Is pantheism anti-Trinitarian

Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

§47 The main moments in the development of Protestantism

The directions - the sects

Reformed churchism

1) 1517 - dispute with the Anabaptists. 2) - Augsburg Confession. 3) - Luther's death. 4) - Concord. Formula are the phases of Lutheran development. There is no such thing with Zwingli.

The first period is fundamental for the German Reformation: Luther was inspired by no other interest than the restoration of the pure Gospel for all of Christianity. The writings of this period are authoritative. After [15] 21 Luther no longer put forward any new ideas. But many tacitly corrected or withdrawn, often made more unclear.

The battle with the Anabaptists is epoch-making. Erbkam Gesch. d. prot. Sects 1848. The rebaptists or the ultra's of the Reformation still says Hase, but wrongly, they come from the Franciscan spiritual direction of the Catholic Church, were already there before the Reformation, but afterwards they were filled with evangelical thoughts but their basis not denied.

  1. Christianity is only there where there is active holiness to the point of the cessation of all sin.
  2. The kingdom of God can only be represented by detachment from the world, the state, the visibly ruling church.
  3. The Holy Spirit works in an enthusiastic way by means of the inner word, without connection with the external and without the precondition of historical transmission [140] of faith.
  4. Christ is coming again soon, strikes the unbelievers on the head and realizes the church of believers.

These movements pushed their way towards the Reformation. Luther rejected them, often without justification, since they were quite unanimous in their criticism of the existing church, often only meant the verb praedicatum in the inner word and the longer the more they were often very religiously intimate. But Luther realized that they were harmful to the time and rejected them. So there are two good insights. After the violent defeat, they fell silent. Menno Simons gathered the scattered and included a lot of evangelical things in the doctrine, so that they are now really evangelical sects, a little more reformed than Lutheran. But in some points they show their medieval origins: rejection of infant baptism, the oath, military service, civil service (sometimes). There are also two parties here, one with the strictest church discipline and one with relief. In the third generation, breeding always begins to loosen up. They are still a beautiful monument to that great movement.

The anti-Trinitarian movement, which culminated in the Socinians, is intertwined in many ways with this movement. This, too, is a medieval product with a reform. Antitrinitarianism has its roots in the Anabaptists who did not want anything from historical tradition to apply, including the Council resolutions. Wherever this anti-Trinitarian spirit appears, the authorities strike immediately, according to the old Justinian code of law. This is how you have to understand Calvin's approach. A [141] second root was given in nominalism, where all these doctrines had been declared unreasonable and left the authority of the church. However, this church authority was loosened by the Renaissance. This also sank these dogmas and many sober, especially legal scholars in Italy, especially Lälius and Faustus Socinus, came to explain the Bible and Ratio as the only Christian principles. Nothing can have a place in religion that does not achieve virtue. Socin [Fausto Sozzini] in particular founded a peculiar school called Church in the Anabaptist communities of Transylvania, the center of which was Rackau. Second Catechism 1605 [Rakauer Kat., Polish 1605, German 1608, Latin 1609], Brevissima Institutio 1618. Here the rationalism is already pronounced, but supranaturalistic. The Bible contains revelation, but it does not contradict reason. The concept of reason was never investigated; one assumed innate concepts inherent in reason. Everything in the catechisms is aimed at the moral improvement that can be achieved through teaching. Christ is the man equipped by God for this, who should teach pure morality, and God has drawn him to him afterwards. They viewed the sacraments for ceremonies. In the negative, they have achieved amazing things, not a single Straussian thought is missing from them. Scripture criticism is also excellent. But they have no concept of religion which is only a crutch of morality for them; it teaches you to do what one ought to do in oneself. The question is Catholic, the answer is rationalist in contrast to mysticism, to the sacrament, to the Catholic. things giving religious value. [142] Only the relationship exists between us and Socinianism, that the individual has a free right, that the traditional Catholic dogma is inadequate (but without us shaving it off). The beginnings of anti-Trinitarianism lie in the 20 [s] of the 16th century.

