Cyprian challenges Rome and offers his perspective on priests administering sacraments. Questions for Discussion: Lesson 9A – Chapter 7 “Cyprian of Carthage Promotes Unity” from The Story of Christian Theology by Roger Olson
1. Olson indicates many readers may be surprised by his devoting an entire chapter to Cyprian. What in Cyprian’s contributions justifies the extensive treatment he receives?
2. Can you explain Cyprian’s “linkage” between his ecclesiology and his soteriology?
3. What secular political forces in Cyprian’s time were at work disrupting the Church? How was this disruption expressed? How were these disruptive forces affecting the early Church?
4. How did Cyprian respond to these forces?
5. What was the nature of the conflict between Cyprian and Stephen the bishop of Rome?
6. How for Cyprian does the spiritual and moral nature of the priest administering a sacrament affect the efficacy of the sacrament, if at all? (Anyone remember what Luther had to say about this?)
7. What was Cyprian’s vision of church unity?
8. How would you summarize Cyprian’s legacy?
See Lesson 9B for Correlated Readings:
Selections from Cyprian’s On The Unity of the Church and his Treatise VIII
Bible Verses for Reflection