences of the Protestant Reformation and traces the way it shaped the modern condition over the course of the following five centuries.

The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society

But such depth does not mean the book is bad; it is quite good, and it has gotten a lot of attention, though probably more attention than actual readers, I suspect.

Modernity itself may well provide tools of powerful caritas, politically and otherwise, whose capacity should be taken hold of by Christians, not simply because talking the modern talk gives us more traction in the secular public square, but because modernity really does provide vehicles for transformative love in the Spirit of Christ.

Bot indeed repudiate central claims of Christianity This was preceded by a post where he considers in a more technical fashion the history of the ideas in metaphysicsnamely analogy and univocity of being, which Dr Gregory seems to think are historically determinative.

But going even deeper than the question of material vs notional factors of history, Dr Trueman finally gets to the heart of it when he says in this golden paragraph: However, the Reformation outran itself, he explained.

As Gregory points out, a human community of not-wholly autonomous individuals is the necessary bedrock of both the Christian life and of any healthy society, in its living, in its transmission, and in its recognition and practice of virtue. The question of the good of the Reformation has a genuine answer, which legitimates the modernity which came from it.

And yet the presenting themes and concerns are at one remove—or more. The result is a de facto reliance on emotivist, individual preference to determine the good as such and a seemingly inexorable trend towards increasing permissiveness necessarily coupled with ever more insistent calls for toleration.

However, in the Protestant tradition, there is not as much emphasis on symbolism. The answer is yes. This brings us to the real culprits for the problems of the modern world though, as the reader may have guessed, I myself would rather live now than at any earlier point in history, given our access to, among other things, non-Aristotelian medicine.

The assertion that scripture alone was a self-sufficient basis for Christian faith and life We use these terms to lump together particular things with similar characteristics. His domestication now complete or nearly so among such thinkers, God was in both cases conceived as though he were spatial and temporal.

American Protestant theologians were as little equipped to handle the intellectual challenges of Darwinism, German biblical criticism, and historicism as Aristotelian natural philosophers had been prepared to accommodate Newtonianism in the eighteenth century Up with the common good, down with John Stuart Mill.

It is now five hundred years since the Reformation, and Gregory does not think it was a good five hundred years. In our haste to pull away from corruption and misguided theology, did we leave behind some good things? We would, implicitly, be better off with something more like the High Medieval synthesis destroyed by Martin Luther."The unintended problem created by the Reformation was not simply a perpetuation of the inherited and still-present challenge of how to make human life more genuinely Christian, but also the new and compounding problem of how to know what true Christianity was" (p.

).4/5. The Unintended Reformation is simply the most intelligent treatment of the subject by a contemporary author. It is also the most unconventional and most stirring engagement I know with the problem of how the West has dealt with its heritage of plural religions and concepts of values and happiness.

Stop what you are doing. Tell your boss you must, absolutely must, run to your local, independent bookstore and buy Brad Gregory’s “The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society.” This is the best and most important book I have read in a decade, apart from those by Mark, Matthew, Luke & John, of course.

But The Unintended Reformation gives intellectual history a bad name. There were apparently no social, technological, economic, or political factors at all—these are all effects rather than causes. The Unintended Reformation, by contrast, ranges over six centuries and tackles almost everything that is wrong with our world today, from moral relativism to climate change and political strife.

It does engender a certain amount of satisfaction, not to say mild pride, to find a Reformation historian solving the problems of the modern world, but. Brad Gregory talks about his book, [The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society], in which he looks at the impact of the.

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The unintended reformation
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