[1)] In the second half of the 20s, the Reformation suddenly had to create a church (after Speyer). So far you had only preached, now you had to organize. In 1520 he wrote [sc. Luther] as a preacher, unconcerned about the transitional provisions, only setting the goal of faith. The Wittenbergers were too conservative to create something new. Her motto was to gently transform the existing one. That was not particularly wisdom, but was quite natural to Luther. He was not a great organizer, although he gave some good advice. Melanchthon was a school organizer. So he saw the world as a school to be organized; he had worked his way completely into Luther's views, but without introducing them into all the details of his schoolmaster's ideas. He imagined that the Gospel had to be presented in an authoritative doctrina evang. As a foundation for the whole and for each individual, 2) that this should be designed in such a way that it was formally and materially as similar as possible to the old doctrina publica in order to create a bridge to the old one To have the church and those standing in it. 3) The doctrina evang. Must be so pronounced that the common, coarse man receives no offense and does not forcibly come to laxity through the omission of confession [143] and use evangelical freedom as a cover for malice. ad 1) While Luther wants to reform the old church, he does not intend to create a new form of teaching. The individual is to be won through the promissiones Dei and then he is also free in the expression of his faith. But since you could not ask if you want to be Catholic or Protestant, all of Saxony had to get a new church, the Constitution Cultus made it more difficult to create a church. Until [15] 29 Luther did not think of a confession. Before Marburg, Luther thought that Zwingli was an Anabaptist who had to be presented with the basics, which is how the Marburg articles emerged, which Zwingli signed about the Last Supper, except for the last one. [15] 30 now comes the Reichstag. On the basis of this, a confessio is made, which ties in with the old Catholic doctrina and only makes evangelical remarks on the individual points. But the Gospel and the doctrina Evangelii are not the same as Melanchthon thinks. But Luther, who was not a systematic head, soon spoke of sophistry with great contempt, but in other passages he stuck to the old symbols with the utmost determination. As a result of the Augsburg Confessio, the general evangelical movement suffers from a school-like constriction, and the uniform character of the religion, which is supposed to produce a uniform Christian character, is lost.

ad 2) Melanchthon was mild as long as he was fearful, he was usually more harsh than Luther, especially [15] 29 against Zwingli, with whom he did not want to make a deal in order to be able to return. In Augsburg he would almost have betrayed testantism if it had not been for Luther and secular counselors, especially Philip of Hesse. In Lutheranism he insisted on imitating the Catholic Church as much as possible.

ad 3) Consideration for the common, rough man. Luther's way of teaching had the consequence that many people became lax; the Catholic Church had brought them up in such a way that they could not endure evangelical freedom. Instead of educating this people with temporary regulations, Melanchthon wanted to teach, for the sake of the common, rough man, that penance precedes faith, first law then gospel. He did not regard the people as Christians to be educated, but as pagans. Agricola and some Catholics recognized the swing, Agricola, Luther suspicious because of his character, was also rejected with the good. In Melanchthon's loci, faith and justification lost their dominant position. Melanchthon put forward a preliminary stage, the law. Later came the unio mystica.

When Luther died, Melanchthon was considered his successor, but he was not up to it. He has a conflict in himself and he has passed it on to the Church: 1) Luther's teaching is the only decisive thing, Flacius and the others learned that from him, 2) He reserved deviations for himself, even in the last years of Luther's life, but who was too big to emphasize these differences. He tends towards Erasmus' doctrine of free will and, overcome by Calvin and Oecolampad, he also tends towards Calvin's view in the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. Then he suffers from cryptocalvinism. In his heart he has nothing against uniting with Calvin. This split [145] resulted in him raising two sorts of students. Some emphasized the doctrina Lutheri (but not the initially fiery one, but the later one that cooled down), the others cultivated its peculiarities. He came under the judgment of the church that he himself raised as a school. He himself had initiated the rabies theologorum.

Luther was very narrow on some lines, but he is quite free on most. Luther is the reformer of Christianity (because Zwingli's work has been destroyed and Calvin is Luther's pupil), but the father of the Lutheran church is Melanchthon and he brought this church into the world as divided as Lutheran and unionist (Philippist, so-called Reformed regional churches, especially Hessen-Cassel, where only the reformed order of worship was introduced, nothing in the doctrine and the constitution was changed). In terms of imperial law, of course, the church was uniform, but internally divided. Until 1650, mild Lutheranism played a minor role. Time is inclined to continue scholasticism with the great systems. Only in Helmstedt did Calixt have a clear view, but was very hostile.

From 1650 on, other directions emerged. In the age of Orthodoxy, Protestantism was treated in the Thomas scheme as a Catholicism changed in the individual loci, without any sense that a new understanding of the Gospel should have been. But in the time of high orthodoxy Paul Gerhardt sang his songs, so there was a lively, pulsating life in the rough shell. If this doctrinal narrowing was the outer signature [146] a countermovement was bound to come. Either one could convert the bad practice into the bad theory in an open relapse into Catholicism (recently, for example, in Vilmar's theory of office) or one said to oneself the justification can no longer be understood, the ideal of perfection is lost, a new ideal has to be found, in recourse the monastic {spurs}, but only fragments, Pietism can be included. It is only pale monasticism, even if it has given many blessings after the time of the dead Orthodoxy. But when he says to be pious, you have to build a chapel next to the house, as it were, a specifically religious life next to the ordinary. It is a restless, hasty, uncertain conventicle life without inner peace. Hence the edification writings mostly slightly revised Catholic edification writings, Dominican and Franciscan piety. Gottfried Arnoold continued to translate Catholic mysticism. The evangelical justification was not understood and therefore sterile.

It is now amateurism on the soil of Protestantism. In the long run it destroys Protestantism in which it takes away our justification and thus leads us into Catholicism. 3) At last it is said that I do not understand this with my intellect, so I dismiss it. Rationalism.

[147] Rationalism is obviously not just a pathological phenomenon in church history. One can construct some progress on it {before}. Rationalism assumed that in theology only what was of practical value should apply. Furthermore, rationalism had a feeling that something should not be presented in the split between denominations. It should also not be underestimated that he again emphasized the central idea of ​​God's fatherly providence "I am and stand in God's hand". Finally he did not give up the idea of ​​eternal life in contact with the formation of time. From a pathological point of view, two factors in particular should be mentioned. Rationalism had no insight as to the degree to which the good which it holds on to could be preserved on its own. He misunderstood the importance of the person of Christ; With the burden of the past, he also shed what we owe to it and to history. He believed that in a certain religious system everything was already given. Because so rationalism underestimated history, it also underestimated the history of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, pietism and orthodoxy had given instructions on sin which proved sterile. They had adopted the idea that what does not come from faith is sin. But you cannot deal with the essence of sin when you start with general sinfulness. That cannot make an impression, the consequence was that rationalism also broke with the Augustinian doctrine of sin and often progressed to the greatest freedoms. "He did not know the Canailles" (Friedrich the Great). But all the great men at the turn of the century [148] emerged from rationalist parsonages.

The reaction against this arose on the one hand from the romanticism thirsty for history, which first taught us to understand history (see Herder, Schlegel, Grimm, Savigny, etc.). A current had run out from there. On the other hand, however, a stream emanated from the ethical uprising of time, brought about on the one hand by Kant, on the other hand following the mighty uprising of the people. Then Schleiermacher came forward with his understanding of all the things that rationalism had underestimated: an understanding of "feeling", the value of the religious community, awareness of sin and grace, redemption. This extraordinary spirit and this great movement resulted in the complete fall of rationalism. Rationalism was discarded, but unfortunately with it all the good that it had, its love of truth, etc.

On the basis of the reaction, very different varieties have developed. One strives for the return of the Lutheran Church and the formula of the Concord. But then we had the Union, the biggest ecclesiastical political event since the formula of concord. It was a huge step forward in the Union. We have the old Lutheran direction, positive union, etc. There are three directions in the union: 1) those who hold on to the old confessions in the union, 2) on the other hand, from Schleiermacher and Bunsen, a direction in the union which is more pantheistic in the doctrine of God was, which in church politics goes with liberalism and has a really free position on the Bible. But since the same concept of God is still uncertain [149] there will always be a party in the Union which neither wants to do one nor the other, but goes back to the understanding of the Gospel which was expressed in Luther's fundamental thoughts.

Reformed Churchism

Its impulses come from Calvin.

In the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century there was a reaction of the strictest Calvinism. On the other hand, a split developed (Remonstrants), which led to the fact that the Remonstrants were excluded at Dordrecht 1618/19. They stayed in individual communities. They were called Arminians and in Holland they had the meaning of having emphatically enforced tolerance there. At the same time they opened the modern historical view of the H ... with. A small but very important community has appeared here. They understood the term church and ecclesiasticalism in a Protestant way, and by denying the church any regiment, they became the representatives of the modern concept of the state.

In France, Calvinism fought for its existence, but it has also created splendid communities here. This severity, discipline, willingness to sacrifice, enthusiasm, bowing to God, but not to any earthly person, is what Protestantism in France is unique in. But of course all the peculiarities of Calvinism grew up there, they formed a state within a state, here you can see that Calvinism amounts to a regnum externum. We know how the Huguenots fared in France. They too had a direction against extreme severity, but not as powerful as in the Netherlands for fear of the state. [150] Most recently they were thrown out of France and survived until the French Revolution.Then in enforcing religious freedom, France had lost its best citizens. French Protestantism could no longer be a major factor in public life. Recently he has taken part in German Protestantism, the Lutheran and Reformed antagonism has slowly been balanced.

Developments in England are much more complicated. Henry VIII had torn the Church away from the Pope without reform. Instead of the Pope, you had him and Anna Boleyn. At that time, this princely-papal desire was prevalent in all European countries. In England it only got acute. But it couldn't stop there. The king didn't want that, of course, but things have their own logic. Still the reform. was persecuted, the king had to see ordinances and under Edward VI. an effective reform came about through Cranmer. He was thus meeting a widespread trend in the country. In the lower folk the wiclifitic memory had not yet faded away and much was gladly thrown overboard. The English state church has a double type, once the Catholic one in the cult where the mass remained and in the constitution where the episcopal succession remained, then the buzer-Calvinist in the doctrine. Under Elizabeth the work was secured, especially by the Synod of London and the 39 Articles 1571 and the Common Prayer Book. Calvin is included except for the predestination. Since then there have been two directions in the English Church. One Catholic ritualistic and one Protestant. The English high church has been in constant struggle, not only with papal efforts, especially under the Stuarts, but even in Elizabeth's days there were many who were not satisfied with such reforms. In particular, the movement started from those who had fled under Maria to the Netherlands, where Calvinism was at its peak at that time. When the refugees returned to England, they declared the English Church to be half a creation and they asserted Calvin once in relation to the constitution, where they set up the principle of independence beyond Calvin, then in the cult, where they went against the ritualistic direction , hence Puritans. This is how the greatest abundance of individual formations is represented in the Puritans. Of course, Calvinist doctrinalism has also asserted itself here.

The English Methodist Movement. In its origin it is a parallel to the Brethren Congregation. John Wesley led to the formation of Methodists. What distinguishes his foundation is that Wesley originally did not want to build a sect next to the church, but that he had the tendency to bring to life within the state church and Christianity the awareness of the reconciliation through Christ in detail. Lecky, Wesley's biography. If he held entire prayer communities and worship services, they should still serve the purpose of bringing Christianity back to life for the individual. But now he already has a certain method of guiding and winning the soul, similar to that in Halle Pietism. He first tries to awaken the awareness of sin, he knows how to shake people so that in the second part the sermon shows the listener the gracious God. This leads his followers to set up a method with excitement, not a penitential fight, but a penitentiary cramp. What was genius with Wesley [152] became method with his followers.

[153] The Irvingians show their highchurch origin in the mixture of Protestant and Catholic in full ritualism, with a well-developed constitution, Protestant doctrine and a strong apocalyptic element. For the end times God gave the church 12 apostles with the same dignity as the old ones. But they died. Now there are only apostle coadjutors. Ecstasy speaking in tongues prophecy is again practiced. The explanation for everything is the old idea of ​​impatience: the Church is a Babylon, it cannot be raised by natural means, only by an outpouring of the Spirit. [Heinrich Wilhelm Josias] Thiersch had said before his conversion that the Church of Christ was to a certain extent already lost after the apostolic times. The Irvingians place great demands on their members.

The Plymouth Brothers (Darbyists) in England, French Switzerland and Dillthal see a sign of secularization in every order. All these sects agree in the negative, in the rejection of the national church, the positive edification is biblicistic.

According to the Catholic template, we are not a church, but a colorful sample card, but precisely through the division we are pointed out that these particular churches are indeed objects of effectiveness, but not their goal: this is the community of hearts that really have religion.

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